Nail Tech: How to Become a Nail Tech

Published Nov 04, 2009

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Nail technicians provide pampering, care and styling for fingernails and toenails. These nail care professionals learn their trade by completing a degree program in cosmetology or a nail technician certificate program. Continue reading to learn more about how to become a nail tech.

Nail Tech Career Overview

Manicurists and pedicurists work in salons, spas, high-end department stores, hotels and resorts. Oftentimes, they own their own businesses. These nail tech professionals cater to women and men who demand quality care for their nails.

Nail techs clean, moisturize, file and shape fingernails and toenails. They also polish nails and create decorative styles as requested. Successful nail techs keep their work spaces and tools clean, sanitary and disinfected. They may complete an accredited cosmetology degree program or a nail tech certification program. No matter which program they choose, all nail techs must be licensed by their state.

Education Required to Become a Nail Tech

Nail tech certification programs are offered at career and vocational schools and community colleges. These programs educate students about nail care, sanitation equipment, nail beautification techniques and nail disorders and diseases. Students also study acrylic nail applications, wraps and fiberglass nail applications, nail art and airbrushed nail designs. Certificate programs take a few months to complete and prepare students to sit for the state-mandated licensing examination.

Cosmetology degree programs also include manicure and pedicure courses that prepare students to become nail techs. However, this degree program also trains individuals to cut and style hair, offer skin care treatments and products and other personal services, such as waxing and tanning. A cosmetology degree program lasts approximately two years and is available at many community and vocational colleges. Graduates are prepared to sit for all necessary nail tech licensing examinations, as well as additional cosmetology licensing exams.

Certifications Required to Become a Nail Tech

Nail techs are required to be licensed by the state in which they practice. Each state differs in their licensing requirements. Most states require completion of an examination open to professionals who have completed a certification or degree program for nail technicians. Upon successful passage of the exam, nail techs are permitted to offer nail care services to clients.

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