How to Get a Nail Technician License

The first step in obtaining a nail technician license is to enroll at a cosmetologist or nail technician school. Before actually enrolling in a nail technician school, make sure the school is accredited and produces good results for students. You should do some preliminary research on a cosmetologist school before paying any enrollment fees and signing up for classes.

Consider which type of nail technician school is right for you. Some schools offer night and part-time classes, while others are full-time day school programs. Figure out the placement statistics of the different cosmetologist schools on your list. Do graduates go on to find employment upon graduation? Figure out whether students have time to work on the “public floor” of the school and can attract clients in the area. If a nail tech school is not attracting clients, then there are likely issues and reasons for the lack of clients. Nail tech schools tend to attract many people in any given day who seek the services of students. You may want to inquire about any scholarship or financial aid programs offered at nail tech schools.

After picking a program, you will then have to figure out how many hours are required for graduation. The hours can vary from 300 to 600. During this time, you will gain experience in working with the nails of professionals, volunteers, and even the general public. You should also check what the actual requirements are for the particular state in which you seek to be licensed. In the state of Michigan, for example, a nail technician must have 400 hours of experience. In addition to this experience, he or she must also pass a written and practical exam administered by the Board of Barbering and Cosmetology in Michigan.

If you have met all of these requirements and passed your cosmetology classes, then you will be eligible to sign up for one of the written and practical exams in your state. Pick an exam date that is four to eight weeks ahead of the actual exam date. It will take the Board at least this much time to read through your documentation and ensure everything is correct.

Do not stress about the practical exam. The best way to prepare for this portion is to simply practice. The Board wants to see that you understand proper sanitation techniques, as well as set-up of equipment. In addition, the Board will also consider the performance and preparatory skills you have in giving a manicure or pedicure.

You will then know whether you passed and obtained your license within five business days. Your license will be sent in the mail to you. Otherwise, you can retake the exam on a new date.


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