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

Many people who are thinking about becoming a professional manicurist or those seeking a career as a pro nail technician or nail salon owner often ask us if it’s actually important to go to school in order to become a nail technician in California. The answer is a resounding YES! Now we know what you’re thinking, you’re thinking “well, you’re a cosmetology school and so of course you’re going to want us to go there in order to prepare for the Cosmetology State Licensing Exam,” but the truth is, getting your nail technician license is often very 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 the 90’s and moving far and beyond from where were just a decade ago. You’ve probably taken notice too – the numerous one-off nail salons being built and becoming successful, the growth of large and small boutique nail polish brands and celebrities (and Internet celebrities) getting their nails done in crazy colors, garnished with trinkets and even jewelry… Now, more than ever, nails and the culture surrounding beautiful nails are on the forefront of popular culture and the number of people seeking professional nail services and custom manicures is increasing exponentially.

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 nail technician and professional manicurist training. The cosmetology school you attend will 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 Become a Licensed Nail Technician?

If you want to do nails professionally as a nail technician or professional manicurist, then graduating from a professional cosmetology school will only give you the advantage of having a set foundation of fundamental and creative manicure skills that you can transfer to your day-to-day career when it’s time to find a nail salon you want to work at, or opening your own nail business as well as attracting new clients.

Most professional nail salons, high-end clientele, cruise ships and hotel spas will simply not hire you if you’re not a board certified cosmetologist. They have a professional reputation to upkeep and retain 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? If being a successful nail technician is something you aspire to be, you’re going to want to get certified as a professional manicurist and eventually pass the cosmetology licensing exam before you start working.

As a nail technician within the cosmetology industry, there’s no ceiling to the amount of money you can make, the level of success you choose and design for yourself, or the level of nail and manicure clients and employers you choose to work with. As a manicurist or nail technician that is also a licensed cosmetologist, you can choose your own hours (given your work relationship with your employer or clientele), set your own pay, and you are free to travel, work on location and meet people and see things you would never have experienced if it wasn’t for your professional nail technician career – a career that started with going to school to become a certified and licensed cosmetologist.

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 even celebrities while on the road. Without the proper training, experience, credentials and licensing at a licensed cosmetology school, most of these nail technicians and manicurists would have never been given this opportunity. If you’re still wondering if it’s important to become a licensed cosmetologist in order to work as a nail technician or professional manicurist, hopefully you’re beginning to understand that it is almost vital, especially in California. Getting your cosmetology certification, beauty school diploma and state licensing is the only way to truly ensure that you meet the state’s legal requirements to practice your craft and perfect your art as a licensed nail technician in California.

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

Each state generally specifies their own set of prerequisites that nail technician students must fulfill before they can be deemed a licensed cosmetologist and begin working as a manicurist. In California, The California state Board of Cosmetology states that in order for California cosmetology students to become licensed as a nail technician practitioner they must attend a licensed beauty school and complete the minimum training hours set by the state which are 400 hours for a California Nail Technician license.

After these basic educational prerequisites in your chosen field are fulfilled, you will then need to pass the State of California’s Cosmetology Board exams which are offered in English, Spanish or Vietnamese for your convenience. This is where a lot of your manicure and nail technician education, training and hands-on beauty school experience will most certainly help. After you have successfully satisfied these CA state requirements for a licensed nail technician, you will be issued your official California nail tech license which will allow you to work as a nail technician or professional manicurist.

Colleen O’Hara’s Beauty Academy is the Best Nail Technician School in Orange County

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 for a free consultation at Colleen O’Hara’s Beauty Academy. Our Nail Technician School is centrally located in Orange County and we offer the best nail technician and professional manicurist training in all of California. Colleen O’Hara’s Beauty Academy is well-known in the beauty and cosmetology industry as Orange County’s longest-standing beauty academy, 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 we offer financial aid assistance for those who qualify. We even offer bi-lingual course study and workshops in both English and Spanish to satisfy our diverse Orange County student base.

It’s time to stop thinking about going to school to become a nail technician and time to start your career today. One simple phone call to Colleen O’Hara’s Beauty Academy can fast-track your future on the road to success as a licensed cosmetologist in the state of California. Call us today at 800-463-7869 and schedule a visit to our centrally located Orange County beauty academy and let us give you a tour of our multi-level campus; we promise it’ll be one of the best career decisions you ever made!
For more information on becoming a nail technician in Orange County, or our nail classes, please visit us at today and call us for a free tour of our modern campus!