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Pedicure Technician Training Programs and Requirements

Pedicure technicians gain their professional expertise by completing a certificate program in nail care or an associate's degree program in cosmetology. Both of these training programs combine classroom-style theoretical courses with practical nail care experience gleaned in salon-style laboratories.

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Training Programs and Recommendations

All pedicure technicians and other personal appearance professionals must be state-licensed, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Minimum requirements for licensure include completing an accredited certificate program in nail care. This enables pedicure technicians to find entry-level employment with nail salons, spas and full-service salons.

Pedicurists interested in owning their own salon or managing an existing one may benefit from a cosmetology associate's degree program. No matter which training program is completed, pedicure technicians must appear neat, act friendly and maintain sanitary conditions and equipment at their workstation. Pedicure technicians double as manicurists too, and they often supply their own equipment.

Formal Education

Nail technicians seeking employment as certified pedicurists or manicurists need to complete an accredited cosmetology school program. Certificate programs focus on specialty areas, such as pedicures, skin care and waxing. Associate's degree programs focus on all aspects of the personal appearance industry.

Certificate Program in Nail Care

Certificate programs in nail care may be completed in less than one year: as little as two semesters. This type of program is taken in a salon-style classroom with minimal lecture time. Emphasis is placed on actual hands-on nail care techniques that are instructed and supervised by the teacher. Students learn how to shape, trim, file and polish nails. They also study acrylic nails, nail art and design and nail tip applications.

Associate of Applied Science in Cosmetology

A cosmetology associate's degree program emphasizes all aspects of personal beauty care. Students hone their skills in haircutting, styling and coloring as well as nail and skin care techniques. Most courses are held in salon-style settings. Actual customers pay discounted rates for services performed by students. Additional coursework may include business management, communication and marketing. Licensed cosmetologists may act as pedicure technicians or perform other beauty services. This degree program usually takes almost two years to complete.

Job Experience

Because pedicure technicians gain much of their job experience while completing their certificate or associate's degree program, no additional years of experience are required. Licensure demonstrates that pedicurists have met all state-mandated requirements for formal education and practical job experience.

Licenses and Certifications

State-mandated licensure is necessary for all nail care technicians. This licensure ensures that certified pedicure and manicure technicians have complied with state benchmarks. Licensure varies with each state. Most states require professionals to complete an accredited cosmetology school program and pass a written examination as well as a practical, hands-on exam, reports the BLS. Applicants are responsible for initial licensing fees and all renewal fees required by their state.

Workshops and Seminars

Annual beauty seminars and trade shows demonstrate the latest trends, styles, techniques and equipment for pedicure technicians and other personal beauty professionals. These 1-day seminars serve as professional forums for nail technicians, skin care professionals and cosmetologists. Often, these workshops are sponsored by local cosmetology schools or equipment suppliers.

Additional Professional Development

In addition to maintaining a sanitary, comfortable environment, pedicure technicians must be organized and personable. Many employers require nail technicians to greet clients, maintain accurate client records that detail preferences and proactively expand the salon's client base for increased revenues. Pedicurists must also be very familiar with diverse product offerings and recommend the most appropriate selection for each client. Nail technicians often have flexible schedules that require them to work evenings, weekends and even holidays.

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