Acrylic Nail Technician School and Course Information

Acrylic nail technicians offer manicures, pedicures and maintenance services. A number of public and private schools offer certificate programs in nail technology and associate's degree programs in cosmetology.

How to Choose an Acrylic Nail Technician School

Acrylic nail technician jobs require certification or licensure, so students must check with their particular state to make sure that their nail technology or cosmetology program complies with licensure requirements in their area. Certificate and associate's degree programs can be taken through the professional departments at community colleges, career institutes and technical colleges.

Summary of Important Considerations

  • Study options
  • Flexible study
  • School resources
  • Accreditation

Study Options

A certificate program in nail technology can allow individuals to gain a basic knowledge of the industry and qualify for entry-level positions. An associate degree program in cosmetology trains those looking for a broad education in salon services to provide more postgraduate career opportunities.

Flexible Study

Working professionals may benefit from enrolling in schools that offer online and distance-learning programs. Other schools may also provide weekend and evening classes. Programs with smaller class sizes or multiple teachers generally ensure that students receive enough personal instruction.

School Resources

Important considerations for some aspiring acrylic nail technicians may include access to clinical facilities and instruction with current technology and equipment. Applicants may want to look for programs that offer specialized courses in acrylics to align with their career goals. Students also may find schools with career services that help to identify employment objectives and offer placement assistance.


It is recommended that students verify that a school's program is accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting body, and some employers may seek specific accreditation, such as that provided by the National Accrediting Commission of Cosmetology Arts and Sciences.

Overview of Acrylic Nail Technician Programs

Nail Technician Certificate

Nail technician certificate programs prepare students for entry-level careers as acrylic nail technicians. These programs typically include hands-on clinical work and testing in which technicians must demonstrate the correct procedures for acrylic application, sculpting and removal. A number of certificate programs offer courses focused on:

  • Acrylic sculpture
  • Regular fills
  • Back fills
  • Nail wraps

Associate Degree in Cosmetology

An associate degree program in cosmetology offers interdisciplinary education to expand a student's knowledge in hair, skin and nail treatments. Students learn hair cutting, styling and coloring techniques, as well as skin care and how to perform facials. Coursework in nail care may include:

  • Acrylic composition
  • Nail maintenance and repair
  • Customer consultation methods
  • Record keeping
  • Salon safety

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