The cost and duration of nail technician school varies partly because of differences in state licensing requirements. As of 2015, an average training program takes between 3 to 12 months and costs between $3,000 and $5,000, including textbooks and supplies. Programs at high-end schools cost between $5,000 and $9,000.
Expect to spend between 200 and 800 hours of training to become a nail technician. The national average is 375 hours. Nail technician programs are either part time or full time, and a part-time program takes longer to complete. When considering schools, inquire about costs beyond tuition, such as supplies, textbooks, aprons and tools. Some states offer a master nail technician title that takes longer and may require a master nail technician exam.
Most nail technician programs include a combination of theory and practical experience. Some states allow students to gain some training through apprenticeships, but most require the majority of training to take place in the classroom. After training, students must take and pass an exam to become a licensed nail technician, and they are required to renew their licenses on a regular basis. Typical classes in nail technician school include personal hygiene and public health; safety, sterilization and sanitation; nail design and artistry; massage techniques for hands, arms and feet; and bacteriology and disorders of the nails.