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Nail Tech Schools in New York

Nail technicians are in high demand in New York. From high-end salons to busy nail bars, there are plenty of opportunities for qualified professionals. If you’re thinking of starting a career in this exciting industry, this page will provide you with what you need to know. First and foremost, you’ll need to complete an accredited nail technician program. This will give you the skills and knowledge you need to perform all sorts of nail treatments, from manicures and pedicures to more complex designs. Once you’ve completed your training, you’ll have to pass the state’s exams and then you’ll be ready to find your dream job!

The first thing you’ll need to do, though, is find the right school. Check out our listings below and start exploring nail tech schools near you in New York.

Nail Tech Schools in New York

State Requirements for Nail Technician Licensing in New York

  • At least 17 years of age.
  • 250 hours of training from a Board program or working as a specialty trainee by completing 27 hours of education with no minimum work hours.
  • License renewal every 2 years.

How Much Do New York Nail Tech Programs Cost?

You have a lot of options for different nail tech programs in New York, and the price you pay will reflect those options. You can earn the skills and certifications you need at some very specialized nail and manicurist programs for as little as $1,500 in some instances, or take a broader cosmetology program that can cost you $10,000 or more when you factor in books, tuition, and supplies.

Required Skills and Classes

The Board states that the minimum number of hours for training is 250 and will include the following topics:

  • Nail Art
  • Nail Wraps
  • Oils, Scrubs, Masques, and Nail Treatments
  • Signature Treatments for Spa Pedicures
  • Specialty Massages for the Manicurist
  • Understanding the World of Spa
  • Gel Nails
  • Job Skills
  • Business Practices
  • Client Consultation
  • Infection Control
  • Bacteriology
  • Anatomy and Physiology

Alternatively, the educational requirement may be waived provided the candidate in question has received an equivalent education from another state or country by providing the following:

  • School certification
  • School transcripts that list hours and subjects completed
  • Latest licensure certification


  • Current certification from the state Board that verifies education.

State Licensing Exam

After completing the necessary coursework and hours the next step is to apply for the New York state exam:

  • Application for Examination and License
    • Submit Application
    • Check the box for licensure based on New York State Education and Examination, and request a six (6)-month temporary permit
    • Submit Affirmation of Approved School
    • Pay the $50 application and temporary permit fee
  • Temporary Permit – to alleviate the waiting period before the exams, applicants may opt to work by acquiring a temporary permit.

The final step in acquiring the license is to take and pass the 2 licensure exams.

  • Written Exam – this exam will be multiple-choice that must be completed in 2 hours and 30 minutes that covers the following areas:
    • Safety
    • Sanitation
    • Professionalism
    • New York rules and regulations

Note: The minimum score for passing is at least 70%.

  • Practical Exam – contained within the Practical Exam Information document is the schedule, admission process, exam procedures, and the list of supplies needed to perform the exam. The exam is set for two and a half hours to perform the tasks below:
    • Table Set-Up
    • Basic Manicure
    • Tip Application
    • Wrap Application
    • Acrylic Application
    • Polish Application

Note: The minimum score for passing is at least 70%.

  • Licensure through Reciprocity – candidates with at least 5 years of work experience from another state can acquire a license while waiving the requirements provided they meet specific criteria.

If work experience is within the U.S., the following must be provided:

  • Certification from the state of origin
  • Two statements from employers, coworkers, or clients about services performed in the last five years
  • Copy tax returns as proof of job held

If work experience is from another country, the following must be submitted:

  • Certification or letter from the Consulate if a license isn’t required in the country of origin
  • Letters from employers detailing the location of work, services performed, and the exact dates of employment
  • Letters from clients or coworkers with the same information as above
  • Copy of passport indicating nail technician as the profession, driver’s license, a workbook of experience, or other photo identification
  • Copies of training curriculum and certificates or diplomas
  • Tax returns indicating work as a nail specialist

How Much Do Nail Techs Get Paid in New York?

The average salary for New York nail technicians is $29,060 per year or $13.97 per hour.

Does New York Have Continuing Education Requirements for Nail Technicians?

No continuing education requirements are set forth by the state of New York for license renewals. You will need to renew your license every four years, however.

Contact Information for Licensing Board

If you have specific questions on licensing, you can contact the New York division in charge using the contact information below.

New York Department of State, Division of Licensing Services
Address: 99 Washington Avenue 6th Floor, Albany, NY 12231
Call: 518-474-4429
Fax: 518-473-6648