Nail Technician School and License Requirements in Kentucky

What could be more fun than a job that encourages you to engage clients and offer them a fun salon experience? As a manicurist in Kentucky, you will get the opportunity to use your creativity, and you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing you’re helping people look their best.

Enter Zip:

To learn about the manicurist license requirements in the state of Kentucky, follow these three, easy steps:

Fulfill Kentucky’s Educational Requirements
Pass the Required Nail Technician Exams
Start your Career and Keep your License Current

According to the Kentucky Occupational Employment Outlook, the number of jobs for manicurists and pedicurist is estimated to grow by 17% by the year 2018.

Your career as a licensed manicurist in Kentucky begins with the Kentucky Board of Hairdressers and Cosmetologists, who licenses cosmetologists, estheticians, and nail technicians, all with different sets of education and exam requirements. As a nail technician, you will get to specialize in the study and service of nails.



Step 1. Fulfill Kentucky’s Educational Requirements

To become a nail technician in Kentucky, you will need to make sure that you have first completed at least a high school education (or equivalent). Then you get to move on to the fun part—beauty school!

Nail technician school is a fast and fun way to learn everything about how to excel in the beauty industry. The Board requires that your program include at least six hundred (600) hours of courses, including the following:

  • Professional Images
  • Career Development
  • The Creative Touch
  • Manicuring and Pedicuring
  • Advanced Nail Techniques
  • Safety Precautions
  • Hand and Arm Massages
  • Nail Art
  • Merchandizing and Selling
  • Deck and Dispensary
  • Communications
  • Nail Disorders
  • Skin Disorders
  • Cells/Anatomy/Physiology
  • Salon Business
  • Kentucky Law
  • Practical Exam for Clinic

Many programs will use books such as Milady’s Art & Science of Nail Technology, and Milady’s Art & Science of Nail Technology State Exam Review Book in order to prepare you for the Board licensing exams.



Step 2. Pass the Required Nail Technician Exams

As your second step, you will need to pass a nail technician exam. You will get the application for this exam from your beauty school as you approach your graduation. You will need to make sure your exam application is submitted before the deadline dates for the exams. After this, the Board will notify you of the date and time for your exam, which are subject to change at the Board’s discretion.

In short, the full process to apply for the exam is to complete the following:

  • Submit the Notarized Examination Application
  • Submit the $75.00 Exam Fee
  • Submit Proof of High School Graduation
  • Attach Current Photograph

If you are transferring your education hours from another state, you will need to certify your hours and that they equaled the number of hours required by Kentucky, and you will submit the Out-of-State Examination Application and a $75.00 fee.

The exam will include both a written and a practical section. The Board outlines the content and requirements for the practical exam in the Candidate Information Bulletin, which includes the following seven (7) core domains:

  • Set Up and Client Protection
  • Nail Wrap Tip with Fabric Overlay
  • Acrylic Sculptured (fill-in) (pink and white)
  • Nail Tip with Acrylic Overlay Application (pink and white)
  • Nail Tip without Overlay Application
  • Acrylic Sculptured
  • Basic Manicure with Polish

You will also need to make sure that you bring your own mannequins to the exam, and that you are ready to complete all of the services outlined in the bulletin.

To qualify for your license, you will need to pass both the written and the practical exam. If you do not pass the exams and you need to retake them, you will need to complete the following:

You can mail all of your application information to the following Board address:

KY State Board of Hairdressers & Cosmetologists
111 St. James St., Suite A
Frankfort, KY 40601

After you successfully complete your exam, your first nail technician license will be issued to you!



Step 3. Start your Career and Keep your License Current

Life as a professional nail technician can include many different jobs with differing job descriptions. You can work as a manicurist, nail enhancement specialist, nail artist or manufacturer’s representative, or even a salon owner or manager!

If you’re looking for part-time or full-time employment at a salon, check out some of Kentucky’s top salons:

  • Top Nails Salon – Ashland
  • Best Nails – Louisville
  • Best Impressions – Lexington
  • Star Nails – Campbellsville
  • For, All – Winchester

Each year, you will need to renew your license in order to keep legally working as a manicurist. The renewal period runs for a month between July 1st and July 31st of each year. You will want to make sure that you submit your renewal form and fee before the end of July, or your license will expire and will need to be restored. You may renew online at the Board website.

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