Nail and Waxing Specialty

  • Program Highlights

    Two-Year NYSED Approved CTE Program

    Nail and Waxing Specialty is a perfect course for students interested in launching a career in the beauty industry but not interested in hair styling. In this 2-year program, students will have an in-depth focus on nails, temporary hair removal methods, and makeup. Students will learn natural nail care, manicures, pedicures, as well as a variety of artificial nail enhancement techniques, proper hair removal procedures including tweezing and waxing of the face and body, and beginner to advanced makeup techniques and applications. In year one, when students are safely and competently able to perform skills, they will be able to practice on patrons in a clinical setting. In year two, students will continue to practice and enhance their knowledge and skills with a weekly clinic. Upon successful completion of the course, students will be prepared to sit for the New York State Licensing Exams in Nail Specialty and Waxing Specialty. Students must complete 250 hours of theory and practice in Nail Specialty and 75 hours of theory and practice in Waxing Specialty, as well as be 17 years of age at the time of testing to be eligible. Students will also create a portfolio of work.


EMCC student filing a client's nail

Units of Study

    • Salon Safety and Health
    • Infection Control and Bacteriology
    • Proper Filing, Shaping, and Polishing
    • History and Career Opportunities
    • Natural Nails (Manicures and Pedicures)
    • Anatomy and Physiology of the Arm, Hand, Leg, and Foot
    • Massage of the Arm, Hand, Leg, Foot
    • Client Consultation
    • Basic Makeup Application (Day, Evening, Special Occasion)
    • Business Practices, Job Skills, Retailing
    • Nail and Skin Structure, Disease, and Disorders
    • Tip Application and Fabric Nail Wraps
    • Hard and Soft UV Gel Overlays and Sculpting
    • Acrylic Nail Enhancements (Tips and Forms)
    • Latest in Nail Enhancement Technologies
    • Manual Tweezing, Hard, and Soft Waxing
    • Hair Structure, Function, and Growth
    • Nail Art, Color Theory, and Design
    • Advanced Makeup Techniques (Fantasy, Period, Editorial)
    • Portfolio Construction


Industry Based Exams/Certifications

    • National Occupational Competency Testing Institute (NOCTI) exam—Nail Specialty
    • Preparation for the NYS Nail Technology Specialty and/or Waxing Specialty licensing exams


  • High School Credit

    • 3.5 CTE a.m./3.0 CTE p.m. (max)
      1.0  English 12 (Advanced)
      1.0  Technical Science (Basic)

    College—Articulation Agreement


  • Career Connections

    • Nail Technician
    • Product Educator
    • Salon Owner
    • Salon Manager
    • Salon Receptionist
    • Nail Care Product Educator
    • Product Salesperson
    • Distributor Sales Representative
    • Waxing Specialist

    Post-secondary Programs

    • Business Management
    • Medical Nail Technician
    • Marketing and Sales
    • Certified Master Pedicurist

Items to Consider

  • Successful Students:

    • Complete 325 hours of theory and practice
    • Maintain excellent attendance
    • Exhibit initiative, creativity, artistic abilities
    • Have proficient fine-motor skills and attention to detail
    • Enjoy working closely with people in a salon environment
    • Are organized, motivated, and able to follow series of directions
    • Participate in student-to-student clinic as both client and technician
    • Communicate professionally and effectively with others
    • Enjoy science as it relates to the skin, hands, and feet
    • Purchase and wear a smock daily (approx. $25) and safe footwear