What Do I Need to Become a Nail Tech?

Nail technicians are in high demand! If you’re considering a career in cosmetology, find out what you need to do to become a licensed nail tech.

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It is recommended that interested individuals complete a nail technology program at a cosmetology school. These programs typically last between six and eight months and cover topics such as nail treatments, manicures, pedicures, product knowledge, and salon management. Many schools offer programs that can be completed in as little as four weeks, but these are generally not as comprehensive.

Research your state’s requirements

Before you enroll in a nail technician program, it’s important to make sure that the program will meet your state’s licensing requirements. The requirements for licensure vary from state to state, but most states require nail technicians to complete a nail technician program at a cosmetology school and pass a written and practical exam. Some states also require continuing education for license renewal.

To find out your state’s specific requirements, contact your state’s cosmetology board or department of professional regulation.

Consider an accredited program

To work as a professional nail technician, you will need to complete a cosmetology or manicuring program at an accredited school and earn a license from your state. Many states require completion of an accredited program, which can take about six months to two years, depending on the intensity of the program and whether you attend full- or part-time. In some states, you may be able to get credit for previous experience or schooling and complete your training in a shorter amount of time.


You will need to complete a training program to become a licensed nail technician. The length of the program will vary depending on the state in which you live, but will typically last around six months. Some states may require you to complete an apprenticeship before you can become licensed. During your training, you will learn about the different types of manicures and pedicures, how to properly care for nails, and how to safely work with nail products.

Explore apprenticeship opportunities

If you are considering becoming a nail technician, one of the best ways to get started is to explore apprenticeship opportunities. Apprenticeship programs are typically sponsored by a cosmetology school, salon, or state agency, and they provide paid on-the-job training under the supervision of a licensed professional. Although programs vary, most last between six and twelve months and include classroom instruction as well as practical experience.

Apprenticeship programs can be an affordable way to get started in your career, and they provide the opportunity to learn from experienced professionals. Most importantly, apprenticeship programs can help you decide if a career in cosmetology is right for you. If you are interested in exploring apprenticeship opportunities, contact your local cosmetology school or salon for more information.

Consider a vocational program

If you want to become a professional nail technician, you will need to complete a vocational program at a beauty school. Most states require nail technicians to be licensed, so be sure to check the requirements in your state. The length of the programs can vary, but most take about six months to complete. After completing a course, you will need to pass a state-administered examination to earn your license.


The first thing you need to do to become certified is to graduate from a state-licensed cosmetology school. Once you have your cosmetology license, you can then take a certification course to become a licensed nail technician. The certification process will vary depending on which state you are in, but it typically includes an exam and a practical component.

Pass a written exam

In order to become certified, you will need to pass a written exam. The questions on the exam will cover a wide range of topics related to nail care. You will need to demonstrate your knowledge of the proper techniques for giving a manicure, applying artificial nails, and caring for the nails. In addition, you will be expected to know about the different types of nail disorders and how to treat them.

Pass a practical exam

To become certified, you’ll need to pass a practical exam administered by either a state board or a professional organization. The practical will test your skills in performing manicures and pedicures, as well as other services like acrylics, gel nails, and nail art. You’ll also be tested on your knowledge of disinfection and safety practices, state laws, and salon business procedures. Once you pass the practical exam, you’ll receive your certification card or certificate.


Nail technicians are licensed professionals who provide beauty services related to nails, such as manicures, pedicures, and nail art. In order to become a licensed nail tech, you will need to complete a few requirements.

Renew your license every few years

In order to keep your nail tech license active, you will need to renew it every few years. The requirements for renewal vary from state to state, but they usually involve completing a certain number of continuing education credits and paying a renewal fee. You may also be required to retake the nail tech exam in order to renew your license.

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