How Long Does It Take to Become a Nail Technician?

How long does it take to become a licensed nail technician?
The average time it takes to complete a nail technician program is about six months, but this varies based on the type of program you choose.

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Short-Term Programs

Although some programs can be completed in as little as four weeks, most short-term nail technician programs last between six and eight weeks. These programs provide students with the basic skills and knowledge needed to become entry-level nail technicians.


If you decide to pursue a career as a nail technician, you’ll need to complete a certification program. These programs can last anywhere from four weeks to six months, depending on the requirements of your state.

During your program, you’ll learn about infection control, manicures and pedicures, nail disorders and how to apply artificial nails. You’ll also have the opportunity to develop your skills by working on real clients in a salon setting.

Once you’ve completed your program and passed the required exams, you’ll be ready to start your career as a professional nail technician!


All states require nail technicians to have a license. To get a license, you will need to complete a cosmetology or nail technician program at a school that has been approved by your state’s board of cosmetology.

The length of time it takes to become a licensed nail technician varies by state and program, but most programs can be completed in about six months. Once you have completed your program and passed your state’s licensing exam, you will be ready to start working as a professional nail technician!

Long-Term Programs

Long-term programs to become a licensed nail technician usually take about six months to complete. These programs offer comprehensive training in all aspects of nail care, including manicures, pedicures, artificial nails, and nail art.

Associate’s Degree

An associate’s degree in nail technician usually takes two years to complete if you attend school full-time. This type of program is typically offered at community colleges and technical schools. During your course of study, you’ll likely take courses in anatomy and physiology, product knowledge, nail care, salon management and ethics. Many programs also require that you complete a certain number of hours working in a salon so that you can gain experience.

Bachelor’s Degree

Most bachelor’s degree programs take four years to complete, although some programs may be shorter or longer depending on the school and the program. During your four years, you’ll take classes in a variety of subjects, including English, math, science, and history. You’ll also take classes specifically related to your chosen field of study, such as nail care, anatomy, and physiology. In addition to taking classes, you’ll also have to complete a practical internship in order to graduate.

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