Nail Technician School and License Requirements in Louisiana

In the booming beauty industry, many salons today are looking for cutting edge, up to date manicurists, who are in the know on the latest and greatest nail trends and techniques. If that sounds like fun to you, consider becoming a professional nail technician in Louisiana.

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For information on the nail technician license requirements in Louisiana, all you need to do is follow these simple steps:

Complete a Nail Technician Education Program
Pass Written, Practical, and State Law Exams
Apply to the Board for a Manicurist License
Pursue your Career and Keep your License up to Date

The Labor Workforce indicates a growth rate of 17.7% for manicurists between 2010 and 2022. You will love being a part of this of growing industry, where you get to use your love for fashion, beauty, wellness, and creativity to please and impress your clients everyday.

You will start your pursuit of a Louisiana manicurist license with the Louisiana State Board of Cosmetology, who licenses cosmetologists, estheticians, and manicurists—each with their own, unique set of education and exam requirements. As a manicurist, you will work primarily with nails, hands, feet, lower legs, and elbows.



Step 1. Complete a Nail Technician Education Program

The very first thing you will need to do is graduate from nail technician school, which is a fun and fast way to learn everything you will need to know about the beauty industry. The Board requires that you complete at least five hundred (500) hours of nail technician course credits in order to be eligible to move on to the next step—the exams.

These manicurist schools will teach you practical manicuring, as well as new techniques, products, and styles, to ensure you are on the cutting edge of nail fashions. At schools like these, you will take courses on subjects including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Science of Nail Care
  • Professionalism of Nail Industry
  • Manicures
  • Pedicures
  • Artificial Nail Application
  • Product Knowledge
  • Beauty Business Industry
  • Louisiana Laws, Rules, and Regulations

Even further, many schools offer advanced courses so that you can constantly stay up to date on the most cutting edge fashion and beauty trends and techniques.



Step 2. Pass Written, Practical, and State Law Exams

After you graduate from your manicurist school, you will be able to register for the national exams. You will need to take and pass these exams with a score of at least 70% in order to qualify for a license in Louisiana. There are three exams that your school will help you schedule: the NIC Written Exam, the Louisiana State Practical Exam, and the State Laws and Regulations Exam.

National (NIC) Written Exam – for this exam, you and your school will schedule directly with NIC after thoroughly reading the Candidate Information Bulletin. This exam will take place over the span of ninety (90) minutes, and it will cover both scientific concepts and nail technology procedures, including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Bacteria and Viruses
  • Safety Procedures
  • OSHA Requirements
  • Chemical Adhesion and Reactions
  • Product Functions
  • Anatomical Functions of Skin and Nails
  • Manicures and Pedicures
  • Equipment
  • Different Types of Massage

Louisiana State Practical Exam – the practical exam Guide will detail the basic exam instructions, your supply list, the exam dress code, and the different phases of the exam. Read this fully before taking the exam. If you are currently a nail technician student, you will submit the proper paperwork and fee, as guided by your beauty school, to take this exam, and if you have already graduated, you will need to contact the Board for exam confirmation.

This exam includes two phases: the manicure phase, and the advanced nail technique phase. In the manicure phase, which will take about thirty (30 minutes, you will need to complete a basic manicure. In the advanced phase, which will take about forty-five (45) minutes, you will need to complete the following:

  • Nail Repair
  • Nail Tip
  • Acrylic Nail
  • Supplies and Table Set up

State Laws and Regulations – the final exam, which is the state laws and regulations exam, will cover your knowledge of the basic Louisiana laws related to the practice of manicuring. You will need to be familiar with the Professional and Occupational Standards outlined by the Board.

The fees for each exam are $25.00. The fee for your initial license is also $25.00. This brings the total exam fee to $100.00. For any further exam questions, read over the Board’s exam F.A.Q.s.



Step 3. Apply to the Board for a Manicurist License

Upon your completion and passing scores for the national, state, and practical exams, you will be issued your very first manicurist license. The license will be sent to your beauty school, not your home address, so make sure you keep in contact with your school.


If you are applying for a license based on reciprocity, meaning that you have previously held a license in a different state, then you will need to submit an application for a manicurist license based on reciprocity to the Board. To do this, complete the following steps:

  • Submit Application
  • Submit application fee
  • Include a current photo
  • Include current, original cosmetology license
  • Submit copy of social security card and drivers license
  • Submit proof of passing scores for NIC National Exam
  • Take State written exam



Step 4. Pursue your Career and Keep your License up to Date

The Board will notify you when you need to renew your license so you can continue legally working as a manicurist.

As a manicurist, you could look for jobs in beauty salons, nail salons, spas, hotels, or even cruise ships! Even further, you could move away from being a basic manicurist to specializing as a nail enhancement specialist, nail artist, manufacturer’s representative, or a salon manager.

If you’re looking for full-service salons to work in part-time or full-time, consider some of these top Louisiana salons:

  • Aperio Salon – Shreveport, LA
  • Waves of Color Salon & Spa – Shreveport, LA
  • Via Veneto Salon – Baton Rouge, LA
  • Salon Bohème – Baton Route, LA
  • Mariposa Salon and Spa – New Orleans, LA

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