Esthetician Cosmetology School
How to Enroll In the Best One Near Athens Alabama
Now that you have decided to begin your career in cosmetology, you must find the right esthetician school near Athens AL to receive your training. Because estheticians are licensed in all 50 states, the college you select should prepare you to pass the licensing exam and provide the necessary training for your specialty. You may be somewhat confused when starting your search for esthetician classes as to the difference between cosmetology and beauty schools, since both provide esthetician training. Because the names are for all practical purposes interchangeable and relate to the same kind of school, there is no need to be. You will want to find a school that is within reasonable commuting distance of your residence unless you can relocate for training. Tuition will also be an important aspect when assessing possible schools. But keep in mind, a school is not always the best choice just because it has the lowest tuition or is located closest to your home. There are many other qualifications that you should weigh when reviewing schools, such as their reputation and accreditation. We will review what questions you should ask regarding the cosmetology schools you are thinking about later within this article. Before we do, let's talk a bit about what kinds of courses are available.
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Esthetics Certificates and Degrees
There are basically two pathways available to obtain esthetician training and a credential after completion. You can enroll in a certificate (or diploma) program, or you can work toward an Associate's degree. Certificate programs usually call for 12 to 18 months to complete, while an Associate's degree ordinarily takes about 2 years. If you enroll in a certificate program you will be instructed in each of the main areas of cosmetology. Shorter programs are available if you want to focus on just one area, for example esthetics. A degree program will also most likely feature management and marketing training in order that graduates are better prepared to run a salon or other Athens AL business. Higher degrees are not prevalent, but Bachelor and Master's degree programs are offered in such specializations as salon or spa management. Whatever type of training program you opt for, it's imperative to make sure that it's recognized by the Alabama Board of Cosmetology. Many states only recognize schools that are accredited by certain highly regarded agencies, including the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS). We will examine the advantages of accreditation for the school you decide on in the upcoming segment.
Online Esthetician Classes
Online esthetician programs are advantageous for Athens AL students who are employed full time and have family responsibilities that make it difficult to attend a more traditional school. There are a large number of web-based cosmetology school programs available that can be accessed through a desktop computer or laptop at the student's convenience. More traditional cosmetology programs are typically fast paced due to the fact that many programs are as brief as 6 or 8 months. This means that a large amount of time is spent in the classroom. With internet programs, you are dealing with the same volume of material, but you are not devoting numerous hours outside of your home or driving to and from classes. On the other hand, it's imperative that the training program you select can provide internship training in local salons and parlors to ensure that you also receive the hands-on training necessary for a comprehensive education. Without the internship portion of the training, it's difficult to gain the skills needed to work in any area of the cosmetology profession. So don't forget if you choose to enroll in an online school to confirm that internship training is provided in your area.
Questions to Ask Esthetician Training Courses
Below is a series of questions that you should look into for any esthetician training program you are contemplating. As we have previously discussed, the location of the school in relation to your Athens residence, together with the expense of tuition, will undoubtedly be your first qualifiers. Whether you wish to earn a certificate, diploma or a degree will no doubt be next on your list. But once you have narrowed your school options based on those preliminary qualifications, there are even more factors that you should research and take into consideration before enrolling in a cosmetology school. Below we have collected several of those additional questions that you should ask every school before making a final selection.
Is the Esthetician School Accredited? It's essential to make sure that the esthetician college you select is accredited. The accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education certified local or national agency, such as the National Accrediting Commission for Cosmetology Arts & Sciences (NACCAS). Programs accredited by the NACCAS must measure up to their high standards ensuring a superior curriculum and education. Accreditation can also be important for securing student loans or financial aid, which often are not available for non- accredited schools. It's also a criteria for licensing in many states that the training be accredited. And as a concluding benefit, numerous Athens AL employers will not hire recent graduates of non-accredited schools, or might look more positively upon those with accredited training.
Does the School have an Excellent Reputation? Every esthetician institute that you are seriously considering should have a good to outstanding reputation within the industry. Being accredited is a good beginning. Next, ask the schools for testimonials from their network of employers where they have placed their students. Confirm that the schools have high job placement rates, attesting that their students are highly regarded. Visit rating services for reviews along with the school's accrediting organizations. If you have any contacts with Athens AL salon owners or managers, or any person working in the industry, ask them if they are familiar with the schools you are looking at. They may even be able to recommend others that you had not considered. And last, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there have been any grievances submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
What’s the School’s Focus? A number of esthetician schools offer programs that are expansive in nature, concentrating on all facets of cosmetology. Others are more focused, offering training in a particular specialty, for example hairstyling, manicuring or electrolysis. Schools that offer degree programs commonly expand into a management and marketing curriculum. So it's essential that you select a school that specializes in your area of interest. If your ambition is to be trained as an esthetician, make sure that the school you enroll in is accredited and well regarded for that program. If your aspiration is to open a Athens AL beauty salon, then you need to enroll in a degree program that will teach you how to be an owner/operator. Choosing a highly regarded school with a weak program in the specialty you are pursuing will not provide the training you need.
Is Any Live Training Provided? Practicing and refining esthetician skills and techniques requires plenty of practice on volunteers. Ask how much live, hands-on training is provided in the beauty courses you will be attending. Some schools have salons on campus that allow students to practice their growing talents on real people. If a beauty program offers minimal or no scheduled live training, but rather relies predominantly on utilizing mannequins, it may not be the best option for acquiring your skills. So try to find other schools that furnish this kind of training.
Does the School Provide Job Assistance? Once a student graduates from an esthetician program, it's essential that she or he receives aid in finding that initial job. Job placement programs are an integral part of that process. Schools that furnish aid maintain relationships with Athens AL employers that are searching for skilled graduates available for hiring. Check that the programs you are looking at have job placement programs and inquire which salons and businesses they refer students to. Also, ask what their job placement rates are. High rates not only confirm that they have extensive networks of employers, but that their programs are highly respected as well.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Most esthetician schools offer financial aid or student loan assistance for their students. Ask if the schools you are investigating have a financial aid office. Speak with a counselor and identify what student loans or grants you might qualify for. If the school is a member of the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS), it will have scholarships offered to students as well. If a school fulfills all of your other qualifications except for expense, do not eliminate it as an alternative until you find out what financial assistance may be provided.
Enroll in the Right Athens Esthetician Course
Selecting and enrolling in the right esthetician school near Athens AL is imperative to obtain the proper training to become a licensed cosmetology specialist. Be sure to ask all the questions that you need to so as to feel confident about your decision. Make certain to collect all of the responses you get from the beauty school admissions departments, focus on what matters the most to you, and then use that data to contrast schools. A good beginning in your due diligence procedure is to make sure that the academy and program you select are accredited and have outstanding reputations within the profession. If you start with that foundation, and address the additional questions presented in this article, you will be able to filter your list of schools so that you can make the right choice. And when you graduate and pass your licensing exam, you will be confident that you are prepared to start your career as a professional esthetician.