Nail Technology

CREDENTIAL: Certificate

Learn the latest in advanced hand, foot, and nail treatments including tips, overlays, sculptured, gel, and acrylics in VCC’s state-of-the-art salon and spa.

Tuition: 5637*
Credential: Certificate
Length: 4 0 months
Hours: Part- or Full-time
Delivery: Class-based and Online
Program Flyer: Download
Campus: Downtown Downtown
Start Dates: Jan, May, Sep

What you will learn

Upon successful completion of this program, graduates will be able to:

  • Demonstrate nails applications in accordance with safety, hygiene, and sanitation standards and regulations.
  • Apply knowledge of human anatomy, physiology and chemical composition specific to concerns relating to nails, hands, feet and skin.
  • Perform nail treatments based on client consultation.
  • Apply the principles of colour and design to specialized nail techniques.
  • Create artificial nail structures, tips, overlays, sculptured, gel and acrylics.
  • Perform in an ethical and professional manner appropriate to a spa environment.
  • Apply retail business administration practices and marketing techniques for operating a spa.

What to expect

Practical training is conducted in a fully equipped public and training spa where treatments are offered to paying clients, providing an authentic industry experience.

Related theoretical content is delivered though lectures, demonstrations and various teaching strategies in the classroom and is continuously integrated into the practical work. Course may be offered face to face, online or a blended format.

Strategies include:

  • Guest speakers such as product experts and spa owners
  • Field trips, in-person or virtual, such as trade shows, supply companies, vendors and skills competitions
  • Case studies 
  • Group work 

Participation is an integral part to the development of practical skills in the program; therefore students assume the role of client, therapist and nail technician.

Practicum offers students spa industry work experience, opportunities to practice knowledge and skills learned at the college and potential for employment.

Practical training is conducted in a fully equipped facility.

Admission requirements


  • Knowledge of English demonstrated by one of the following:
  • Applicants may be given credit for ESTH 1501 Nail Foundations and inserted directly into ESTH 1502 Artificial Nails provided:
    • They have successfully completed VCC's Esthetics and Spa Therapy Certificate or an equivalent Esthetics certificate from an accredited institution; and
    • They provide a proof of graduation within the last five (5) years to the department in order to grant permission to register. Proof can be the certificate or a transcript.
  • Applicants who do not meet the program admission requirements may be admitted based on an interview with the Department leader or representative.


  • This program is available to Canadian citizens and permanent residents. See program options for international students at VCC International.
  • Applicants who self-identify as Indigenous are strongly encouraged to connect with VCC’s Indigenous Education and Community Engagement team to learn more about VCC’s Indigenous Enrolment policy, application preparation/completion, program advising, and a range of other individualized services.
  • Applicants must be 16 years of age or older or a graduate of a secondary school. (Some exceptions may apply.)
  • Applicants must submit official transcripts and other documents as required by their course or program. Seats are offered to eligible applicants with completed applications, in order of application completion date (except for programs with competitive admissions). A complete application includes an application form, evidence of educational pre-requisites (e.g. transcripts), any required supporting documents (e.g. language proficiency, audition video), and the required deposit or fee payment. If you do not meet the requirements for the term applied, your application may be cancelled.

Missing prerequisites? Learn more about VCC's tuition-free academic upgrading or English as a Second Language (ESL) courses, or discover which university transfer options are right for you.

Recommended Characteristics

To be successful in the Nail Technology Certificate it is recommended students possess the following characteristics:

  • Interest in the spa industry and all aspects of hand, feet, artificial nails and nail art
  • Genuine interest in administering personal services
  • Good interpersonal and communication skills
  • Ability to be creative
  • Ability to plan and work independently
  • Good depth perception and ability to perceive line and form
  • Manual dexterity

Candidates considering this program are likely to be most successful as graduates if they are in good health and are aware that the following health concerns may affect this career:

  • Asthma/ Respiratory conditions
  • Eczema/ Dermatitis 
  • Chronic Back conditions

Courses *

Prior learning assessment and recognition

Students may request formal recognition of prior learning attained through informal education, work, or other life experience, including Indigenous ways of knowing. Credits may be granted to students who are able to sufficiently demonstrate the learning outcomes of specific courses.   

PLAR is available for the following course:

  • ESTH 1501 Nail Foundations

Students may complete up to 9 credits through PLAR. Tuition and fees may still apply to PLAR candidates.

Methods for assessing prior learning may include a challenge exam and/or a portfolio. Contact the Department for details.

See Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition policy for more information.

Fees and other costs *

Tuition Deposit

0 (0 non-refundable)

Tution deposits are payable usually within two (2) weeks after a Letter of Offer is issued.

Fee descriptionFee AmountNotes
Application fee36
Tuition Tuition 5637
Student union128
College initiative52
Materials0 not including textbooks
Campus resource113
Tools (deposit)0
Coverall (deposit)0
Uniform (deposit)0
Medical and Dental 0
Temporary Medical Insurance 0
U-PASS 177
Program-specific extra fees0
Textbooks or other supplies may be required for this program. For information and prices, visit the VCC Bookstore.

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Fill out a PDF form and mail to:
VCC Registrar's Office
1155 East Broadway
Vancouver, B.C., V5T 4V5

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