Nail Technician School and License Requirements in Ohio

Ohio is home to 1,680 licensed manicurists and pedicurists. Still, the demand is so high for personal care services that the state’s salon and spa industry has plenty of room for newcomers specializing in nail health and beautification. As a licensed nail technician in Ohio, you will be rewarded for learning all the newest trends and techniques in nail care.

Enter Zip:

Your new career as a manicurist in Ohio starts by qualifying for a license through the Ohio State Board of Cosmetology, who issues licenses for estheticians, cosmetologists, natural hair stylists, and manicurists- each with its own licensing requirements.

As a manicurist, you get to take the fast track to the beauty world, specializing in nails, hands, and feet. For guidance on how to meet the license requirements to become a manicurist in Ohio, follow the steps in this guide:

Gradate from Manicurist School
Pass Ohio State Board Nail Technician Exams
Submit an Application for Nail Technician Licensure
Explore Career Advancement Opportunities as a Licensed Manicurist
Complete Ohio’s Continuing Education Requirements



Step 1. Gradate from Manicurist School

Your first step toward attaining a license is to complete a manicurist training program. Graduating from one of Ohio’s nail technician schools will help introduce you to the salon industry by teaching everything from basic manicuring and pedicuring, to the ins and outs of marketing yourself in the beauty business.

Your nail technician program will include 200 credit hours of manicurist license courses in the following areas in accordance with Ohio State Board of Cosmetology requirements:

  • Manicuring procedures
  • Basic and oil procedures
  • Men’s manicuring
  • Pedicuring
  • Application of polish
  • Nail cosmetics
  • Nail repair
  • Nail bleach applications
  • Artificial nails
  • Artificial nail anatomy and composition
  • Hand, arm, and leg massages and techniques
  • Specialized equipment
  • Salon Operations
  • Communication Skills
  • Human Relations
  • Personality and Presentation
  • Salon Management
  • Career Development
  • Ohio Cosmetology Laws, Rules, and Regulations



Step 2. Pass Ohio State Board Nail Technician Exams

You will need to pass both the written and the practical exam in order to be eligible for a license in Ohio. The Ohio State Board of Cosmetology proctors both exams, allowing you to schedule them after you complete your education.


The written, or theory, exam will take about ninety (90) minutes and consists of 110 multiple choice questions, which will focus on the following subjects:

  • Principles of Infection
  • Infection Control
  • Prevention
  • Guidelines
  • OSHA Regulations
  • Bacteria, Viruses, Fungi, and Skin Disease
  • Anatomy
  • Function of skin and nails
  • Nail structure and growth


The Practical Exam will test your physical ability to perform manicurist services. You must bring your own kit of general supplies and mannequin hand(s). You will be tested in the following five (5) core areas:

  • Set Up and Client Protection
  • Basic Manicure
  • Nail Tip
  • Nail Wrap
  • Sculptured Nail

You will schedule your exam with the Board three to five weeks before your testing date, and you will be notified of your testing date by mail from the Board.



Step 3. Submit an Application for Nail Technician Licensure

Upon your successful completion of the Board exams, you will be issued an Ohio manicurist license.

If you are an out-of-state license candidate, follow these simple steps:

  • Submit the Out-of-State License Application
  • Submit current photograph
  • Submit copy of current manicuring license
  • Pass practical and theory exam with at least 75% or higher

You can submit all documentation to the Ohio Board at the following mailing address:

The Ohio State Board of Cosmetology
1929 Gateway Circle
Grove City, Ohio 43123



Step 4. Explore Career Advancement Opportunities as a Licensed Manicurist

Manicurist Manager

As a manicuring manager in Ohio, your job description will shift from performing manicurist services, to providing management services in a nail salon setting. To do so, you will need to complete a manicuring manager training program that includes one hundred (100) credit hours in the following courses:

  • Cosmetology Laws and Rules
  • Ohio Revised Code Statutes
  • Ohio Administrative Rules
  • License and permit police
  • Continuing Education Policy
  • Inspection and Enforcement
  • Public Health and Safety
  • Sanitation Practices and Procedures
  • Advanced Nail Techniques
  • Salon Supervision and Management
  • Specialized Equipment
  • Communication Skills

After completing your education, you will also need to take the Manager Theory Exam by filling out the Manager’s Examination application.

Manicurist Instructor

If you have become a manager and you want to move forward into the job of an Instructor, you will need to fill out the Instructor Application, which will involve teaching manicurist services at an Ohio cosmetology school.

To become a manicurist instructor, you must:

  • Hold a current, active Ohio managing manicurist license, AND
  • Worked as a manicurist in a licensed nail or beauty salon for one year (equal to 2000 hours),


  • Have completed a manicurist instructor’s course in an Ohio cosmetology school



Step 5. Complete Ohio’s Continuing Education Requirements

You will need to renew your license every two years on odd-numbered years using the online renewal system. Before renewing, you are required to complete at least eight (8) credits of continuing educating (CE) during each two-year renewal cycle.

All classes must be pre-approved by the Board, and the courses must focus specifically on the practical or theoretical side of manicuring. After completing your CE course, you should maintain records of the following information:

  • Name of Course
  • Date
  • Location
  • Hours Received
  • CE Approval Number

You may search for approved courses on the board website. Continuing education is not just a way to renew your license—but it is also a way to keep you in the know on the latest trends in the industry.

Back to Top