Most pedicure courses are offered at technical or community colleges, vocational schools or beauty schools. Nail technician certificate programs can be completed in just a few months and prepare students to do manicures, pedicures and some types of massages. Cosmetology degree programs can last up to two years and provide instruction in nail care, hair procedures, skin care and makeup.
Both types of programs include some practical experience in a salon setting in addition to classroom lab practice. Nail technicians and cosmetologists both need to obtain licensure in most states. Individuals also must have earned a high school diploma and be 16 years or older to get licensed.
You can expect to study the following topics in your classes and labs:
- Toenail diseases
- Foot anatomy
List of Courses
Pedicure Procedure Course
Students learn each step of giving a pedicure through a combination of lectures and hands-on training. Students clean, smooth and massage feet and then learn to shape toenails. Techniques for shaping nails include cutting and filing. Painting toenails with colored polish is covered. This course can be completed after health and safety courses have been completed.
Techniques and Artistry Course
The final step in a pedicure is the polish and decoration of the toenails. This course in pedicure artistry and techniques covers polishing, painting, stenciling, airbrushing and other nail art. Creating a finished look with stick-on gems is demonstrated. This course is one of the last courses taken in a nail technician program.
Artificial Nail Course
An artificial nail course usually covers both manicures and pedicures. Students learn to apply and sculpt acrylic nails. Artificial nails are usually used on fingernails but are available for toenails as well. The emphasis of the course is on accurate preparation of water and acrylic nail powder to form and mold a natural looking nail. Students learn to fill broken toenails with acrylic powder. Paste-on acrylic nail application and removal are demonstrated in this course.
Safety and Sanitation Course
Each state has regulations for pedicure safety and sanitation in order to prevent the spread of bacteria and reduce the risk of infection. In this course, students learn their legal obligation for disinfecting and sterilizing reusable metal tools, such as nail files, and for cleaning foot washing bowls. Safe use procedures for pedicure equipment, detergent and disinfectant are reviewed. A safety and sanitation course is required for all pedicure students and is usually taken at the beginning of a program.
Healthy Nails Course
Pedicurists look for potential infections or problems with clients' feet before they begin any pedicure services. In this course pedicurists learn the anatomy of the foot and common toenail diseases and infections. This course is a prerequisite for all other pedicure courses and may be taken concurrently with a pedicure safety course.