Pennsylvania’s salon industry is thriving, and you can be a part of this growing field as a nail technician or manicurist. Nail technicians enjoy job stability, good pay, and the opportunity for self-expression. PA is a large state that offers many opportunities in cosmetology for those who are willing to get their education. A nail technician in Pennsylvania must receive formal instruction, and become licensed through the State Board of Cosmetology.

To begin the licensure process, you must have at least a 10th grade education. The next step is to graduate from a accredited manicurist school. You must complete 200 hours of instruction in a one-month timeframe. Classes include technical aspects such as safety, basic manicuring and pedicuring, and attaching and shaping artificial nails. Students will also learn about Pennsylvania’s rules and regulations that apply to the practice of cosmetology. Use our app to find the schools closest to you:


Your successful completion of this training allows you to take the Pennsylvania Nail Technician Licensing Exam. Your application to take the exam will also serve as your application with the State Board of Cosmetology.

The nail technician exam is contracted through the company Pearson VUE. While applying for the exam, you have the option of applying for a temporary, non-renewable license that will allow you to work as a manicurist until you take the exam.


The exam consists of a theory section and a practical section taken entirely on a computer. Various subjects that are covered include nail enhancements, nail analysis and structure, and nail buffing and polishing. You will also be tested about rules, regulations, and safety. Once you have successfully completed the exam, Pearson VUE will forward your application and testing results to the State Board of Cosmetology for processing. Pennsylvania licenses need to be renewed every two years.

If you have people skills, a sense of style, and are dedicated, you can become a nail technician or manicurist in Pennsylvania. Once you have learned about the business side of the salon industry, you may be well on your way to opening your own spa or studio.

Also take a look at the supplies you’ll need — including tools and equipment — in order to do your nail training, and take a look at what you’ll learn in manicure classes.

Listings of Nail Technician Schools in Pennsylvania

Venus Beauty Academy – Aston

Bucks County School of Beauty Culture – Feasterville

Stroudsburg School of Cosmetology – Stroudsburg

Lancaster County Career & Technology Center – Brownstown

Trendz Beauty Academy – Easton

PSC Academy – Hermitage

Chvasta Beauty Academy – Moontownship

Nine Three One Beauty Academy – Philadelphia

The Salon Professional Academy – Altoona

Toni & Guy Hairdressing Academy – Ambler

Toni & Guy Hairdressing Academy – Philadelphia

Toni & Guy Hairdressing Academy – Allentown

Jolie Health and Beauty Academy – Wilkes-Barre


School Websites:
Altoona Beauty School – Altoona
Chambersburg Beauty & Barber School – Chambersburg
Jolie Health and Beauty Academy – Hazleton
Laurel Technical Institute – Sharon, Meadville
LT International Beauty School – Philadelphia
Lancaster School of Cosmetology – Lancaster
North Hills Beauty Academy – Pittsburgh
Professional Academy of Cosmetology – Norristown
Penn Commercial Business and Technical School – Washington
South Hills Beauty Academy – Pittsburgh
The Cosmetology Academy at Douglas Education Center – Monessen

Any PA schools for nail techs missing? Please use our contact form to let us know.