If so, then your search is over. Training to become a Foot Health Practitioner, Podiatry Assistant or Nail Technician, (performing Pedicures or nail cutting) maybe the best move you will ever make. With an aging population in most western countries, the foot care industry is about to explode with retiring baby boomers and so now is your best chance to get on board.
In the UK there are three main educational bodies that offer foot health courses to students wanting to train as foot health professionals (FHP's).
Best Footcare Course providers:
- The Stonebridge College
- SMAE Institute
- College of Foot Health Practitioners (formerly the West Midlands School of Chiropody)
- Open Study College
All offer foot training in two parts, a theory section and practical section. With the theory you learn in the comfort of your own home or distance learning as it is called with a dedicated tutor on hand to help and guide you. The practical part is done over one or two weeks at a training facility equipped. These Foot care courses give the student the confidence to perform basic foot care like removal of corns and calluses and the treatment of a variety of foot and nail conditions like fungal and wart infections.
The cost of these courses may seem slightly high from the outset, around £2,000 depending on the number of weeks of practical training. But when you compare this to the amount you can earn it is more than worth it.
Once you complete your foot care course, you will be qualified and registered to practice with that organisation and generally they will provide your insurance cover. However, you will not be able to use the title 'Chiropodist' or 'Podiatrist' as these are now legally protected titles.
Current Foot Care openings in the Footcare World
If you are looking for how the foot care industry exists in the UK in its present form, then listed below is the structure based on educational requirements (And this excludes one of the biggest sectors - Footwear):
- Podiatry Assistant (Medical Pedicure in the USA)
- Foot Health Practitioner
- Nail Technician/Pedicurist (Medi Pedi's in the USA)
Podiatry is the professional end of foot health with invasive procedures like ingrown toenail and bunion removal with gait analysis to prescribe orthotics. Foot health courses for Podiatrists are normally full time tertiary university degrees although part time courses are available.
With a Podiatry assistant you need to complete around 500 hours of supervised practice (NHS or Private) with both oral and practical assessments.
Although at the lower end of the scale a good way into the foot health industry is to train as a nail technician or Pedicurist. They of ten form part of a beauty therapist course but can be done individually at some colleges. They are aimed at beautifying the foot, many people just find they need their nails cut, and so the income potential of a nail technician is not that different from that of a foot health practitioner.
Normally a FHP will base their business on a home visiting practice. However, this has many plus points with it like being your own boss, working and charging what you like as well as keeping cost down to a minimum.
What may surprise you the most, is that by completing one of these Foot Health Courses it will give you the ability to earn a staggering amount of money compared to the general 9-5 population and therefore give you the tools to transform your life for the better - if you set up your practice correctly.