woman showing nails

February 27, 2023

How To Become A Nail Tech

Do you have a passion for nails and art? Consider becoming a nail technician! Nail techs can provide a variety of services. With a shorter program length, you can be on your way to your career in just a few short months!

There are many benefits to becoming a nail tech, and it’s an exciting career to pursue! If you’re interested in starting a career as a nail tech, here’s a guide to help you get started!

Complete A Nail Tech Program

The first step to becoming a nail tech is to enroll in a program! Most states require nail techs to complete a certain number of hours of training before they can obtain a license. At Aveda Idaho, our nail technician program is 400 hours at our Twin Falls location and 600 hours at our Boise location. Our curriculum is designed to educate our students, and they can expect to learn:

  • Manicuring
  • Pedicuring
  • Acrylic nails
  • Gel nails
  • Nail forms
  • Nail art
  • Nail design
  • Safety and sanitation
  • Hygiene procedures
  • Beauty business skills

We also believe that the best way to learn is by doing. Students have the opportunity to work in the student salon and *provide nail treatments on real guests. They can get real world experience so they can be confident after they graduate!

*all students are under supervision of a licensed professional

Pass The Exams

After graduating from a nail tech program, the next step is to pass your exams! In Idaho, students must pass two portions of an exam. The two parts of the exam are the practical and theory exam.

Practical Exam

The Practical Exam includes 7 core sections. You can expect to be tested on:

  • Work area preparation, client preparation, and set up of supplies (15 minutes)
  • Manicure and polish application (20 minutes)
  • Work area and new client preparation, and set up of supplies (10 minutes)
  • Nail tip application and blending (20 minutes)
  • Sculptured nail (20 minutes)
  • Removal of sculptured nail (20 minutes)
  • Blood exposure procedure (5 minutes)

Theory Exam

The Theory Exam is 110 items, where 100 are weighted and contributed to the final score. You can expect to be tested on:

  • Scientific concepts – infection and control and safety practices (15%)
  • Scientific concepts – anatomy and physiology (15%)
  • Scientific concepts – chemistry of nail products (10%)
  • Nail technology procedures – client consultation and documentation (5%)
  • Nail technology procedures – nail service tools (8%)
  • Nail technology procedures – nail service preparation (5%)
  • Nail technology procedures – manicure and pedicure services (18%)
  • Nail technology procedures – perform application maintenance and removal procedures for nail enhancement services (20%)
  • Nail technology procedures – perform post-service procedures (4%)

Start Your Career

Congratulations! You passed your exams. Now it’s time to start your dream career and enter the nail industry! A couple careers you can have as a nail technician are:

  • Spa or salon nail technician
  • Nail salon owner
  • Nail salon manager
  • Social media beauty influencer
  • Nail education specialist
  • And more

Practice makes perfect, and this is especially true when it comes to becoming a successful nail technician. Work on perfecting your skills by practicing on friends or family. And don’t forget to post your work on social media! It’s a great way to get your work out there to potential clients and build your portfolio.

Why Choose Aveda Idaho?

At Aveda Idaho, we believe that our students’ education comes first. While we teach skills necessary to be successful as a nail technician, we also teach business education.What sets a good nail tech apart from others can be the necessary business skills to succeed, like: marketing, growing a clientele, managing finances, or moving up the promotional ladder.

Ready To Pursue Your Dreams?

Becoming a nail technician requires the right education, training, certification, and a lot of hard work and dedication. However, with the right skills and attitude, you can build a successful career in this rewarding field!

If you want to tap into your creativity and become a nail technician, don’t hesitate to contact us! Whether you have questions about your education, *financial aid, or more – we have a team eager to give you answers! If a career in the beauty industry is what you’re looking for, Aveda Idaho can help you out. We can’t wait to help you pursue your dreams of becoming a nail technician!

*financial aid only available to those who qualify


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Now's the perfect time to pursue a career in cosmetology, esthetics or barbering. We'll even help you find a job after you graduate! We offer financial aid to those who qualify and our schedule allows you to have the perfect school/life balance.

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Our cosmetology program provides students with training in hair, skin, and nail care.

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Our esthetics program focuses on the theory and practical application of skin care techniques.

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Nail Tech

We offer a nail technology program that trains students in the art and science of nail care.

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Our barbering program is designed to teach students fades, shaves, skin care and more.

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Our salon is supervised by our experienced educators, and as a result you can experience and enjoy Aveda salon and spa services at amazing prices. All services are performed by our students under the supervision of licensed professionals. We offer special perks through our Pure Privilege Membership, and we offer a full range of salon and spa services. Check out our work below, and contact us today to book your appointment.
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