Foot Therapist Salary: Cosmetologist & Nail Technician

Name: Rebecca Anderson
Job Title: Nail Technician & Cosmetologist, Salon Owner, Foot Therapist?
Where: Carmel, IN
Education: Cosmetology School & Nail Technician license
Years of Experience: 10 + years in this job
Salary: $25/hr-$45/hr depending on the service. Cosmetologist Salary: $35,533 is the average salary for a full-time Cosmetologist in Indianapolis, IN
Employer: Locks n' Nails Salon, Self-employed

Nail Technician Job Description:

I provide professional manicure and pedicure services to a diverse client base. But the truth is that It's more about being a therapist - and a perfectionist - than the nails themselves. Every time a customer comes to me, they shed their anxieties and leave looking and feeling so much better.

Why is being a Nail Technician like being a Therapist?

People want to tell you all of their problems. This person is stationary, sitting here, then suddenly they have the opportunity to talk about their aches and pains. It all pours out and they leave it sitting here on the table and on my shoulders and walk away looking wonderful.

As a Nail Technician, what's the most bizarre thing you've had to do?

I did have someone faint in the pedicure chair once. I had to rub her hands, hold up her head and feed her Ritz crackers until she came around. Besides this, I've done private manicures and pedicures for local celebrities. My favorite thing is to do nails for blind people - even though they can't see the results.

Why did you choose to be a Nail Technician?

I had a manicure and was inspired. I thought "I can do this!" At the time, I was an administrative assistant for eight psychologists. As a Nail Technician, I'm able to descend on other people with my thoughts on how their lives should be - like a Therapist only I get to make people look beautiful as well. People come to sit and talk about their problems, not just to get their nails done. In just a short little hour manicure or pedicure, I learn so many things about a person besides their nail situation. Not to mention that I'm a perfectionist. No matter who sits at my table, I can always make something look so much better.

What do you dislike the most about your work?

The time goes by way too quickly. An hour just flies. Also, Carmel is a very transient city and a lot of my customers leave never to be heard from again. When someone leaves, it's like losing a good friend because I may know things about them that no one else does.

What does it take to be a Nail Technician?

Besides patience and great people skills, every state in the U.S. requires Nail Technicians and Cosmetologists to be licensed. Qualifications may vary from state to state though typically a person must have graduated from a state-licensed cosmetology school and be at least 16 years old. Check out the requirements for your state.

What is the most difficult part of the business?

No, it's not ingrown toenails. The business end is the most difficult for Rebecca. She believes being an entrepeneur is a hard way to go today. Sometimes she would like to take off and run the marina at Dale Hollow Lake.

Find out what nail technicians and cosmetologists make in your area. Take PayScale's free salary survey.

Average Salary for a Nail Technician
Average Salary for a Cosmetologist


  1. Please prove to us that you're not a robot:

Find Out Exactly What You Should Be Paid

United States (change)

Comp Managers: Start Here »