Nail technicians apply and remove various types of nail lacquer such as polish, gel, acrylics or shellac. They also file the nails into various shapes, as well as looking after the health of the nails, especially for clients with weak or brittle nails.
The average cost for a manicure ranges between £10 and £15, with more complex nail finishes such as acrylic overlays costing between £25 and £40. But is the salary for nail technicians as beautiful as the manicures they perform? And is it enough to pay for business expenses like tools and nail tech insurance if you're self employed? Let’s find out.
Nail Technician Salary
According to PayScale, the average nail technician wage is £8.16 per hour, which would work out at £16,972.80 based on a 40 hour working week.
Of course, the true figure depends on your experience and seniority within the industry. For example, the apprentice wage rate is between £4.15 and £8.20 per hour. This means the yearly wage would range between £8,632 and £17,056 per year, depending on your age. The majority of apprenticeships are carried out by those under 21, which would sit towards the lower end of the scale.
Nail Technician Salary Across The UK
From those who have reported their salary in areas apart from London, Manchester comes out on top at £12.58 per hour, or £26,116.40 per year. Greater Manchester has 884 beauty based businesses, which is a sizable portion of the 11,000 total across the UK. Nail treatments in one central Manchester beauty salon cost between £15 and £46 which is above the national average, therefore could explain the increase in wages for nail technicians and beauticians in the city alike.
Newcastle was the second highest location on the list, averaging at £11.56 per hour or £24,044.80 a year. Given the North East typically has some of the lowest living costs in the UK, this isn’t bad going.
The majority of UK towns and cities reported an average wage of between £9 and £10 per hour for nail technicians. One of the lowest paying locations was Birmingham, at £9.46 per hour, or £19,676.80 a year. This figure is still well above the national average, though is for a fully qualified nail technician, rather than an apprentice.
Nail Technician London Salary
It probably won’t come as a surprise that similar to other industries, London offers the best salaries for nail technicians across the board.
The average hourly pay of £8.16 per hour across the UK, skyrockets to £19.06 per hour in Covent Garden. This would give a yearly salary of £39,644.
It’s a similar picture for Shoreditch, with an average hourly salary of £11.05, and a yearly wage of £22,984. In Kensington and Chelsea, the salary figure stands at £18,096.
There is also a higher probability of tips and commission for those working in the capital too. Plus, an abundance of luxury hotels and spas not to mention opportunities within the TV industry, London Fashion Week and more. All of which will pay far more compared to a typical high street beauty salon, especially those outside of London.
Self-Employed Nail Technician Salary
Self-employed nail technicians are free to charge their own rates. Although self-employment does require you to purchase all the tools and accessories, it does mean you can keep a larger stake of the profits once tax and expenses have been deducted.
On average, self-employed nail technicians can make anywhere from £100 to £400 a day, which would earn you between £26,000 and £104,000 a year before tax. This includes self-employed positions that are based within a salon environment, such as renting a chair.
To Sum Up
Being a nail technician has a lot to offer, especially as you can qualify in a matter of weeks. Nail treatments of all kinds continue to be incredibly popular and require more maintenance than other beauty treatments. Therefore, the earning potential is increased, especially if you build a name for yourself in the industry.
Working as a self-employed nail technician offers by far the biggest salary earning potential. Though, you will need an excellent head for business when it comes to your marketing and accounts, as unlike being an employee, a lot more responsibility is thrown your way.