There are over 130,000 nail salons packed with experienced nail techs just like you in the U.S.—There is no escaping.  

It is no secret that nail techs have a lot of competition.

So how do you distinguish yourself as different and set yourself apart in this crowded and competitive business?

The key to getting a jump on the competition is to gain more knowledge, become more specialized in your nail practice and market yourself as an expert in your field.

Upping your education game and learning how to perform new techniques or procedures through certification courses can increase your bottom line, help you develop your brand and expand your client base. 

How getting a certification helps me succeed?

Getting certified demonstrates to clients and employers alike that you possess the skills and knowledge required for success in a niche.

It says you are dedicated to delivering quality work and committed to providing the best possible service and care in the business. Holding certifications as a nail tech equals trust and respect in the industry, especially during a time when clients are skeptical about proper sanitation and sterilization practices in many salons and spas.

In-depth understanding of a subject within your practice makes you more marketable, and diverse in your skill set.

Having a certification to back up your expertise gives you an advantage over other nail techs in the employment pool and in the general market when competing for new clients. Having a certification is a great way to increase your knowledge, and it’s also a tool you can use to market yourself to potential clients beyond regular salon clients like diabetics, pregnant women, and chronically ill individuals.

It opens the doors to endless opportunities and earning potential.

Certified MediNail-Advanced Nail Technologist™ (M-ANT)

The M-ANT certification is designed for salon-based nail techs that want to increase their marketability and work with clients who have special nail issues related to illness or trauma. The certification requires completion of 15 virtual modules and an online exam. This designation is great for those who seek to work in physician and podiatry offices or want to build a referral network within those sectors.

It is an introductory course for nail technicians who want to continue to explore the medical field, and the program covers a wide variety of topics including advanced sanitation practices, marketing, advanced foot health and more. 

Certified Footcare Nail Technician (FNT)

The FNT is the next level of the ANT certification. Much like the ANT, it focuses on foot issues of chronically ill clients and its curriculum covers even more in-depth information about providing highly sterile services and safely working with fragile clients.

Certified Master Pedicurist (CMP)

The CMP, offered by the North American College of Pedology is an advanced certification that not only covers detailed sanitation practices, disease recognition, and products, but it also provides information on the anatomy of the foot and foot structure, body alignment, biomechanics and how these elements can affect a pedicure.

This course is a four-day classroom experience on the college’s campus, or you can attend special training events held in various US cities.

Marketing yourself as a CMP not only boosts your brand, but it also gives you the power to command top dollar for pedicures, like pedis for diabetics, that require specialized training. 

Certified Clinical Podiatric Medical Assistant (CCPMA)

For nail techs who want to really take their skills to the next level and transition into the medical field the CCPMA is a natural progression.

This program is designed for nail techs who want to increase their knowledge in the field of podiatry and work alongside a physician. The program is certified by the American College of Foot and Ankle Orthopedics and Medicine (ACFAOM) and consists of ten online modules and two exams.

After finishing the course and passing both exams, you must complete an internship under a licensed podiatrist. At the conclusion of the internship, the certificate is awarded. This designation allows you to work in a salon and develop referral relationships with doctors or in a podiatry office.

Either way, you are regarded as advanced in your practice when you hold this certificate. 

Swarovski Certified Nail Artist 

now for the creative types…If you’re not wild about the idea of doing medical-related nail work to increase your clientele...this one’s for you!

The Crystal Beauty Academy offers training to nail techs that want to incorporate Swarovski Crystals in their designs. The class covers the history of Swarovski crystals, techniques for proper application and how to master creative designs using these popular crystals.

The Swarovski brand is known for elegance and very popular among nail artists and clients alike. Distinguishing Swarovski nail art from regular nail art designs can definitely give your bank account a boost.

No matter what certification you decide to pursue to gain an edge as a vnail tech, know that you must increase your knowledge and skills to stay ahead of the game.

Securing a certification is just one clever way to get it done.

Remember skills pay the bills!