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Details for Manicurists and Pedicurists


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


  • Clean and sanitize tools and work environment.
  • Schedule client appointments and accept payments.
  • Remove previously applied nail polish, using liquid remover and swabs.
  • Clean customers' nails in soapy water, using swabs, files, and orange sticks.
  • Shape and smooth ends of nails, using scissors, files, and emery boards.
  • Apply undercoat and clear or colored polish onto nails with brush.
  • Advise clients on nail care and use of products and colors.
  • Assess the condition of clients' hands, remove dead skin from the hands and massage them.
  • Soften nail cuticles with water and oil, push back cuticles, using cuticle knife, and trim cuticles, using scissors or nippers.
  • Brush powder and solvent onto nails and paper forms to maintain nail appearance and to extend nails, then remove forms and shape and smooth nail edges using rotary abrasive wheel.
  • Maintain supply inventories and records of client services.
  • Treat nails to repair or improve strength and resilience by wrapping, or provide treatment to nail biters.
  • Roughen surfaces of fingernails, using abrasive wheel.
  • Promote and sell nail care products.
  • Attach paper forms 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 pencil.
  • Decorate clients' nails by piercing them or attaching ornaments or designs.


  • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
  • Social - Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
  • Enterprising - Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
  • Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Education, Training, Experience

  • Education - These occupations usually require a high school diploma.
  • Training - Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
  • Experience - Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.



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Wages for this career
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