FAQ - Nail Specialty Trainee

Frequently Asked Questions for Nail Specialty Trainees


What is a “Nail Specialty Trainee” and is a registration required?

Effective July 16, 2015, the New York State Department of State will be registering “Nail Specialty Trainees.” A Nail Specialty Trainee is a person who provides nail services in an Appearance Enhancement Business (nail salon) under the supervision of a licensed Nail Specialist. Although a Nail Specialty Trainee is supervised by a licensed Nail Specialist, he or she will be employed by a licensed Appearance Enhancement Business. The business owner is responsible for paying the Nail Specialty Trainee minimum wage and ensuring that the Nail Specialty Trainee is adequately supervised during the duration of the traineeship.

Who may apply for a Nail Specialty Trainee registration?

Anyone who will be working or is currently working under the supervision of a licensed Nail Specialist to provide nail services for a fee is entitled to a Nail Specialty Trainee registration, regardless of citizenship or residency status.

How do I obtain a Nail Specialty Trainee registration?

You may obtain a Nail Specialty Trainee registration by submitting a Nail Specialty Trainee application to the Department of State. On this application, you will need to identify the person or persons who will be supervising you as a licensed Nail Specialist, together with the name of the licensed Appearance Enhancement Business where you will be working. The Department of State will process your application and issue you a Nail Specialty Trainee registration, without a fee. This will entitle you to work for an initial one year period as a Nail Specialty Trainee.

Do I need to supply a Social Security Number?

No. The Department of State is required to request social security numbers, however having a social security number is NOT a requirement for a registration. If you do not have a social security number, please include with your application a written statement that you do not have a social security number.

Where can I obtain the application for a Nail Specialty Trainee registration?

The application for a Nail Specialty Trainee registration is available on the Department of State website at: http://www.dos.ny.gov/licensing/nails/nails.html.

Is there a fee to apply for a Nail Specialty Trainee registration?

There is no fee to apply for the Nail Specialty Trainee registration.

Do I need a physical to apply for a Nail Specialty Trainee registration?

Yes. You need to be examined by a physician, physician's assistant or nurse practitioner to apply for a Nail Specialty Trainee registration. The physician, physician's assistant or nurse practitioner must complete and date the Health Certification section of the application or the Health Certification Form (DOS-1948) if you are applying online. You must submit your application within 30 days after the certification is signed and dated.

What will I be required to do during my traineeship?

A Nail Specialty Trainee registration is valid for one year. As a Nail Specialty Trainee, you may provide nail services under the supervision of a licensed Nail Specialist. You may work full or part time. There is no requirement as to the number of hours you must work as a Nail Specialty Trainee.

Can I be a Nail Specialty Trainee for more than one year?

Yes, you have the right to renew your traineeship for an additional year (two years total). If you require additional renewals, you will be required to submit a request with written justification to the Department of State.

Do I need to pass an examination?

You do not need to pass an examination to obtain a Nail Specialty Trainee registration.

As a Nail Specialty Trainee, who will be my employer?

During the duration of your traineeship, you will be supervised by one or more licensed Nail Specialists. You will, however, be considered an employee of the licensed Appearance Enhancement Business (nail salon). The business owner is responsible for ensuring that you are properly trained, and for paying you legal minimum wage.

How do I document the hours worked?

During your traineeship, you should maintain a log setting forth the hours worked, and the name of the person who supervised you during this period of time. We suggest that you keep the log with you during work hours.

Can I change supervisors?

Yes, you can change supervisors during your traineeship. If you do so, you will be required to notify the Department of State. Change of status form.

Can I change nail salons?

Yes, during your traineeship, you may change nail salons where you work. If you do so, you will be required to notify the Department of State. Change of status form.

How do I upgrade to a Nail Specialty license?

At the end of your traineeship, you will need to upgrade your registration in order to provide nail services. To do so, you will need to obtain a license as a Nail Specialist from the Department of State.

Is there a limit to the number of Nail Specialty Trainees a licensed Nail Specialist can supervise?

No. There is no limit to the number of Trainees a Nail Specialist can supervise, however, adequate supervision must be provided for all Trainees.


Frequently Asked Questions for Nail Specialists/Traineeship Route


What is a Nail Specialist?

A Nail Specialist provides nail services, such as manicures and pedicures, for a fee.

When can I obtain a Nail Specialty license?

After you have been registered as a Nail Specialty Trainee for a period of one year, you may obtain a Nail Specialty license from the Department of State.

How do I obtain a Nail Specialty license?

To obtain a Nail Specialty license, you must submit an application to the Department of State with an application fee of $40. You may apply online for a Nail Specialty license at: http://www.dos.ny.gov/licensing/nails/nails.html.

Is there an exam requirement?

Yes, before you are issued a Nail Specialty license, you must pass the Department of State administered written and practical examinations. There is a $15 fee for taking each of the two required examinations.

Do I need to complete education?

Yes, you will be required to complete a 26 hour course of approved study before obtaining a Nail Specialty license. Additional Information on the course of study can be found on the Department of State website at: http://www.dos.ny.gov/licensing/nails/nails.html.