Get Your Degree!

Find schools and get information on the program that’s right for you.

Powered by Campus Explorer

Nail Technician Job Description

Nail Technician Job Description

What is a Nail Technician? What do Nail Technicians do?

A Nail Technician is also known as a Manicurist.  Manicurists work exclusively on fingernails.

A Nail Technician job description encompasses cleaning, filing, painting, polishing,decorating  and adding nail extensions to clients fingernails.  Nail Technicians provide what is essentially a cosmetic beauty treatment for the fingernails and hands.  Nail Technicians file,  shape the free edge, provide cuticle treatments, massage the hand and apply polish.  Nail Technicians may also soak the hands in a softening substance and apply a lotion. This procedure can be applied to the toenails and feet, this treatment is referred to as a Pedicure. 

Other nail treatments may include the application of artificial nail tips, acrylics or artificial nail gels. Some manicures can include the painting of pictures or designs on the nails or applying small decals or imitation jewels.

More detailed descriptions of a Nail Technician job duties include:

  • Cleaning and sanitizing tools and work environment.
  • Scheduling client appointments and accepting payments.
  • Removing previously applied nail polish, using liquid remover and swabs.
  • Cleaning customers' nails in soapy water, using swabs, files, and orange sticks.
  • Shaping and smoothing ends of nails, using scissors, files, or emery boards.
  • Applying undercoat and clear or colored polish onto nails with brush.
  • Advising clients on nail care and use of products and colors.
  • Assessing the condition of clients' hands, removing dead skin from the hands and massaging them.
  • Softening nail cuticles with water and oil, pushing back cuticles, using cuticle knife, and trimming cuticles, using scissors or nippers.
  • Brushing powder and solvent onto nails and paper forms to maintain nail appearance and to extend nails, then remove forms and shaping and smoothing nail edges using rotary abrasive wheel.


Information on this page summarized from:
(1) Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition, Manicurists and Pedicurists,

(2) Wikipedia contributors, "Manicure," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia,
(3) O*Net Online,
Summary Report for:39-5092.00 - Manicurists and Pedicurists,
(4) Image credit: Image licensed from Fotolia LLC

This site is intended only for informational purposes and is not a substitute for professional guidance.
Click here for privacy policy and contact information.