Whether it is for an evening out at the Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences in Charleston, a wedding, graduation, or just to look good for work and play, West Virginians want their nails to shine and appreciate an artist who can perform the craft well. As a manicurist in West Virginia you will beautify and improve the health of nails for a loyal client base that will refer you to friends and family.
Becoming a nail technician in West Virginia is an attractive prospect for several reasons, including the fact that you can work independently and earn a good living as a specialized artisan.
To become eligible for licensure as a nail technician you will need to meet the requirements set by the West Virginia State Board of Barbers and Cosmetologists. You can legally start working with nails once you complete these steps:
|Complete Approved Nail Technician School Training|
|Pass the Required Nail Technician Exams|
|Apply for your Nail Technician License|
|Maintain your License and Explore Career Options|
Step 1. Complete Approved Nail Technician School Training
The first thing you will need to do is complete a nail technician education program at one of the schools approved by the West Virginia State Board of Barbers and Cosmetologists. Before you apply to one of these schools you should confirm you meet these minimum requirements:
- Are at least 18 years old
- Can pass a tuberculosis test
- Have a high school diploma or GED
As you will see there are several different manicurist schools to choose from, with programs located throughout West Virginia in cities like:
Your manicurist courses must be at least 400 hours in length. The subjects you study will include:
- 100 theory hours of general professional information, such as business management, sanitation, first aid, and state law
- 64 hours of theory and 10 hours of practical experience relating to the science of nail technology, such as nail diseases, electricity, the chemistry of nail products, and human anatomy and physiology
- 12 theory hours and 80 hours of practical experience relating to the performance of manicures, pedicures, massage, nail wraps, nail tips, tool disinfection, nail polishing, and UV gel
- 21 theory hours and 113 hours of practical experience relating to the art of nail technology such as nail enhancements, creative design, electric filing, and advanced procedures
Once you have earned at least 150 hours of education you can start working with members of the public even as a student at your nail technician school.
Step 2. Pass the Required Nail Technician Exams
Once you have completed your school requirements you can register to take your nail technician exams. These are administered by the company DL Roope Administrations. You can register for your exams through this agency or through your manicurist school. Exams are offered back-to-back on the same day. You will need to pass the following three exams with a score of at least 70 percent:
Nail Technician Written Examination
You will have 90 minutes to complete your written exam. This will evaluate your knowledge in the areas of:
- Client consultation and documentation
- Nail service tools and equipment
- Nail service set up
- Performance of manicures and pedicures
- Nail enhancement services
- Post nail service procedures
- Nail technician scientific concepts
- Infection control and safety
- Basic human anatomy and physiology
- Nail anatomy and physiology
- Basic chemistry and nail products
West Virginia State Law Examination
To prepare for this exam you can review the West Virginia Rules and Regulations that pertain to the field of cosmetology in general, including nail technicians. You will have 30 minutes to complete the exam.
Nail Technician Practical Examination
The practical examination takes approximately three hours to complete. You will need to bring your own kit, supplies, and mannequin hand. You will be evaluated on your performance of these tasks:
- Set up and client protection – 15 minutes
- Manicure and polish application – 20 minutes
- New client set up and work area preparation – 10 minutes
- Nail tip and blending – 20 minutes
- Sculptured nail – 20 minutes
- Blood exposure procedure – no time limit
Step 3. Apply for your Nail Technician License
DL Roope Administrations will notify the West Virginia State Board of Barbers and Cosmetologists once you have passed your exams. At this point you can apply for your license by filling out an Application for Registration as a nail technician with the State Board. You will also need to submit additional documents with your application that prove you meet the requirements for a nail technician license, such as a high school diploma and tuberculosis test results.
Option for a Temporary Permit
By completing your schooling in West Virginia you automatically have the option to obtain a temporary work permit. This will allow you to work as a nail technician as soon as you register to take your exams. To obtain this you can submit a Work Permit Application to the West Virginia State Board of Cosmetologists and Barbers once you have registered for your exams.
Out-of-State Nail Technicians
West Virginia does not recognize examinations taken by nail technicians or manicurists from other states. To become licensed as an out-of-state candidate you will need to submit proof that you have completed a nail technician education program similar to that which is required in West Virginia. This must be submitted to the West Virginia State Board of Barbers and Cosmetologists in Dunbar.
You will also need to submit an Out-of-State Application that will serve as your application to complete West Virginia’s testing requirements. You must submit this form to DL Roope Administrations in Maine at the address indicated on the bottom of the application.
Step 4. Maintain your License and Explore Career Options
The job description of a nail technician will vary depending on where you work. Some places specialize in everything that has to do with nails, while other manicurists work in all-inclusive day spas. Wherever your skills take you, you will need to be flexible as you develop the skills for your new career. Some of West Virginia’s best nail technicians work at respected establishments such as:
- Oasis Spa in Charleston
- El Haijj Salon and Spa in Huntington
- Spa Roma in Morgantown
- Patti Johns Day Spa in Vienna
While you research nail technician jobs throughout the state don’t forget to renew your license before it expires. To do this you will also need to complete at least four hours of continuing education on an annual basis. The West Virginia State Board of Barbers and Cosmetologists provides an approved list of continuing education providers.
As you progress in a successful career you may want to consider renting your own space in an existing nail salon or day spa. This will allow you to take one step closer towards complete independence. By having a Booth Rental License Application approved you will be your own boss and keep the profits from the services you perform.
There is also the option to open your own nail spa or salon. If you are the business-minded type who wants to test the limits of your full potential you can always consider filling out a Shop License Application. Whatever you decide to do with your new nail technician license, you will be able to go as far as your skills and talent take you.