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Esthetician Cosmetology School
How to Enroll In the Best One Near Athens Alabama

Athens Alabama esthetician applying facial cream on womanNow that you have made the decision to become an esthetician, you must enroll in the best esthetician school near Athens AL to receive your training. Since estheticians are required to be licensed in all states, the college you choose should prepare you to pass the licensing test as well as provide the necessary training for your specialty. You may be a little confused when starting your search for esthetician classes as to the difference between beauty and cosmetology schools, since both provide esthetician training. Because the names are in effect interchangeable and relate to the same type of school, you shouldn’t be. You will need to find a school that is within reasonable commuting distance of your home unless you can relocate for training. Tuition will also be a critical aspect when evaluating potential schools. But keep in mind, a school is not always the best choice just because it happens to have a campus near your home or is lower in cost. There are many other factors that you should evaluate when reviewing schools, such as their reputation and accreditation. We will review what questions you should ask concerning the cosmetology schools you are looking at later within this article. Before we do, let's talk a bit about what types of training programs are available.

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Esthetician Degrees and Certificates

Athens Alabama esthetician applying wax treatment to remove hair from client's armThere are primarily two pathways offered to obtain esthetician training and a credential after completion. You can enroll in a certificate (or diploma) program, or you can pursue an Associate's degree. Certificate programs usually require 12 to 18 months to complete, while an Associate's degree usually takes about 2 years. If you enroll in a certificate program you will be instructed in all of the major areas of cosmetology. Shorter programs are available if you prefer to focus on just one area, for example esthetics. A degree program will also probably feature management and marketing training so that graduates are better prepared to operate a salon or other Athens AL business. Higher degrees are not typical, but Bachelor and Master's degree programs are offered in such areas as salon or spa management. Whichever type of training program you opt for, it's essential to make sure that it's approved by the Alabama Board of Cosmetology. A number of states only recognize schools that are accredited by certain respected agencies, for example the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS). We will cover the benefits of accreditation for the school you choose in the upcoming section.

What to Ask Esthetics Trade Schools

Below is a list of questions that you should look into for any esthetician training school you are considering. As we have already discussed, the location of the school in relation to your Athens home, as well as the expense of tuition, will probably be your primary qualifiers. Whether you want to pursue a certificate, diploma or a degree will undoubtedly be next on your list. But once you have narrowed your school choices based on those initial qualifications, there are even more factors that you need to research and consider before enrolling in a cosmetology program. Following we have collected some of those supplemental questions that you should ask every school before making a final selection.

Is the Esthetician Program Accredited? It's necessary to make certain that the esthetician training program you select is accredited. The accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized local or national organization, such as the National Accrediting Commission for Cosmetology Arts & Sciences (NACCAS). Schools accredited by the NACCAS must measure up to their high standards ensuring a superior curriculum and education. Accreditation can also be necessary for getting student loans or financial aid, which often are not obtainable for non- accredited schools. It's also a criteria for licensing in several states that the training be accredited. And as a concluding benefit, a number of Athens AL businesses will not employ recent graduates of non-accredited schools, or may look more favorably upon those with accredited training.

Does the School have a Great Reputation?  Any esthetician college that you are seriously evaluating should have a good to outstanding reputation within the profession. Being accredited is an excellent beginning. Next, ask the schools for endorsements from their network of employers where they have referred their students. Confirm that the schools have high job placement rates, signifying that their students are highly regarded. Check rating services for reviews as well as the school's accrediting agencies. If you have any relationships with Athens AL salon owners or managers, or someone working in the industry, ask them if they are familiar with the schools you are considering. They might even be able to suggest others that you had not considered. And last, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there have been any complaints filed or if the schools are in complete compliance.

What’s the School’s Specialty?  Some esthetician schools offer programs that are comprehensive in nature, concentrating on all areas of cosmetology. Others are more focused, providing training in a specific specialty, such as hairstyling, manicuring or electrolysis. Schools that offer degree programs frequently expand into a management and marketing curriculum. So it's essential that you choose a school that focuses on your area of interest. If your objective is to be trained as an esthetician, make certain that the school you enroll in is accredited and respected for that program. If your vision is to start a Athens AL beauty salon, then you need to enroll in a degree program that will teach you how to be an owner/operator. Picking a highly regarded school with a poor program in the specialty you are seeking will not provide the training you need.

Is Plenty of Hands-On Training Provided?  Practicing and refining esthetician techniques and abilities involves plenty of practice on volunteers. Find out how much live, hands-on training is included in the cosmetology courses you will be attending. A number of schools have salons on site that make it possible for students to practice their growing talents on real people. If a beauty program furnishes little or no scheduled live training, but instead relies predominantly on the use of mannequins, it may not be the best option for cultivating your skills. So search for other schools that provide this type of training.

Does the School Provide Job Assistance?  As soon as a student graduates from an esthetician school, it's imperative that he or she receives support in securing that very first job. Job placement programs are an important part of that process. Schools that furnish help maintain relationships with Athens AL employers that are seeking trained graduates available for hiring. Confirm that the schools you are considering have job placement programs and inquire which salons and businesses they refer students to. Also, find out what their job placement rates are. Higher rates not only confirm that they have broad networks of employers, but that their programs are highly regarded as well.

Is Financial Aid Available?  Most esthetician schools offer financial aid or student loan assistance for their students. Check if the schools you are investigating have a financial aid office. Consult with a counselor and learn what student loans or grants you may qualify for. If the school is a member of the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS), it will have scholarships offered to students also. If a school meets all of your other qualifications with the exception of cost, do not discard it as an alternative until you learn what financial aid may be provided.

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Choose the Right Athens Esthetician Program

Selecting and enrolling in the right esthetician college near Athens AL is essential to obtain the necessary training to become a licensed cosmetology practitioner. Make sure to ask all the questions that you need to in order to feel positive about your decision. Don't forget to compile all of the responses you get from the cosmetology school admissions departments, prioritize what matters the most to you, and then employ that information to compare schools. A good start in your due diligence procedure is to make certain that the school and program you pick are accredited and have impressive reputations within the field. If you begin with that foundation, and address the additional questions supplied in this post, you will be able to narrow down your list of schools so that you can make the proper choice. And when you graduate and pass your licensing test, you will be confident that you are prepared to launch your new career as a professional esthetician.




 

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