Comparing Compensation Plans


Are you getting paid what you should be? Whether you’re looking to switch jobs or are just starting out in the industry, it is imperative to know what you are worth, and the factors that determine that.

For a rough look at what you should to expect to make, visit Enter in “nail technician” or another job title, along with the location you plan to work in, and get an idea of how much you should expect to make there. Keep in mind that this number is the average, and starting pay may be lower. But it’s more than just one number – there are actually four main ways in which compensation for techs is calculated.

Types of Compensation

Hourly Wages – This is pretty straightforward. You are paid by the hour, regardless of how many clients you see in that time period.

Commission – Also pretty standard. You earn an established percentage of the total revenue you bring to the salon. Thus, you make more money when you see more clients per hour.

Tiered Compensation – Tiers of pay are set by the salon, based on education or experience. When you achieve a higher skill certification, your wage (whether an hourly wage or a commission percentage) is increased automatically. This encourages continuing education, and can result in a better-trained staff.

Mixed Compensation – This format can mix types of the above compensation plans. For instance, you may be paid a base hourly wage, but also get a commission off additional service revenue. This plan offers stability and still gives room for incentive.

Also keep in mind what medical benefits potential employers offer. When comparing a job offer that includes health insurance with one that does not, factor in the added cost of purchasing your own when weighing the offered wages.

A few other things to ask salon owners or yourself:

Does the salon offer a salary guarantee?
How long does it usually take the other techs in your salon to build a regular clientele?
How many other techs will be working when I’m scheduled?
What is the average income of your slowest full-time tech? Busiest?
How many clients can I service in a typical day/week?
How long will I be allotted to give a manicure or pedicure? What about fills?
What add-ons does the salon offer for services?
Does the salon pay commission on retail sales?
What percentage of the salon’s business is walk-ins? What percentage is no-shows or cancellations?

[Images: Thinkstock/Hemera]

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