How To Become A Nail Technician In Australia: Explained

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Students want to know how to become nail technicians in Australia and what is the best nail technician course in Australia.


Do you have a passion for beauty and nails and like expressing creativity? If yes, a career as a Nail Technician might interest you.


Nail Technicians provide various foot and hand treatments, including pedicures, manicures, nail decoration, nail repair, massage, and other nail enhancements. These creative professionals have excellent hand-eye coordination and customer service skills.


You can work as a nail technician in Australia without formal qualifications or a license. However, completing certification courses can help advance your employment prospects.


In this blog, you will learn everything you need to know about launching a career in nail technology and taking your nail art skills to the next level. It includes the steps, nail technician courses, nail certificates, how long it takes, salary, and more.



1. What Is Nail Technology?


Nail technology is a component of beauty, including hand and foot treatments. It comprises shaping and decorating fingernails and toenails to keep nails healthy and beautiful.


Nail technology comprises performing manicures and pedicures, cleaning and exfoliating skin, producing nail art, applying artificial nails and enhancements, applying coloured polishes and decals, providing footbaths with salts, applying moisturizer, and providing light massage surrounding the cuticles.


Besides aesthetic and grooming treatment, these activities also help enhance blood flow and relax hand and feet muscles.



2. What Is A Nail Technician?


Nail Technicians are also called pedicurists and manicurists. They are beauty specialists trained in decorating and maintaining toenails and fingernails. Nail Technicians ensure that their clients’ nails remain well-groomed and healthy.


Nail Technicians apply a range of decorative finishes, such as:


  • Gel coverings

  • Airbrushing

  • Varnishes

  • French tips

  • Painting

  • Coloured polishes

  • Acrylic nails

  • Adding decals

  • Using small jewellery or embellishments


They work at a spa or salon alongside other beauty therapists but can work self-employed as mobile nail technicians. No matter where they practice, they are responsible for maintaining industry hygiene standards.



3. Why Should You Choose To Become A Nail Technician?


A Nail technology career can be lucrative, creative, and fun for those whose personalities and aspirations suit the role. The flexibility to work from home, higher-than-average growth, and decent earnings attract new graduates to pursue this profession.


If you plan to pursue this career, you must look at the benefits this field has:


  • You meet new people of different ages and backgrounds. If you are a people person, this could be an opportunity to make positive connections, leading to firm friendships.

  • The feeling when your client likes your job and appreciates it is inexpressible. It brings you a great sense of accomplishment and emotional fulfilment.

  • Creativity is an integral component of the Nail technician job. If you have an artistic flair, you can find immense opportunities to put your creative skills to the best use.

  • The career lets you decide your work hours and workplace based on your need and convenience. You enjoy flexibility in terms of working hours and the number of clients you serve daily.  

  • The employment opportunities are endless in this fun and dynamic industry. Many nail technicians also work in the hospitality and tourism industries. Every cruise ship, boutique hotel, and resort nowadays offers a wide range of beauty services and treatments.

  • When working in this role, the sky is the limit on how much you can earn and progress. Your success depends on the skills, credibility, experience, and hard work you infuse into this profession.



4. Nail Technician Tasks And Duties


Depending on the salon you work for, you may expect to perform the following duties daily:


  • Receive bookings and arrange appointments 

  • Assess client’s needs and recommend designs, styles, and colours 

  • Produce decals and creative designs 

  • Perform pedicures and manicures, and other nail care treatments.

  • Apply gel and acrylic nail extensions and enhancements like artificial nails, nail jewellery, nail art, and nail painting 

  • Apply decorative finishes such as polishes, decals, and varnishes 

  • Prepare nails by trimming, cleaning, and shaping them.

  • Perform light moisturization and hands and feet massage

  • Apply and remove nail extensions

  • Maintain a clean workspace and inventory 

  • Sterilize and use specialized manual tools and electrical equipment

  • Maintain cleanliness and hygiene standards and follow all health and safety regulations

  • Process payments

  • Maintain client appointments and records

  • Offer professional advice on the right nail care services and products.

  • Sell nail products and equipment.

  • Perform routine housekeeping duties

  • Stay updated on current industry practices and standards. 



5. Nail Technician Skills


You need different skills to become a good nail technician. Not all of these skills relate to nails. Still, they will help you comfortably adjust to a salon environment and make your clients comfortable during their sessions. 


Here are the skills you need to start a nail technician career:



Technical skills


  • Good understanding of colours, textures, patterns, and shapes

  • Knowledge of existing and new nail products and their ingredients, trends, and techniques

  • Thorough knowledge of safe hygiene standards



Soft Skills


  • Passion for health and beauty

  • Genuinely interested in helping people

  • Problem-solving skills

  • Time management (schedule appointments to avoid wait times)

  • Comfortable spending several hours with the hands and feet of others

  • Loves expressing creativity by producing new and exciting nail designs

  • Dedicated to their craft

  • Excellent hand-eye coordination

  • Able to sit for an extended duration and perform repetitive activities

  • Strong interpersonal skills

  • Able to keep clients at ease

  • Good communication and customer service skills 

  • Attention to detail

  • Patience

  • Concentration

  • Able to maintain a clean and organized workplace

  • Non-allergic or sensitive to chemicals and products used

  • Comfortable working in a physically demanding job

  • Able to upsell or inspire clients to try out new treatments and styles 

  • Flexible in schedule and in offering designs solutions

  • Practises craft continuously

  • Knows how to multitask



6. Nail Technician Qualifications In Australia


There is no mandatory formal training to become a nail technician in Australia. However, most employers prefer applicants who hold a relevant VET qualification. 


  • 17 years and above

  • Complete your Year 12 education or equivalent

  • Undertake a certificate or a diploma in beauty services, beauty therapy, or nail technology, such as a Certificate III in Nail Technology or Diploma in Beauty Therapy. 

  • Those looking for a nail technician course online may consider completing a Nail Tech Certificate or Advanced Nails Certificate.

  • Local councils generally have specific requirements concerning setting up and delivering salon or mobile beauty services. This requires complying with state guidelines and occupational health and safety regulations related to skin penetration.



7. Steps To Become A Nail Technician In Australia



Step 1: Practice


Watch as many online instructional videos and tutorials as possible to familiarize yourself with nail technology and develop basic knowledge and skills. 


Experiment on your hands and feet or apply your learning to a family member/ good friend. The more you practice, the more perfect you will become in your craft.



Step 2: Get A Nail Technology Qualification


Gaining nationally accredited formal training makes you more appealing to prospective employers. A certificate or diploma nail technician course helps students master nail art and learn valuable tricks and tips.



Certificate III In Nail Technology


It is a great course to build a foundation in nail technology. Available in full-time/part-time study modes, the course is available in online and offline classroom settings.


The certificate includes practical tasks, working with clients, and health and safety procedures to teach you specific skills to succeed as a nail technician.



Diploma in Beauty Therapy


This diploma course includes beauty treatments, makeup techniques, manicures and pedicures, and health and safety practices.


It integrates practical teaching and classroom sessions to make you skilled, confident, and ready to offer your professional services.


You can take a nail course in any of the following ways:


  • At a local training school/college

  • Attend a beauty school

  • Enrol in an apprenticeship/traineeship program in nail technology

  • Undertake an online training course



Step 3: Gain Work Experience


Certificate and diploma courses are available as a traineeship involving practical placements. It means that you don’t necessarily need work experience.


However, you can strengthen your job application by gaining part-time work in a nail salon to improve your skills further. 


You will get a good understanding of the operation of a nail salon.



Step 4: Apply For Work


Due to the fast expansion of the beauty therapy industry, many vacancies are available for qualified Nail Technicians. Once you have the necessary knowledge and skills, you can start applying for jobs.


Create an impressive resume by mentioning your qualifications, work experiences, and the nail techniques you have learned so far. 


Tip: Make sure your nails are done to perfection before you attend the interview to demonstrate your skills firsthand.



Step 5: Advance Your Learning


Are you interested in advancing your nail technician career and running your nail technician business? Consider completing additional qualifications like a diploma in business to learn the business skills to open your salon and manage a team of technicians under you.


A nail technician certificate can equip you with specialized skills in nail technology. The transferable nail technician skills can help you transition smoothly into the cosmetology industry. 


Based on your career goals, you can complete a relevant diploma and pursue various career paths in the beauty industry.



Step 6: Determine Your Charges


Do you want to work as a self-employed/mobile nail technician but are still determining how much you should charge your clients? Self-employed nail technicians can set their rates based on the following parameters:


  • The cost of service per client depends on the products you use 

  • The cost of disposable equipment you use, such as cotton balls, cuticle pushers, wipes, and orangewood sticks)

  • Your effort

  • Prevalent hourly rates of other local nail techs and salons 

  • Travel cost (if you visit client’s homes)



Step 7: Find Clients


The biggest challenge to starting your nail technician business is setting yourself apart from other nail technicians or salons in your area and finding clients. 


You need to make an additional effort to promote your talent and build a loyal client base willing to buy your services. It starts by identifying your Unique Selling Point and using it to attract potential customers.


Discounts for first-time visitors, discounted packages, or discounted prices for the 1st year can work wonders to draw more clients. 


Keep your pricing low and gradually increase them as you gain trust, build your reputation in the local or online market, and have loyal clients.


Social media is the best tool to increase your digital presence, showcase your work, network with industry professionals, find customers, and stay updated with trends.



Step 8: Stay Up To Date


Whether you are looking to gain employment or find customers, you must keep your knowledge and skillset current. 


Beauty magazines, online beauty forums, social media pages, training seminars, and workshops are a few good ways to stay abreast of the new trends, techniques, and products in nail technology.



8. Do You Need A Certificate To Do Nails In Australia?


The answer is No. You can become a Nail Technician without any certification or license. However, a relevant certification/diploma may improve your chances to succeed in getting a job fast.



9. Nail Technician Courses


The proper training can give you a great start in a nail technology career, regardless of how talented you are at making your hands and feet look fabulous.


You can find several beauty schools and training institutions, including TAFE, which offers a range of nail and beauty courses. 


Choosing the right program based on your personality and style can help you succeed in your passion.



Certificate III In Nail Technology


The Certificate III, Nail Technician Course, comprises theoretical and practical nail technician coursework. 


It teaches you how to provide pedicure and manicure services in a beauty salon and develop a foundation to set up and maintain a small business.


This nail technician course in NSW course covers the following areas:


  • Pedicures and Manicures

  • Application of acrylic nails and gel nails

  • Design and apply custom-made nail art

  • Use electric file equipment

  • Apply safe health, work, and safety practices



Diploma of Beauty Therapy


Those with a Certificate III qualification can advance their learning by taking a diploma course.


It is an 18-week full-time comprehensive qualification that trains beauticians in a wide array of beauty treatments that include:


  • Recommend products and treatments to resolve specific concerns

  • Body treatments and advanced facials

  • Lash, waxing, and brow services

  • Design and apply different types of makeup looks

  • Pedicure and Manicure Services

  • Work safely, abiding by safe occupational health practices and salon policy frameworks 



Short Nail Technology Courses



Nail Tech Certificate – Australian Beauty School


Do you want to turn your passion into practice and make a good income as a Nail Technician professional? It is the ideal course for you.


Designed by industry professionals, the certification course covers popular nail styling methods, the latest techniques, and trends in the market. 


The self-paced course comprises theoretical and practical-based modules. It teaches students in the following areas:


  • Nail Anatomy

  • Introduction and Application of Acrylic 

  • Customer Service

  • Prepping the Nails

  • Client Consult and Legalities

  • Nail Disorders

  • Introduction and Application of Gel Polish

  • Removal and Aftercare of Gel Polish



Advanced Nails Certificate - Bela Beauty College


Are you a newly qualified or existing Nail Technician who wishes to progress your skills in the nail industry?


This advanced course provides an in-depth overview of the beauty industry and the skills to establish your nail business, build your clientele or grab a job in a salon environment.


Undergoing this course lets students confidently produce, apply, and remove various nail art designs using numerous nail techniques.



10. Working Conditions For A Nail Technician


The job of a nail technician is indoor hands-on work that can be physically demanding. Prolonged sitting and performing repetitive activities can cause strain. The job involves a high level of public contact.


Some salons remain open on weekends and holidays, which requires nail technicians to work overtime to meet the client’s needs and preferences.


As nail technicians work with chemical-enriched polish removers, they are susceptible to health risks when incorrectly used. They wear personal protective equipment to ensure safe working, including gloves, dust masks, safety glasses, and aprons.



11. Where Do You Work As A Nail Technician?


You can find talented Nail technicians in a variety of work settings, such as:


  • Beauty salons or Nail Salons alongside beauty therapists

  • Spa attached to hotels or resorts

  • Beauty clinics

  • Independent beauty parlours

  • Medical Offices


Besides these, experienced nail technicians can also work independently from their homes or as mobile service providers visiting clients’ workplaces or homes to offer their services.



12. What Costs Do You Incur When Running A Nail Technician Business?


Are you planning to start your nail technician business? Consider the following probable expenses you may incur to set up and run the business. 


Knowing these costs will help you properly plan and manage your finances and lead to a profitable venture.


  • The cost of Nail technology courses at beauty schools

  • The cost of Business courses 

  • The cost of obtaining First Aid or Health & Safety certificates

  • The cost of good quality Nail technician equipment and accessories such as buffers, files, clippers, acetone, nail extensions, and more.

  • The cost incurred in buying or renting a studio space in a salon or an empty unit

  • Licensing fee

  • Business registration fee



13. How Much Do Nail Technicians Earn In Australia?


The average nail technician wage in Australia is AU$ 45,000 per year, equivalent to AU$ 23.37 per hour. 


Your wages can be lower at the junior level but will increase as you become more trained and experienced.


  • Entry-level Nail Technicians (<1-year experience) earn AU$19.57 

  • Early career Nail Technicians (1 to 4 years of experience) earn AU$20.01 

  • Mid-career Nail Technicians (5 to 9 years of experience) earn AU$24.22 

  • Experienced Nail Technicians (10 to 19 years of experience) earn AU$22.75


Where you work in Australia also significantly influences your salary. Nail technicians working in metro and major cities earn relatively higher than their rural counterparts. 


Some of the top-paying cities for Nail Technicians in Australia are:


  • Melbourne VIC: $79.62 per hour

  • Brisbane QLD: $66.54 per hour

  • Dee Why NSW: $26.04 per hour

  • Sydney NSW: $23.47 per hour

  • Darwin NT: $21.30 per hour

  • Canterbury VIC: $19.84 per hour



14. Job Outlook For Nail Technicians In Australia


The beauty industry in Australia is presently booming. Considering the craze of Aussies in health and beauty treatments and a desire for wellness and better grooming, the trend for nail technicians will continue in the next couple of years.


Moreover, nail technicians offer economical services, enabling people of all income groups to continue expecting better nail services.


Skilled nail technicians with beauty therapy qualifications have better employment prospects, high-earning possibilities, and an optimistic job outlook across the country.


Opening new salons, easy accessibility of salons everywhere, and additional nail services, such as mobile manicures and mini sessions, attract clients, boost revenue, and lead to new job opportunities.


Twenty-four thousand five hundred nail technicians are working in Australia, with 29.7% employed in NSW. It is a female-dominated industry, with 99.4% being female. The most popular age of workers in this profession is 25-34. 


Nail Technicians work standard business hours of 40.4 hours a week. It is less than the average for all occupations.



15. What Can You Find In A Nail Technician Kit?


A nail technician kit consists of everything you need to master your acrylic skills and offer the most beautiful nails to your clients.


  • Acrylic nail powders 

  • Builder gel pots in multiple colours

  • Dipping systems

  • Nail forms

  • Tip cutters

  • Acrylic liquid

  • Nail clippers

  • Nail glue

  • Tray of nail tips

  • Nail buffers

  • Multiple files

  • Gel polish in various colours

  • Base polish

  • Topcoat polish

  • Cuticle oil



16. Conclusion


Being a “Nail Technician” is an exciting, challenging, and glamorous way to earn a living.


It is a perfect profession for social butterflies who are artistic and love spoiling others. Working in this role, you help people feel happier, healthier, and more confident in their daily lives.


If you love nails, the time and effort invested in becoming a nail technician are worth it. Nail technology courses are perfect for polishing your skills and turning your passion into a rewarding career.


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