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How Much for Nail Tech School?

John McKinney    |
John McKinney

Ever thought about being a nail tech?

Nail technicians are all about cleaning and decorating their clients' fingernails or toenails. Becoming a nail technician usually requires completing a state-approved cosmetology program and then passing a licensing exam.

But have you ever wonder how much does a nail technician school cost?

A nail tech's (also called manicurists or pedicurists) job is not easy. Nail treatment is a growing industry, with that being said, it should offer better than average employment opportunities in the years to come. 

The demand for nail technicians is expected growth is 17% until 2020.

The reason for the growth is multifold: more men are seeking nail treatments, nail technicians are performing house calls, and there are an increasing number of nail salons in big and small communities. All these reasons contribute to the good job prospects for aspiring nail techs.

Even in spas, there are a variety of specialists, from massage therapists and skincare professionals to skilled nail service technicians.

Nail techs aren't just utilized at health clubs; they work at salons, airports, and even cruise ships.      

Training Options

You can learn nail tech as a part-time or full-time student on a state-approved training program or apprenticeship program.

State-approved training

Cosmetology or beauty school or local college may offer training programs to teach both the ideas you need to understand and practical work. Make sure the application is approved by NACCAS (the National Accrediting Commission of Cosmetology Arts and Sciences). 

Apprenticeship programs

These are taught in accredited nail salons. You will learn from experienced nail technicians. They will show you the techniques and knowledge you need to know until you can work with customers for hands-on training.

Because nail tech requires a lot of practical work, you can't do all your training online. Some courses are taught partially online – for example, you might learn nail care theory and nail health online but then come into a campus for practical sessions.

Nail Technology School Average Costs

The nail tech training programs cost $3,000 to $10,000, which is according to the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS). Many applications, however, average $1,000 to $5,000 (including tuition, fees, books, and supplies). 

The application fee is usually $100. Some programs tuition fees about $2,400, and the kit, equipment, textbook, and supplies cost $1,478.

The actual cost depends on the number of program hours and the curriculum. More expensive programs tend to include business training.

How long does it take to be certified?

Nail technician programs' average number of hours will be from 300 to 600 to complete. A nail tech program between three to nine months, depending on your ability to attend school part- or full-time.

Each state sets its standards when it comes to the hours required to complete a certificate. Most require 1,500 hours, but New York and Massachusetts, need only 1,000. Iowa requires 2,100.

The number of required hours is different, but all need practice with paying customers. 

The schools are getting paid in 2 ways.

Financial Aid 

If you wish to pursue a nail technician training but don't have the funds for it, you can apply for government-approved loans and grants.


Some salons work the students do while in school. They spend some time in classrooms learning, but once they've complete several hours, they start working on real clients in salons run by the schools. 

Nail Technician License

To get your nail technician certificate, you should know that most of the states required age to be at least 16 years old, GED or high school diploma, and graduate from state-approved training or apprenticeship program. 

You should complete a minimum number of hours of practical experience and pass a state board exam or National Institute of Cosmetology exam, or meet the state's requirements for apprenticeship hours.

Every state has different requirements for certification. Connecticut, for example, doesn't have any licensing requirements for nail technicians, while Florida and Illinois, don't require passing an exam. It depends on your state, please consult your local regulations for specific information.

To apply for a nail technician license, you must complete the form and pay for the license fee. You can do it online or at the local government office. The cost is also different from each state.

License renewal is required every two years by most states and costs $25 to $100.

Salary of a Nail Technician

In the United States,s the average salary of a Medical Nail Technician is $22,958. It range between $20,286 and $26,467. It depends on many important factors, including education, certifications, additional skills, the number of years you have spent in your profession. 

Some nail technicians operate their businesses. A Nail Technician at Self Employed earns an average ranging from $36,536 to $46,060.

The bottom line of being a nail tech

The things you need to know to start learning in a nail technician training programs are caring for the customer's hands and feet and recognizing a problem that requires medical attention. Using tools and chemicals is part of your job so that is being thought in a nail technician program.

If you enjoy making others look and feel beautiful, this is an ideal job for you. 

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