A pedicurist works exclusively on the feet to treat and groom toenails and skin around the area. Cosmetology training or special certification is generally required in addition to a high school diploma or GED.
Pedicurists provide cosmetic and health-related foot and nail care services, usually in nail salons. They must complete a training program for pedicurists, which are found as stand-alone certificate programs and as part of cosmetology programs. Every state requires that pedicurists obtain a state license to begin working. This usually calls for completing an approved training program and passing a written examination. Many states also ask pedicurists to demonstrate their skills through a practical examination.
|Required Education||State-approved training cosmetology or pedicurist program|
|Other Requirements||State licensure|
|Projected Job Growth||10% from 2014-2024 (for all manicurists and pedicurists)*|
|Median Salary||$20,820 (May 2015, for manicurists and pedicurists)*|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
Pedicurist Career Information and Job Duties
Pedicurists perform basic foot care and nail maintenance on customers. Through the use of tools like cuticle nippers, toenail clippers and nail files, pedicurists remove dead skin and ensure that customers' nails are neatly cut and filed. Upon request, a pedicurist may paint a customer's toenails or decorate them in other fashions. In some cases, pedicurists perform footbaths or exfoliation services for customers. Additionally, pedicurists must keep a clean and organized workplace by sterilizing tools and cleaning up after every customer.
Most cosmetology and beauty schools offer certificate programs for aspiring manicurists and pedicurists. Students also can take a general cosmetology program, which covers the same coursework, in addition to skills like make-up artistry and hair care. Admission requirements for these programs typically include a high school diploma or GED, along with passage of an admissions test. Cosmetology programs vary in length, but pedicurist programs usually last 1-3 months.
Prospective pedicurists learn about tools and materials of the trade, as well as proper sanitation procedures to prevent foot conditions from spreading from one customer to another. They also apply what they have learned on training props and volunteers. Pedicurist program curricula usually end with a comprehensive class on business practices and customer communication.
In every state, pedicurists need to obtain licensure to begin working. Licensing requirements vary, but, in general, a pedicurist must graduate from a state-approved training program and pass a written licensing examination. Some exams have an additional oral or practice portion. Periodic licensure renewal is required.
Although no formal post-secondary education is needed, pedicurists will be required to have a state license and understand various hygiene practices. A cosmetology certification or specialized training is preferred in addition to the state exam.