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Career Profile: Manicurists and Pedicurists

Clean and shape customers' fingernails and toenails. May polish or decorate nails.

Salary and Outlook

According to the US Department of Labor, there are 123,000 people employed as manicurists and pedicurists in the United States. The median annual salary is $27,900. Entry level employees earn approximately $20,370 per year and senior employees earn approximately $38,900 per year.

Estimates do not include other potential benefits such as health insurance, overtime pay, or retirement benefits that may be offered by employers.

Job Duties

  • Schedule client appointments and accept payments.
  • Assess the condition of clients' hands, remove dead skin, and massage hands.
  • Roughen surfaces of fingernails, using abrasive wheel.
  • Advise clients on nail care and use of products and colors.
  • Treat nails to repair or improve strength and resilience by wrapping.
  • Use rotary abrasive wheels to shape and smooth nails or artificial extensions.
  • Clean and sanitize tools and work environment.
  • Apply undercoat and clear or colored polish onto nails with brush.
  • Maintain supply inventories and records of client services.
  • Shape and smooth ends of nails, using scissors, files, or emery boards.
  • Prepare nail cuticles with water and oil, using cuticle knives to push back cuticles and scissors or nippers to trim cuticles.
  • Prepare customers' nails in soapy water, using swabs, files, and orange sticks.
  • Remove previously applied nail polish, using liquid remover and swabs.
  • Extend nails using powder, solvent, and paper forms attached to tips of customers' fingers to support and shape artificial nails.
  • Polish nails, using powdered polish and buffer.
  • Whiten underside of nails with white paste or pencils.
  • Promote and sell nail care products.
  • Decorate clients' nails by piercing or attaching ornaments or designs.

Career List

Job Outlook


Total Current Jobs:
123,000
Annual Openings:
18,800
Increase in Openings by 2030:
33%
Annual Salary Range:
$20,370 - $38,900
Education Requirements:
Some college