Nail Technician School and License Requirements in Maine

In Maine’s booming salon industry, you will find that many full-service salons are looking for manicurists and pedicurists to work flexible part-time and full-time schedules. As a nail technician, you will master the science and art of the manicure and pedicure, and enjoy a career in which you will stay up-to-date on the latest nail health and beauty trends – both for yourself and for your customers.

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Your journey toward becoming a licensed nail technician in Maine begins with the Maine Barbering and Cosmetology Licensing Board. For information on how to become a licensed nail technician in Maine, follow these easy steps:

Graduate from Nail Technician School
Pass Written and Practical Exams
Submit a License Application
Find Work and Renew your License Annually



Step 1. Graduate from Nail Technician School

The Maine Barbering and Cosmetology Licensing Board requires that you take at least two hundred (200) hours of manicurist license courses, and that your program lasts at least five (5) weeks. Maine’s nail technician schools will teach you how to perform manicures and pedicures, as well as the business side of being a professional nail technician.

In your nail technician program, you will take courses that include:

  • Hygiene
  • Bacteriology
  • Sanitation
  • Manicuring
  • Pedicuring
  • Artificial Nails
  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Management
  • Maine Laws and Rules

If you are going to take the less traditional route of participating in an apprenticeship program, a Board-licensed nail technician must agree to provide you with documented and supervised on-the-job training. To qualify for licensure through an apprenticeship, you will need to complete at least four hundred (400) hours of formal, documented training.



Step 2. Pass Written and Practical Exams

If you have completed your nail technology schooling, you are ready to move on to the second step—passing the state exams.

A third party exam provider called D. L. Roope proctors Maine’s written and practical exams for nail technicians. Your beauty school will give you an exam application, or you can access an online exam application form.

There will be two exams that you need to pass: the NIC Written Exam, and the Maine Practical Exam.

NIC Written Exam – The NIC Nail Technician (Manicuring) Written Exam Candidate Information Bulletin outlines exactly what will be on the exam and offers practice questions.

This exam will take about ninety (90) minutes and will contain questions on the following nail technology services:

  • Infection Control
  • OSHA Safety
  • Anatomy
  • Chemistry
  • Product Knowledge
  • General Nail Technology Procedures
  • Equipment
  • Nail Services
  • Manicuring
  • Pedicuring
  • Massages

Maine Practical Exam – The Practical Exam Candidate Information Bulletin will outline the exact script that you will use throughout this exam, and it will provide exam rules and materials that you will need to bring. You will need to bring at least one mannequin hand for the practical exam.

The exam will take about three (3) hours, and it will measure your ability to perform manicurist services in the following areas:

  • Set Up and Client Protection
  • Manicure
  • Nail Tip and Wrap
  • Sculptured Nail
  • Nail Polish
  • Final Cleanup

You will need to pass both exams with a score of 75% or higher in order to be considered eligible to apply for a nail technician license in Maine.

You can always access the D.L. Roope – Maine webpage to find information on your application, the tests, or to find your online exam results. Further, you can access the Nail Technician F.A.Q.s to find the answers to any other exam questions. You will need to apply for your license within one (1) year of receiving passing scores on this exam, or you will need to re-take the exam.



Step 3. Submit an Application for Licensure

As an applicant for a license in the state of Maine, you have two options for eligibility: examination or endorsement.

Examination—As an examination applicant, which is the most common way to attain eligibility, you will need to have followed the education and exam steps in this guide. After you complete the D. L. Roope Exam, you will be able to submit the following documents:

  • License fee of $20.00
  • Criminal Background Check fee of $21.00
  • Signature Confirming Knowledge of Maine Laws and Rules (on application)
  • Application of License by Exam

Endorsement—As an applicant by endorsement, you will need to have previously held a license in a different state or jurisdiction. In order to apply for a Maine license, you must be at least seventeen (17) years old and have completed tenth (10th) grade, and you will need to submit the following information:

  • License fee of $20.00 (made payable to Treasurer, State of Maine)
  • Submit original license verification which verifies your education and hours, passing scores of a state level written and practical exam, and the current license status
  • Any licensed work experience
  • Application for License by Endorsement

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

Department of Professional and Financial Regulation
Office of Professional and Occupational Regulation
35 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333



Step 4. Find Work and Renew your License Annually

As a manicurist in Maine, you may look for jobs at full-service salons or spas, nail salons, or you could even start your own home salon!

If you choose to look for work at a full-service salon, you may even get more clients than your initial client base, simply due to clients coming in for other services. Check out some of Maine’s top full-service salons:

  • Andiamo! Salon and Spa – Portland, ME
  • Sarah Jeanne’s Salon and Spa – Lewiston, ME
  • Urban Edge Hair Studio – Auburn
  • Visage Salon & Day Spa – Aveda – Augusta, ME
  • Illusions Salon – Aveda – Saco, ME

Each year on October 31st, you will need to renew your nail technology license. You will receive a reminder from the Board about sixty (60) days before your renewal application is due. The Maine Board does not allow paper renewals any longer, so you get to renew online, also paying the $20.00 annual renewal fee online.

If you do not submit your renewal request by the deadline, your license will expire, and you will need to submit a $50.00 late fee. If you wait until longer than ninety (90) days after the deadline, then you will need to submit a new application, a $50.00 late fee, and a $25.00 penalty fee. If your license has been expired for four (4) or more years, you must retake the exams and submit a reinstatement application.

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