Do I Need to Get Licensed in Order to Do Nails or Become a Nail Technician?

Is it important to go to school in order to perform nail services in California? We get this question a lot from aspiring manicurist and would-be nail salon owners. The answer is a resounding YES! The truth is, getting your nail technician license is often vital to a successful career as a nail technician or professional manicurist.

Why Cosmetology Training Matters to Manicurists and Nail Technicians

The all-encompassing field of cosmetology is changing at a rapid pace. We’re light years from where we were in even the last decade or so, and you’ve probably taken notice.

Between the growing number of nail salons popping up and building their brand, the steady growth of large and small boutique nail polish brands, and the celebrity nail craze, it’s hard to miss! Now, more than ever, nails and nail art are on the forefront of popular culture and the number of people seeking professional nail services and custom manicures is increasing exponentially.

nail technicians performing services in a nail salon

That said, what separates the average home-trained or self-taught nail technician or manicurist from one that is state-certified and has passed the cosmetology state licensing exam? One of the first things people in the nail and beauty industry will want to know is where you went to school and received your training. The cosmetology school you attend can profoundly affect both your initial jump into the nail and beauty industry as well as your continued growth and development as a reputable nail technician.

What Will I Gain By Going to School to Becoming Licensed?

If you want to do nails professionally, graduating from a professional cosmetology school can give you the advantage of developing fundamental and creative manicuring skills that you can transfer to your day-to-day career when it’s time to seek employment or launch your business.

Most professional nail salons, high-end clientele, cruise ships, and hotel spas simply won’t hire you if you’re not a board-certified cosmetologist. They have a professional reputation to upkeep and rarely will you find a salon or employer that’s willing to take the risk, especially if they are successful.

Sure, there are some nail technicians that fall through the cracks – those manicurists who either never got certified in cosmetology, or did not renew their license come time, but are those nail techs the ones you want to emulate? It’s often easier to foster success when you can prove that you’ve been certified as a professional in your industry.

As a nail technician, the sky is often the limit. As a manicurist or nail technician that is also a licensed cosmetologist, you can often choose your own hours, set your own rates, and also be free to travel, work on location, and meet people and see things you might not have gotten to otherwise!

manicurist sanding nails and performing nail art services

Many nail techs and professional manicurists choose to work at a salon, while others do freelance work or even perform outcalls to high-end clients or celebrities while on the road. All of this can be significantly easier to achieve once you’ve been licensed.

What are the Requirements to Become a Licensed Nail Technician in California?

Each state sets their own prerequisites that nail technician students must fulfill before they can be licensed. In California, a manicurist license requires a minimum of 400 clock hours.

After these basic educational prerequisites in your chosen field are fulfilled, you will then need to pass California’s Cosmetology Board exams which are offered in English, Spanish or Vietnamese for your convenience. This is where a lot of your education, training, and hands-on beauty school experience can help the most.

Why Colleen O’hara?

If you live in SoCal and you want to attend one of the largest, most well-known and well-facilitated nail technician schools in California, we invite you to visit us and schedule a tour at Colleen O’Hara’s Beauty Academy. We pride ourselves on allowing students to work in an intimate setting with small classroom sizes, hands-on training with real clients in a modern multi-level facility, and offering financial aid assistance for those who qualify.

Want to learn more about what it takes to become a nail technician in Orange County? Learn more HERE!

Get in touch with us here, or give us a call @ 833-841-4201 to learn more about starting your journey in the world of manicuring!