Online Schools for Manicurists: How to Choose

Learn about important considerations when selecting an online manicurist school. Keep reading to get an overview of the program options, hands-on factors, and common topics offered for the field of study.

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For those new to the industry, online manicurist schools are rare because of the need for in-person training. It may be possible to find hybrid programs for newcomers, and those already in the industry might have more luck finding a program online.

How to Select an Online Manicurist School

Students considering online manicurist schools must make their decision based on several key factors. Manicurists are responsible for the health and appearance of a client's finger and toenails. Entry-level education programs for manicurists are very rarely available online, although related hybrid programs are offered by select colleges. Students will then need to weigh licensing with the program type.

Program Type and Availability

Accredited entry-level education programs for aspiring manicurists and other cosmetology professionals are available online from a limited number of institutions. Normally, manicurists must complete a hands-on education program offered by a traditional education institution prior to seeking state licensure and gaining employment. However, students who already work at nail salons as apprentices may have the option to attend courses online that prepare them for state licensure. There are also a few nail care technician certificate, cosmetology diploma and cosmetology associate degree programs that are available in a partially online format; these programs all include classes relevant to prospective manicurists.

Cosmetology Licensing

Manicurists must seek licensure as cosmetologists or nail technicians by the state in which they will practice. Prospective students may wish to look for programs that meet the educational requirements for the state in which they are based. Some schools also offer courses specifically to prepare students for the state exam.

Online Education Programs for Manicurists

Online Nail Technician Certificate Program

Typically offered through a combination of online and in-person classes, this certificate program covers all topics needed to prepare for the state written and skills exams needed for licensure. Coursework addresses techniques in:

  • Cleaning and shaping nails
  • Massaging hands and feet
  • Applying polish
  • Salon preparation

Online Associate of Applied Science in Cosmetology

Online cosmetology programs are appropriate for a number of professions, including manicurists. This program is available in a partially online form, meaning some classes and training are complete through the Internet, but additional classes and hands-on training must be done on campus. Common courses include:

  • Anatomy and physiology for cosmetologists
  • Chemical control
  • Hairstyling and design
  • Salon preparation
  • Preclinic skin and hair care

Online Nail Technician Apprenticeship Program

Online apprenticeship programs are also available for manicurists who are already working for a nail salon. These programs require students to complete work both online and from textbooks and may require communication with students' employers. The courses prepare students for the state licensure exam. Topics include:

  • Salon procedures
  • Manicure techniques
  • Makeup applications
  • Skin disease identification

Schools with Online Manicurist Programs

Universal Class offers a self-paced course titled How to Manicure. The course teaches nail health, home manicure and pedicure techniques, and the proper identification of organic nail lotions and potions. It takes approximately six months to complete and has an option for a certificate at the completion of the program.

Minnesota State Community and Technical College has a cosmetology continuing education course that allows you to renew your license in-state. The online course is entirely self-paced and students have one week to complete it. Each individual will be responsible for submitting their verification of completion upon applying for a renewal of their license.

Online manicure classes are difficult to come by at traditional schools. Virtual courses through dedicated beauty schools offer an alternative to attending traditional cosmetology classes, as do online continuing education classes for current licensees.

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