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What Skills Are Taught in an Online Nail Technician Course?

Although online options are limited, distance-learning courses are available in nail technology and cosmetology. Some online nail technician classes provide continuing education for licensed nail technicians and cosmetologists, while other courses are available as part of a nail technician or cosmetologist training program. Read on to discover the skills you might acquire in a nail technician course.

About Online Nail Technician Course Options

Online courses in nail technology are very rare due to the need for practice and guidance in a school setting. You can develop your nail technician skills online through a variety of unique programs. Some nail technician classes can teach you advanced skills, such as performing a waterless manicure, while other nail technician courses introduce you to beginner skills for non-professionals, like painting your own nails.

If you wish to pursue licensure as a nail technician or cosmetologist, an online nail technician or general cosmetology certificate training program could provide you with both basic and intermediate skills in nail technology. However, most programs require in-person attendance for clinical sessions. If you're a current nail technician wishing to renew your license or brush up on your knowledge, you can enroll in online continuing education courses in nail technology and cosmetology.

Important Facts About This Field of Study

Degrees/Certificates A certification program typically prepares students for licensing, and further education is available in related fields by pursuing a cosmetology degree
Prerequisites Admission to certificate or diploma programs typically requires a high school diploma or equivalent
Possible Careers Artistic director, educator, salon owner
Concentrations Nail technician courses are often specializations within a cosmetology program; others include entrepreneurial work, management and supervision, or esthetics
Median Salary (2018)$24,330 (Manicurists and Pedicurists)
Job Outlook (2016-2026)13% (Manicurists and Pedicurists)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)


Nail technician certificate and vocational training programs might prepare you to earn your nail technician license and start a career at a beauty or nail salon. Licensure requirements vary by state, but an online or blended program can provide you with many of the prerequisites you need to take a state licensure examination as long as you complete a certain number of training hours. Many states require around 300 hours of clinical and theory-based experience for licensure.

During an online program, you might learn how to perform manicures, pedicures, and other day spa services, such as foot massages. Because of the hands-on nature of the subject, a number of programs may combine in-class meetings with online work. Some programs allow you to take the introductory nail technician courses online and continue the program on campus. These online introductory classes can include sanitation, nail safety, and salon business operations. Other online nail technology courses are designed to help you develop the following knowledge and skills:

  • Nail artistry
  • Salon procedures
  • Nail-care products and tools
  • Application and repair of artificial nails

Online Cosmetology Programs

Since nail technician programs are limited, you might also want to consider enrolling in a general online cosmetology program to gain nail technology experience. There, you might accumulate a number of nail-related skills, such as manicures and pedicures, as well as hand massages. You could learn how to cut and style hair, apply makeup, and provide basic skin care for clients. Cosmetology programs can lead to a variety of careers that include hairstylist, make-up artist, or nail technician.

Online Continuing Education

If you're already licensed as a nail technician or cosmetologist, you can enroll in online nail technician courses in order to fulfill the continuing education units you need for nail technician or cosmetologist license renewal. You might learn about safety and sterilization measures as well as how to properly dispose of dangerous materials. Classes in hygiene may teach you about nail diseases. Instruction may also be given regarding regulations for beauty salons and day spas in your state.