nail schools in new york

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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.

Browse All Nail Technician Schools in New York

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Find Cosmetology Schools Near You


Beauty School of Middletown

225 Dolson Avenue
Middletown, NY 10940

Beval International Beauty School

985 Church Street
Baldwin, NY 11510

Brittany Beauty Academy – Accredited

375 86th Street
Brooklyn, NY 11209

Christine Valmy International School for Esthetics, Skin Care and Makeup – Accredited

1501 Broadway 7th Floor
New York, NY 10016

Continental School of Beauty Culture – Accredited

2803 Brewerton Road
Mattydale, NY 13211

Continental School of Beauty Culture – Accredited

633 Jefferson Road
Rochester, NY 14623

Continental School of Beauty Culture – Accredited

1050 Union Road
West Seneca, NY 14224

Global Beauty and Barber Institute

1485 Hempstead Turnpike
Elmont, NY 11003


1545 Central Avenue
Albany, NY 12205

Grace International Beauty School – Accredited

136-31 41st Avenue
Flushing, NY 11355Show More Nail Technology Schools

Not sure this is the right fit for you? Learn more about other career options in the beauty industry. Related specializations include:

  • Cosmetology
  • Esthetics
  • Hair Design
  • Makeup Artistry

Find a Nail Technician School Near You

Check out the nail technology schools these cities in New York have to offer.

  • Albany / Schenectady / Troy
  • Binghampton
  • Buffalo
  • Elmira / Corning
  • New York
  • Rochester
  • Syracuse
  • Utica

How to Become a Nail Technician in New York

New York Nail Technician Careers At A Glance

  • 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:

  • Be at least 17 years old
  • Complete at least 250 hours of training at an approved facility or up to two years of nail trainee experience and 27 hours of training
  • Pass written and practical tests
  • Undergo a one-hour class on domestic violence and sexual assault
  • Have a physical exam completed and signed by a physician, physician’s assistant, or nurse practitioner

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

250 Hours

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:

  • 10 hours of anatomy and physiology of the nail, hand, arm, foot, and leg
  • 10 hours of bacteria and infectious diseases, including nail, foot, and skin disorders and diseases
  • 20 hours of manicuring and hand/arm massage; 10 hours of pedicuring
  • Eight hours of safety and health, including first aid and HAZMAT communications
  • Varying hours for specific nail techniques

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:

  • Orientation
  • Anatomy and physiology of nails, hands, arms, feet, and legs
  • Bacteria and infectious disorders and diseases
  • Client consultation and service
  • Infection control
  • Safety and health

New York Nail Technician Licensing Requirements

Once you’ve completed nail technician training, a few steps remain:

  • Taking written and practical tests
  • Completing domestic violence and sexual assault awareness training
  • Having a physical exam
  • Applying for your license

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:

  • Taking it at a specific approved site
  • Undergoing a two-and-a-half-hour multiple-choice test based on your curriculum
  • Being notified about your results via email; results are pass/fail

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:

  • Taking it at an approved site
  • Going through six practical skills tests, including:
    • Preparing your work station
    • Basic manicure on your own hand (all other portions are done on a mannequin hand)
    • Application and shaping of tips
    • Application of wraps
    • Application of acrylics
    • Application of polish and clean-up

For the practical exam, you need to bring:

  • Sanitized pen
  • Smock or gown
  • Cloth face covering or mask
  • Face shield or goggles
  • Closed-toed shoes
  • Mannequin hand
  • Hair tie, if you have long hair
  • Anything else on the supply list you’ll see when registering

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 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

New York doesn’t have full licensure reciprocity, but they have endorsement agreements with other states and Washington D.C.

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:

  • Certification from your current state
  • Two statements from employers, coworkers, or clients about services you’ve performed in the last five years
  • Copy of your tax returns proving you’ve held this job

If you’re coming from outside the country, you need to submit these documents:

  • Your certification or a letter from the Consulate if a license isn’t required in that country
  • Letters from employers detailing where you worked, the services you provided, and the exact dates you were employed
  • Letters from clients or coworkers with the same information as above
  • Copy of your passport with nail technician listed as your profession, driver’s license, a workbook of experience, or other photo identification
  • Copies of your training curriculum and certificates or diplomas
  • Tax returns showing your work as a nail specialist

Nail Technician License Renewal in New York

4 Years

License renewal period0 Hours

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).

The state employs the second-highest number of nail specialists in the country, and jobs are expected to grow by 6% between 2018 and 2028.

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