While there are many cosmetology schools available throughout Tennessee that offer programs to get your nail tech license, there are specific requirements you must meet in order to enroll. These requirements include:

  • being at least 16 years of age or higher
  • have at least 600 hours worth of hands-on and theory training
  • learn topics such as sanitation laws, nail design, hand massaging, tool use, and pedicuring

For schools that can give you the necessary pre-exam training in your area, enter your zip below:

Once you have these requirements, you must take two exams, both of which are given by Tennessee Board of Cosmetology and Barber Examiners.

These tests will determine whether or not you have the skill and competency to become a licensed nail technician in TN.

Exams: Practical and Theory

Make sure your school notifies the board when you graduate so that you receive an email about your exams, including how to schedule them. Once you have, go over the Tennessee Manicurist Examination Candidate Information Bulletin to prepare.

The two exams include a nail tech theory exam and a practical exam.

You have 90 minutes to finish the nail tech theory exam.

For the practical portion, you have 2 hours and 10 minutes. It’s important to note that for this exam you will need your manicure kit, as well as any required tools needed. You must have a passing score of 70% on each exam.

After passing both exams, you must pay a fee for your license. Once you do, you’ll be able to work in Tennessee as a licensed nail tech license.

Be aware that you must renew your license every year but that there is no continuing education (CE) requirement in Tennessee.

After you have your license in hand, you’re ready to work. TN has a good job search site that you can use to help, but there is much work available with a good starting salary too!

Special Note For Out-Of-Staters

If you aren’t from Tennessee and would like to work in the state as a nail technician, be sure to fill out a reciprocity application. Other requirements include:

  • completing a minimum 600 hours training or;
  • have currently been working as a nail tech for 5+ years
  • pass both the nail tech theory exam and the practical exam in your home state
  • pass the Tennessee law and regulations exam

Nashville, TN skyline
Nashville skyline

Cost of Nail Technician Schools in Tennessee

NameAddressCostOther Programs
Genesis Career College1505 Noahs Ark Circle, Lebanon, 37087Tuition & Fees: $9,995Cosmetology, Massage Therapy, Esthetician, Master Barber & many more
Franklin Academy1605 Professional Park Dr. NW
Cleveland 37312
Aesthetics, Cosmetology
Georgia Career Institute755 North Chancery Street
McMinnville, 37110
Tuition: $7,000
Books/Supplies: $710
Include of license:$140
Total: $7950
Cosmetology, Esthetics, Massage Therapy
Elite College Of Cosmetology459 North Main Street,
Lexington 38351
Tuition $5,550
Kit, etc. $1,500
Registration $100
Queen City College1594 Fort Campbell Boulevard, Clarksville 37042Tuition & Fees: $5,700
Other: $780
Barbering, Cosmetology, Esthetician
Tennessee Career Institute1412 Trotwood Avenue, Columbia, 38401Tuition: $9,500
Registration Fee: $100
Exam Fees: $200
Total: $10,450
Cosmetology, Esthetics, Massage Therapy

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