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What Manicurists and Pedicurists Do

Manicurists and pedicurists clean, shape, and beautify fingernails and toenails.


Manicurists and pedicurists typically do the following:

Manicurists and pedicurists work exclusively on the hands and feet, providing treatments to groom fingernails and toenails. A typical treatment involves soaking the clients’ hands or feet to soften the skin to remove dead skin-cells. Manicurists and pedicurists also apply lotion or oil to hands and feet to moisturize the skin. They may also apply, shape, and apply polish to artificial fingernails. 

Manicurists and pedicurists use a variety of tools, including nail clippers, nail files, and specialized cuticle tools. They must be focused while they perform their duties because most of the tools they use are sharp. They must also keep their work area and tools clean and sanitary.

Some manicurists and pedicurists operate their own businesses, typically at salons. They manage the daily decision-making tasks, such as keeping inventory records and ordering supplies. They also hire and supervise workers and sell nail care products, such as nail polish and hand or foot cream, to clients. A small but growing number of workers make house calls. These mobile manicure and pedicure services are popular because of their convenience.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition