Becoming a nail technician is a great way to work your way into a cosmetology career. No matter which Illinois schools you choose, classes are thorough, without taking up too much time. Though IL has a ton of schools it has no where near as many as California.

If you’re looking for a way into the beauty industry, or trying to find a way to start your own business, becoming a nail pro is a great choice. It gives you the freedom to get your licence, and pursue your own interests as you build a client base.

Chicago, IL - big city with lots of nail schools

Length Of Training At Nail Tech Schools in Illinois

The state requires you to meet certain educational steps before becoming a certified nail technician.

You need to be at least 16 years old, to have a 10th grade education, and to prove your citizenship.

Next, you’ll need to choose one of Illinois many beauty schools. You may take a cosmetology course that includes 350 hours of nail technician training, or just the 350 hours of manicurist training at one of Illinois’ board-approved cosmetology schools. Check the app below to use your ZIP to find a school:

You’ll study courses that cover Illinois laws and regulations for manicurists, hospitality and business for salons, and courses on nail clipping, treatments, and manicure and pedicures.

Your Illinois Nail Technician License

To get your certification you need to take the nail technician exam sponsored by Continental Testing Services. You need to submit your application, and wait 60 days for approval. If you fail to get a 75% or higher, you can retake as many times as you like, but you will be asked to retrain if you fail more than 3 times.

Endorsement for Out-Of-State Manicurists

Illinois uses endorsement rather than reciprocity agreements. You must currently hold an active license in your home state to apply for endorsement.

If your education requirements are less than Illinois 350 hours, you can complete up to 50 hours of training at an Illinois school to make up for this.

You will need to take the exam regardless of current license status, and will receive your official scores within two weeks.

How To Renew Your Illinois Nail Technician License

You must complete a minimum of 10 hours of nail tech continuing education during each license period.

Contact the Board for information on how to approve a course for continuing education credits. Your license needs to be renewed every two years. Date of renewal is October 31st. All continuing education credits should have something to do with your nail practice. Courses could include a renewal of knowledge about Illinois laws and regulations, review of safety and sanitation procedures, or time at trade shows or learning new techniques.

Work As A Manicurist in IL

Illinois has a variety of salons and spas to learn your new industry ins and outs.

Your school may be able to help you find a chair at a reputable salon. You may choose, after a few years experience, to rent a chair yourself, so you can keep your own client list and control your own salary. You may even choose to work from home! Urban centres are full of options, but the best place to look is a job bank, like

Look at some of the techniques you’ll learn in nail school.

A Touch of Serenity Spa and Career Institute – Homewood

ABC Cosmetology School – River Grove

Academy of Nail Technology – Tinley Park

Academy of Nails – Downers Grove

Career Academy Nail Technology – St. Charles

Curve Metric School of Hair Design – Elmwood Park

DuQuoin Beauty College – DuQuoin

Evolutions Academy of Nail Technology Inc. – Marion

Hair Tech Academy – Peoria

Illinois Nail Technicians Academy – Arlington Hts

Kankakee Academy of Hair Design – Chicago

Midwest Institute of Nail Technology – Mundelein

Morris Academy of Hair Design – Morris

Trend Beauty College – Marion

Vee’s School of Beauty Culture – East St Louis

Other Illinois schools for makeup artists, estheticians, cosmetologists and barbers.

School Websites:

Any nail schools in Illinois missing? Please use our contact form to let us know.