Esthetician Cosmetology Program
How to Find the Best One Near Birmingham Alabama
Now that you have made the decision to begin your career in cosmetology, you must find the right esthetician school near Birmingham AL to receive your training. Since estheticians are required to be licensed in all 50 states, the school you choose should prepare you to pass the licensing exam and provide the proper training for your specialty. You may be somewhat confused when starting your search for esthetician programs as to the difference between beauty and cosmetology schools, since both offer esthetician training. Well don't be, because the titles are basically interchangeable and both relate to the same kind of school. If you anticipate commuting to classes you will want to locate a school that is within driving distance of your Birmingham residence. Tuition will likewise be a critical consideration when assessing prospective schools. But bear in mind that just because a school is the nearest or the lowest cost it's not necessarily the ideal option. There are many other factors that you should weigh when comparing schools, for example their reputation and accreditation. We will examine what questions you should ask about the cosmetology schools you are looking at later in this article. Before we do, let's talk a little bit about what kinds of programs are offered.
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There are primarily two options available to receive esthetician training and a credential upon completion. You can enroll in a certificate (or diploma) course, or you can pursue an Associate's degree. Certificate programs usually require 12 to 18 months to complete, while an Associate's degree commonly takes about 2 years. If you enroll in a certificate program you will be trained in each of the main areas of cosmetology. Briefer programs are offered if you wish to focus on just one area, for instance 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 Birmingham AL business. More advanced degrees are not prevalent, but Bachelor and Master's degree programs are offered in such areas as salon or spa management. Whatever type of course you opt for, it's imperative 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 organizations, for instance the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS). We will cover the advantages of accreditation for the school you choose in the following segment.
What to Ask Esthetician Trade Schools
Below is a series of questions that you will want to look into for any esthetician training program you are contemplating. As we have already covered, the location of the school relative to your Birmingham home, in addition to the expense of tuition, will most likely be your primary qualifiers. Whether you wish to earn a certificate, diploma or a degree will probably be next on your list. But once you have reduced your school options based on those initial qualifications, there are additional factors that you should research and consider before enrolling in a cosmetology school. Below we have compiled several of those additional questions that you need to ask every school before making a final selection.
Is the Esthetician School Accredited? It's important 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 agency, such as the National Accrediting Commission for Cosmetology Arts & Sciences (NACCAS). Programs accredited by the NACCAS must measure up to their high standards guaranteeing a superior curriculum and education. Accreditation can also be essential for securing student loans or financial aid, which often are not obtainable for non- accredited schools. It's also a prerequisite for licensing in several states that the training be accredited. And as a final benefit, many Birmingham 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 a Good Reputation? Every esthetician school that you are seriously evaluating should have a good to outstanding reputation within the field. Being accredited is a good beginning. Next, ask the schools for endorsements from their network of businesses where they have placed their students. Confirm that the schools have high job placement rates, signifying that their students are highly demanded. Visit rating companies for reviews as well as the school's accrediting organizations. If you have any relationships with Birmingham AL salon owners or managers, or someone working in the business, ask them if they are familiar with the schools you are reviewing. They might even be able to suggest others that you had not looked into. And finally, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there have been any grievances submitted or if the schools are in complete compliance.
What’s the School’s Specialty? Some esthetician schools offer programs that are broad in nature, focusing on all areas of cosmetology. Others are more focused, providing training in a particular specialty, for example hairstyling, manicuring or electrolysis. Schools that offer degree programs frequently expand into a management and marketing curriculum. So it's imperative that you enroll in a school that focuses on your area of interest. If your intention is to be trained as an esthetician, make certain that the school you enroll in is accredited and well regarded for that program. If your aspiration is to start a Birmingham AL beauty salon, then you need to enroll in a degree program that will teach you how to be an owner/operator. Selecting a highly ranked school with a weak program in the specialty you are seeking will not deliver the training you require.
Is Plenty of Hands-On Training Provided? Learning and perfecting esthetician techniques and abilities involves plenty of practice on people. Find out how much live, hands-on training is furnished in the beauty courses you will be attending. Some schools have salons on campus that enable students to practice their developing talents on volunteers. If a beauty program offers limited or no scheduled live training, but rather depends heavily on the use of mannequins, it may not be the best option for cultivating your skills. So search for other schools that offer this type of training.
Does the School have a Job Placement Program? As soon as a student graduates from an esthetician school, it's important that he or she gets help in finding that first job. Job placement programs are an integral part of that process. Schools that provide assistance maintain relationships with Birmingham AL businesses that are searching for skilled graduates available for hiring. Check that the schools you are contemplating have job placement programs and inquire which salons and establishments 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 regarded as well.
Is Financial Assistance Available? The majority of esthetician schools offer financial aid or student loan assistance for their students. Check if the schools you are considering have a financial aid department. Speak with a counselor and find out what student loans or grants you might get approved for. If the school is a member of the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS), it will have scholarships offered to students too. If a school satisfies all of your other qualifications except for expense, do not omit it as an option before you determine what financial aid may be provided.
Enroll in the Right Birmingham Esthetician Course
Finding and enrolling in the ideal esthetician college near Birmingham AL is important to get the appropriate training to become a licensed cosmetology professional. Make sure to ask all the questions that you require so as to feel confident about your decision. Make sure to compile all of the information you receive from the beauty school admissions departments, focus on what matters the most to you, and then use that data to contrast schools. A reasonable beginning in your due diligence process is to make certain that the school and program you select are accredited and have outstanding reputations within the field. If you begin with that base, and address the additional questions supplied in this article, you will be able to filter your list of schools so that you can make the right choice. Once you graduate and pass your licensing examination, you will be confident that you are qualified to start your career as a professional esthetician.