Esthetician Cosmetology Course
How to Pick the Best One Near Birmingham Alabama
Since you have decided to enter the field of cosmetology and enroll in an esthetician school near Birmingham AL, the task starts to search for and enroll in the ideal program. Because estheticians are licensed in all 50 states, the school you choose should prepare you to pass the licensing test and provide the proper training for your specialty. When you start your initial search, you might be a little bit unclear about the distinction between beauty schools and cosmetology schools. Since the names are for all practical purposes interchangeable and pertain to the same type of school, there is no need to be. If you anticipate commuting to classes you will want to locate a school that is within driving distance of your Birmingham residence. Tuition will also be a critical factor when assessing prospective schools. However, 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 various other qualifications that you should evaluate when analyzing schools, such as their reputation and accreditation. We will examine what questions you should ask regarding the cosmetology schools you are looking at later in this article. Before we do, let's discuss a bit about what kinds of training programs are offered.
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There are essentially two avenues available to get 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 generally call for 12 to 18 months to finish, while an Associate's degree ordinarily takes about 2 years. If you enroll in a certificate program you will be trained in all of the main areas of cosmetology. Briefer programs are offered if you wish to concentrate on just one area, such as esthetics. A degree program will also likely incorporate management and marketing training to ensure that graduates are better prepared to operate a parlor or other Birmingham AL business. Higher degrees are not common, but Bachelor and Master's degree programs are available in such areas as salon or spa management. Whatever type of training program you decide on, it's important to make certain that it's approved by the Alabama Board of Cosmetology. Numerous states only recognize schools that are accredited by certain reputable agencies, including the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS). We will examine the benefits of accreditation for the school you choose in the next section.
Esthetician Online Programs
Online esthetician classes are advantageous for Birmingham AL students who are working full time and have family commitments that make it challenging to enroll in a more traditional school. There are many web-based cosmetology school programs offered that can be accessed by means of a desktop computer or laptop at the student's convenience. More traditional cosmetology programs are frequently fast paced due to the fact that many programs are as short as six or eight months. This means that a considerable amount of time is spent in the classroom. With online courses, you are covering the same amount of material, but you are not devoting numerous hours outside of your home or driving back and forth from classes. On the other hand, it's vital that the training program you pick can provide internship training in nearby salons and parlors so that you also receive the hands-on training necessary for a complete education. Without the internship part of the training, it's impossible to gain the skills needed to work in any area of the cosmetology field. So be sure if you choose to enroll in an online school to verify that internship training is available in your area.
What to Ask Esthetician Degree Programs
Following is a series of questions that you will want to research for any esthetician training program you are considering. As we have previously covered, the location of the school in relation to your Birmingham home, together with the expense of tuition, will most likely 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 additional factors that you must research and consider before enrolling in a cosmetology program. Below we have put together several of those supplemental questions that you should ask each school before making a final selection.
Is the Esthetician School Accredited? It's essential to make sure that the esthetician school 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). Programs accredited by the NACCAS must meet their high standards assuring a quality curriculum and education. Accreditation can also be essential for acquiring student loans or financial aid, which frequently are not offered for non- accredited schools. It's also a prerequisite for licensing in some states that the training be accredited. And as a concluding benefit, many Birmingham AL businesses will not hire recent graduates of non-accredited schools, or might look more favorably upon those with accredited training.
Does the School have a Good Reputation? Each esthetician college that you are seriously evaluating should have a good to outstanding reputation within the industry. 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, indicating that their students are highly demanded. Check rating companies for reviews along with the school's accrediting agencies. If you have any relationships with Birmingham AL salon owners or managers, or any person working in the business, ask them if they are acquainted with the schools you are looking at. They might even be able to suggest others that you had not considered. Finally, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there have been any complaints submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
What’s the School’s Specialty? A number of esthetician schools offer programs that are comprehensive in nature, focusing on all facets of cosmetology. Others are more focused, providing training in a particular specialty, such as hairstyling, manicuring or electrolysis. Schools that offer degree programs commonly expand into a management and marketing curriculum. So it's important that you decide on a school that specializes in your area of interest. If your goal 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 dream is to open a Birmingham AL beauty salon, then you want to enroll in a degree program that will teach you how to be an owner/operator. Choosing a highly rated school with a weak program in the specialty you are seeking will not provide the training you require.
Is Any Hands-On Training Provided? Learning and refining esthetician skills and techniques demands lots of practice on volunteers. Check how much live, hands-on training is provided in the cosmetology lessons you will be attending. Some schools have salons on campus that enable students to practice their growing skills on volunteers. If a beauty academy offers minimal or no scheduled live training, but rather depends predominantly on utilizing mannequins, it may not be the most effective alternative for acquiring your skills. Therefore try to find other schools that furnish this kind of training.
Does the School have a Job Placement Program? As soon as a student graduates from an esthetician academy, it's crucial that she or he receives help in finding that first job. Job placement programs are an important part of that process. Schools that furnish aid develop relationships with Birmingham AL employers that are looking 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. In addition, ask what their job placement rates are. High rates not only confirm that they have wide networks of employers, but that their programs are highly respected as well.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Almost all esthetician schools provide financial aid or student loan assistance for their students. Ask if the schools you are looking at have a financial aid office. Talk to a counselor and identify what student loans or grants you may get approved 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 satisfies all of your other qualifications except for expense, do not eliminate it as an alternative before you find out what financial aid may be provided.
Enroll in the Right Birmingham Esthetician Course
Selecting and enrolling in the ideal esthetician college near Birmingham AL is essential to obtain the proper training to become a licensed cosmetology practitioner. Make sure to ask all the questions that you require in order to feel certain about your decision. Make sure to compile all of the information you get from the cosmetology school admissions departments, focus on what matters the most to you, and then employ that information to compare schools. A good start in your due diligence process is to make certain that the institution and program you select are accredited and have excellent reputations within the field. If you begin with that base, and address the additional questions provided in this post, you will be able to narrow down your list of schools so that you can make the right choice. Once you graduate and pass your licensing test, you will be confident that you are qualified to start your career as a professional esthetician.