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“Help Wanted”…… What You Need To Know as a Nail Tech

BlogBeauty Career, Beauty Student Advice | April 9, 2014

Close to graduating?    Or have you already graduated and you’re contemplating your next move?   Before you head out to interview, there are some important things you need to know.

#1  Nail Techs are the most in demand position in salons today.      Why is that?    Salons have difficulty holding on to Nail Techs for several reasons.     The biggest reason is because both parties have incorrectly assumed too much.   Now that you know you are in demand, you can NEGOTIATE for terms that are beneficial to both you and your potential employer.    Negotiating does not mean you are demanding, it means you and the employer are coming to an agreement that you can both stick too and grow from.

#2   Most salon owners have invested thousands of dollars in a nail department between equipment costs and working product.    They WILL want you to use what product they already have and YOU will have to learn it if it is unfamiliar.     Go to the manufacturer’s online educational resources to start learning the do’s and don’ts of the products.    Check for a company tutorial.   Practice as much as you can when you have down time.   UNDERSTAND what you are using.

#3   You’re fresh out of school.    Be patient.    Will you be the fastest nail tech on the block?  NO.       Will you be booked solid from 9am-5pm?  No.   Will you have steady clientele rather quickly?   NO.    You know what?    This is all OK!    Neither did I!    We all start at the ground and climb up the hill.     The important thing is you keep climbing.    You will get faster, better,  more clientele, more money, but it will take some time.     Be honest.   Tell them you are constantly learning and although you’re new to the business, you’re passionate, a team player and you want to help their business succeed.

#4   YOU are as responsible for building your clientele as your employer.   Pass your business card out, spread the word, use your Facebook page to generate interest in your services and most importantly, HAVE YOUR NAILS DONE!    I cannot tell you how many salons I go to and the techs don’t have their nails done.    As an employer, I would not be interested in a tech that didn’t themselves see the value in nail services.   YOU ARE YOUR BEST ADVERTISEMENT!

#5   PAY!   You will need to be well versed in what the average rates for nail techs are and negotiating might be a process.   Don’t be so stuck to an idea that you become difficult.    As I said earlier, this needs to be beneficial for both parties so keep your mind open.   A sample formula; you would get paid minimum wage for hours scheduled at the salon.   Any income you bring in over that amount would be commission based.    40% if the salon is buying your supplies, 55% if you are buying your own supplies.   Here’s an example;   You worked 25 hours this week and brought in 285.00 in revenue.   Your hourly rate is $181.25.  That leaves $103.75 for commission at whatever rate applies to you.     The busier you get, the more money you and the salon make.

Be friendly, be honest, be open and be passionate.   Happy hunting!

Renee Meyers

Written by Renee Meyers

An Empire graduate who has been a nail technician for 19 years and has had her work published in trade magazines as well as local newspapers. She leads teams for NY Fashion Week as well as many other Public Relations events. She has done services on celebrities such as Fergie, The Kardashians and Nicki Minaj. She is an award winning Guest Artist for OPI Products, Inc. She has a unique passion for education and strives to bring each student to a new level of enthusiasm, purpose, and ability.

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