Nail Technician School and License Requirements in Georgia

What more could you want than to spend your workweek in a fun, upbeat, and positive atmosphere that revolves around beauty, fashion, and wellness? As a manicurist in Georgia, you will get to spend each day either working your own schedule from your own booth, or working in relaxing salons and spas with other trained beauty professionals.

Enter Zip:

As a nail technician, you will specialize in the health and beauty of nails. Your first step toward becoming a manicurist and pedicurist is getting your nail technician license from the Georgia Board of Cosmetology. For a guide on how to become a manicurist in Georgia, follow these simple steps:

Fulfill Educational Requirements
Complete the Georgia Nail Technician Examination
Apply for your Nail Technician License
Find Work and Continue Education to Maintain Licensure



Step 1. Fulfill Educational Requirements

In order to fulfill the educational requirements set by the Georgia Board of Cosmetology, you must complete a manicurist program of 525 hours over a minimum of four (4) months. Programs such as these include courses in the following theoretical and practical subjects:


  • Skin Diseases and Disorders
  • Nail Structure and Growth
  • Nail Product and Chemistry
  • General Anatomy and Physiology
  • Infection Control
  • Professionalism
  • State Board Preparation
  • Georgia Rules and Regulations
  • Spa/Salon Business
  • Reflexology


  • UV Gel Nails and Acrylic Powder Dip
  • System
  • Electric Filling
  • Manicuring – Parrafin, Spa, French
  • American and Gel Polish
  • Product Knowledge
  • Gel Nails
  • Warm Stone Treatments
  • Color Acrylics
  • Nail Art and Airbrush Art
  • Nail Maintenance
  • Wraps, Silk, and Fiberglass
  • Capping
  • Tip Application
  • Artificial Nails odorless Acrylic Sculptured Nails
  • Pedicuring
  • Therapy—French and American

These fun courses will prepare you to provide nail services, to build your own client base, and to market yourself well in the business world of beauty.

If you choose to take the less traditional route of an apprenticeship program, you will need to attain a full 1,050 hours of apprentice training over a minimum of eight (8) months under the supervision of a Board-licensed cosmetologist or nail technician.



Step 2. Complete the Georgia Nail Technician Examination

As long as you have completed the 525 school hours over four months, you are eligible to take the competence exams. Georgia uses the testing agency PSI Services to administer the Georgia Nail Technician Examination. This exam is composed of two separate parts: the practical exam and the theory exam. For both exams, PSI Services provides a Candidate Information Bulletin.

Practical Exam

The practical exam is 100 minutes long, and it will assess your ability to physically perform manicure and pedicure services. As a standalone test, this test will cost $64.00. The exam will cover your ability to perform the following services:

  • Set up and client protection
  • Manicure
  • Nail Tip
  • Nail Wrap
  • Sculptured Nail
  • Polish

You can take the practical exam at any of these Georgia locations:

  • Atlanta
  • Macon

Theory Exam

The theory exam is a 90-minute, computer-based exam, and it will cover your knowledge on the following subjects:

  • Scientific Concepts
  • Nail Technology Procedures

You can take the theory exam at any of the following Georgia locations:

  • Macon
  • Tifton

Fill in the application in the bulletin to take this exam. After you get your eligibility notice, you will be able to schedule a date, time, and location for the exam. Within 30 days after you take your exam, you will receive your official scores. If you want to request a score report, you can email [email protected] or call 800-733-9267. Both exams together cost $109.00.



Step 3. Apply for your Nail Technician License

After you have completed your education and exam requirements, you are now eligible to apply for your license!

All you have to do is apply online, or fill out the paper application form and mail it in. With the application form, you will need to submit the following materials:

  • $30.00 Application Fee
  • Citizenship/Qualified Alien Status
  • Notarized Application
  • Application in a 9×12 envelope

You can mail all of these documents to the following address:

Georgia State Board of Cosmetology
237 Coliseum Drive
Macon, Georgia 31217



Step 4. Find Work and Continue Education to Maintain Licensure

As a manicurist, salons will open up their booths for you to rent for a monthly fee. Oftentimes, renting a booth from a salon will open up your clientele base, even allowing you to gain clients that come for other beauty services offered in the salon. Sometimes, a salon will even hire you with a minimum salary and benefits, allowing you to earn your salary as well as your own tips.

If you’re ready to look for jobs in a Georgia salon, check out a few of these options:

  • Treat Your Nails Salon – Doraville
  • Treat Your Feet Massage and Spa – Doraville
  • Nailism Salon – Alpharetta
  • Le Salon Redken – Alpharetta
  • The Ritz-Carlton – Atlanta

You will need to renew your license on August 31st on each odd-numbered year. In order to renew, you must complete five (5) hours of continuing education through a Board-approved provider. Three (3) of your five hours must be regarding health and safety courses, which were developed by the Georgia Department of Technical and Adult Education. The other two (2) hours may be completed by completing any other class related to manicures and pedicures, or by attending trade shows and product shows that teach you information relevant to industry trends, business managements, or other areas of practice.

You must complete this education and keep accurate records for the Board, and after you’ve done that, you can apply for renewal. You may renew online, or you can follow the instructions on the renewal packet that will be sent to you six weeks before the expiration of your license.

Continuing education is not just a way to renew your license, but it is a way to keep you on the cutting edge of fashion and nail trends, health, and safety, so that you can better please your clients and keep a wide client base!

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