Choosing the Right Beginner Nail Course

Every year, hundreds of people achieve nail qualifications and begin work in salons or as mobile technicians. The nail industry is the second biggest in the UK beauty business, with no shortage of work or career options. As a beginner there’s an abundance of nail courses to choose from, so it can be difficult to know where to begin.

  • If you want to offer mobile or home treatments a qualification is essential to gain insurance. In the UK the majority of nail technicians are trained to level 2 as standard (51.7%) which is a great foundation for a career in nail treatments and will open up more opportunities.

  • If you want to get started with shorter courses you have a choice of gel extensions, acrylic extensions, fibre/silk repair, gel polish and manicure/pedicure courses. Generally a good foundation for beginners is to start with a manicure / pedicure course. These treatments are always in demand and give a good basis into the anatomy, theory and practice of nail care. Learning about manicures and pedicures instils a respectful understanding of the nail that can be brought through into other treatments too.

It’s likely that you already have some idea about which nail treatments you are interested in and would like to learn next. Generally the two most common are gel nails and acrylic nails. Gel nails offer a more natural look but tend to be more expensive, while acrylics offer durability and length and are generally cheaper.

Both treatment types have a solid customer base, and appeal to different people. A gel polish nail course can help you provide nails, which gain popularity each and every year. Crucially these aren’t specifically gel extension nails, but a gel/polish hybrid. Professional Nail products are only sold to certified individuals but you can purchase with student agreement too. Enabling you to quickly and easily start offering this service to your clients once you have gained your qualification.

In the long term it makes sense for most nail technicians to learn both as a beginner, however personal preference may be more important in determining which you choose to learn as a starter.

Fibreglass and silk nails are less popular than gel and acrylic but are a good complementary skill to have, enabling you to repair and reinforce client’s nails.
All of these skills can be learned with short nail courses and are relatively inexpensive as a starter However, to expand your work and career prospects with an employer a level 2 diploma is highly recommended.

Studying a complete level 2 course – best career option

If you’re serious about a career as a nail technician and want to improve your career prospects, a full VCTC level 2 diploma in nail services (NVQ) will give you a solid foundation.

The majority of nail technicians working in salons are trained to level 2 and are able to offer the full suite of nail treatments customers and employers are looking for, including gels, acrylics, fibreglass and manicures and pedicures.

The different nail courses available on the market allow people to enter at any stage, from a complete beginner who wants to test the waters of a mobile nail business, to a junior salon worker who wants to boost their earnings.

It’s entirely possible to get work and clients with beginner skills from a short course because personal customers are less likely to ask questions about your qualifications, just that you are competent.

Employers, on the other hand, have greater demands and look for a higher level of training. You may consider starting with our Intensive short courses before committing to a longer diploma.