May 2009

Vicki Peters

The Nail Extension | by Vicki Peters


What Does it Take to Become a Nail Educator?

Becoming an educator in the nail business takes more than just being a seasoned nail tech.

It takes professionalism, a good speaking ability, having strong presentation skills, good organization, marketing skills, technical knowledge, a clear view of what you want to teach, and you really need to want to give back to the industry.

All that plus knowing how to sell yourself and your classes. Being an educator is actually a business in itself.

There are three avenues you can take to become an educator, the first being an instructor in beauty school. Being fully licensed in hair and nails helps because in many cases what is needed is a duel instructor; nail technology instructors who teach just nails are rare in this economy because we all know the first thing that gets eliminated in beauty schools is the nail education.

Teaching in school is a great way to give back, especially since the education a new tech receives in school is minimal and having a good knowledgeable nail instructor is extremely valuable. Part-time work is a great option, which allows you to work in the salon as well. There is nothing more personally satisfying than teaching a new student what you know.

The second avenue open to you is becoming an educator for a manufacturer. The up side is they train you and hire you to work at shows, travel and teach classes. The average pay scale for a show is $150 per day, and travel expenses as well.

Often you will be sharing a hotel room with another educator and lots of time the company takes you as a group to dinner at night – which is a wonderful team environment. You have to learn the products and be responsible for demonstrations and selling products at the shows and classes.

Yes, sales are a big part of the manufacturer educator position and part of the bottom line. If you can’t sell products then you may want to think about a different position.

What many techs that attend classes don’t understand is that a manufacturer needs to sell product to pay for the education. Manufacturers want to teach their customers how to use their product and there is education involved, but the bottom line is they want you to purchase their products.

The third way is to become an independent educator. In order to do that there are many things that needs to be done to prepare.

Here is a list:

Being an independent educator is like a small business and you need to constantly work the business to make it successful. You cannot just put the word out and expect the phone to ring. You need to market and sell it.

Whatever direction you decide to take as an educator, presentation and speaking skills are critical to teaching. Not everyone can get in front of a classroom and command respect with their speaking skills. There is a method to speaking well, controlling the room, staying on target and handling hecklers. Take public speaking classes, watch and learn from other speakers and TV anchors.

If you feel you have something to offer by teaching then do it. We need more qualified, seasoned professionals out there teaching.

Vicki Peters is a 28 year veteran master nail tech, competition champion, judge, international educator, author and manufacturer and serves on the Nail Manufacturer Council. For more information visit or email her at