Nova Scotia has some of the best-trained in the beauty industry. Unlike much of Canada, they require professional licenses and schools for their nail technicians.

Starting a career as a nail technician will open doors throughout the province and across the country. If you’re excited about the nest nail trends and love playing with color and helping others look their best, a nail technician certification in Nova Scotia may be your ideal career.

Education Requirements

All nail technicians in the province need at least 300 hours of study (not many hours compared to places like TX or CA). These may be 300 hours specializing in nail work as part of a general esthetician course, or hairdressing program. Or you can attend a part-time diploma program just for nail technicians.

As part of your program, you’ll learn about the anatomy and physiology of the nail, how to spot and treat infection, and how to use advanced technologies like electric files, wraps, gels, and acrylics. You’ll also be fully trained in WHMIS, and receive first aid training. Some programs also offer courses in business management, which can help you when opening your own nail salon. Check out all the nail equipment you’ll need for school.

Some Nail Tech Schools in Nova Scotia

HDC Hair & Esthetics School of Cosmetology – 278 Lacewood Dr., Halifax B3M 3N8

The Academy of Cosmetology – 363 Windmill Road, Dartmouth B3A 1J2

Elevate Beauty Institute of Cosmetology – 77 Crescent Drive, New Minas B4N 3G7

Eastern Esthetics – 19 Crane Lake Drive, Halifax B3S 1B5

NSCC – 5685 Leeds Street, Halifax B3K 2T3

Getting Your License

Once you have completed at least 300 hours of training, you can apply, on your own, or through your school, to sit the Cosmetology Association’s Provincial Examination. This is a two-part exam, consisting of a written component, and a theoretical examination that will be overseen by your instructors.

Licensing Out-Of-Province

In order to work as a nail technician in Nova Scotia, you will have to have Red Seal certification as a nail tech, cosmetologist, or hairdresser in your home province. Depending on your home provinces requirements, you may still be required to sit an exam. Preference will be given to those who possess the skills, experience, and credentials for licensure.


All Nova Scotia cosmetology licenses and salon permits expire December 31st of each year. You must renew your license by paying a fee to the Nova Scotia Cosmetology board before January 1st. No continuing education is required, but staying up to date on practices and technology is essential to keeping your customers happy and keeping your business growing.


Nova Scotia offers plenty of opportunities to help beginning cosmetologists, hairstylists, and nail technicians find work. The Nova Scotia Cosmetology Board website is full of opportunities for advancement and training.

To find work, you should visit the provincial job boards. A well-trained Nova Scotia nail tech can find work in the hotel and salon industry, or even in some medical offices, working with skin care specialists. Your training may even take you toward a Master Cosmetologist license, which leads to more earning power, and more respect in the industry.

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