How to become a Nail Technician in Australia

How to become a Nail Technician in Australia

Nail Technicians are beauty specialists trained in the maintenance and decoration of toenails and fingernails. They perform manicures and pedicures, cleaning, filing and grooming the nails, while also tending to the cuticles. A Nail Technician will also provide some care to the skin of the hands and feet, removing dead skin, applying moisturiser and often carrying out light massage of the areas to improve circulation and promote relaxation.
In addition to nail maintenance, a Nail Technician is also skilled in the application of decorative finishes, such as french tips or coloured polishes, gel coverings and acrylic nails. Some Nail Technicians are also able to carry out more advanced decoration techniques such as airbrushing, adding decals and even applying small jewellery or embellishments to the nails.

While the majority of Nail Technicians find work in a salon or spa, as part of a team of beauty specialists, there are also many who choose to work independently, either from their own home or as a mobile service provider who visits clients at home or the workplace.

If you have a passion for nails and beauty and want to express your creative abilities, here are some steps you can take to become a Nail Technician.

Step 1: Practice on yourself and your friends.
Practice makes perfect, and there are many online tutorials and instructional videos that can get you started. If you have a good friend or family member that you can ask to lend you their hands, then you are underway. Otherwise, you can start out by experimenting on your own hands and feet.

Step 2: Complete a course.
While there are no specific educational requirements to practice as a Nail Technician, there are still benefits to gaining formal training. Employers look more favourably on applicants who have completed a certificate or diploma course in nail technology, beauty therapy or a similar field and you will learn tricks and tips that you may not pick up if you are self-taught.

Step 3: Apply for work.
Now that you have the skills, it’s time to start applying for jobs. The beauty therapy industry is growing rapidly, so there are plenty of jobs available for a qualified Nail Technician. Create your resume, listing your qualifications and all the techniques you have learned, then get out there and start applying. Ensuring that your own nails are done to perfection when applying in person or attending interviews is a great way to show off your skills first ‘hand’!

Step 4: Keep up-to-date.
New techniques, products and trends are emerging constantly, so make sure you are regularly reading forums and checking beauty magazines to keep up-to-date. The more current your knowledge and skill set the better your chances of gaining employment or drawing more clients if you are self-employed.

What does a Nail Technician do?
A Nail Technician is a person trained in the techniques involved in maintaining and decorating fingernails and toenails. They are skilled at shaping and grooming nails, cleaning and filing and removing cuticles. Nail Technicians also provide care for the skin of feet and hands such as removal of dead skin, moisturising and massaging to promote circulation and relaxation.
Another major aspect of a Nail Technician’s role is the ability to apply decorative and protective finishes. These include coloured varnish or polishes, acrylic nails, gel coverings and many other products used to strengthen and beautify the nails. Nail Technicians may also be adept with more creative techniques such as painting or airbrushing designs onto the nail or adding embellishments or decals.


  • Performing pedicures and manicures.
  • Maintaining cleanliness and hygiene standards.
  • Providing nail care advice and product recommendations.
  • Applying decorative finishes such as varnishes, polishes and decals.
  • Taking bookings and maintaining records of appointments.
  • Producing creative designs and decals for client’s nails.

Skills for Success
A Nail Technician needs to be patient and dedicated to their craft. They need passion and creativity in order to produce new and interesting designs. To be a successful Nail Technician you will need to possess a reasonable level of coordination and manual dexterity as well as being careful and methodical, meticulous about achieving a high-quality result. Good interpersonal and customer service skills are required, as you will be dealing with clients who not only want to have their nails done but who are also looking for a respite from their busy day. Finally, a good Nail Technician is committed to keeping up-to-date with the latest trends and techniques in order to offer more relevant and varied array of finishes.

Skills & Attributes

  • Patience and dedication.
  • Attention to detail.
  • Creativity and passion.
  • Concentration and manual dexterity.
  • Good customer service and communication skills.
  • Passion for knowledge of the latest techniques and trends.

Average Salaries

How much does a Nail Technician make in Australia?
In Australia, Nail Technicians earn an average of $35,394 per year. This varies depending on a number of factors and is intended as a reference only, from Payscale 02/18

min $32 K
max $53 K
av $35 K