Nail Technician Salaries

  • Find A Program

NAILS Magazine, a respected industry publication that serves professional nail technicians and salon owners, reported that there were a total of 364,247 nail technicians working in the united states as of 2013 contributing to an industry worth $8.28 billion a year.

NAILS argues that its numbers are more accurate than the much lower numbers released by the US Department of Labor due to the large number of self-employed manicurists in the industry.

NAILS, through its annual industry statistics report (which included the results of an extensive survey of readership and online users), reported that the average weekly salary for a nail technician in the U.S. was $420.98 as of 2013. The industry report further broke down salaries for nail technicians as follows:

  • 17 percent of manicurists made $150 or less per week
  • 15 percent of manicurists made more than $750 per week
  • 14 percent of manicurists made $151-$250 per week
  • 14 percent of manicurists made $251-$350 per week
  • 11 percent of manicurists made $351-$450 per week
  • 12 percent of manicurists made $451-$550 per week
  • 9 percent of manicurists made $551-$650 per week
  • 8 percent of manicurists made $651-$750 per week

Manicurists on the west coast reported the highest, average earnings during this time, at $656 per week.

Breaking Down How Manicurists are Compensated

There are a number of different ways in which nail technicians are compensated. Some take advantage of more than one compensation method. These statistics were current as of 2013:

  • 72 percent of nail technicians in the U.S. earned their living through straight sales
  • 46 percent of nail technicians received incentives on retail sales
  • 6 percent of nail technicians earned part of their salary through a point system or rewards system

During the same period, nail technicians described their compensation system within their work setting:

Salon Owner: About 20 percent of salon owners did nails themselves and earned their salaries only from the services they personally performed, while 16 percent took a salary and another 4 percent worked out a home-based or mobile salon.

Booth Renter: Nearly 30 percent of all booth renters paid rent to the salon and kept 100 percent of their service fees, while another 25 percent paid a percentage of their service fees to the salon as rent.

Employees: 10 percent nail technicians who worked as employees received a percentage of their services fees but no salary, while 4 percent received a salary, 3 percent received a salary plus a percentage of their service fees, and another 2 percent were compensated based on their business volume alone.

Nail Technician Earnings by Work Setting

Where nail technicians work may also play a part in their average earnings. As of 2013, nail technicians in the U.S. worked in the following locations/settings:

  • Salon owner doing nails: 33 percent
  • Nail technician (booth renter): 29 percent
  • Nail technician (employee): 12 percent
  • Mobile/home salon: 4 percent
  • Salon manager doing nails: 3 percent
  • Cosmetologist: 3 percent
  • Student/apprentice: 3 percent
  • Salon owner (not doing nails): 2 percent
  • Instructor: 1 percent
  • Salon manager (not doing nails): 1 percent
  • Other: 9 percent

Manicurists reported the setting where they earned their salary as follows:

  • Nail salon: 68 percent
  • Full-service salon offering nail services: 20 percent
  • Mobile/home-based nail salon: 3 percent
  • Day/hotel/designation spa: 2 percent
  • School: 2 percent
  • Other: 6 percent

Nail Technician Earnings by Hours Worked and Number of Regular Clients

Booth renter salaries were influenced by the rent they paid. As of 2013, 61 percent of nail technicians rented space on a weekly basis and paid an average weekly rental of $110.82, while 39 percent rented space on a monthly basis and paid an average monthly rental of $390.83.

Ultimately, salaries for nail technicians are based on the number of hours they work each week. As of 2013, nail technicians in the U.S. worked the following hours:

  • 36-40 hours per week: 18 percent
  • 26-30 hours per week: 16 percent
  • 16-20 hours per week: 10 percent
  • 31-35 hours per week: 10 percent
  • 21-25 hours per week: 9 percent
  • 6-10 hours per week: 9 percent

Additionally, salaries for nail technicians are influenced by the number of clients they see on a weekly basis:

  • 6-10 clients per week: 17 percent
  • 5 or fewer clients per week: 15 percent
  • 21-25 clients per week: 13 percent
  • 16-20 clients per week: 12 percent
  • 26-30 clients per week: 11 percent
  • 11-15 clients per week: 11 percent
  • 31-35 clients per week: 7 percent
  • 36-40 clients per week: 5 percent
  • 46-50 clients per week: 4 percent
  • More than 50 clients per week: 3 percent

Back to Top

Web Statistics