Nail Technician School and License Requirements in New Hampshire

For such a small New England state, New Hampshire sure does have its share of nail salons. According to NAILS Magazine, New Hampshire is home to more than 1,000 specialty nail salons. Nail salons are a common fixture in the population centers of Manchester, Nashua, and Concord, as well as the many tourist destinations throughout the State.

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If you want to kick start your career in the nail salon services industry in New Hampshire, you must first become a licensed manicurist, which requires earning licensure through the New Hampshire Board of Barbering, Cosmetology, and Esthetics.

To become licensed as a manicurist in New Hampshire, you must be prepared to successfully complete the following:

Complete a Formal Education Program or Apprenticeship in Nail Technology
Apply for the New Hampshire Examination for Licensure
Take and Pass the Required Examinations for Manicurist Licensure
Keep your Manicurist License Current and Explore Job Opportunities in New Hampshire



Step 1. Complete a Formal Education Program or Apprenticeship in Nail Technology

All candidates for manicurist licenses must complete formal training, which may be accomplished through a nail technician program in a New Hampshire cosmetology or nail technician school or through a structured apprenticeship.

If you want to earn licensure through the completion of a nail technician program, you must do so through a licensed New Hampshire school offering a program of at least 300 hours.

If you want to earn licensure by working as an apprentice under a licensed manicurist in New Hampshire, you must complete a course of training of no less than 600 hours. An approved apprenticeship must include training in the following:

  • Bacteriology, safety, and sanitation
  • Professional practice
  • Basic manicuring
  • Sculptured nail, nail tip, nail wrap, and gel application
  • Pedicuring
  • Proper drill use

An apprenticeship must also include study in textbook theory relating to manicuring, State laws and rules, and reflexology and massage for manicuring and pedicuring. You must contact the Board to receive an apprenticeship application at 603-271-3608. The cost of applying for an apprenticeship is $25.



Step 2. Apply for the New Hampshire Examination for Licensure

After you have successfully completed a course of study/training acceptable to the Board, you must apply to take the New Hampshire examination for licensure as a manicurist in New Hampshire, which requires obtaining an application from your nail technician school and sending it to DL Roope Administrations, along with the following:

  • Current name and mailing address
  • Copy of your driver’s license
  • Copy of your high school diploma (or the equivalent)
  • A completed Questionnaire for Licensure
  • An Apprentice Application (if applicable)
  • A letter verifying your school training
  • Examination fee of $184

You may also apply online at Your school will approve your online application through the school portal.



Step 3. Take and Pass the Required Examinations for Manicurist Licensure

Once the Board receives all of the necessary information, they will review it, ensuring you are in compliance to take the manicurist examinations for licensure. They will then send you an admission letter confirming your scheduled practical examination.

The Board holds practical examinations once every 6 months in towns throughout the state. You will be notified at least 10 days in advance of the date, place, and time of your practical examination. The practical examination, which takes about 3 hours to complete, consists of the following:

  • Basic manicure with hand and arm massage
  • Sculptured nail
  • Nail tip
  • Nail wrap
  • Polish

The Board will also send you an approval to register for the written examination with Iso-Quality Testing (IQT). You can expect to receive an email from IQT with instructions on how to schedule the written examination. There are IQT testing centers located in Lebanon and Manchester.

Do not schedule your written examination until you have received your practical exam admission letter.

You can learn more about the written examination here and the practical examination here.

Once you have passed both the practical and written examinations, you must pay a licensure fee of $30 to the Board. Once the Board receives this fee, your manicurist license will be issued.



Step 4. Keep your Manicurist License Current and Explore Job Opportunities in New Hampshire

Your New Hampshire manicurist license expires on the last day of your birth month on every odd-numbered year. The cost of your biennial renewal is $40 and you must complete a personal license renewal form.

Nail technician jobs may be found in nail salons/full-service salons/spas such as these:

  • Daydreams Hair and Nail Studio, Lincoln
  • Adagio Spa, Salon, and Wellness Center, Barrington
  • The Mountain Club on Loon, White Mountain
  • Posh Nail Spa, Nashua
  • Simply Healthy Nail Spa, Manchester

You have a number of options once you become a licensed manicurist in New Hampshire. You may work for one of New Hampshire’s nail salons, full-service salons, or spas, or you may choose to work as an independent contractor, renting salon or booth space. Finally, you may choose to explore the exciting possibility of opening up your own nail salon in New Hampshire one day!

Although there are no continuing education requirements for maintaining your manicurist license in New Hampshire, you will likely seek additional training and education from time to time as a way to stay on top of the latest trends, innovations, and advances in the nail salon services industry. If you have aspirations of salon management or ownership, you are likely well served by taking courses or pursuing a degree in management, administration, marketing, and the like.

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