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Nail Technician School and License Requirements in Florida

Florida’s tourism industry is as vibrant as ever. In 2013, a total of 94.7 million visitors traveled to Florida, beating 2012’s record season of 91.5 million visitors. It comes as little surprise that the dynamic nail salon industry in Florida is supported in part by the many tourists who make their way to this Southern state to relax in the sunshine and enjoy everything from nail wraps to pedicures.

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The steps needed to become a registered nail specialist in Florida include:

Complete an Approved Nail Specialty Program
Apply for Registration as a Nail Specialist
Maintain your Registration as a Nail Specialist in Florida
Consider your Career Options as a Registered Nail Specialist

If you want to become a nail technician in Florida, you must achieve specialty registration as a nail specialist through the Florida Board of Cosmetology, which is part of the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation.

Registered nail specialists in Florida are permitted to engage in manicuring and pedicuring, which includes:

  • Cutting, tinting, polishing, coloring, extending, and cleansing the nails
  • Massaging the hands



Step 1. Complete an Approved Nail Specialty Program

To become a registered nail specialist in Florida, you must first complete a nail specialty program through a Florida school of cosmetology. An approved nail specialist program consists of at least 240 hours of education.

The minimum curriculum for nail specialty training in Florida includes the following:

  • Florida cosmetology laws and rules: 5 hours
  • HIV/AIDS: 4 hours
  • Sanitation: 4 hours
  • Ethics: 2 hours
  • Nail theory, practice, and related subjects, including nail disorders and diseases: 85 hours

A nail specialist program curriculum must also include training/study in the following services:

  • Manicures: 20 hours
  • Pedicures: 10 hours
  • Tips with overlay: 37.5 hours
  • Nail wraps/mending: 15 hours
  • Nail fill-ins: 10 hours
  • Artificial nail removal: 5 hours
  • Polishing and nail art: 5 hours

Once you have successfully completed all educational requirements, the school will issue you a certificate of completion, provided you have achieved a score of 75 percent or better on a final examination.



Step 2. Apply for Registration as a Nail Specialist

Upon the successful completion of all required hours in a nail specialist program, you must complete and submit an Application for Initial License Based on Florida Education to the Department or apply online through the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation online services portal. Because you are applying for a nail specialist registration based on Florida education, you must complete Sections, I, II, IV, and VI.

You must also submit a payment of $85 (made payable to the Department of Business and Professional Regulation). The application, payment, and related documentation must be mailed to:

Department of Business and Professional Regulation
1940 North Monroe Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0783

If you have any questions regarding the application process, you may contact the Department’s Customer Contact Center at 1-850-487-1395.

Once your application has been approved, you can expect to receive a registration from the Department. While you are awaiting the issuance of your registration, you may practice as a nail specialist under the supervision of a registered nail specialist in a licensed specialty or cosmetology salon.



Step 3. Maintain your Registration as a Nail Specialist in Florida

To maintain your nail specialist registration in Florida, you must renew it biennially through the Department’s online portal and pay the renewal fee of $55. You must first activate a personal account through www.myfloridalicense.com.

All nail specialists in Florida must complete at least 16 hours of Board-approved continuing education credits during each renewal period. You can find a list of approved continuing education providers and their courses here. The Bureau of Education and Testing is responsible for all continuing education providers and courses.



Step 4. Consider your Career Options as a Registered Nail Specialist

As a registered nail specialist in Florida, you have a number of excellent career options, including working as an employee of a nail salon, spa, or full-service salon; working as an independent contractor and renting salon space; working as a mobile nail technician; or even owning your own nail salon.

As part of your continuing education requirements, you may choose to take courses in areas such as management, business administration, and marketing if you have aspirations of managing or owning your own nail salon one day.

You may also work toward achieving registration in another cosmetology specialty in Florida, such as facials and body wrapping, or even pursue a full cosmetologist license.

There is a multitude of luxury resorts in Florida that offer high-end personal care services, including nails:

  • Acqualina Resort & Spa, Miami
  • Biltmore Hotel, Coral Gables
  • Boca Beach Club, Boca Raton
  • Elizabeth Point Lodge, Amelia Island
  • Four Seasons Resort, Palm Beach
  • LaPlaya Beach and Golf Resort, Naples
  • Little Palm Island Resort & Spa, Little Palm Island
  • Longboat Key Club and Resort, Longboat Key
  • Marco Island Marriot Beach Resort, Marco Island
  • Ocean Key Resort & Spa, Key West

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