Being a successful manicurist is about more than just the latest trends in nail colors. Being able to take care your clients, check for disorders and disease, and properly care for the skin of your hands and feet are all important ways for a nail technician to look after their clients.

If you’re dedicated to helping clients look and feel their best, attending one of South Carolina’s beauty schools and nail programs is the best way to prepare for your career.

South Carolina Botanical Garden
South Carolina Botanical Garden


It takes 300 hours of study to become a manicurist in South Carolina. You can do so by choosing a cosmetology program with 300 hours of classes in skin care, nail disease, and manicure and pedicure techniques. You can also choose a trade program specifically for a nail technician. Beauty college offers great opportunities to gain practical experience and make contacts that can serve you well at every stage of your career. Use our app to find the school closest to you…


To complete your education requirements and move on to your license, you must finish your exams. There are two separate tests required by the South Carolina board.

The written exam is multiple choice.

The practical exam requires you to bring your own kit and mannequin hand to show your skills as a manicurist, as well knowledge of sanitation and safety.

A portion of your written exam will also cover the South Carolina Laws and Regulations pertaining to nail technicians and salon operators. Your exam results will be forwarded directly to the board. When you pass, you will get your license within ten days.

From Out-Of-State?

To transfer an existing nail technician license to South Carolina you must meet the following conditions: you must be at least 16 years old and have completed a program with equal requirements to those of South Carolina.

Your current license must be in good standing, with no disciplinary action against you. You must also have at least two years of full-time experience at the time of your transfer. Check with the South Carolina board to ensure South Carolina has reciprocity agreements with your state. If not, you will need to take the South Carolina exams.

How To Renew Your License

Once you have your license, you’ll need to renew every two years. Besides the application and fees, you’ll need to prove twelve hours of continuing education to keep your license current. Three of the twelve hours should be focused on sanitation and safety. The remaining may be spent on trade shows, equipment training, or business related courses to help you in your industry.


Once you have your license, you will have plenty of opportunities for advancements. Work at one of North Carolina’s many salons, or open your own shop. You could even take a 750-hour instructor course and become a nail technician instructor. This increases both your earning potential and your influence! Whatever you choose to do, there are plenty of jobs available. With an expected 22% increase in nail technicians and other personal care jobs in the state you are in demand.

A huge part of nail school is acquiring the necessary tools and supplies to do your nail training. Also… how does online school work for nail techs? In some locales it is possible to get your hours this way!

Aiken School of Cosmetology – Aiken

Academy of Hair Technology – Greenville

Charleston Cosmetology Institute – Charleston

Jolei’s Hair Institute – Olanta

Lacy Cosmetology School – Aiken

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