How Long Is Nail Technician School?

Nail technicians enjoy working in a very social and positive environment and helping others to look their best. Nail technician training does not take long to complete and can give you the tools you need to start a new and exciting career fairly quickly. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nail technicians, also called manicurists and pedicurists, perform a variety of services for clients, such as:

  • Explain procedures and services available to clients
  • Remove cuticles and nail polish from fingernails and toenails
  • Clean and trim fingernails and toenails and file nails for smoothness
  • Massage hands and feet
  • Sell products for the care of nails, feet, and hands
  • Provide a clean and disinfected work environment to prevent the spread of fungus and diseases

How Do I Become A Nail Technician?

Nail technicians must complete an approved training program, usually at a vocational school. Once the nail technician has finished taking classes in hygiene, nail growth and structure, and nail techniques, he or she must pass a state certification test.

This certification must be renewed on a regular basis, and some states require nail technicians to take continuing education courses in order to show that they are keeping up with current trends in nail science and technology.

Nail technicians can lose their licenses if their salons do not practice good hygiene or if they engage in practices that may be harmful to customers, so it is important to check the credentials of any nail salon or spa for which you wish to work. You can find out if there have been any complains about a particular nail salon by checking with your state’s Board of Health.

How Long Does It Take To Become A Nail Technician?

Depending on your choice of programs, you can become a certified nail technician in as little as 200 hours of classroom time, or about five weeks. However, this time period varies tremendously as each state has unique requirements for nail technician certification.

To find out how many hours of study your state requires, visit your state’s Department of Health website. You can also ask a local cosmetology school in your area or visit the website of one of the schools located in your state.

You will need to obtain certification from your state once you finish your course of study. Most states require you to have attended an accredited nail technician training program. Nail technician programs are accredited by the National Accrediting Commission of Career Arts and Sciences or NACCAS. NACCAS accreditation denotes a program that has met minimum standards of safety and quality compliance, so always choose a program that bears this accreditation in order to ensure that your training will allow you to become certified in your state.

What Qualities Do I Need to Become A Good Nail Technician?

One of the most important qualities a nail technician can possess is good interpersonal skills. Nail technicians spend all day talking to customers and interacting with them, so it is very important to have good communication skills and a good attitude. The competition for nail salon customers in some areas is fierce, and many people choose their nail technician based on the positive interaction they have experienced at a particular nail salon.

Attention to detail and creativity are two other important qualities for a good nail technician. Creativity is important because you may be asked to design unique or interesting nail decorations, and attention to detail is important because you will be working with somewhat intricate tools and small areas when decorating nails. It is also important to pay attention to detail when you are working with the tools involved in nail design, which must be kept scrupulously clean at all times to avoid cross-contamination with bacteria.

Is Nail Technology A Growing Field?*

The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that jobs for nail technicians will grow in number in the next ten years by about 17 percent, which is above the national average for all types of jobs. Nail technicians will find the most jobs in established nail salons, although many study in this field with the view of opening their own business.

The pay outlook for manicurists and pedicurists is moderate. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in May 2010 nail technicians earned between $7.85 per hour and $14.71 per hour, for a median of $9.45 per hour. Many nail technicians work part-time or odd hours to fill in for full-time employees until they obtain a full-time position. Of course, if you open your own nail salon, your earnings are limited only by your overhead costs and the number of customers you serve.

*Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (

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