How to Become a Nail Technician in 4 Easy Steps

How to become a nail technician in 4 easy steps.

Do you find creativity comes naturally to you? Are you someone who thrives upon interaction and likes helping people feel good about themselves?

If you are looking for a rewarding career change or you’ve recently left school, then learning how to become a nail technician could be the perfect solution for you.

Start to love what you do, as with your artistic flair and a nail technician’s license you could:

  • Be the boss by opening your own salon
  • Work when you want, as a freelance Nail Stylist
  • Travel the world as a luxury hotel or cruise ship manicurist
  • Become a Sales Rep for your favorite cosmetology brand

If you are looking for a career with endless opportunities, you can learn how to become a nail technician in just four easy steps.

Step 1: Apply to a Nail Technician Training Program

To become a licensed manicurist in Michigan, you need to enroll in a nail technician program or manicuring program and complete the required amount of training hours.  In Michigan, you must complete at least 400 hours of training and you are also required to have a high school education.

Step 2: Complete a Manicuring Course

Once you’ve applied to a school, you must complete the necessary training.  To best prepare for taking the state board’s licensure exam, it is essential to find a course whose syllabus covers areas of the exam’s requirements. Manicuring or Nail Technician programs can also help prepare you to be successful in the real world.

These courses combine in-depth classroom learning with hands-on training. Lessons that provide you with excellent tuition instruction in the art of nail care and grooming, customer service, and all of the necessary business skills for you to succeed.

Training in Dorsey College’s Manicuring program is led by licensed instructors who guide you through the process of how to become a nail technician. These include theoretical and practical hands-on training with:

  • Perfecting nail artistry, nail care, and grooming
  • Mastering of manicure and pedicure procedures
  • Understanding health and safety (including sanitation and disinfection)

Dorsey College’s in-house student salon may also provide you supervised, real-time experience with:

  • Client interaction with a customer service focus
  • Record keeping and inventory management
  • Sales growth and marketing
  • Professional and industry ethics

A great training program could build your confidence in every area within the business, the perfect platform when learning how to become a nail technician.

Step 3: Pass the state board’s licensure exam

Upon completing the course, you can now apply to take the Michigan State Board of Cosmetology’s manicure licensure exam.

The licensure exam comes in two parts, including a theory and a practical examination covering key topics that are necessary to your success in the field.

The theory exam is a multiple-choice examination that will test your technical knowledge of nail care procedures and the related hygiene criteria needed to become a qualified nail technician.

The second stage is a practical examination which allows you to showcase your skills. The examiner will be grading your performance based on your pre-exam setup, practical nail treatment and care demonstrations, through to completion and end of exam disinfection.

To become a qualified nail technician, you must pass both sections of the licensure exam to be granted a license.

Keep in mind that the State may have additional requirements a candidate may have to meet in order to obtain their license.  It’s always a good idea to check with your state’s licensing board in advance to make sure you have all of your bases covered.

Step 4: Select your area of expertise

Upon successfully passing the state exam, you now have the chance to pick the components you enjoy most and build a career around them, including;

  • Manicures and pedicures
  • Nail artistry and design
  • UV gel treatments
  • Acrylic nail preparation, application, and removal
  • Arm, hand, and foot massages
  • Fabric wraps and nail repair


While some manicurists and nail technicians may choose to offer a variety of services, others may choose to specialize in certain services.

Career Opportunities in a Thriving Industry!

Once you’ve gained your license and have learned how to become a nail technician, you could be joining one of the nation’s fastest-growing professions.

Did you know that the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (LBS) has predicted jobs in this industry are set to grow by 33% – that’s 4x times the national average!

What Jobs Can a Nail Technician Do?

Nail technicians could have many job descriptions and duties. It’s important to understand just how flexible a nail technician can be.

Starting a position within a nail salon, spa, or hair salon is often the best way to gain more experience. However, as a licensed nail technician, you can also work with professional photographers and designers in preparing for photoshoots and fashion shows.

If you need the flexibility around your family’s needs, why not become a freelance mobile nail technician. Work from home or visit private clients around your schedule.

With the proper training and continuing education, many nail techs become their own boss by opening and running their own nail salon. Other opportunities may include;

  • A nail consultant for film and TV studios
  • Becoming a Nail Tech instructor
  • A Sales Rep for nail equipment and materials
  • Work onsite with Doctors and Podiatrists
  • Airport, luxury hotel, and cruise ship manicure and pedicurist

Let’s Kickstart Your Nail Tech Career Today!

Dorsey College’s program has been created to provide you with the best platform to learn how to become a nail technician.

When you join Dorsey College, not only could you benefit from our expert instruction, we also may also supply you with:

  • A Manicuring Student Kit – including all the required nail polish, acrylic supplies, and manicuring instruments needed
  • Full course textbooks and learning aids
  • First-hand experience in our on-campus beauty clinic
  • Upon completion of examination preparation requirements – the cost of your initial state licensure examination fee

Dorsey College can help students develop the needed skills to pass the state exam, but we aim to also give you the practical skills and experience to help you flourish.

So, if you’re looking for a more rewarding career or a greater sense of independence – all while helping people feel great about themselves – then join us today and let Dorsey College give you the springboard to succeed!

Dorsey School of Beauty –  Taylor, MI

Dorsey School of Beauty, located in Taylor, MI, is a sister school of Dorsey College.  Dorsey School of Beauty in Taylor, MI is institutionally accredited by the National Accrediting Commission of Career Arts and Sciences (NACCAS).  To learn more about Dorsey School of Beauty in Taylor, MI you can click here.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Manicurists and Pedicurists,

at (visited February 16, 2022).