Business Education

A Beginner's Guide to Becoming a Mobile Nail Tech


You're here because you want to make the ultimate dream of being a mobile nail tech a reality. Making a living out of creating beautiful nail art designs and traveling to different places for work sounds like a good idea. Becoming a mobile nail tech means you have more freedom when booking your clients in the areas you're servicing. 

You've finally seen the signs you should be a nail tech, but the main question is, how do you become a mobile nail technician? And if so, what are the factors you should consider? If opening a nail salon  or having an at-home nail studio is not your thing, it's okay since we're here to enlighten you or perhaps give you a dose of the reality of what to expect before becoming one.


What does a mobile nail technician mean?


The root word mobile means flexibility, or you can move anywhere. A mobile nail technician can provide nail care services to their client's homes or areas by traveling. 

It's the same as being a nail technician who works in nail salons or studios; they have more places to cover than staying in one place. Mobile nail technicians make it easier for clients to have beautiful nails and have a salon experience within the comfort of their homes. 

If you're up for the challenge of being a mobile nail tech, you should consider being one! Here are questions you can reflect on to guide you on your decision!


Questions to ask yourself why you want to be a mobile nail tech:


  1. What are your motivations or goals?
  2. Why do you want to be a mobile nail tech?
  3. Is it sustainable for the long term?
  4. Can you adapt your lifestyle to becoming mobile?
  5. Do you have all the requirements, tools, and legalities covered?
  6. What do your peers and loved ones say?
  7. Will it make you happy? Is it the best option for you?


Does a mobile nail tech need a transient vendor's license?


If you live in Ohio, Maryland, or Mississippi, you probably heard about the transient vendor's license. Simply put, it's a license that allows businesses that provide goods or services for fewer than six months a year to be referred to as transient enterprises, even though their owners may operate their businesses at other locations for longer. 

As a mobile nail tech, the definition of a transient vendor's license fits the bill; therefore, before you open your mobile nail business, you should inquire about your local state government requirements to ensure if you need one.

Take note that there are a variety of vendor licenses available. A regular or temporary vendor's license is the most common type of business license. You can read this how-to guide on getting business licenses in all states.


How do you become a mobile nail technician?



Before becoming a mobile nail tech, you must first know if it's allowed or legal in your area to be one; some states in the U.S. don't allow mobile nail tech services. You can check if your state allows mobile nail services with this article or this resource

Better yet, check your local state website to get more information. It's important to know that other states only allow mobile nail services if the nail tech has a license and has completed the needed requirements and training.




You need to have the necessary education and license. Other people attend nail school or online nail tech courses, while others do hands-on training in nearby salons to learn from experience. 

It depends on your learning preference and budget, but you must be fully equipped with knowledge about the nail and beauty industry before opening up a mobile nail business. It's essential to pass the licensing exam since it's one of the requirements to be a nail tech or open up a nail salon business in most states.


Step 3:


As the quote by the author Jeffrey Fry said, "As a blacksmith uses heat to temper steel, so should a trial by fire strengthen one's mettle." trial by fire will help you hone your skills as a nail tech; therefore, you'll need the right tools and equipment to create gorgeous nail art designs. Investing in high-quality nail salon equipment to help you practice daily, from nail training hand to airbrush, is vital to your growth.


Step 4:


The last step to being a mobile nail tech is registering your mobile nail business. Don't forget to get insurance for your company to avoid any problems in the future. Once you're registered and completed all the requirements, then you're legally open for business; the world is now your oyster!


What supplies does a mobile nail tech need?

You'll need a lot of nail products and equipment to help you get started as a mobile nail tech. You can check our blog about our best-selling products here.


1. Traveling nail case or a nail technician trolley case


Investing in a sturdy and long-lasting nail tech bag is a must since if you'll be traveling a lot, the last thing you want to happen is to have a nail service breakdown.

Because it's not durable or during travel in between your bag got broken, you see your beloved nail products lying all over the floor. You have to consider its durability, table, compartments, heaviness, and more. Consider your comfort whenever you're choosing nail polish luggage.


2. Organizers


Organizers will be your best friend since you have to immediately set up and pack your things before and after each nail service as a mobile nail tech. It's crucial to stay organized to show your clients you're the real deal and that you know your things. You can read our blog on how you can stay organized here.


3. Nail Equipment


You'll be bringing plenty of nail equipment for your nail service whenever you're traveling, so you have to invest in portable or travel-friendly equipment from UV/LED lamps to E-files

We highly suggest our Mini Led Pro Lamp or our Hybrid Pro Lamp since they have great features that mobile nail techs love, from powerhouse curing systems to wireless. You can check our shop for nail art brushes, tools, e-files, drill bits, and more!


4. Nail products 


It will be hard to pick what nail products you should bring during nail sessions, but it's important to stick to the basics for prepping, nail care, and nail art designing. 

It would help whenever a client books you to ask what nail art design they want so you can prepare in advance! You must bring gel polishesacrylic and dip powderschrome pigments, nail art stickers, and more! 


Other nail products you will need:

  • Nail Transfer Foil
  • Line Art Gel Kit or Painting Gel Kit
  • Nail Art Brushes
  • Color Charts & Swatches
  • Chrome Powder Pens
  • Blossom Gel
  • No-Wipe Jewelry Gel
  • Sculpture Gel
  • Builder Gel
  • Airbrush
  • Pro Gel Tips/System

    5. Sanitizers/Disinfectant


    It would be best if you had sanitizers as part of your mobile nail tech kit to sanitize and keep your nail tools clean and ready to use. 

    Clients will feel more secure with your service if they see you disinfecting or your nail tools are always clean. If you're on the go, we highly recommend our UV Sterilization Box since it's lightweight and can easily sanitize your nail tools like nail art brushes. We also have hand sanitizer you can use anytime and anywhere.


    6. Light, sockets, and chargers


    You'll also need light or lamps to help you do your nail service efficiently since you'll never know if a client's home is well lit. It's best to be prepared. Sockets are vital for you to use as part of your mobile nail tech tool kit. We have chargers available for your UV/LED nail lamps too!


    How much should a beginner nail tech charge?

    When it comes to pricing your mobile nail services, one thing you can do is check what other mobile nail techs are offering to see what the standard rates are. You have to consider the gas price, the distance, time, and energy you'll be putting in before and after the actual nail service. 

    When it comes to setting your prices, don't settle for less! You can watch the best nail tech Youtubers online to get pricing ideas or seek out other nail tech's advice who can be your mentor or help you out! You can join our iGel Beauty Facebook community to seek pricing or business-related advice, from personal branding to nail art photography!


    Pros and cons of being a mobile nail tech


    Pros of being a mobile nail tech:

    • Traveling all the time
    • Meeting clients in-person
    • New places will fuel your creativity
    • Flexible schedule/ Have more freedom
    • Adventurous lifestyle
    • You can earn more


    Cons of being a mobile nail tech:

    • It can be uncomfortable and a hassle at times 
    • Gas price
    • Not pandemic-proof
    • Accident-prone


    When it comes to being a mobile nail tech, it's the same thing as being a freelancer or a digital nomad. If you want to enjoy more freedom, travel, and cater to your clients anywhere, then being a mobile nail tech is a great career alternative!

    Being on the road can bring you to places you've never been, and there will be turns and stopovers. It's essential to consider the long-term for your business; how long can you be a mobile nail tech? Is it your only service or an option? Do you have a backup plan? There are many things you should know before becoming a nail tech. You can read our real-life scenarios and practical beginner nail tech tips to help you decide!




    Being a mobile nail tech can be exciting; we at iGel Beauty want you to feel empowered in your personal and career decisions. Leave a comment on our blog if this guide helped you, or maybe share your mobile nail tech story with us. We want to hear from you!