Manicure Technician Training Programs and Requirements

Completion of a cosmetology-training program and state licensure are required in order to become a manicurist. Manicure technician training programs teach students manicure, pedicure and sometimes additional cosmetology techniques.

Essential Information

A cosmetology certificate program teaches students how to safely provide beauty services. Programs allow students to practice hairstyling, haircutting, make-up application and nail services in beauty labs. Many programs allow students to provide services for clients who visit the school.

  • Program Levels in Manicure Technician Training: Certificate, associate's degree
  • Prerequisites: High school diplomas or GED equivalent
  • Program Length: 1-2 semesters
  • Other Requirements: Hands-on training

Cosmetology Certificate

These certificate programs are commonly available at community colleges, technical schools and beauty academies. Programs typically include courses in the following:

  • Cosmetology theory
  • Haircutting and hairstyling
  • Customer service practices
  • Safety and sanitation
  • Manicures and pedicures
  • Business of beauty services

Employment Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the projected employment rate for manicurists and pedicurists is 16%, faster than the national average for all occupations. The median salary for manicurists and pedicurists was $19,620 in May 2014.

Salons, resorts and day spas generally require manicure technicians to have at least two years of experience. Entry-level opportunities may be available for manicurists with less than two years of experience, though employees are expected to be proficient in nail services prior to employment. To gain experience, manicurists often offer services to clients through self-employment.

Continuing Education

America's Beauty Network provides online workshops for manicurists, as well as home-study courses that provide manicurists with distinct lesson plans and quizzes. These workshops focus on manicure practices, pedicure practices and marketing skills for manicurists. Although workshops are available to all manicure technicians, members of America's Beauty Network receive generous discounts.

To learn more about the industry and strengthen career opportunities, manicure technicians can seek membership with the International Nail Technicians Association (INTA). The INTA is a network sponsored by America's Beauty Network. Membership to the organization provides manicurists with monthly newsletters, discounts on manicure and pedicure supplies, career and networking information, subscription to Nailpro magazine and admission to beauty trade shows. The INTA also provides continuing education credits and scholarship opportunities to qualified manicure technicians.

Manicurists can also develop professionally by adding additional skills to their repertoires. Manicurists who can perform hairstyling, haircutting, shampooing and skin care services often experience greater career opportunities.

Manicure and Pedicure License

Manicure technicians are considered to be cosmetologists and are therefore required to be licensed. In most states, manicure licensure is different than general cosmetology licensure. To obtain manicure and pedicure licensure, manicure technicians must complete state-accredited programs and pass exams that address nail services and safe practices. Exams test manicurists' technical knowledge and practical cosmetology skills.

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