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Online Nail Technician Certification & Certificate Program Info

Nail technician programs train students in the practical skills of performing manicures and pedicures, as well as the business skills necessary for running a salon. Most nail technician certificate programs don't offer online options, since classes require in-person application of nail care techniques. This article explains what limited online course options are available in nail technology.

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Essential Information

Because hands-on work on live models is central to nail technician training, certificate programs are generally not available online. However, a select few nail technician programs offer blended learning that combines online lectures with on-site practice. Many nail technician programs provide students with the approved training hours needed to sit for the licensing exam, but individuals may want to check with their state to make sure their program fulfills requirements. Students can expect to learn about nail care, as well as other beauty procedures like facials and massages.

Related Program Options

Students can find training programs in several other beauty fields. Many of these programs, however, must also be completed on campus. Options include:

  • Cosmetology
  • Barbering and hair styling
  • Esthetician technology

Overview of Nail Technician Certificate Programs

Most nail technician certificate programs are available through cosmetology schools and community or technical colleges. Students should look into licensing requirements for the state in which they wish to enroll in a program. Some programs meet licensing requirements, so students can seek employment directly upon completion of the certificate program. However, students may have to complete the necessary licensing examinations upon completion of a program if it does meet licensing requirements.

Program Information and Requirements

Nail technician certificate programs typically emphasize proper training in safety, sanitization, skin and nail care, laws and regulations and nail diseases and disorders. Students will gain knowledge needed to work professionally in the field. Certificate programs in the field typically take one semester to complete. Programs also tend to cover topics in management, retail, sales and public relations in order to provide students with some of the necessary components needed to work in, or run, a salon.

Common Coursework for Nail Technician Certificate Programs

Students will learn techniques in manicuring and pedicuring, as well as management techniques used for the business aspect of working in a salon. Coursework covers topics including everything from nail product chemistry to hand and foot anatomy and physiology.

Manicuring and Pedicuring Course

This course teaches students manicuring and pedicuring techniques, providing live models for them to work on. Students will learn proper safety precautions, as well as different nail diseases and disorders they may face.

Salon Management Course

This course explores management skills and techniques needed in opening and operating a salon. Students study topics in business management, sales and staffing.

Nail Care Course

Students learn more advanced techniques in manicuring and pedicuring required for licensure. Work is done on live models and in actual occupational settings.

Career Information for Graduates

Many people who earn a nail technician certificate go on to work as manicurists and pedicurists. As of May 2009, the average annual wage for someone working in the field was $22,150, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics ( The BLS reported that between 2008 and 2018, job opportunities in the field of cosmetology are expected to grow by 20%.

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