finger nail designs at a nail school

Nail School

Nail School

Become a Nail Technician

If you are thinking about becoming a nail technician, you probably have a million questions. Before you get overwhelmed, take a few minutes to read through these FAQ’s. We give a brief overview of state nail tech requirements, and how you can find and compare programs. You can find out what kinds of nail courses programs require. Of course, you probably want to know how long you your nail tech program will last and how much it will cost. Don’t worry, we got you covered in those areas as well!

Career Outlook
Info based on National Averages. Enter zip and program for more exact details.
Hours-required: 1600 Education and hands-on training
Licence Renewal Hours: 1000 Hands-on training
Certification Needed: Cosmetology
State Board Contact:E: P: 1.800.952.5210
Average Salary: $28,770 Annually
Job Outlook: 20% increase Between 2012 - 2022
What do you love most about beauty school?
The connections. All of the girls are so close, they are great. The teachers are awesome and have so many connections and will help you get your career started.
How do you like beauty school?
I love it, it’s a lot of fun! It makes it easier when it’s something you are passionate about. It’s so fun to go to school and always trying new things. They give you plenty time to do you homework at school too!
Can you describe a typical day?

Arrive at 8am and prep for appointments starting at 8:45.

You could have 4-5 appointments in one day doing facials, makeup, skin treatments, waxing, brows, lash tinting. My favorite part is if you don’t have appointments you can do treatments on each other! We give each other facials, makeup and the nail girls do our nails, etc! It’s so fun and we are never bored!

What’s it like juggling work and school?

I work two jobs. It can be busy but I map out the week and it keeps me out of trouble.

What would you tell someone thinking about enrolling?

Just do it! I was pretty nervous at first. I doubted myself b/c I have never been in a program I felt I could succeed. The support and encouragement of the other ladies in the class and seeing how intelligent the teachers were eased my worries. It’s a fun experience! There weren’t “know it all’s” in the class. Everyone is eager to learn and help each other.

Do you feel confident getting a job after school?

Yes! I feel confident and qualified. The teachers are great and positive. They want to set up you for success.

What inspires you?

Instagram. I could scroll all day long. I love art, makeup, clothes, house decor. I love going to Sephora and seeing all the makeup and think about the possible ways to do different things.

arrowCollapse and find my school!

What Do You Need To Know About Nail Technician Careers?

First-- You’ll Need Top-Notch Nail Tech Training

Before we talk about career options for manicurists, let’s talk about figuring out where to go to nail tech school.

If you are saying “I want to find a nail tech school near me,” you’re at the right place. We have spent years helping students connect with cosmetology schools across the U.S., including those with great nail programs.

The following sections are meant to help you understand the basics of what to expect in training, like the length of nail tech school and nail tech school costs, along with career benefits and the current employment climate as a nail technician.

As you absorb the information, take note of your questions and anything you need to know that will help you find out if this career path is right for you.

Once you’re ready, use our simple school search tools to find all your nail tech school options.

What Does A Day-In-The-Life Of A Nail Tech Look Like?

When many people think about the role of a nail technician, they imagine someone painting nails. But there is so much more to this position than that.

Here is a quick list of job functions nail techs may be responsible for:

  • Maintaining sanitary work environment
  • Scheduling appointments
  • Customer service
  • Manicures
  • Pedicures
  • Nail applications
  • Cleaning & filing nails
  • Hand and feet moisturizing
  • Retail sales

All of these skills require a curriculum that balances core nail skills with safety, sanitation, and interpersonal skills. If you’re thinking, “I want to compare nail technician courses near me” you should consider these requirements. As someone who will be working face-to-face with your clients, customer services skills are just as critical to training as manicure techniques.


Nail technician work environments

The great thing about salon and spa work is the wide range of personalities these types of businesses can have. Every city seems to have several awesome, unique, creative places to work as a nail tech or cosmetologist. Some may give off a Zen-like or hippie vibe, while others go for posh. Of course, you can always seek employment at a full service salon or one that only offers nail services.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) breaks down the statistics for nail specialist work environments.

Here is the most recent data, pulled in 2017, along with some other relevant facts about working as a nail tech:

  • About 30% of nail techs are self-employed or own their own salon
  • 68% of nail tech jobs are in the personal care services sector
  • Nail technicians (manicurists & pedicurists) usually work full-time
  • Jobs can offer more flexibility and opportunities for part-time work than many other types of careers
  • Weekends and evenings are typically your busiest work times

Top states for nail technician employment

Let’s take a look at the career potential in the top 5 cities for nail technicians! We like to look at availability and types of jobs, salary rates, employment projections, and other factors.

As you will see, employment levels and salary potential do not always align. Sometimes, a greater concentration of workers will result in more competitive salaries – and other times, less.

The truth is, there are several colors that paint every employment landscape, so to speak—nail techs included.

To best answer the “I want to find a nail tech school near me” question, you need to look at this career from all angles.

Here are the states with the highest levels of employment of manicurists and pedicurists, number of workers employed, along with their average annual wage – all of the information in the following sections is a snapshot of the most recent data:

  1. California (17,410) - $22,240
  2. New York (14,440) - $20,310
  3. New Jersey (7,200)- $26,980
  4. Massachusetts (4,760) - $24,370
  5. Pennsylvania (4,340)- $22,370

Now, let’s take a look at the states with the highest salary levels for professional nail technicians:

  1. Vermont - $43,120
  2. Wyoming - $34,460
  3. District of Columbia - $31,360
  4. South Dakota - $29,310
  5. Florida - $29,180

See how there is such a difference in the average salary in Vermont, compared with the others? You just need to remember, these are just averages. Which means, there are plenty of people in Florida who make well over $30,000 per year as well. And remember, many of these workers may be part-time as well.

Are you still saying, “I want to find nail technician courses near me?” We hope so! When you speak with beauty schools about nail technician programs, talk about salary scenarios they’ve seen for graduates.

Meaning, how much can you make as a part-time worker? Or, what is the pay working at a salon versus pursuing self-employment? This can be just as important as nail tech school costs when it comes to making your decision about school.

Want To Know How To Choose A Career-Focused Nail Tech Program?

Pursuing a successful career starts with the right nail tech training. If you are already daydreaming about the perfect type of manicurist/pedicurist job, then let’s talk training.

Here is a checklist for what you should look for in a nail tech school…

  • Accreditation. Sure, you want to learn the skills you need and start working ASAP. But how can you know for sure that your education will translate into a lasting career? Some states require nail techs to complete an approved, accredited program. Put this at the top of your list of things to ask!
  • Flexible course times. The length of nail tech school can differ, and some offer online courses, but expect to spend lots of time in a classroom, performing hands-on training. Make sure your current job is okay with your program schedule, or make time to set your priorities up before you start.
  • Financial aid. When you start working as a nail technician, you will have to start paying back your loans, if you take any. Make sure you understand what your repayment terms will be. And look into all your options. There may even be scholarships, or federal grants you can take advantage of to pay your nail tech school cost.
  • Meets state exam requirements. It is critical to choose a manicure technician curriculum that matches the requirements for your state’s license exam.
  • License renewal & continuing education. Make sure you understand what the renewal process is like in your state. There can be big differences between costs, schedules, and continuing education requirements, depending on where you live.
  • Connections with employers. Sure, that online course offered by that out-of-state school might be done and over within a few weeks, but will it help you find a job? You never know. Maybe so. Just be cautious and weigh your options.

In addition to speaking with schools, be sure to read articles like this one about what it’s like to work as a nail technician!

I’m Ready To Find A Nail Tech School Near Me!

If you have the passion, creativity, and desire to work as a manicurist, pedicurist, or stellar nail artist with a million Instagram followers, let’s connect you with cosmetology schools today!

All you have to do is use the search tools on this page to get started.

There should be options for students in every state who are saying “I want to find nail technician courses near me.” And we make it simple to request info from several schools without searching all over.

Good luck on your quest to become a nail tech. We think you can succeed if you follow the basics:

  • Find the right length of nail tech school training
  • Create a financial aid plan that won’t stress you out
  • Study your heart out & listen to your instructors
  • Do everything to connect with salons you want to work with

And, please…

Let us know about your success on deciding where to go to nail tech school. We want to know we’re making a difference in students’ lives!

About Nail Technician School

Meeting Your State’s Nail Technician Requirements

There are many things you need to consider before starting a nail tech career. Your ultimate goal is to meet your state’s licensed nail technician requirements. Here are some things you will need to look into:

Hands-on training.

In order to sit for your state’s board exams, you will likely have to complete a certain number of ‘clock hours’ of training. This will give you the real experience you need to transition to the workplace.

Safety & sanitation.

Because you are working directly with clients’ skin and nails, it is imperative to get the proper education to be able to practice this profession safely and effectively. Make sure your program includes the health and safety courses that you need to be compliant with your state’s regulations.

Program length.

The training programs can vary in length and requirements, based largely on each state’s individual licensing requirements. Go over program length when you discuss accreditation, cost, and financial aid.

Do you want to look up your state’s nail technician licensing requirements?

You can use that link or use the search box to find a school near you.

Quick Tips for Comparing Nail Schools

When you take the next step and contact schools, be sure to ask these questions before you choose where to enroll:

  • Accreditation – Does the school guarantee a Board approved program?
  • License requirements – Be sure your program will equip you to work professionally.
  • Class schedule & duration – Will your nail tech program fit your current work schedule and personal responsibilities?
  • Financial aid options – Does your school offer the right mix of federal and private loan options? What about scholarships and grants?

We find that the average student considers 3 to 5 schools before making a final choice. If you have limited options for nail-focused programs, compare them to full cosmetology options. You might realize you have the talent for hair and makeup as well.

Your education is an important life decision that should be considered with care after comparing your school options. Nail schools nationwide are enrolling now! Find schools near you to get started.

How much training is required to become a manicurist?

The first step to getting licensed to do nails is to find a cosmetology school or nail school that meets your needs. Cosmetology programs include hair, nails, makeup and skin care. A nail-specific program is a more tailored to the craft, and is often a shorter way to complete your education. 

Most states require that applicants to nail tech school…

  • Be at least 16 years old
  • Have either a high school diploma or GED
  • Complete the application process and pay the appropriate fees

How Do I Find, Compare and Contact Nail Schools?

The first step to becoming a nail technician is to get the required education and licensure in your state. If you're considering becoming a master manicurist/pedicurist, talk to nail schools about their programs. You’ll want to ask about the cost of tuition at their campus, curriculum and any other questions you have.

Everyone learns a little differently and has slightly different priorities when it comes to choosing the right college, so we created this handy step-by-step How to Choose a Beauty School checklist to help.

Find a Nail Tech School in New York, NY

Find a Nail Tech School in Los Angeles, CA

Find a Nail Tech School in Chicago. IL

Find a Nail Tech School in Dallas, TX

Find a Nail Tech School in Atlanta, GA

Nail Tech Courses & Course Length

What Do You Learn In Nail Tech School?

Nail technology schools will help students learn:

  • Nail art and design
  • Tips
  • Forms
  • Wraps
  • Gels
  • Manicures
  • Pedicures
  • Calf and foot massage
  • Safety and sanitation

Just make sure the program you choose will meet your state requirements for licensure as a nail technician!


Commonly Required Nail School Courses

The curriculum you will follow in nail school includes:

  • Disorders of the nails
  • Chemicals and products
  • Hygiene
  • Public health
  • Sterilization and disinfection
  • Massage theory
  • Sculpting and curing
  • Machines and technology used to do manicures

You will learn how to follow state law for safety procedures in the salon setting, especially if you or the client were to sustain an injury during a manicure or pedicure. Once you have completed your training, you then take your state’s licensing exam. You’ll need to pass this test in order to earn your nail technician’s license and begin practicing professionally.

How Long Does Nail Technician School Take?

Depending on your state’s minimum training requirements, and whether you’re attending school full-time or part-time, the nail tech training program can typically be completed in 3 to 9 months.

A small handful of states allow apprenticeships as a way to get your training. However, this path typically requires twice the number of hours as traditional nail programs.

If you think you are cut out for nail school, use our search to find schools near you that offer this program.

Nail School Cost

How much does nail technician school cost?

The cost of tuition for nail schools can range depending on:

  • Courses in the curriculum
  • Hours of instruction required by your state
  • Location
  • Facilities and equipment

Because of the cost of business facilities, nail technician schools inside or close to major metropolitan cities like Los Angeles or New York will likely cost a little more, whereas smaller, more rural areas or suburbs that may be accessible with a bit of a commute may be cheaper. The cost can also vary by whether you attend a comprehensive cosmetology program, or specifically a nail tech program.

Questions to Ask About Cost of Cosmetology School

For each nail school you're interested in, be sure to ask admissions reps the following questions – and anything else that may be important to you:

What are the total tuition costs are and what exactly does this cost include? Make sure you account for such costs as textbooks, chemicals, polishes, nail care supplies, and so on.

How many hours will my training result in? Nail schools that teach around the national average of 300-600 hours tend to have tuition that costs on average $3,000 to $5,000, including the cost of textbooks and supplies. Most of the nail technician schools we surveyed said that their program costs less than $5,000 to complete. A select few schools did the nail program cost ranges from $5,000 to $9,000. It is also important to ask the schools whether materials like books, a nail kit and frocks or aprons are included in the cost.

What kinds of financial aid options are available? Check to see if you have federal and private loan options; as well as scholarship and grant opportunities.