If you’re considering attending beauty school to become a nail technician, you may be under the impression that once you receive your certificate, there won’t be anything left to learn. While a quality cosmetic educational institution will undoubtedly prepare you in some ways, there are always new tips and tricks that can help you go further in your career.

In this article, we’ll highlight the five essential skills that all nail technicians should have if they truly want their passion to become a sustainable profession. For more information on how to become a certified nail tech or inquiries about other areas of specialization, please contact Robert Paul Academy in Baltimore today.

Manicures and Pedicures

You can’t beat the basics, and nothing is more bread-and-butter in the nail industry than the classic mani-pedi combo. If you’re looking into a beauty school and find that their curriculum doesn’t offer training and practical experience in this super-necessary skill, you’re not looking in the right place! 

For a better frame of reference of what course qualities to seek out, consider our manicuring program at Robert Paul Academy. In our rigorous (but pretty darn glamorous!) 250-hour course, students will learn the fundamentals of spa-style manicuring and pedicuring, from cuticle trims and tip-shaping to muscle-soothing massages and devising the perfect method for applying that finicky final coat of polish. 

Acrylic Sculpting

Almost everyone is familiar with the option of acrylic nails, a long-wear form of lacquer that bonds to your nails thanks to an effective polymer base. But in recent years, the traditional shape of acrylics — that is, the “natural” shape — isn’t holding the attention of too many people.

Instead, nail techs have capitalized on a more innovative and creative approach known as acrylic sculpting. This technique allows the client to choose the shape, length, and overall style of their acrylic appliques. Although the base of the nail is applied like a standard set of acrylics, the unique remodeling of the tips depends on the use of an acrylic powder or a gel solvent. These supplementary ingredients give the nail technician greater control over the ultimate shape of the nails. However, it’s worth noting that acrylic sculpting is generally a free-form process, so it’s not always possible to make every nail look perfectly identical. 

Traditional Gels

For those who wish to avoid the chemicals contained in polymer-based polishes like acrylics, traditional gels are a low-risk and long-lasting alternative to more abrasive methods. As an added bonus, gel nails tend to look more natural than many of its stylistic competitors. When properly set on well-prepped nails, gels can last anywhere from 10 days to nearly 2 weeks without so much as a chip. 

As a nail tech, you should learn how to apply traditional gel nails according to a specific and efficient process. You may learn to work with soak-off gels or an alternative variety that can be removed with a nail file — or you may be lucky enough to learn both! But as long as you have some kind of a foundation laid, that’s the most important thing to ensuring your esthetic expertise will continue to bloom and flourish. 

Nail Art Trends

In virtually every nail tech program, you’ll learn about basic nail art principles, but that doesn’t do much to prepare you for the rabbit hole of beauty tips and tricks on sites like Pinterest. While you’re undergoing training to become a nail technician, you should be studying current trends and style influencers. This should become a habit that you continue to practice after you complete your course too! 

Some of the most common nail art trends of the past include holographic top-coats, two-tone ombre gradients, zig-zag (chevron) design, neon accents, pastel hues, and mineral-nspired patterns like marble and pearl.

Common Cosmetic Procedures

Just because you went to beauty school to become a nail technician doesn’t necessarily mean that your future salon job won’t require you to know a few other spa treatments. Whether it’s formalized training in makeup artistry, therapeutic massage, facials, or even hair cutting and coloring, you can seriously boost your desirability as an employee by diversifying the contents of your nail tech toolbox.

Final Thoughts

If you’re interested in pursuing a career as a nail technician or simply wish to learn more about preparing yourself for success in the cosmetic industry, you’ll need a significant skill set to make it worthwhile. The journey to a beautiful future starts with a course designed to improve those technical assets, and Robert Paul Academy is the leading provider of such programs in Baltimore. To learn more about how our beauty school can advance your career prospects and cultivate your passion, contact us today!