Nail Technician School and License Requirements in Arizona

If you want to become one of the 8,000 nail technicians working in the nearly 1,000 nail salons throughout Arizona, you must earn licensure through the Arizona State Board of Cosmetology, which requires completing the following steps:

Enter Zip:
Complete a Nail Technician Program
Apply for Licensure as a Nail Technician
Apply to Take the Required Examinations
Explore your Career Options and Keep your Nail Technician License Current

If you want to become a nail technician and settle down to begin your career, there may be no better place to do so than Arizona. The Phoenix-Tucson-Case Grande corridor is projected to be one of the fastest expanding regions in the United States in the upcoming decades, and Phoenix has been consistently ranked as one of the fastest growing economies of all metro areas in the U.S.

In Phoenix and the surrounding cities of Scottsdale, Mesa, Chandler, Gilbert, and Glendale, many luxury shopping mall developments are popping up, which always spells opportunity for beauty professionals like nail technicians!



Step 1. Complete a Nail Technician Program

Nail technicians in Arizona are licensed to perform the following:

  • Cutting, polishing, tinting, trimming, cleansing and treating nails
  • Applying artificial nails
  • Massaging and cleaning the hands, legs, feet, and arms

To be eligible for licensure, you must first complete a nail technician/manicuring program that consists of at least 500 hours of nail tech training and that is approved by the Arizona State Board of Cosmetology. You can view approved nail schools here.

A nail technology program, whether it is offered through a dedicated nail technology school or through a beauty school that offers a variety of cosmetology programs, can usually be completed in about 4 to 6 months.

In addition to educating you on the above areas of nail technology, a nail technician program also includes study in the history of nail care, nail structure, and safety and sanitation.



Step 2. Apply for Licensure as a Nail Technician

Upon the successful completion of an approved nail technician program, you apply for licensure with the Board by completing the Application for Examination and submitting it to the Board, along with a $40 first license fee, two passport photos, and proof of the completion of an approved nail technician program.



Step 3. Apply to Take the Required Examinations

Once you have submitted your application for examination, you may apply to take the required examinations for licensure through Professional Credentials Services (PCS).

Arizona utilizes the National-Interstate Council of State Boards of Cosmetology (NIC) examinations. The cost of taking the theory and practical examinations is $177.

You can apply online through PCS once you have created a PCS account. After you have completed your online registration, PCS will notify the Board, who will then review your file and notify PCS that you are eligible to take the examination. At that point, PCS will assign you the first available practical examination. You must be available to take the first practical examination date.

You can then expect to receive an email from PCS that includes an Authorization to Test (ATT) letter. Once you have received your ATT letter, you must contact PSI at or at 1-800-733-9267 to schedule your theory examination.

You can read more about the Arizona theory examination here. You may take the examination at any of the PSI testing centers located in Arizona, including:

  • Flagstaff
  • Phoenix
  • Scottsdale
  • Tucson
  • Yuma

After you take the nail technician theory examination, you will receive a pass or fail notice from PSI. Once you have passed both the practical and theory examinations, PCS will electronically notify the Board of your status for your licensed can be issued.



Step 4. Explore your Career Options and Keep your Nail Technician License Current

You must renew your nail technician license every year on your birthday. You must complete a renewal application and pay the renewal fee of $30. There are no continuing education requirements to maintain your nail technician license in Arizona.

However, taking classes in the latest nail techniques is popular among nail technicians who want to ensure they are providing their clients with the best nail services and offering them the latest trends in nail art, manicures, and the like. If you want to consider pursuing salon management or even salon ownership, you may also benefit from taking business, marketing, and even advertising courses.

You may begin your career as a nail technician by working as an employee in a nail salon, spa, or full salon, or you may be better suited to working as an independent contractor, renting space in a salon. Just a few of the popular nails salons throughout Arizona include:

  • Red Door Spa, Tucson
  • Phoenix Day Spa, Phoenix
  • Angelic Nails and Spa, Gilbert
  • Angel Touch Nails, Phoenix
  • Polished Nail Spa, Scottsdale
  • Beautiful Skin and Nails, Phoenix

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