For the average nail technician, necessary supplies include files, cuticle nippers, buffers, cutters, brushes, cuticle pushers and sanitizing solution. A specialty nail technician needs all these basic tools, plus manicure and pedicure bowls, soaking solution, oil, lotion, nail polish, polish remover, nail glue, acrylic powder and liquid, artificial nail tips and gel polish. Different types of files are needed for working with natural nails and acrylics and for buffing.
Nail technicians provide manicures, pedicures and other nail services to customers in salons, spas, barber shops and cosmetology schools. In addition to filing, cutting, polishing and scrubbing hands, nails and feet, a nail technician must be very careful to clean and disinfect their tools and working area between clients.
Nail technicians must complete a cosmetology or nail technician program approved by their state of residence. These programs typically include courses on manicures and pedicures, skin health and disorders, sanitation and disinfection. After completing a state-approved course, graduates then take a set of written and practical exams to get a license from their state board in order to practice. To apply for a nail technician license, applicants must be at least 16 years of age and have a high school diploma or GED.