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How Much Money Can A Nail Tech Make? Can You Make …
ying More, Is My Nail Tech Making More?
Unvarnished, the New York Times investigative series on nail salons, has already sparked some exciting changes in the local industry, with Governor Andrew Cuomo calling for emergency measures to protect workers’ wages and health. But while conditions are being investigated, what should salon customers do?
The first installment of the Times series focused on wage violations, and as it made the rounds on social media, many a Facebook commenter posted something along the lines of: “Wow, I’m totally going to tip $20 from now on.” But is that the answer? I asked a manicurist who is a regular at fashion week and on photo shoots who has worked at both a prestigious salon and a small, local operation, what working conditions were like at her shops and what she tips when she goes to the corner nail salon.
You’ve been in the business since 2012. Have you always been paid fairly at jobs? “My first nail-salon experience was at a mom-and-pop store in Greenpoint, a salon that focused on natural stuff and catered to both the local Polish population and hipsters who lived in the neighborhood. I was the only Asian person who worked there—I’m half Asian and was raised here in the states. I don’t know the immigration status of the Polish women or the Ecuadorian woman who worked there, and I don’t know if they were paid the same as I was. I was off the books, and I got $10 an hour plus tips. It was slow, so I didn’t turn people over very fast, but at the time, I felt like because it was off the books and they took a chance on me as someone who was essentially unlicensed, it was fine.”
You went on to work at a prestigious salon that charged $35 for a basic manicure and $55 and up for any kind of fancy designs. Did you get better pay there? “They offered me $12 an hour and claimed that because of the price point of the service, the manicurists would average an income of about $20 per hour after tips, but that was not always the case. We allowed credit card tips, and a lot of the girls I worked with were pissed, because your credit card tips are taxed. I worked 35 hours a week and my take-home per week, after taxes, was $350. There’s no way in hell that I could live off of that.”
So the higher-end places don’t necessarily pay more. “At smaller salons, it’s my understanding that a 60/40 split is common, so for a $10 manicure, the tech gets $6 plus their $2 or $3 tip and the house gets $4. The techs make money by being fast, flipping customers over every 20 minutes. At high-end salons, designs can take a tech like me an hour and half, but the salons kind of seduce you with language: ‘Oh, we pick the best nail artists in the nation. You’re a nail artist.’ At one high-end salon where I interviewed, they offered $15, I asked for $20, and we settled on $17. Now, I mostly work on photo shoots, and I could be done with a shoot after two hours having made more money than I would have in eight hours at the salon. It’s not comparable at all. I also found salons to be backbreaking. Almost literally: My posture is really horrible; my eyesight is going bad. I have respiratory issues and have become allergic to certain products because of overexposure to them. Like Vinylux—it makes my lungs feel like they’re closing. Other products give me contact dermatitis.”
Have you ever worked for free to secure a job? “To get work at a higher-end salon, you audition with a manicuring boss, but nothing else. But free work happens all the time in editorial, especially when you’re starting out and you’re hungry to get editorial credit.”
So how should we be tipping nail techs? “If I go to a corner salon for a $10 manicure, I will tip, like, half—$5. Cash for sure. I think for the $60 to $80 price point, 20 percent is good; I tip everyone 20 percent even if they suck, because maybe they’re having a bad day. I’ve been in the service industry long enough that I know how it goes. I know that there are a lot of people who treat manicurists horribly.”
How so? “Many people have told me, ‘You’re the first nail tech I’ve ever had to speak English.’ As a half-Asian woman, I am insulted by that. When I worked at salons that offered pedicures, I would often have hipster customers who would say, ‘Oh, my god, I feel so weird that you’re doing my feet.’ Because they looked at me as an equal—I went to the same concert they did or to the same coffee shop. They didn’t look at the girl with ‘Lindsey’ on her name tag, who was not really a Lindsey, in that same way. They’d think it was so weird and gross that I had to touch their feet, but that’s my job. A lot of the people who know me and know my work have said, ‘Oh, you’ve elevated this thing that is so lowly.’ They’re trying to give me a compliment, but that’s just insulting to the skilled men and women who have done thousands of hours of this work.”
For more on this issue, check out:
• Governor Cuomo Implements New Rules to Protect New York City’s Nail-Salon Workers
• New York City Nail Salons Could Soon Get a Grading System
• The New York Times Investigates Nail Salons—and It’s Worse Than You Think
Extra Information About how do nail techs get paid That You May Find Interested
If the information we provide above is not enough, you may find more below here.
If I'm Paying More, Is My Nail Tech Making More? – Allure
Nail Technician Salary – Cosmetology License
6 Ways to Make More Money as a Nail Tech – StyleSeat
Hourly wage for Nail Technician – Salary.com
Frequently Asked Questions About how do nail techs get paid
If you have questions that need to be answered about the topic how do nail techs get paid, then this section may help you solve it.
How much money should you give the manicurist?
around 15% to 20%
Where is the highest pay for nail technicians?
Detailed State-by-State Salary List for Nail Technicians
41 more rows?
What is the average salary for nail technicians?
The majority of NAIL Technician salaries currently range between 6,000 (25th percentile) and 1,500 (75th percentile), with top earners (90th percentile) making b>4,500 annually/b> across the United States, despite the fact that ZipRecruiter is seeing annual salaries as high as 5,000 and as low as 5,500.
How much should you leave a 2022 nail technician?
from 15% to 20%
What percentage do I leave for 00 nails?
If the initial cost of a manicure is 00, you should tip 0. The final cost you should anticipate paying for the service is 20, which complies with the typical 20% tip rate for nail salons.
What percentage do you leave for a $0 manicure?
According to Kandalec, the industry standard minimum tip is 15%, but the typical tip at a nail salon is 20%, which is comparable to what’s expected when tipping at a hair salon, or for a massage or spa treatment.
Are nail technicians worth it?
It’s important to keep in mind that nail specialists have unlimited income potential, depending on how much they’re willing to work, and that there are plenty of other reasons why being a manicurist and pedicurist is such a great career choice.
How long is nail technician training?
Program start times and lengths vary, but typically you can finish a nail tech program in three to nine months depending on your ability to attend school part- or full-time. The majority of nail technician programs take an average of 300 to 600 hours to complete.
Why favor cash in nail salons?
According to Elizabeth Morris, owner of The Nail Hub in Scottsdale, Arizona, “a lot of techs prefer cash tips because they believe there is no record of receiving them and as a result they will not have to pay any taxes on them or declare them as earnings.”
What’s a helpful tip for five nails?
What customers do: The typical tip is between 15 and 20 percent of the cost of services, before taxes. Some customers, however, tip more than 20 percent if the service was particularly excellent or was a low-cost one, according to our experts.