Nail Schools in New York State
New York may be the perfect place to become a nail technician (also called a nail specialist, manicurist and pedicurist, or nail tech). As the most beauty-obsessed state in the country, locals are often seeking ways to improve their appearances. And with tourists galore, you may also find yourself providing services to people from all over the world.
Browse our directory of nail technician schools in New York, or skip ahead to learn about the state's nail technician licensing requirements and job outlook.
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9 4th Avenue
Bay Shore, NY 11706
New York, NY 10016
You must attend a school that meets any licensure requirements as defined by your state. Most states require that you graduate from an accredited or state-approved school.
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How to Become a Nail Technician in New York
- 250 education hours are required for nail technician licensure. Alternatively, you may become licensed working as a nail specialty trainee by completing 27 hours of education with no minimum number of work hours required—similar to an apprenticeship.
- You must renew your license every 2 years.
- 0 continuing education hours are required to renew your license.
- The average salary for manicurists in New York is $25,630 ($12.32/hour). This is lower than the national average of $25,770 ($12.39/hour).
- There is a predicted 19% job increase between 2016–2026 for manicurists. This is higher than the expected national growth of 10%.
To earn your New York nail technician license, which the state board calls a "nail specialty" license, you must meet the following requirements:
You may not be more than three months behind in child support payments and must supply a social security number or explanation of why you don't have one.
Unlike many other states, you can work as a nail technician while undergoing training. To do this, you need to obtain a temporary license, which is good for six months. You'll pay $50 for your initial application and temporary license. Then, you may renew your license for another six months for $10.
What to Expect From a Nail Technician Program in New York
Time to complete a nail speciality program in New York
If you opt for the training route to earn your New York nail technician license, you need to complete at least 250 hours of training using an approved curriculum. In part 162.1 of their Appearance Enhancement rules and regulations, the New York State Department of State, Division of Licensing Services mandates an orientation and 15 classes, each with set minimum hours. Courses include, but aren't limited to:
What to Expect From a Nail Speciality Trainee Experience in New York
If something like an apprenticeship is more your speed, look into the state's nail specialty trainee option.
For this, you need to register for a nail specialty trainee license, which is valid for one year and can be renewed a single time, and be employed by a licensed salon, spa, or similar business. There is no minimum number of work hours required, but you need to work there for at least one full year. Once you've completed your first year under the supervision of a licensed nail technician and 27 hours of instruction at an approved school, you can take your written and practical exams.
Those 27 hours of training include:
New York Nail Technician Licensing Requirements
Once you've completed nail technician training, a few steps remain:
You'll take a written and a practical exam, which you must schedule ahead of time. A $15 fee is due when you register. You'll be denied the opportunity to take the test if your identification doesn't match the name you registered with to the letter or if you're late to the testing center.
If you need testing accommodations due to a disability, indicate this on your application and submit a "Special Testing Arrangements Request" form along with supporting documents.
For the written examination, you can expect the following:
You need to bring two sanitized #2 pencils with you, and nothing else. No study materials or large bags will be allowed in the room, and electronic devices must be turned off.
The practical test involves the following:
For the practical exam, you need to bring:
Supply expectations may change after the COVID pandemic is over. Keep an eye on the state licensing page to see if the requirements change.
If you cancel or don't show up for your tests, you won't receive a refund; if you want to reschedule, you may do so no later than six days before the test. Exceptions may be made if you're exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms or have likely been exposed to the disease. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if these factors apply to you.
Before applying for your license, you need to complete domestic violence and sexual assault awareness training and have a physical exam. Your medical practitioner will need to fill out a health certification on your application, on which they state you have no disease that would significantly threaten the health or safety of the public.
Once you've passed your exams, received the awareness training, and completed your physical, you apply for a license. This application costs $40, and you're encouraged to apply online. The New York State License Center website is best accessed via Firefox or Internet Explorer.
New York Nail Technician Licensure Reciprocity
If you received nail technician training elsewhere in the country, you might be able to waive the New York state education requirements. For training received within the U.S., you need to provide a school certificate, transcript, and proof of licensure or certification. If approved, you'll need to pass the New York nail specialty exams.
Nail technicians with at least five years of experience elsewhere may apply for a state license and have the examinations and education requirements waived if they meet certain requirements.
If your work experience has occurred in the U.S., you need to provide the following:
If you're coming from outside the country, you need to submit these documents:
Nail Technician License Renewal in New York
License renewal period
Continuing education required
You need to renew your New York nail specialty license every four years. Your window to renew opens three months before your current license expires. No continuing education hours are required. Renewal applications are only available online.
Renewal costs $40. If you're late, you owe an additional $10.
Nail Technician Salary in New York and Projected Job Growth
Average yearly salary for Nail Technician in New York
As of 2019, New York nail technicians earn a median salary of $25,630 ($12.32/hour).
Contact the New York State Board of Nail Technology
- 99 Washington Avenue 6th Floor, Albany, NY 12231
- Website: New York Department of State, Division of Licensing Services
- Call: 518-474-4429
- Fax: 518-473-6648
Resources for Nail Technician in New York
New York Department of State, Division of Licensing Services—Appearance Enhancement
New York refers to the field of beauty as "appearance enhancement." This state site tells you everything you need to know about laws, regulations, licensure, and more.
Bill of Rights for Nail Workers
The New York Department of Labor created this document explaining what nail technicians' rights are, including minimum pay both with and without tips, regulations regarding working conditions, and information about safety requirements.
Salon & Spa Professionals of NYS
All beauty professionals in New York are welcome to join this association, which provides professional networking, advocacy, health and other insurance, a job board, and more.