How Long Does It Take and What Will You Study?

In order to make sure a new manicurist is in compliance with health and sanitation regulations set out by the Iowa Cosmetology Board, all nail technicians in Iowa need to get the proper license. To get a license the candidate must attend at least 325 hours of training from approved schools, and get a passing score on the NIC exam.

Because the Iowa training isn’t too long you can do it without spending a lot of money!

The training will cover a number of topics. Those topics will include sanitation, the repair of nails, manicure techniques, nail art, nail theory, tool use, and even anatomy. These courses can be taken full time or part time. Some school even offer evening classes.

Licensing and Exams

Applicants from out of state need to provide evidence the coursework they complete meets state requirement. They also need to provide their out of state license and this license had to be active for a period of 12 to 24 months.

The licensing exam is from the National Interstate Council of State Boards of Cosmetology (NIC).

The written exam will last for 90 minutes and will test the applicant on nail technology theory.

The practical exam will test nail art as well as safety and many other skills. This portion may take longer to complete. An applicant needs to get at least a 75 percent on each test in order to pass.

Once a person has passed the exam they can apply for their license. They will need to pay an application fee, provide proof of passing scores, and nail school transcripts. Unfortunately this extra paper work serves no purpose except to extract a little more money from students! Some states don’t require license application to be made and fees to be paid… it is automatic after passing exams.

Renewal & Continuing Education

All licenses expire on March 31st. They are good for one year. The Board will send paperwork stating it is time to renew the license and pay the fees. Continuing education courses are not required for license renewal. Though extra course aren’t required it is always a good idea to keep up-to-date. Some CE classes require very little time and can give your career a little boost. Nowadays new technologies and techniques can help your clients as well as make your life easier and more lucrative!

Examples of Iowa Nail Technician Schools

NameAddressCostOther Programs
La' James International College227 East Market Street, Iowa City, 52245Tuition & Fees: $4,750
Books & Supplies: $550
Cosmetology, Massage Therapy, Esthetics
Capri College2323 Crossroads Boulevard, Waterloo, 50702Tuition & Fees: $3,770
Books & Supplies: $580
Cosmetology, Massage Therapy, Esthetics, Continuing Education
Faust Institute of Cosmetology1290 North Lake Avenue,
Storm Lake, 50588
The Salon Professional Academy Iowa City1550 South 1st Avenue, Iowa City, 52240Tuition & Fees: $2,874
Books & Supplies: $946
Cosmetology, Esthetics
Iowa School of Beauty609 2nd Street West, Ottumwa, 52501Tuition & Fees: $2,925
Books & Supplies: $777
PCI Academy309 Kitty Hawk Drive Ames, 50010Tuition & Fees: $3,866
Application Fee: $40
Registration Fee: $140

Cosmetology, Esthetics Course, Massage Therapy

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

A taste of the area where you will be studying if you learn to be a nail tech in Iowa.
Iowa State Capitol

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