While most programs are part of certificate programs, associate degree programs in cosmetology also include some coursework in nail care and are suitable for individuals who also want to provide skin care and hair styling services. Depending on the state, individuals completing the training usually need licensure in order to practice as nail technicians or general cosmetologists. Those in an associate program in cosmetology complete additional coursework in haircutting, hair coloring, skin care and hairstyling.
Common topics covered in these courses are:
- Manicures and pedicures
- Infection control
- Ethics of business management
- Salon operation
- Licensing requirements
Both nail technician and cosmetology programs usually include hands-on training working with clients at a salon. Individual courses also include labs that teach students to perform various nail care services, and in the case of cosmetology programs, hair and skin care services as well.
List of Nail Technician Courses
Safety and Sanitation
A nail technician works with tools to file, clean and cut nails on a people's hands and feet. As such, a safety and sanitation course is a one of the key parts of a nail technician program. This course provides techniques for proper sanitization and cleaning of tools and work stations. This class may also cover state regulations for sanitary work space and tools when necessary.
A manicure is the process of taking care of someone's nails and hands. This can be done through massage, trimming and shaping the nails and cuticles around the finger nails. A manicure course covers basic manicure techniques of nail cutting and filing. Additional topics may be covered to discuss spa manicures, paraffin baths, arm and hand massage, and hot oil manicures. This is a course taught by lecture and applied learning.
A pedicure is the process of taking care of someone's feet through massage and nail shaping. Similar to a manicure course, a pedicure course covers topics in basic pedicure techniques. Specific areas of study include foot massage, spa pedicures, feet wraps and paraffin baths. This is a course taught by lecture and hands-on practice.
Tips, Fill-ins and Repairs
Classes in this category teach students to work with artificial nails, specifically acrylic nails. Students learn how to apply acrylic nails on top of the natural nail bed or nail tip. As a part of this process, students also learn how to fill in the area between the real and artificial nail so that it appears blended. This course also covers topics in how to properly remove artificial nails or fix natural nail cracks with artificial components. This is a course that provides hands-on learning and practice.
Nail Art, Paraffin and Aromatherapy
It is typical for a nail technician program to offer some of these areas of study as additional options. Nail art is the process of using polish, paint and other decorative elements on the nails. Paraffin treatments are used in both manicures and pedicures and consist of using hot paraffin to improve the skin or as therapy for conditions such as arthritis. Some nail technician programs will even offer topics in aromatherapy, reflexology or massage.