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How Can I Get Certified As a Nail Technician?

Find out the requirements and process for state certification as a nail technician or manicurist. See what coursework is included in training and certificate programs for nail techs and the average compensation for this career.

Are There Certification Programs for Nail Technicians?

You can find several schools that offer training and certificate programs for aspiring nail technicians and beauticians. These programs will also help prepare you to take your state certification exam for professional nail technicians. Most of these programs will take you a few months to complete, and the hours you spend studying are part of the prerequisites that some states have for certification.

Certificate Programs Training to prepare for state certification exam
Program Curriculum Developing clientele, skin care, legal issues, anatomy
Online Programs Fully online programs aren't available, but some schools offer non-hands-on courses online
State Certification Mandatory in order to become a legally practicing nail technician
Job Outlook 13% growth between 2016 and 2026 (for manicurists and pedicurists)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Is the Curriculum Like?

The curriculum of a nail technician certificate program is designed to train you in all the skills you are likely to need when you work in a nail or beauty salon. In most programs, you'll find courses in areas like nail care, skin care, personal and client safety, the human immune system and anatomy. Many of these programs also include courses pertinent to salon business operations and management. For example, you may find classes that cover ways to develop clientele, effectively advertise and approach legal issues related to the business.

Can I Complete These Programs Online?

Because nail technician programs provide you with the type of practical training you will need in a professional environment, it will be very difficult to find a program that you can complete over the Internet. However, some programs may allow you to transfer credits towards the completion of your certificate. Your school or others may offer some online courses required for your program, such as anatomy or business classes. If your school will accept credits from an online course, you will just need a high-speed Internet connection and an updated browser to participate in most classes.

Do I Need to Be State Certified?

In the United States, you must obtain a license to legally work as a professional nail technician. Most states will require you to complete a specific number of hours in an educational program and also pass a state certification exam. Some states may also require you to have some experience working in a nail salon under the supervision of a licensed technician.

What Is the Professional Outlook for Nail Technicians?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov) conducted a study in 2018 and determined that the average annual salary of nail technicians, or manicurists, was $25,860 in that year. The BLS also projected that job opportunities for professionals in the personal appearance industry would grow 13% between 2016 and 2026.