How to Become a Licensed Nail Tech in 5 Steps

If you’re looking to become a licensed nail tech, there are a few steps you’ll need to follow. In this blog post, we’ll outline the process and what you’ll need to do in order to become licensed.

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In order to become a licensed nail technician, you will need to complete a few steps. The process may vary slightly depending on your state, but generally, you will need to complete the following:

1. Complete a state-approved educational program.
2. Pass the written and practical exams.
3. Submit your application and fees to the state board.
4. Renew your license every year or two, as required by your state board.
5. Complete continuing education courses, as required by your state board.

Becoming a licensed nail technician requires completing a few steps, but following these steps will help ensure that you are able to work in this field legally.

Step One: Determine the Specific Regulations in Your State

A career as a licensed nail technician can be both rewarding and lucrative. In order to become licensed, however, you must first complete a few steps. The process may vary slightly from state to state, but there are some general steps you can follow to become licensed in any state.

Before you begin the process of becoming a licensed nail technician, you must first determine the specific regulations in your state. Each state has its own requirements for licensure, so it is important to research the requirements of the state in which you wish to practice. Once you have determined the requirements, you can begin working towards meeting them.

Most states require that applicants for a nail technician license complete a training program at an accredited school. The length of the program may vary from state to state, but most programs can be completed in six to eight months. In some states, you may also be required to take an examination before you can be licensed.

After completing your training and passing any required examinations, you will then need to submit an application for licensure to your state’s licensing board. The application will likely include a fee, as well as any other required documentation. Once your application has been reviewed and approved, you will be issued a license and will be able to begin practicing as a licensed nail technician.

Step Two: Complete a Nail Technician Program

The second step to becoming a licensed nail technician is to complete a nail technician program. One of the benefits of attending a trade school is that they often offer comprehensive programs that will give you the skills and knowledge necessary to obtain your license. Many of these programs can be completed in as little as six months, although longer programs are available if you want to further your education.

Once you’ve completed a nail technician program, you’ll be able to take the licensure exam in your state. Upon passing the exam, you’ll be able to obtain your official license and start working as a licensed nail technician.

Step Three: Pass the State Licensing Exam

After you have completed your training and taken the required continuing education courses, you will need to pass a state licensing exam in order to legally work as a nail technician. The requirements for the licensing exam vary from state to state, but they generally include a written test and a practical test.

The practical test will require you to demonstrate your skills in performing various nail treatments, such as manicures, pedicures, and acrylic nails. You will be given a list of specific tasks that you must complete during the test, and you will be judged on your ability to complete them accurately and in a timely manner.

The written test is typically multiple-choice and covers topics such as salon safety, state laws and regulations, infection control, and anatomy. Some states also require you to take an ethics examination.

Once you have passed the state licensing exam, you will be issued a license that must be renewed on a yearly basis. In most states, you will need to complete continuing education courses in order to renew your license.

Step Four: Start Your Own Business or Find a Job

After you have completed your schooling and passed your licensing exam, it’s time to start your career as a licensed nail technician! You can either start your own business or find a job at a salon. If you’re thinking of starting your own salon, there are a few things you need to do first, such as find a good location, get the proper business licenses, and purchase insurance. You will also need to purchase supplies and hire staff.

If you decide to work at an existing salon, you will need to find one that is hiring and that is a good fit for you. Once you have found a salon that you like, you will need to fill out a job application and go through the interview process. If you are hired, you will be expected to complete a training program before you can start working with customers.


After completing these five steps, you will be on your way to becoming a licensed nail technician! Once you receive your license, you will be able to work in salons, spas, or even open your own nail business. Along with regular salon responsibilities such as providing manicures and pedicures, you may also be responsible for teaching other nail techs in training. No matter where your career in the nail industry takes you, always remember to put safety first and to have a positive attitude—your clients will thank you for it!

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