Nail Technician School and License Requirements in Alaska

If you enjoy meeting new people, helping them feel great about themselves, and you appreciate the beauty of a perfectly manicured hand (or pedicured foot), then becoming a nail technician in Alaska may be perfect for you!

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Here’s how to earn licensure as a manicurist through the Alaska Board of Barbers and Hairdressers (within the Alaska Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development):

Complete an Approved Manicurist Course
Apply for an Alaska Manicurist License
Add an Advanced Manicurist Endorsement to your Manicurist License
Start your Manicurist Career and Maintain your Alaska Manicurist License

Thanks to a dynamic tourist industry, the professional nail services industry in Alaska is experiencing impressive gains. According to recent market research, there were 57 nail salons in the state as of 2012. By 2013, this number had jumped to 93.

Your nail technician career in Alaska is sure to be sustained by the nearly two million visitors who flock to the state each year. According to the Alaska Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development, direct visitor spending, which is defined as spending on things other than travel, totaled $1.82 billion in 2012-13, an increase from $1.71 billion the year before.

Unlike many other states, the process of becoming a licensed nail technician in Alaska is pretty quick.



Step 1. Complete an Approved Manicurist Course

To become a manicurist in Alaska, you must complete at least 12 hours of training from a Board-approved school. There are a number of nail schools in Alaska that offer this course. You can view approved institutions in Alaska here.

Because most of these courses are in theory instead of hands-on training, it is also commonplace for nail technician schools to offer additional training classes that are specifically designed for hands-on training.

A 12-hour training program in manicuring must include the following:

  • Bacteria: 1 hour
  • Infectious agents and infection: 2 hours
  • Sanitation: 3 hours
  • Harmful products and protection: 2 hours
  • Anatomy and physiology: 2 hours
  • Nail disorders: 2 hours

Graduation from a manicurist training program must result in a test given by the school that covers health, safety, and hygiene concerns of manicuring customers and practitioners.

Note: Apprenticeships are not accepted in lieu of this course.



Step 2. Apply for an Alaska Manicurist License

Following the completion of an approved 12-hour course in manicuring, you may apply for a manicurist license in Alaska by completing an Application for Manicuring License, notarizing it, and sending the application to the Board, along with an application fee of $80, a manicurist license fee of $140 (a total of $220, made payable to the State of Alaska), and proof of the completion of the manicurist training course.

As a licensed manicurist, you may perform the following tasks:

  • Cutting, trimming, coloring, tinting, polishing, cleansing nails
  • Affixing materials to the nail by artificial means
  • Cleansing, treating, or beautifying the hands or feet for cosmetic purposes

Manicurists in Alaska may not perform massaging and may not beautify the hands or feet solely for the treatment of a disease or for physical or mental ailments.



Step 3. Add an Advanced Manicurist Endorsement to your Manicurist License

If you hold a manicurist license in Alaska, you may seek to add an Advanced Manicurist Endorsement to your existing license. Although an advanced endorsement does not allow you to perform any additional manicuring services than licensed manicurists without an endorsement (i.e., the scope of practice is the same), you may choose to seek this endorsement because it would allow you to advertise as an Advanced Manicurist.

To achieve an Advanced Manicurist Endorsement, you must:

Courses in an Advanced Manicurist Endorsement must include:

  • Sanitation and safety measures: 45 hours (including bacteriology and sanitation)
  • Anatomy and physiology of the arms, hands, and feet: 45 hours (including nail shapes, structures, and growths)
  • Manicuring and pedicuring: 155 hours
  • Alaska State law: 5 hours

After completing the required advanced manicurist program, you must complete and notarize an Application for Advanced Manicurist Endorsement, provide proof of the completion of the 250-hour training course (through original documents or certified true copies), and include a check or money order for $175 (made payable to the State of Alaska). The fee for endorsement includes the application fee of $80, the written examination fee of $35, and the endorsement fee of $60.



Step 4. Start your Manicurist Career and Maintain your Alaska Manicurist License

Working as a nail technician in Alaska can be an exciting endeavor, as you may have a number of options when it comes to earning a living as a manicurist. While some manicurists are hired by a nail salon, full salon, or spa as an employee, others work as independent contractors, renting space at a salon. In other words, your options for a successful career are plentiful!

Just a few of the popular nail salons throughout Alaska include:

  • Allure Nail Spa: Fairbanks
  • Artistic Nails and Spa: Anchorage
  • Elements Salon and Day Spa: Fairbanks
  • Luxury Nails and Spa: Anchorage
  • Pure Essentials Day Spa: Fairbanks
  • Rejuvenation Salon and Spa: Juneau
  • Salon 22-11: Juneau
  • Selah Salon and Health Spa: Wasilla
  • Tantrix Nails and Spa: Anchorage

For many manicurists, the ultimate goal is to open their own salon and take advantage of Alaska’s thriving professional salon industry. Manicurists in Alaska with their sights set on salon ownership often pursue additional study in areas such as salon and spa management, marketing, and business administration. This ensures they have a firm grasp of not only how to give a great manicure, but how to run to a successful business.

All manicurist licenses in Alaska expire on August 31 of odd-numbered years, regardless of when the original license was issued. There are no continuing education requirements for manicurists in Alaska, although many manicurists nevertheless pursue continuing education as a way to ensure they stay current on the latest trends and advances in nail care and nail design.

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