How a Nail Tech License Can Nail a Brilliant Career
Simply stated, nail art has evolved and so has today’s nail technician. Consider the market’s demand for professionals with a license to lacquer. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of manicurists and pedicurists is projected to grow 9 percent from 2022 to 2032. And that’s only the job demand data! There is also the self-expression and creativity that comes with a career in the nail arts.
Texture, extensions, three-dimensional effects . . . these are only a few of the special effects and enhancing techniques that are taking the art, science and business of professional nails to new lengths. Of course, nail techs who have mastered the classic pedicure and manicure are still sought professionals as well. Whether you dream of creating fashion forward nails to rock the runway or imagine working in an elite nail salon or even owning your own small business as a nail technician, the first step is enrolling in a nail education program.
Understanding Nail Technician Certification
If “doing nails” is an art, why is a license required? Certification as a nail tech professional is not only a legal requirement; it’s a testament to customers that you have demonstrated your skills and knowledge to earn nail tech certification.
Licensing and Certification Requirements
While state board license requirements vary by state, the first step for most nail techs in the United States is to enroll in a nail tech program. A good nail program will prepare you to take the state board exam – including the written exam. It will also provide you with the nail design basics that serve as the foundation for a career as a licensed nail technician.
Nail Technician Education and Training
How do you go about obtaining a nail tech license? As noted above, requirements vary by state, the first step is to enroll in a nail program. When selecting a school, there are several best practices that can help you make the right choice. Here is a checklist, including some questions to ask when evaluating a nail program:
- Be sure to ask about the credentials of the educators. Have they won any industry awards?
- Can you see their work on Instagram, Pinterest, TikTok and other media sites?
- And just as importantly, can the school tell you about the success of its student?
- Does the school encourage students to compete in contests?
- What scholarships are available?
- Is there an opportunity to secure advanced education as your nail tech career takes off?
- Will the school help you develop business skills such as booking and rebooking clients, networking and securing referrals?
- Does the school offer guidance on building a social media presence and marketing your nail tech services?
- Are courses available in the evening?
- What kinds of financial aid are available and how do I sure it?
- What industry experts/companies do you partner with?
- How will the school prepare you to pass the state cosmetology board written exam?
- Can I see the spa where I will glean “hands-on” experience?
Beyond the Base Coat
Becoming a licensed nail tech involves much more than perfecting a polish or finessing the art and science of acrylics. However, there are some “basics” that serve as the foundational background of a nail education program. The 350-hour nail program at Bellus Academy provides a good example of a solid core curriculum.
Here’s a look at the core curriculum for the nail technology program at Bellus Academy.
The educational structure is designed to deliver in-depth and hands-on technical training that extends far beyond the basics of manicuring. Students receive training in essential and advanced spa treatments. This spa bootcamp prepares graduates to work in elite spas from the moment they earn their license.
Students learn to perform core services including manicures and pedicures, acrylics and gel, aromatherapy, and reflexology. Students also complete coursework that includes training in infection control and equipment safety, plus relevant state laws. While this section of the curriculum isn’t glamorous, it does provider essential learning required to pass the written exam administered by the state board.
It has been said that you’re judged by the company you keep. Bellus Academy has a professional brand partnership with OPI, a brand recognized as an industry trailblazer. The relationships with influencers shaping the industry ensures that students learn the most on-trend innovations, advanced techniques and evolving beauty trends.
The course curriculum includes
- Basic to advanced manicures and pedicures, acrylics, gel, and other specialized techniques
- The essentials of spa nail protocols including aromatherapy-, e-file training, nail artistry techniques and advanced nail sculpting
- The opportunity to work in a sophisticated student spa with discerning clients
- Assistance with job search, interviewing and state board prep
The importance of practical experience cannot be overstated. Knowing how to deliver an exceptional client service time and again is essential to retaining and growing a client base. Working in a student salon provides an opportunity for students to practice the “soft skills” of a nail career. Making clients feel listened to, pampered and cared for is a skill set that simply can’t be taught in a textbook. Helping your clients dial down the stress is priceless! Providing services under the supervision of a licensed nail technician while still in school helps students develop the confidence to engage with clients in high-end salons after completing their program.
Top Coat Conclusions
Just as a beautiful nail treatment is rooted in proper preparation, carefully chosen materials and knowledgeable professionals, so are the careers of successful nail professionals. Investing in an education that will provide the foundation for future growth can put you on the fast-track to success. Committing to a course of study, dedicating yourself to mastering the curriculum, practicing in the student salon and preparing for the state exam are all part and parcel of earning certification.
With a nail tech license in hand, you can create a polished career path as a nail artist, brand ambassador, educator or business owner. The possibilities are as limitless as the spectrum of colors and embellishments you’ll work with as you put beauty at your client’s fingertips!
Ready to take the next step on your journey toward nailing your future as a licensed nail professional? Contact Bellus Academy today.