Nail Technology

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!


Nail Technology

01. About
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 to take a peer, or you can click the button below to find schools near you that can answer your questions.

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.


02. 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.

03. 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.


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