Nail Technician School and License Requirements in Missouri

Missouri is home to a thriving salon industry from the trendy Washington Avenue entertainment district in St. Louis to the quaint shopping districts of Columbia and Jamesport.

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Missouri is also home to some of the best vacation destinations in the Midwest, catering to tourists looking to relax and recoup in a spa setting. From the famous Route 66 to the Power and Light District of Kansas City, there are plenty of reasons why Missouri is called the Show Me State.

Before you can begin exploring an exciting nail technician career in Missouri, you must first become licensed through the Missouri Board of Cosmetology and Barber Examiners, which requires completing the following steps:

Complete an Educational Program in Nail Technology
Complete an Application for Examination and Temporary Permit
Take and Pass the Required Nail Technician Theory and Practical Examinations
Keep your Nail Technician License Current and Explore Career Opportunities in Missouri



Step 1. Complete an Educational Program in Nail Technology

To qualify for licensure as a manicurist in Missouri, you must complete a course of study through a formal nail technology program that is no less than 400 hours in duration.

The Board recognizes a manicurist in Missouri as a beauty professional who is permitted to perform the following on the nails:

  • Cutting
  • Trimming
  • Coloring
  • Tinting
  • Cleaning
  • Polishing
  • Applying artificial nails

Manicurists may also massage and clean a client’s hands arms, legs, and feet.

An approved nail technician program must include the following:

  • At least 220 hours of manicuring, hand and arm massage, and the treatment of nails
  • At least 20 hours of salesmanship and management
  • At least 20 hours of sanitation and sterilization
  • At least 10 hours of anatomy
  • At least 10 hours related to Missouri state law
  • At least 40 hours of the use and application of chemicals
  • At least 80 hours of curriculum determined by the school

To qualify for one of the programs offered in Missouri’s nail technician schools, you must be at least 17 years old and have completed the 10th grade.

Before entering a nail technician program in Missouri, you must complete a Student Enrollment Application and submit it, along with:

  • A $25 enrollment fee
  • Proof of the completion of at least the 10th grade
  • A copy of your birth certificate or driver’s license to show proof of age
  • Two, passport-size photographs

You may also qualify for licensure as a manicurist in Missouri through the completion of an apprenticeship. The apprenticeship program, which must be completed under the supervision of a licensed cosmetologist, must be at least 800 hours in length.



Step 2. Complete an Application for Examination and Temporary Permit

The Board has contracted with Professional Credential Services (PCS) to test nail technicians for licensure in Missouri. The Board exclusively utilizes the National-Interstate Council of State Boards of Cosmetology (NIC) examinations.

Before you can schedule to take the required examinations through PCS, you must first complete and submit an Application for Examination/Temporary Permit and send it to the State Board office. Once approved by the Board, the Board will send you information, via email, regarding the process of scheduling and taking the required examinations.



Step 3. Take and Pass the Required Nail Technician Theory and Practical Examinations

Upon approval of your application for examination, the Board will also send you an Authorization to Test letter, which will include instructions on how to schedule and take the theory examination with IQT, a computer-based testing service.

However, you must first pre-register with PCS and pay the examination fees during pre-registration. You can call PCS at 1-888-822-3272 or register online. The cost of taking both the theory and practical examinations is $150.

You can expect to receive an Admission Notice, which includes the date, time, and location of your practical examination, at least 10 days prior to the test date you requested through the online registration process. You can take the practical examination at the following locations:

  • Louis
  • Jefferson City
  • Kansas City
  • Springfield

You can view upcoming 2015 practical testing dates here.

You must score a 75 on both the written and practical examinations to pass.

Once you have passed the required nail technician examinations for licensure, your scores will be sent to the Board. You can expect to receive your license (Class MO-manicure) shortly thereafter.



Step 4. Keep your Nail Technician License Current and Explore Career Opportunities in Missouri

All manicurist licenses in Missouri are renewed on September 30 of odd-numbered years. There are no continuing education requirements for nail technicians in Missouri; however, that certainly doesn’t deter manicurists who complete courses, seminars, and programs on a frequent basis as to ensure they are up to date on the latest innovations and trends in the nail salon services industry in Missouri.

Your nail technician career may be realized by working as an employee in a nail salon or spa, by renting space in a trendy, full-service salon, or by working as a mobile nail technician. You may also even have dreams of opening up your own nail salon in Missouri!

Just a few of the top nail salons in Missouri include:

  • Creative Nail Design & Spa, Lees Summit
  • Rockstar Nails Salon and Spa, Springfield
  • 4 Seasons Nails, Columbia
  • West Plaza Nails Salon & Spa, Kansas City
  • Elegant Nail Salon, Springfield
  • Beautiful Nails, Richmond Heights

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