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How To Become A Nail Technician

How To Become A Nail Technician

Do you love decorating your own nails, have a creative flair for fashion, and are always keeping up with all the latest trends? Or do you have a passion for creating beautifully artistic designs on the hands of other people?

If this sounds like you, maybe you should consider turning your creativity and passion into a nail technician career in the cosmetic industry.
If you want to learn how to become a nail technician, we’ve got all the information you’re going to need. Once you understand the experience, education requirements, and licensing necessities, you can start working towards building your new career as a professional nail technician.

What does a nail tech do?

Commonly employed at nail salons, beauty shops, hair salons, or spa retreats, the role of a nail technician centers around beautifying and shaping fingernails during manicures or pedicures. In addition to cutting, painting, decorating, and polishing their nails, a nail technician may also provide clients with massage therapy for their hand and feet.

That’s because they’re the most used areas of the body, nail techs may also offer a variety of comprehensive treatments and other special care involving scrubs, waxes, and moisturizers. The initial appeal of a professional manicure with a nail technician was the idea of relaxing while treating yourself to a little bit of luxury.

But these days, they have also been captivating the fashion world with the latest nail technology and nail art designs which have been becoming increasingly daring, intricate, and unique. They also take care of cuticles, repair broken nails, and apply fake acrylic nails or remove artificial nails.

As they are tasked with interacting directly with their clients, nail technicians are always at the very front line of the cosmetic, fashion, and beauty industry. In fact, professional nail technicians will almost always be required to sit down in front of their clients for long periods of time while decorating their fingernails.

They may also be required to wear latex gloves and protective masks because they need to work with chemicals and other supplies, from nail polishes, gels, and waxes, to nail polish remover, nail clippers, and cuticle cutters.


What qualifications do you need to become a nail tech?

The requirements for becoming a nail technician include having a combination of skills like technical expertise, artistic flair, and dexterity, as well as excellent customer service, time management, and communication skills.

Most industry employers for cosmetic and beauty tips will also look for cheerful yet discrete applicants who are okay with a flexible work schedule and can maintain a clean, tidy, and hygienic work area. You’ll also need experience with all the standard nail care tools such as nail clippers, cuticle cutters, and nail files, as well as how to upsell nail care products to clients.

Understanding how to use special nail equipment for creating custom artistic nails may also be required by some salon owners, whereas others may ask for experience with specific nail services like French manicures. 

While a degree is not required in most states, you will need a nail technician certificate program from a school of cosmetology in order to become a professional nail tech.

Complete a course in cosmetology

The way you’ll learn all of the basic skills required to be a qualified nail tech is by successfully completing an approved cosmetology course for manicurists and pedicurists. So, once you’ve graduated with a high school diploma or you’ve earned an equivalent masters degree, associate degree, or bachelor degrees, the next first step in how to become a nail tech is enrolling in a cosmetology program.

That being said, finishing high school isn't always a requirement for all cosmetic beauty schools. These cosmetology nail technician schools provide students with all the necessary academic training and practical skills they need to be a successful nail technician working in the real-world.

While some people might prefer physically attending a college when studying this type of course, many others would actually prefer to complete nail technician training programs independently.

There are plenty of amazing online nail technician schools, courses, and training available via reputable schools with highly qualified and experienced teachers. By applying for nail technician programs via an online nail technician certification school, you can study, learn, and practice your skills whenever you’ve got some free time in your schedule.

Ultimately, all nail technician graduates will be completely prepared for state licensure, whether their state requires it or not.

Getting your license

While the nail technicians license requirements for how to become a nail tech vary by state, most require you to successfully complete a written and practical licensing exam after completion of a cosmetology instructor training course.

Some states provide nail technician licenses, some offer licenses for general cosmetology, while others may actually require completion of an apprenticeship. As the regulatory board of cosmetology for each state sets the number of classroom and practical examination hours required for licensing eligibility, you should definitely check your state’s current requirements before you apply online nail technician courses.

Most states require being at least 16 years old to be eligible for a manicurist license, but there are some states which only provide nail technician licenses to people who are older. Some states will also require nail technicians to maintain their licensure by reapplying for a renewal every 12 or 24 months. 

The expiration period and the number of hours required for reapplication will vary by each state, but thankfully most of the cosmetology schools and independent providers of schools education have the option of continuing their license education via online schools.


Becoming a professional nail technician

Once you’ve completed your degree in cosmetology course, you’ve passed all of the licensing exams, and you’ve received your new license, you can then start searching for employment as fully qualified nail techs and professionally licensed manicurists.

That’s because learning how to become a nail technician is about so much more than simply applying some nail polish on clients. It's about becoming a professional at something you’ve always enjoyed, meeting a variety of clients and providing them with a service they enjoy.

Now you can really start using your creativity, testing your skills, gaining more experience, and learning about the industry while building a clientele who only ever ask for you.

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