How Long is Nail Tech School? 3 Important Things to Consider

Mar 3, 2022

How long is nail tech school? Nail technicians are highly skilled professionals who have what it takes to pamper their client’s hands and nails safely. These aren’t skills that nail techs learn all on their own, however — even the most talented nail technicians have to start someplace. That place is Nail Technician School. 


If you’re passionate about nail art, cuticle care, and hand health, then you’d probably love being a nail tech. Did you know that most places require you to have a license to join this career path? If you want this license, you must pass a state licensing exam. 


Before you can even apply to take this exam, though, you must take a nail tech training course and put in the mandatory practice hours. Going through these training courses will help you build the skills, knowledge, and confidence needed to become a top-notch nail technician. Here’s what you need to know before diving in.

1. What Does it Mean to be a Nail Technician?

A nail technician specializes in nail art, but being a nail technician means so much more. Nail technicians are passionate about their jobs and enjoy giving people quality nail designs and keeping their nails, cuticles, and hands healthy. Nail techs use their creativity to produce unique designs for their clients. They might also use their discretion to determine clients’ needs, including nail trimming, cuticle shaping, and nail buffing. 

2. How to Become a Nail Tech

It can seem hard to get started, but if you’ve got drive, dedication, and complete all the steps, you’ll find yourself with many career opportunities ahead of you. 


The first step to becoming a nail technician is to be at least 15 years of age (17 in some states). You must have either a GED (general education diploma) or a high school diploma. You must decide between taking a designated nail technician course or getting an associate’s degree in general cosmetology. 

What Do Nail Technician Courses Look Like?

Nail technician courses will teach you many valuable skills and help you obtain vital industry knowledge. You will first learn how to do the essential things, including basic cutting, filing, shaping, and polish application. You will also learn how to safely use your nail technician tools pretty early to minimize the risk of harming yourself or others. 


You may also learn how to shape nails, creatively design unique patterns and nail art, and apply artificial nails. By the end of the course, you should be able to identify the difference between a healthy hand and one that needs some work, and determine which procedures a client needs.

Taking the Exam and Getting a License

After you go through roughly 600 hours of nail technician training, you may apply to take the state licensing exam. Passing this test is crucial to becoming a nail tech because you can’t start a practice without it. 


Many states require you to take a written exam, then a practical exam in which you exhibit the talents and skills you acquired in the course. Many places also allow you to take the examination several times if you fail, so there’s no need to worry. The application fee should be around $60, and you must renew your license every two years. 

Is it Hard to Get a Job as a Nail Tech?

As of now, there are an estimated 18,800 annual job openings for manicurists and pedicurists. It’s one of the most in-demand jobs of late, and professionals believe that the employment rate will increase by 33% over the next decade. The average nail tech makes around $15,000 to $18,00 annually, and there is plenty of opportunity to go around.

3. How Long is Nail Tech School?

Many beauty courses require 1500 hours to complete before you can begin working on nails. That could take you much more than a year to complete. But what if you don’t want to become a cosmetologist just to work on nails? We’ve got you covered. We’re one of the only schools in our area that offer manicuring as an independent course, meaning that you‘ll only have to go through the education relevant to getting your dream job. 


Chattanooga College offers a program that focuses just on nails, so you only need 600 hours of work to graduate. This streamlined process means less time until graduation: only 9 months, instead of a year or more. That’s right – in less than a year, you could be setting your own hours, taking control of your income, and maybe even starting your own salon! It’s all possible as a nail technician when you join Chattanooga College.


We understand the importance of joining a career you’re passionate about with duties that you love. That’s why we’re here to help you get the education you need to feel confident in your abilities and ace that state license exam. Talk to one of our advisors today!