Nail Technician School and License Requirements in New Mexico

As a manicurist, you will get to serve in wonderful locations such as full-service salons or relaxing day spas, in which being in the know about the latest nail care techniques is considered a virtue.

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Your career as a manicurist in New Mexico starts the New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department – The Board of Barbers and Cosmetologists. This Board regulates the licensing standards for the barbers, cosmetologists, estheticians, tattoo artists, body piercing artists, and manicurists/pedicurists working in New Mexico.

As a manicurist and pedicurist, you will work primarily with strengthening, preserving, and beautifying clients’ nails. For information on the nail technician license requirements in New Mexico, follow the steps in this guide:

Complete a Nail Technology Training Program
Submit Online Examination and Licensing Applications
Pass Written, Practical and Jurisprudence Exams
Begin your Career and Renew Your License Annually



Step 1. Complete a Nail Technology Training Program

The first step toward obtaining your official New Mexico manicurist license is attending a Board-approved manicurist school. You will learn practical skills, theoretical concepts related to health and beauty, and the business end of fashion and retail.

The New Mexico Board requires you to complete at least three hundred and fifty (350) hours of practical training and classroom courses to satisfy the licensing requirements.

In manicuring programs, you will take courses including, but not limited to, the following:

  • New Mexico State Laws and Regulations
  • Professional Image
  • First Aid
  • Chemistry
  • Job Seeking
  • Ethics
  • Sterilization, Sanitation, and Bacteriology
  • Safety Theory
  • Bacterial Growth
  • Manicuring and Pedicuring Theory
  • Manicuring and Pedicuring Anatomy
  • Products, Materials, Implements
  • Theory of Massage
  • Advanced Nail Techniques
  • Client Consultation and Recommendation
  • Client Record Keeping and Safety
  • Salon Business and Retail Sales
  • Opening a Salon and Business Plan
  • Salon Operations
  • Insurance



Step 2. Submit Online Examination and Licensing Applications

The second step toward earning your license is to submit an application for examination and licensing. You will submit this application to the examining agency, Professional Credentialing Services. This company will assist you with completing your application. To find your application, follow these online selections after clicking the link above:

  • Select Applicants and Candidates on the main page
  • Select Cosmetology & Barbering
  • Select the state of New Mexico
  • Finally, Select Manicurist/Pedicurist.

Here, you will have access to the Manicurist Handbook, which will guide you through the rest of the process. To complete an application, you will need to set up an account by following the previous steps and choosing “Create and Account.” Once you create and enable your account, you will be able to complete the application, as outlined in the manicurist handbook. Your application must include the following information:

  • Professional Training Hours
  • Current Photograph
  • Copy of Driver’s License, Birth Certificate, or passport
  • Notarized Training Affidavit (notarized by school)
  • Transcript of Training

This application serves both as your application for the exams as well as your application for your license. Once your application is processed and approved, you will receive a written (theory) exam authorization letter and a practical exam admission notice.



Step 3. Pass Written, Practical and Jurisprudence Exams

The third step toward your license is passing the exams! There will be three exams: the national practical, national written, and state law written exam. You must pass each exam with a score of 75% or higher. The two national exams are administered by the National-Interstate Council of State Boards of Cosmetology, and the jurisprudence exam can be downloaded and completed from the New Mexico Board website.

National Written – Download the Candidate Information Bulletin for more information on this exam, which will assess your knowledge including, but not limited to, the following areas:

  • Scientific Bacterial Concepts
  • OSHA Safety Requirements
  • Skin and Nail Anatomy
  • Nail Procedures
  • Client Consultation and Assessment
  • Equipment
  • Manicure and Pedicure
  • Massage Techniques

National Practical – This exam will assess your ability to perform the basic manicurist services in a clinical environment. You will need to bring your own hand mannequin with you to perform these services. The Candidate Information Bulletin will outline the specific kit you will need to bring, as well as the exact script you will follow as you go through the practical exam. This exam will test you in the following six (6) core domains:

  • Set up and client protection
  • Manicure
  • Nail tip
  • Nail wrap
  • Sculptured nail
  • Polish

Jurisprudence Exam – This exam focuses on the New Mexico rules, laws, and regulations. You can download the exam here, and submit it to the Board at the following address:

New Mexico Board of Barbers and Cosmetologists
P.O. Box 25101
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87505

Once you have completed the exams, your scores will be sent to the New Mexico State Board, and they will issue you your first, official manicurist license!



Step 4. Begin your Career and Renew Your License Annually

As a manicurist, you will be able to pursue part-time or full-time manicurist jobs in salons or day spas. You could even work as a merchandise representative, or even become a nail salon owner! If you are looking into full-service salons to get started, check out a few of the top salons located in New Mexico:

  • Chrysalis Salon and Beauty Store – Santa Fe
  • Carmona’s Salon and Day Spa – Las Cruces
  • Downtown Salon and Spa – Farmington
  • Salon Deluxe – Rio Rancho
  • Allure Salon and Spa – Alamogordo

You must renew your license in order to continue legally working as a licensed manicurist. The New Mexico Board of Barbers and Cosmetologists will remind you when it comes time for the annual renewal of your license, which will occur during your birth month each year. Once you are notified, you may renew online.

The Board does not require you to complete continuing education for renewal unless you are an instructor; however, advanced courses are a wonderful way to expand your skillset and increase your earning potential.

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