Pedicurist: Career Education Profile

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a pedicurist. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about training, job duties and licensure to find out if this is the career for you.

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Pedicurists are professionals cosmetologists who apply beauty products and techinques to clients toenails. In order to become a pedicurist one must have either a certificate or an associate's degree and a certificate.

Essential Information

Pedicurists are specialized cosmetology professionals who primarily clean, shape and paint clients' nails, specifically toenails. Pedicurists may add acrylic nails to a client's natural nails to give them length or to make them easier to style. Most pedicurists work in nail salons, hotel spas or other day spa facilities. This position requires one to complete a state-approved training program and secure state licensure.

Required Education Postsecondary certificate or associate's degree
Other Requirements State license
Projected Job Growth (2018-2028)* 10% for all manicurists and pedicurists
Average Salary (2018)* $24,330 for all manicurists and pedicurists

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Education for a Pedicurist

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), manicurists and pedicurists may look to cosmetology schools, community colleges and other institutions of higher learning to find an accredited certificate or associate's degree program ( Certificate programs typically can be completed in 3-12 months and focus mostly on manicure and pedicure theory and practice, while associate's degree programs may last up to two years and include classes ranging from nail care to salon management.


The curricula of these programs combine courses with lab practice and clinical, hands-on experience. Topics generally include nail safety and sanitation, as well as bacterial growth and products. Most programs require students to put in a specified number of contact hours working in a spa or salon to obtain on-the-job training. Students considering opening their own salons may also take classes that teach business and communication skills.

Licensure and Certification

Personal appearance workers, such as pedicurists, must be licensed in all states, although requirements vary. To obtain licensure, individuals typically need a high school diploma or its equivalent, and they must be a minimum of 16 years old. Once they've completed a training program, which must meet hour requirements set by the state, prospective pedicurists must pass an examination. This exam usually consists of a written test and, sometimes, a practical skills test. Some states allow manicurists and pedicurists to complete an apprenticeship in lieu of a certificate or associate's degree program.

Economic and Salary Outlook

The BLS predicts that there will be an increase in the number of nail salons and full-service day spas, which could in turn increase the growth of available jobs for manicurists and pedicurists by 10% between 2018 and 2028. In May 2015, the annual mean salary for manicurists and pedicurists was $25,860. In May 2018, the BLS reported that workers in the 90th percentile or higher earned $33,490 or more per year, whereas the bottom 10th percentile earned $19,700 or less per year.

As professional beauticians, pedicurist must be well versed in current nail trends and styles. They must also have strong customer service skills. While certificate and associate's degree programs will attempt to teach these topics, often times on-the-job training can be the best classroom.

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