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The Nail Program

Successful nail artists are creative people with a strong sense of design and masterful technical abilities. They also need to be savvy business people who keep up with industry trends, treat their clients to the best possible service, and understand how to market and manage their business. From creativity to product knowledge to nail enhancement, our program gives you the skill set you’ll need to begin a career in the nail industry.

Technical Areas Covered

  • Art, design and trends for manicures and pedicures
  • Basic, French and American manicures
  • Conditioning oil manicures
  • Moisturizing wax treatments
  • Arm massages
  • Pedicures and foot massages
  • Nail designs
  • Nail gels, tips and wraps
  • Acrylic nails
  • Safety, sterilization and sanitation
  • Massage techniques for hands, arms and feet
  • And much more


One of the most exciting days for our Future Professionals is the day they get to unwrap their very own professional kit. It’s packed with all the essentials—professional manicure and pedicure tools, nail enhancement tools, and much more—so you’re ready to succeed in school and launch your dream career.


When you have the latest technology and resources at your fingertips, you’ll be more successful in school and in your career. That’s why every Future Professional at Paul Mitchell The School Costa Mesa receives an iPad with their student kit, giving them on-the-go access to schoolwork, career advice from industry leaders, Paul Mitchell cutting and coloring apps, our exclusive Business Fundamentals: Connecting to My Future curriculum and much more.

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Learn more about our graduation, placement, and licensure rates, and much more.

Nail Technician

Nail Course Overview
Course Hours: 300 clock hours The course is divided into pre-clinical classroom instruction and clinical service learning experiences. 
Pre-clinical Classroom Instruction: The first 60 hours are devoted to classroom workshops, demonstration, and practical experience. You will learn nail principles, technical information, and professional practices. 
Clinic Learning Experience: The remaining 240 hours are spent in the clinic classroom area, gaining practical experience.
Nail Course Outline 
Your time at Paul Mitchell The School Rhode Island for the nail specialist program will be divided into three designations: 
Core Curriculum: This 60-hour time period is dedicated to exploring foundational knowledge and basic nails procedures. You will receive individual attention in practical workshops, and you will complete clinic practical worksheets and periodic tests throughout the course. This is an intense and exciting portion of your experience. 
Mentor Learning Experience: Your remaining 240 hours will be spent in the clinic classroom. You will dress, act, and work like a salon industry professional. You will use your own technical and therapeutic abilities, coupled with the assistance of Learning Leaders, to provide service to guests. You will make discoveries and learn relationship-building skills that will ensure your success in this exciting, diverse field. 
Theory Classroom Learning Experience: Your theory classroom time from 240 to 300 hours will be spent 4 days a week in theory class, based on Pivot Point curriculum. This is an hourly class and requires 30 hours to graduate from the nail specialist program.

School Supplies, Kit, and Tuition Costs


Tuition: $3,000.00

Application Fee (nonrefundable): $25.00

Technical Kit *: $500.00

Textbooks (nonrefundable): $117.30

Sales Tax (6%) (nonrefundable): $254.96

Total Cost: $3,897.26


How long will it take?
Part Time Day
Monday – Thursday 
22 hours per week for 300 hours total
The curriculum involves 300 hours to satisfy Rhode Island state requirements. The course includes instruction and practical experience in acrylic nails, gel nails, manicures, pedicures, massage, customer service, personal appearance & hygiene, personal motivation and development, retail skills, client record keeping, business ethics, state laws and regulations, salon-type administration, and job interviewing. *Students are prepared for an entry level nail specialist
When can I get started?

Ready to get started? Here are our upcoming start dates for this program:


Please check back later for class start dates.

Student educational materials
  • 1 Connecting to My Future Book, ISBN 0-9743205-0-1, $19.95
  • 1 Be Nice (Or Else!) BookISBN-13: 978-0-974-993-99-7, $10.00
  • 1 Plugged In Apron
  • 1 Dollar Camp
Required textbooks
Pivot Point International: Salon Fundamentals Nails Textbook 
ISBN-13: 978-0-9779961-8-6
ISBN-10: 0-9779961-8-2
1st Edition, May 2019
Pivot Point International: Salon Fundamentals Nails Study Guide
ISBN-13: 978-0-9779961-9-3
ISBN-10: 0-9779961-9-0
1st Edition, May 2019
Clif St. Germain, Ph.D., Creator
Pivot Point International: Salon Fundamentals Nails Exam Prep
ISBN-13: 978-0-9789765-1-4
ISBN-10: 0-9789765-1-7
1st Edition, April 2018

Use the Net Price Calculator to estimate tuition information based on what similar students paid in a previous year.

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Curious about your future as a nail technician? There are a wide variety of financial aid options out there—and we’re here to help you find them. Get information about tuition, financial aid, scholarships, and more from our helpful Costa Mesa Financial Aid Leader.

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Contact us today and a member of our Enrollment Team will get back to you right away and answer all your questions.

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