Esthetician Cosmetology Program
How to Enroll In the Best One Near Birmingham Alabama
Now that you have made a decision to enter the field of cosmetology and enroll in an esthetician school near Birmingham AL, the task begins to locate and enroll in the right program. Because estheticians are licensed in all 50 states, the college you select should prepare you to pass the licensing exam and provide the proper training for your specialty. You may be a little confused when beginning your search for esthetician classes as to the difference between cosmetology and beauty schools, which both provide esthetician training. Well don't be, because the titles are basically interchangeable and both pertain to the same type of school. If you intend on commuting to classes you will need to locate a school that is within driving distance of your Birmingham residence. Another consideration when examining possible esthetician schools is the cost of tuition. But remember that just because a school is the nearest or the lowest cost it's not necessarily the best option. Accreditation and reputation, for example are two of the other qualifications that you need to look into when comparing schools. We will examine what questions you should ask regarding the cosmetology schools you are looking at later within this article. Before we do, let's talk a little bit about what kinds of training programs are available.
It Takes Just a Few Minutes to Start Your Esthetician Career Below!
Esthetics Certificates and Degrees
There are essentially two avenues offered to receive esthetician training and a credential upon completion. You can enroll in a certificate (or diploma) course, or you can work toward an Associate's degree. Certificate programs normally take 12 to 18 months to finish, while an Associate's degree commonly takes about 2 years. If you enroll in a certificate program you will be trained in all of the major areas of cosmetology. Briefer programs are offered if you wish to specialize in just one area, for example esthetics. A degree program will also most likely incorporate management and marketing training to ensure that graduates are better prepared to run a parlor or other Birmingham AL business. More advanced degrees are not common, but Bachelor and Master's degree programs are offered in such specializations as salon or spa management. Whichever type of program you opt for, it's important to make sure that it's certified by the Alabama Board of Cosmetology. Many states only approve schools that are accredited by certain reputable agencies, such as the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS). We will discuss the advantages of accreditation for the school you select in the upcoming segment.
What to Ask Esthetics Trade Schools
Following is a list of questions that you will want to look into for any esthetician training school you are contemplating. As we have previously covered, the location of the school relative to your Birmingham residence, as well as the expense of tuition, will undoubtedly be your initial qualifiers. Whether you want 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 initial qualifications, there are additional factors that you need to research and consider before enrolling in a cosmetology school. Following we have compiled several of those supplemental questions that you should 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 enroll in is accredited. The accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education certified 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 assuring a superior curriculum and education. Accreditation can also be necessary for getting 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, a number of Birmingham AL employers will not employ recent graduates of non-accredited schools, or may look more favorably upon individuals with accredited training.
Does the School have a Good Reputation? Each esthetician school that you are seriously evaluating should have a good to excellent reputation within the field. Being accredited is an excellent starting point. Next, ask the schools for endorsements from their network of businesses where they have placed their students. Check that the schools have high job placement rates, attesting that their students are highly regarded. Visit rating services for reviews in addition to the school's accrediting agencies. If you have any relationships with Birmingham AL salon owners or managers, or any person working in the industry, ask them if they are acquainted with the schools you are considering. They may even be able to propose others that you had not thought of. Finally, 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 Specialty? A number of 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 enroll in a school that specializes in your area of interest. If your objective is to be trained as an esthetician, make sure that the school you enroll in is accredited and respected for that program. If your dream is to open a Birmingham AL beauty salon, then you need to enroll in a degree program that will instruct you how to be an owner/operator. Picking a highly ranked school with a poor 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 skills and techniques requires lots of practice on people. Ask how much live, hands-on training is provided in the cosmetology courses you will be attending. Some schools have salons on site that enable students to practice their growing skills on volunteers. If a beauty program provides minimal or no scheduled live training, but rather depends mainly on utilizing mannequins, it might not be the best alternative for cultivating your skills. So search for other schools that furnish this type of training.
Does the School Provide Job Assistance? Once a student graduates from an esthetician academy, it's essential that she or he receives assistance in securing that first job. Job placement programs are an integral part of that process. Schools that provide aid maintain relationships with Birmingham AL employers that are looking for trained graduates available for hiring. Check that the schools you are considering have job placement programs and find out which salons and establishments they refer students to. Also, ask what their job placement rates are. High rates not only affirm that they have extensive 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 considering have a financial aid department. Consult with 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 fulfills each of your other qualifications with the exception of expense, do not discard it as an option until you determine what financial assistance may be provided.
Choose the Right Birmingham Esthetician Course
Finding and enrolling in the right esthetician college near Birmingham AL is important to receive the proper training to become a licensed cosmetology specialist. Be sure to ask all the questions that you need to so as to feel positive about your decision. Make sure to collect all of the information you get from the cosmetology school admissions departments, focus on what matters the most to you, and then employ that data to compare schools. A good beginning in your due diligence procedure is to make sure that the school and program you pick are accredited and have exceptional reputations within the field. If you start 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 ideal choice. And when you graduate and pass your licensing exam, you will be self-assured that you are prepared to begin your new career as a professional esthetician.