Certificate III in Nail Technology by Open Colleges

Certificate III in Nail Technology by Open Colleges

See how this course can change your future
Download course guide
Enquire now
Self paced
Maximum 12 months
Delivery method
Online with Work Placement
Flexible payments options available
(25% off)

Certificate III in Nail Technology by Open Colleges

Learn how our nationally accredited Certificate III in Nail Technology can help boost your career. Flexible study options
Self paced
Maximum 12 months
Delivery method
Online with Work Placement
Flexible payments options available
(25% off)
Self paced
Maximum 12 months
Delivery method
Online with Work Placement
Flexible payments options available
(25% off)
Download course guide
Enquire now

Course Description

Become an in-demand Nail Technician, and get the knowledge to start your own microbusiness with this online nail tech course.​

What you’ll learn

  • Designed to turn you into a professional Nail Technician, the Certificate III will train you to perform expert-level manicures and pedicures to which pamper clients, and deliver great looking results. 

  • This certificate will give you the skills to confidently and competently apply acrylic and gel enhancements.

  • You’ll gain the skills to setup and manage your own business and you’ll learn how to use social media to promote your business or nail designs.

Why study this course?

  • This online nail technician course offers the best of both worlds: the flexibility of online study, with the practical experience of 80 hours of work placement in a nail salon setting of your choosing, where you can put what you learn into practice.

  • Studying online with Open Colleges means you can fit learning around your life. There are no classrooms and no deadlines. You simply study when you want, at a pace that suits your life, and on any device that’s handy (smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop computer).

This course is superseded by SHB30321 – Certificate III in Nail Technology.  For now, you may still enrol in this course, and we will transition you to the new course at no additional cost once it is available. We’ll be in touch closer to our launch date to give you more information about what this means for you. Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions, as our friendly Enrolment Consultants are always happy to help.

This course involves work placement that currently needs to be undertaken in Australia. More information available in our FAQs

If you are an existing worker or have experience in the related industry, please inform our enrolment consultants during your enrolment conversation. You may be eligible to enrol as an existing worker and complete your studies faster. Please note – limitations do apply.

Potential career outcomes

  • Nail Technician
Get your career started, download a course guide
Download course guide



There are no formal education entry requirements for this course.

Minimum age

You will need to be at least 16 years old. If you are under 18 your enrolment form will need to be signed by a parent or guardian.


This course involves reading and undertaking a range of written assessments, as well as engaging in online forums and discussions. Furthermore, the delivery mode relies on the extensive use of written communication. As such, entry to the course requires the successful completion of English to Year 10 level.

If you haven’t successfully completed English at Year 10 level, you can demonstrate equivalency through one of the following:

  • Successful completion of a Nationally Recognised Training qualification at Certificate II level or higher; or
  • 2 years relevant industry experience in a role that requires the use of written documentation and communication

Open Colleges recognises that not all people are able to read, write and perform calculations to the same standard. See the Language, Literacy and Numeracy Considerations section for more information on tools, resources and support services provided to you by Open Colleges.


You will need access to a computer and the internet and have basic computing skills. Minimum specifications for your computer are:

All users:

  • Microsoft Office 2010 or equivalent
  • Broadband internet connection
  • 2GB of RAM
  • CD-ROM or DVD drive
  • Adobe Reader XI or equivalent
  • Adobe Flash Player 10 or higher
  • Access to printer and associated software
  • Access to scanner and associated software
  • Digital imaging software
  • File compression software

Windows users:

  • Microsoft Windows 7 or higher (Windows 10 recommended)
  • 1 Ghz or faster processer (2GHz recommended)

Mac OS users:

  • Mac OSX v10.5 or higher (Mac OSX v10.6 recommended)
  • 1 Ghz or faster processer (2GHz recommended)

Physical requirements

  • Some treatments require the learner to be able to physically massage the client during a treatment.
  • Able to sit for long periods of time to complete the treatments.
  • Maintain posture to minimise fatigue and risk of injury during treatment.
  • Some of the duties for manual handling in beauty salons may include:
    • cleaning treatment rooms, e.g. cleaning wax pots, removing wax from floors and benches.
    • cleaning the retail area – dusting shelves which are high to reach, packing away stock.
    • unloading and unpacking stock – unloading large boxes in a repetitive motion.
    • assisting clients – helping clients onto the bed.


To successfully complete this course, you will require basic computing skills. This includes:

  • Creating, saving and editing Microsoft Office documents.
  • Accessing and searching the internet.
  • Downloading and saving documents from websites.
  • Uploading documents through websites.
  • Participating in online discussions.
  • Compressing image files.
  • Connecting digital cameras and downloading and storing images.

Audio visual requirements

  • You will need access to software to view online videos and images. Software such as Adobe Reader, Windows Media Player, Windows Photo Viewer etc. are available as a free download from the internet. 
  • You’ll also need access to a digital video recording device and/or digital camera and associated software to save and upload video and image files to OpenSpace. Many mobile phones and smart phones include this technology. 

Other technology requirements

  • Office equipment and resources including telephone, photocopier, scanner and printer.

Language, Literacy and Numeracy

Our free online assessment tool can help give you an idea of the language, literacy and numeracy skills needed to study a VET course. This tool can also help you determine your learning level and help you plan your future studies. You can access the Language, Literacy and Numeracy tool here.



Once you are enrolled in this course, you will receive access to the first Module, which contains the first set of units for the course. When you have successfully completed those units, you’ll be given access to the next Module. 

Open Colleges may make changes to the course from time to time to reflect changes introduced to the relevant Training Package or other regulatory requirements. Please download the course guide for current information about the course and its status.

Creative nail technology


Apply nail art

  • Establish client priorities.
  • Prepare service area.
  • Apply hand painted designs, decals, or jewelleries.
  • Review service.
  • Clean service area.

Hygienic manicure and pedicare treatments


Provide manicure and pedicare services

  • Follow standard and additional precautions for infection prevention and control
  • Identify infection hazards and assess risks
  • Follow procedures for managing risks associated with specific hazards


Maintain infection control standards

  • Comply with infection control regulations and guidelines and related legal obligations.
  • Monitor hygiene of premises.
  • Maintain infection control for skin penetration treatments.
  • Sterilise equipment and maintain steriliser.
  • Maintain awareness of clinic design for control of infection risks.


Apply safe hygiene, health and work practices

  • Protect self from infection risks.
  • Apply organisational safety procedures.
  • Use electricity safely.
  • Minimise infection risks in the salon environment.
  • Follow infection control procedures.
  • Follow procedures for emergency situations.
  • Clean salon.

You, the workplace and industry trends


Comply with organisational requirements within a personal services environment

  • Develop knowledge of employment rights and responsibilities.
  • Work within organisational requirements.
  • Support work team.
  • Maintain personal presentation.
  • Develop effective work habits.


Research and apply beauty industry information

  • Source and use information on beauty industry.
  • Source and apply information on legal and ethical issues for the beauty industry.
  • Update knowledge of beauty industry and products.

The business of personal services


Provide salon services to clients

  • Receive clients.
  • Provide customer service.
  • Schedule appointments for clients.
  • Respond to client complaints.
  • Respond to clients with special needs.


Conduct salon financial transactions

  • Operate point-of-sale equipment.
  • Complete point-of-sale transactions.
  • Complete refund.
  • Remove takings from register or terminal.
  • Reconcile takings.

Professional beauty products and services | Gel Nails


Apply gel nail enhancements

  • Establish client priorities.
  • Prepare for gel nail service.
  • Remove gel enhancements.
  • Apply, refill or repair gel nails.
  • Review service.
  • Clean service area.


Advise on beauty products and services

  • Develop product knowledge.
  • Recommend salon services.
  • Prepare client for product demonstration.
  • Demonstrate beauty care products.

Professional beauty products and services | Acrylic nails


Apply acrylic nail enhancements

  • Establish client priorities.
  • Prepare for acrylic nail service.
  • Remove acrylic enhancements.
  • Apply, refill or repair acrylic nails.
  • Review service.
  • Clean service area.


Use electric file equipment for nail services

  • Establish client priorities.
  • Prepare for electric nail service.
  • Use electric file equipment.
  • Review service.
  • Clean service area.



Determine resource requirements for the micro business

  • Identify resources needed in the business
  • Select appropriate sources for resources required in the business
  • Prepare for use of resources in the business

Be Creative. Be seen.


Apply advanced nail art

  • Establish client priorities.
  • Prepare for advanced nail art service.
  • Apply advanced nail art.
  • Review service.
  • Clean service area.


Develop web presence using social media

  • Prepare to use social media tools and applications
  • Set up and use social media tools and applications
  • Review use of social media tools and application in developing web presence

Payment Options

Pay in Full

You can choose to pay your course fees in full upon enrolment and benefit from a 10% discount (unless otherwise advertised).

Pay 50% & Payment Plan Combo

You can also choose to pay 50% of your total course fees upon enrolment and the balance on a Payment Plan.  When you do, you’ll benefit from 50% of the standard Pay in Full discount (unless otherwise advertised).

Payment Plan

You can choose to pay for your course in weekly or fortnightly instalments. By paying in instalments, you can schedule your payments around your regular outgoings and get ahead without breaking the bank. Open Colleges payment plans are interest-free.

Zip Money Payment Plan

If you need a little more flexibility with your finances and would like to pay off your course fees over a longer period of time, we can assist by organising Zip Money to pay your course fees directly to us on your behalf, and you pay this loan back to Zip Money over an agreed period of time. Zip Money provides you flexible options of selecting a 24, 36 or 48 months interest-free, payment plan (dependant on which course you’re enrolling into) to suit your lifestyle, giving you more flexibility than ever before.


With BPAY®, you’re able to pay quickly and securely, 24/7 through your internet, mobile or phone banking service. You can choose when, how much and from which account to pay from – whatever works for you. BPAY® is only available when paying in full. Call an Enrolment Consultant to find out more. 

BPAY® is a trademark of BPAY Pty Ltd ABN 69 079 137 518. Check if BPAY® is right for you by reading the terms and conditions available from your Financial Institution.


Ellena Frisina

Ellena has over 15 years’ experience in the beauty and cosmetic industry, which started after achieving a Diploma of Beauty Therapy, working in salons, cosmetic clinics, running her own beauty business (specialising in brow-shaping, nails and tanning), supervising work placement students, as well as lecturing experience. Ellena is motivated by helping others to feel better about themselves, being able to pass on her knowledge to students (and seeing them develop and enhance their confidence and skills), and being part of an industry that is continuing to grow and allow therapists to have flexible work arrangements.

Her favourite treatments to teach includes stone therapy massage, nail treatments, brow shaping, lash treatments (including extensions), and tanning.

Kristie Burgess

Kristie has over 10 years’ experience working in salons and day spas combined. She is a highly trained therapist and is motivated by her love for the business. She moved into Education where she can pass on her knowledge to students.

As a trainer Kristie is approachable and patient which makes her classroom and online environment a fun place to relax and learn treatments. She believes Beauty is an ever-evolving industry that will never go out of fashion, and it is important to teach rising therapists or technicians, new and innovative techniques. Tanning, waxing, facials and body massage are Kristie’s favourite treatments to teach and perform in the salon.

Work Placement

The course contains a minimum of 80 hours of work placement

Your Work Placement will need to be conducted in an appropriate work place, supervised by a qualified staff member. You will need to secure your own Work Placement; however Open Colleges can provide advice and direction through our Work Placement Support Team.

There are a number of statutory checks that may be required by workplaces, such as a National Police Check, Working with Children Check (or state equivalent), a First Aid Certificate and signing of a Confidentiality Agreement and Code of Conduct. These may vary by state. In addition, individual workplaces may impose additional requirements on students undertaking work placement. You will be responsible for the costs of any such checks or requirements.

You will need to undertake work placement to successfully complete the units of competency in this course. As such, a Statement of Attainment cannot be issued for part completion of the qualification unless work placement is completed.

Your work placement will need to be completed in Australia, and you will be responsible for the costs of any travel, accommodation, statutory checks or other requirements related to your work placement.

You may be required to complete work placement in multiple salons if your chosen salon does not provide all of the required services.

More information can be found in the Workplace Assessment Guide.