Montana’s beauty industry is made up of nearly 100 nail salons located throughout the state’s metro areas and rural communities. Your love of a perfect manicure could translate into a successful career as a nail technician, whether in Billings, Missoula, Great Falls, or Bozeman.
But first things first: You must be licensed to practice as a nail technician in Montana, and that requires completing a number of steps, as set forth by the Montana Board of Barbers and Cosmetologists:
|Complete a Program in Nail Technology|
|Apply for a Manicurist License|
|Take and Pass the Written and Practical Nail Technician Exams|
|Review your Career Options and Keep your Manicurist License Current|
Step 1. Complete a Program in Nail Technology
To earn a manicurist license in Montana, you must complete a nail technology education and training program through one of the approved schools of cosmetology or manicuring located in the state.
The program must include at least 350 hours of training
The Montana Board of Barbers and Cosmetologists must approve the program you enroll in. You can view a list of Montana’s nail technician schools and courses here.
Step 2. Apply for a Manicurist License
After successfully completing a recognized program in nail technology, you must apply for licensure as a manicurist in Montana.
To be eligible for a manicurist license in Montana, you must be at least 18 years old and able to provide proof of your age, and you must be a high school graduate.
You can apply for a manicurist license in Montana by either applying online or by completing and submitting a hardcopy Application for Licensure. You must also submit a license application fee of $80.
If you graduated from one of Montana’s cosmetology schools, your school will process the online application on your behalf through DL Roope Administrations, the company responsible for administering both the practical and theory examinations required for licensure as a nail technician in Montana.
Once you have submitted your application for licensure, you will be notified in writing, usually in about 10 days, of your eligibility to take the exams. You will also then receive your admission letters to take both portions of the manicurist examination.
Step 3. Take and Pass the Written and Practical Nail Technician Exams
The National Nail Technology Examination, through the National-Interstate Council of State Boards of Cosmetology (NIC), is used by the Board to assess the knowledge of manicurist license candidates. The nail technology written examination takes about 90 minutes to complete.
You can view more information on taking this exam and how to prepare by reading the Candidate Information Bulletin.
The Board also utilizes the NIC National Nail Technology Practical Examination to assess a candidate’s manicuring skills for state licensure. You may take the practical examination in either Missoula or Billings, and you can view upcoming test dates for 2015 here.
You can read more about the practical examination for nail technician licensure by reading the Candidate Information Bulletin.
To pass both the written and practical examinations, you must receive a score of 75 percent or better.
Step 4. Review your Career Options and Keep your Manicurist License Current
All manicurist licenses in Montana are renewed on a biennial basis on March 1. The cost of renewal is $80. You can renew online here or by completing a paper Renewal Application. There are no continuing education requirements for manicurists in Montana.
Your career as a nail technician in Montana will likely begin by achieving a position in a nail salon, full-service salon, or spa. You may choose to be hired as an employee in a salon or spa setting, or you may choose to act as an independent contractor and rent salon or spa space to begin your own manicurist business. You may also choose to begin exploring the idea of opening up your own salon in Montana. As such, you may look into taking business, marketing, and salon management courses.
Just a few of the popular salons that support nail technician jobs in Montana include:
- Paradise Nails, Helena
- The Ritzz Salon, Billings
- Her Alibi Salon, Helena
- Davi Nails, Laurel
- Solace Spa and Salon, Big Sky
- Tres Chic Hair and Nail Salon, West Missoula