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.

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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.

10 Schools with Acrylic Nail Technician Programs

Cosmetology programs are widely available at schools across the country. These are a list of schools, all of which are 2-year public institutions, that offer programs suitable for future acrylic nail technicians:

College/University Location Institution Type Programs Offered* Undergraduate Tuition (2015-2016)**
Harford Community College Bel Air, MD 2-year, Public Certificate $5,429 in-state, $7,517 out-of-state
Ashville-Buncombe Technical Community College Asheville, NC 2-year, Public 0-1 year certificate $2,419 in-state, $8,563 out-of-state
Wallace Community College Dothan, AL 2-year, Public 1-2 year certificate $4,260 in-state, $7,710 out-of-state
Meridian Community College Meridian, MS 2-year, Public 1-2 year certificate $2,430 in-state, $3,730 out-of-state
Brunswick Community College Bolivia, NC 2-year, Public 0-1 year certificate $2,404 in-state, $8,548 out-of-state
Chattanooga State Community College Chattanooga, TN 0-1 year certificate 2-year, Public $3,973 in-state, $15,373 out-of-state
Edgecombe Community College Tarboro, NC 2-year, Public 0-1 year certificate $2,376 in-state, $8,520 out-of-state
Dodge City Community College Dodge City, KS 2-year, Public 0-1 year certificate $2,850 in-state, $3,150 out-of-state
Nash Community College Rocky Mount, NC 2-year, Public 0-1 year certificate $2,504 in-state, $8,648 out-of-state
Savannah Technical College Savannah, GA 2-year, Public 0-1 year certificate $2,654 in-state, $4,790 out-of-state

Source: *School websites, **National Center for Education Statistics

School Selection Criteria

The following are a list of considerations that students should factor in when applying to acrylic nail technician programs:

  • Working professionals may benefit from enrolling in schools that offer online and distance-learning programs, or that provide weekend and evening classes.
  • School resources for aspiring acrylic nail technicians should include access to clinical facilities and instruction with current technology and equipment.
  • It is recommended that students verify that a school's program is accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting body, such as the National Accrediting Commission of Cosmetology Arts and Sciences.
  • Students looking to transfer from a certificate program to an associate program after graduating should ensure their credits are transferable to the program of their choice.

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.

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.

Over the course of a cosmetology or nail technician program, students will learn about different techniques and safety standards for a variety of products, including how to properly apply and care for acrylic nails. Graduates of these programs will need to ensure that they meet all relevant state licensure requirements before working as acrylic nail technicians.

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