Manicure Schools and Colleges in the U.S.

A manicurist is a personal appearance worker who provides customers with nail beautifying services. There are no degree programs offered in nail technology; however, a prospective student can complete a certificate in the field. These nail technology certificate programs are offered by community colleges and vocational schools.

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How to Choose a Manicure School or College

Certificate programs in nail technology can be completed in a short amount of time. This is an advantage to students who wish to learn the fundamentals of the trade and begin working shortly after completing the program. Aspiring nail technologists should consider schools that offer their students the opportunity to practice in a salon or a salon-like environment.

Hands-on training is essential to the profession and would-be manicurists benefit greatly from practical training. Nail technology certificate programs focus on building skills in areas of pedicures, manicures, nail care and cosmetology theory.

Another important consideration for aspiring manicurists is the ability to enroll in business courses. Many personal appearance workers apply for jobs in salons and beauty parlors. However, a small number desire to open their own place of business. These graduates are better positioned to succeed if they have some business training. Without this training the responsibility of running a business may be too burdensome. General business courses cover topics such as basic accounting, salon management and marketing.

Many aspiring manicurists can't attend daytime or weekday classes due to work or family responsibilities. In order to accommodate these students, many vocational schools offer classes on the weekends or at night. These programs are best suited for prospective students who cannot afford to pursue a certificate in nail technology on a full-time basis.

Lastly, aspiring manicurists should ensure that their program of choice includes some instruction on client relations. Having strong relationships with customers is extremely important in the personal appearance industry. Clients prefer to work with manicurists who have strong personalities as well as a strong grasp of the fundamentals of manicuring and pedicuring. This is especially important to manicurists who are beginning their own business.

Largest Schools by Student Population

College/University Student Population Institution Type
Palm Beach Community College 25,122 2-year, Public
Johnson County Community College 19,055 2-year, Public
Indian River State College 15,366 4-year, primarily associate's, Public
Pensacola Junior College 10,665 2-year, Public
John C Calhoun State Community College 9,694 2-year, Public
Century Community and Technical College 9,395 2-year, Public
Pulaski Technical College 9,090 2-year, Public
Lake Land College 7,107 2-year, Public
Spokane Community College 7,092 2-year, Public
Clover Park Technical College 6,235 2-year, Public
Central Georgia Technical College 5,588 2-year, Public
Rowan-Cabarrus Community College 5,392 2-year, Public
Coastal Carolina Community College 4,857 2-year, Public
Northeast Iowa Community College-Calmar 4,768 2-year, Public
Augusta Technical College 4,705 2-year, Public
Florence-Darlington Technical College 4,505 2-year, Public
Griffin Technical College 4,174 2-year, Public
Ridgewater College 4,159 2-year, Public
Johnston Community College 4,148 2-year, Public
Grayson County College 3,676 2-year, Public
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Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • Puerto Rico (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at D'Mart Institute include:
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework
    • Culinary Arts and Personal Services
      • Cosmetology and Related Services
        • Aesthetician and Skin Care
        • Barber and Hair Cutting Services
        • Hair Design
        • Nail Technician - Manicurist
        • Permanent Cosmetics and Tattooing
  • School locations:
    • Illinois (3 campuses)
    • Maryland (1 campus)
    • Pennsylvania (16)
    • Virginia (2)
    Areas of study you may find at Empire Beauty School include:
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework
    • Culinary Arts and Personal Services
      • Cosmetology and Related Services
        • Nail Technician - Manicurist
  • School locations:
    • Missouri (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Vatterott College include:
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Associate
    • Culinary Arts and Personal Services
      • Cosmetology and Related Services
        • Aesthetician and Skin Care
        • Nail Technician - Manicurist
  • School locations:
    • Illinois (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at American Career College include:
      • Non-Degree: Certificate
    • Culinary Arts and Personal Services
      • Cosmetology and Related Services
        • Cosmetology, Hair, and Nail Instructor
        • Nail Technician - Manicurist
  • School locations:
    • New Jersey (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Concorde School of Hair Design include:
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework
    • Culinary Arts and Personal Services
      • Cosmetology and Related Services
        • Aesthetician and Skin Care
        • Nail Technician - Manicurist
  • School locations:
    • California (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Stanford University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Culinary Arts and Personal Services
      • Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering
      • Biomedical and Medical Engineering
      • Chemical Engineering
      • Civil Engineering
      • Electrical Engineering and Electronics
      • Environmental Engineering
      • Industrial Engineering
      • Materials Engineering
      • Math
      • Mechanical Engineering
      • Petroleum Engineering
      • Systems Engineering
  • School locations:
    • Massachusetts (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Harvard University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Culinary Arts and Personal Services
      • Math
  • School locations:
    • Pennsylvania (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Pennsylvania include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: First Professional Certificate, Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Culinary Arts and Personal Services
      • Bioinformatics
      • Cellular Biology and Anatomical Sciences
      • Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
      • General Biology
      • Microbiology and Immunology
      • Molecular Biology, Biochemistry and Biophysics
      • Pharmacology and Toxicology
      • Physiology and Related Sciences
  • School locations:
    • Rhode Island (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Brown University include:
      • Graduate: First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Culinary Arts and Personal Services
      • Bioinformatics
      • Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
      • General Biology
      • Molecular Biology, Biochemistry and Biophysics
      • Physiology and Related Sciences
  • School locations:
    • North Carolina (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Duke University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Culinary Arts and Personal Services
      • Botany
      • Cellular Biology and Anatomical Sciences
      • General Biology
      • Genetics
      • Molecular Biology, Biochemistry and Biophysics
      • Zoology

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