How to Obtain Your Nail Tech License

Nail salons are a regular sight in most American towns and cities. Getting your nails done is a common practice for those who prioritize self-care.

However, providing nail services to customers requires specialized knowledge and skills, and in most places, individuals must obtain a license to offer these services to customers legally.

In this article, I’ll delve into the requirements for earning a nail technician license in the US, such as the educational and testing standards and any potential benefits of doing so.

Whether you are a nail technician or someone interested in having nail treatments, knowing the license criteria will help you make informed choices and ensure that you get high-quality, safe services. 

Why do Nail Care specialists Need Licenses?

Nail Care

Nail care is a popular personal grooming service that includes manicures, pedicures, and the usage of artificial nails. 

Although most people enjoy getting their nails done themselves, and if you’re interested in starting a career in the nail care sector, you might ask if you need a license. Generally speaking, the response is affirmative. 

Public protection is the primary justification for licensing nail care specialists. To provide nail care services, it is necessary to use some chemical substances and tools that could be harmful if not used properly. 

The use of these instruments and substances safely and correctly has been practiced by a licensed nail care specialist who has also completed training in this subject. 

In addition to ensuring that clients receive high-quality services, this lowers the danger of injury or infection.

Licensing regulations help govern the sector and ensure that all nail care specialists are held to a specific standard of expertise and quality in addition to protecting the public. 

Specific educational and training prerequisites and adherence to a code of ethics and professional conduct are included as licensing criteria.

What Kind of License is Necessary To Do Nails?

Depending on where you live, different types of licenses may be needed to do nails. For example, one requires a cosmetology license in most American states to offer nail care services. 

A state-approved cosmetology curriculum that includes instruction in several beauty services, such as hair, skin, and nails, must be completed to obtain a cosmetology license. In addition, you must pass a written and practical exam after finishing the program to get your license.

However, some states have special permits just for nail specialists. 

For instance, California’s manicurist license can be obtained specifically for nail care services. However, to become a manicurist in California, you must finish a state-approved curriculum and pass an exam.

How to Get a Nail Care License

Each state has its criteria for manicurists in the United States, sometimes known as nail technicians. Nevertheless, to legally provide nail services to customers, nail technicians must generally obtain a license. 

A nail technician license candidate must typically complete a state-approved training program and pass both written and practical exams. States may also have different standards for specific types of training. 

For instance, several states mandate that nail technicians finish a predetermined training time at an apprenticeship or school that has received government approval. 

In some states, nail technicians can complete their education through online classes or independent study. 

In addition to completing the training requirements, individuals who wish to become licensed nail technicians must also pass a written and practical exam. 

The exam often covers topics including nail anatomy and physiology, safety procedures, and how to utilize different nail products and treatments. After completing the necessary training and passing the test, the individual can apply for a nail tech license with the licensing body in their state. 

Candidates may further be required to submit for a background check and provide proof of their liability insurance in some jurisdictions.

One important thing to remember is that most states consider providing nail treatments without a license illegal. Unlicensed nail technicians risk getting punished and harming their clients if they are not adequately supervised and trained.

In addition to being required by law, the license benefits nail technicians in different ways. 

Licensed nail technicians are generally seen by clients as being more dependable and professional, which can lead to increased business and profits. 

Licensing for nail technicians can also make it feasible to gain access to resources like continuing education opportunities and other chances to advance one’s trade.

How Much Do Nail Techs Make and Is it Worth Getting a License?

Salaries for nail technicians can vary depending on several factors, and some vital factors are the technician’s location, experience, and type of employer. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median hourly wage for a nail technician was $ 14.97 as of 2022, with the highest 10% earning more than $ 21.72 per hour. However, some nail technicians, especially those who work in high-end salons or have their own businesses, can earn much more.

According to Ariana, a nail tech expert in Iowa, “I work about 7-9 hours a day, 4 days a week. I exclusively do acrylics and gel, each service is about 1.5 hours, and I make about $800-1200 a week.”

Getting a nail technician license can be a worthwhile investment if you have a passion for nail art and want to pursue it as a career. Besides learning the skills necessary to become a licensed nail technician, such as nail care, nail art, and sanitation, a nail technician program can also provide valuable information on how to manage a successful business; something many nail tech startups fail at.

Most importantly, having a license can provide credibility and give you access to job opportunities that are not available to unlicensed technicians.

To Round it All Up

Nail care is frequently subjected to meeting the licensing requirements to ensure that nail care specialists have the required training and have demonstrated their ability to perform safe and high-quality services. 

Where you live may also determine the specific requirements for licensing, but it includes completing a state-approved curriculum in nail care and passing both written and practical exams. 

Knowing the local laws that must be adhered to and obtaining and maintaining your nail care license are essential steps in providing reputable and legal nail care services.