Top 5 Things To Consider When Choosing a Nail Course


1. How many hours of training are included?

A lot of people make the mistake of looking at a) price and b) free stuff without looking at the one thing they’re actually there for – the training!

The quality of Non-NZQA Courses varies greatly in New Zealand. I’ve seen claims that you can work from home after just a 3-hour afternoon workshop, which is, in my opinion, irresponsible and unsafe.

At the other end of the scale, our Foundation Certificate in Nail Technology is the longest non-NZQA Course I know of, with 130 hours of pre-recorded demos and 60 hours of live mentoring. 

When it comes to value for money, the cost per hour of training is important too. Deduct the kit value (if included) from the total cost of the course and divide what’s left by the number of hours of training you get. Hourly rates seem to vary from $30-50 (Ours is $25.99) so shop around. Imagine comparing $1000 for 5 hours of training and $2000 for 30 hours training – the lower total isn’t always the best value.

Ultimately what’s right is a course that is comprehensive, safe, and fits your budget. This is just food for thought.


2. What product is provided?

We all like free stuff. I have 100% booked tickets to a movie I didn’t have any interest in because there was a goody bag and free wine.

BUT is free product really worth it?

The answer is – sometimes. Just double-check whether you are expected to use your own product during class and really look at the list to see whether you understand what you’re buying.

A lot of courses give you a kit but then expect you to use it in class so by the end of the course you don’t actually have much to take home. A lot of courses will load you up with one of EVERYTHING they sell even though you may not end up offering every service you learn – which often means you have spare product to sell off secondhand in a years time when you’ve still never used it.

None of this means kits are bad – just to weigh up the pros and cons. At Monaco, we don’t automatically include a kit with your enrolment (for all we know you want to use a totally different brand than we sell) but you can add one at a heavily discounted price at the time of enrolment IF you choose to.


3. Is your educator focused on education?

As we discussed earlier, you are not required to complete NZQA Qualifications to work in the nail industry in New Zealand and the quality of the resulting non-NZQA Courses varies.

Most of these are run by distributors – we ourselves distribute Artistic Nail Design and Be Creative products.

But what I want you to consider is where their priorities lie – is the course provider educating just to be able to sell product? Or are they selling product to supplement their training?

Neither is bad as long as, again, you are ok with it.

At Monaco we started training long before we ever started supplying and we only started distributing after many requests from our students. Three distributors sell the same products as us in New Zealand and it’s not our primary source of income.

I chose to distribute Artistic because it’s what I personally use and have used for well over a decade so it made sense – but when we teach, we make sure to the best of our abilities that you know enough to be able to use any product line you choose, and we aren’t precious about you choosing something else. Just because we LOVE Artistic doesn’t mean you have to.


4. Is the course enough to reach your goals?

Personally I would hope that anyone using professional nail products in New Zealand is qualified to the full extent of their ability and budget – but at the very least, align your course choice with your goals.

If you want to work in a salon, think of your DREAM job and call them! Ask who they would recommend you train with and ask for a couple of options so you still have room to weigh up your personal priorities too.

If you want a home salon, make sure your course (like ours) is nationally recognised. In some cities, you need a Health License to run a nail salon of any kind (including mobile and from-home) and Monaco Grads have zero issues getting these.

If you want to be able to safely do your own nails at home, make sure the course covers safety and hygiene.

Not all courses are made equal but neither are all Nail Techs, and there is something out there to suit every goal.



5. What if you suck?

Yes, I could have worded that more eloquently BUT Marketing lore says to use the words your customers use, and on the Pre-Training Surveys our students fill out to tell us about themselves, over half our newbies biggest concerns are ‘What if I suck’ or thereabouts.

EVERYTHING can be taught. Nail Technology is a technical skill with a wrong way, a right way, and a few occasions that breaking the rules is both safe and fun.

At Monaco, you can repeat classes as many times as you like, and lots of people do. Pick the lessons that cover the things you were least confident in and come on back! You can also resit your exams as many times as you need to.

We have 7-Day Support in our Facebook Group and 5-Day Support via phone or email.


Summing it all up

Yes, I’m hoping you see how much thought and effort we put into the courses we offer here at Monaco, and I’d love for you to join us.


Mostly, I want to see the standard of education and quality in our industry improve all round the country and so above all else I just want you to know what to look for when choosing the right course for you.

Choose a course that has good value for money, look at the cost per hour of training, find out how much of your kit you get to take home and how much of it you will actually use.

Make sure your Educator has the ability to help you reach your goals and that your personal priorities and values align with theirs.

IF you think Monaco might be that place, you can see our Foundation Certificate here.

If not, you can still message us for support and advice any time you need it – we’re all in this together!