Want to be a Gel Manicure and Nail Artist?

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Learning how to apply gel nail polish, give professional manicures and pedicures, and do amazing nail art is the first step to becoming a gel manicure and nail artist, but you’ll also need a license if you intend to work in the U.S. Working as a nail artist is exciting, fun, and allows you to express your creativity while helping others to achieve the fashion looks they want. It’s the perfect job for someone who loves art, because after all, the best job is one that doesn’t seem like work at all.

If you want to know more about being a gel manicure and nail artist, keep reading.

A Day in the Life of a Professional Gel Manicure and Nail Artist

As a professional nail artist, you’ll arrive when your shop or salon opens, and begin by consulting with your first client. Depending on what they ask for, you’ll either charge by the hour, or for the entire job. You’ll also pay a portion of your commission to the salon, unless you own it. A client could ask for a manicure or pedicure, basic nail polish, application of shellac or gel nail polish, acrylic nails, French tip nails, or advanced nail art. You’ll use special tools, help with nail problems, and create interesting art by drawing, using glitter and foils, and by sculpting gel nails. In some cases, the client may want nothing more than to restore their natural nails, and you can help them to achieve that.

Depending on whether you work part or full time, you’ll likely stay for 4 to 8 hours. If you work in a salon, you might also earn an hourly wage, work on commission, or offer part of the rate you charge to the salon as payment.

How Much Does a Nail Artist Earn?

A nail artist can earn anywhere from $19,340 to $30,330 without a degree, although many nail artists work on a part-time or commission basis, which makes it more difficult to ascertain a normal, full-time wage. In some cases, you can charge as much as $50 per hour for a manicure or pedicure, and the same for high-quality nail art and designs. In other cases, you will charge a flat rate based on your client’s requirements. Essentially, how much you earn depends on how skilled you are, and how many clients you have.

Want to be a Gel Manicure and Nail Artist?

Skills You Need to be a Gel Manicure and Nail Artist

Nail artists need a few essential skills. As with any other art, most of these will improve with practice. You’ll have to know:

How to Offer Basic Hand & Nail Care

Basic hand, nail, and cuticle care, using hand and nail creams, massage, hand exercises, and improving nail problems are all part of a nail artist’s job.

How to Paint Nails

Most people will come in wanting a basic coat of nail polish. You will have to learn how to create flawless and professional results.

How to Decorate with Nail Polish

Some people prefer more complicated and intricate nail polish. Learning to use glitter, foils, strips, and other accessories are important skills.

How to Give a Manicure and Pedicure

Manicures and pedicures, including polish, are one of a nail salon’s biggest selling services. Learning to give a manicure, care for feet and hands, and apply polish as directed, is one of your main goals.

How to use Shellac and Gel Nail Polish

Shellac and gel nail polish is ideal for anyone who wants nail polish to last for two weeks or more. Not only does it last longer, but you can also sculpt it to create unique results.

How to Apply Acrylic Nails

Acrylic nails are always popular, and learning how to apply them is a must.

How to Create Popular Looks

Popular looks like French tip nails, basic reds, striped tips, and checkers will always be in demand. You have to master them.

How to Style Nails to Create Beautiful Art

Learning how to style nails is mostly about creativity, but you have to hone your basic nail skills first. You’ll be creating your own designs and nail layouts to create beautiful, finished results.

Want to be a Gel Manicure and Nail Artist?

Job Requirements and Education to be a Gel Manicure and Nail Artist

Becoming a nail artist means learning a particular skill set, and in some cases, completing an education. It’s important to note that becoming a nail artist in the U.S requires a cosmetologist license, and the exact requirements vary from state to state, so you will have to check your state’s individual policy.


An apprenticeship is a great way to go if you want to earn your credentials without paying for a college course, and you want to earn money while learning. In most cases, you will have to demonstrate skill as a nail artist, so a certification can come in handy. Generally, you can complete an apprenticeship in about 8-12 months.

College Courses

A college course usually ranges from 200 to 800 hours, and allows you to take the course, earn your qualifications, and immediately take your licensing examination where applicable.

Certification for becoming a Gel Manicure and Nail Artist

A certification is a great way to get an entry-level position as a nail artist. You’ll learn everything you need, and earn hours towards qualifying for your license. It’s also ideal if you want to get started with offering online tutorials, or if you want to complement your career as a fashion consultant, makeover artist, makeup professional, personal shopper, or store assistant by offering professional nail services.

Want to be a Gel Manicure and Nail Artist?

Getting Started

The trick to mastering any art is practice, practice, practice; and with nails, you can get started on your own hands. You can also work on your friends, which allows you to master your skills while offering them something of value in exchange for their time. If you want to learn how to create professional results, consider taking our Gel Manicure and Nail Artist course, where you will learn how to be a nail artist from the ground up.

The course includes manicures, pedicures, tools, tips, gel nail polish, drawing and designs, foils, acrylic nails, and much more. It’s also fully accredited, so you’ll receive a certificate of accomplishment upon completing the course.

And we also have other courses that might interest you, click here to see them!

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