Esthetician Cosmetology School
How to Enroll In the Right 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 get your training. Because estheticians are required to be licensed in all 50 states, the school you select should prepare you to pass the licensing exam and provide the necessary training for your specialty. You might be a little confused when starting your search for esthetician classes as to the difference between cosmetology and beauty schools, since both offer esthetician training. Well don't be, because the titles are basically interchangeable and both relate 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 home. An additional qualification when examining possible esthetician schools is the cost of tuition. But keep in mind that just because a school is the nearest or the least expensive it's not automatically the best option. Accreditation and reputation, as examples are two of the other qualifications that you should evaluate when weighing your school options. We will review what questions you should ask concerning the cosmetology schools you are thinking about later in this article. Before we do, let's discuss a little bit about what types of programs are offered.
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Esthetician Degree and Certificate Programs
There are primarily two avenues available to obtain esthetician training and a credential after completion. You can enroll in a certificate (or diploma) course, 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 usually 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 prefer to concentrate on just one area, for example esthetics. A degree program will also most likely include management and marketing training in order that graduates are better prepared to manage a salon or other Birmingham AL business. More advanced degrees are not prevalent, but Bachelor and Master's degree programs are available in such specialties as salon or spa management. Whatever type of training program you decide on, it's essential to make certain that it's recognized by the Alabama Board of Cosmetology. A number of states only approve schools that are accredited by certain highly regarded organizations, such as the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS). We will cover the benefits of accreditation for the school you decide on in the upcoming segment.
Online Esthetician Courses
Online esthetician programs are accommodating for Birmingham AL students who are employed full time and have family commitments that make it challenging to enroll in a more traditional school. There are numerous web-based beauty school programs offered that can be accessed via a personal computer or laptop at the student's convenience. More traditional cosmetology programs are frequently fast paced given that many courses are as brief as six or eight months. This means that a substantial portion of time is spent in the classroom. With internet programs, you are dealing with the same volume of material, but you are not spending numerous hours outside of your home or commuting back and forth from classes. On the other hand, it's imperative that the program you choose can provide internship training in nearby salons and parlors in order that you also obtain the hands-on training necessary for a comprehensive education. Without the internship portion of the training, it's impossible to acquire the skills required to work in any facet of the cosmetology profession. So be sure if you decide to enroll in an online program to confirm that internship training is provided in your area.
Questions to Ask Esthetician Schools
Below is a series of questions that you need to look into for any esthetician training program you are contemplating. As we have previously discussed, the location of the school relative to your Birmingham home, as well as the price of tuition, will undoubtedly be your first qualifiers. Whether you wish to pursue a certificate, diploma or a degree will undoubtedly be next on your list. But once you have reduced your school options based on those preliminary qualifications, there are additional factors that you need to research and consider before enrolling in a cosmetology school. Below we have collected some of those additional questions that you should ask each school before making a final selection.
Is the Esthetician Program Accredited? It's important to make certain that the esthetician school you select 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). Programs accredited by the NACCAS must comply with their high standards ensuring a superior curriculum and education. Accreditation may also be necessary for obtaining student loans or financial aid, which often are not available for non- accredited schools. It's also a criteria 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 may look more favorably upon individuals with accredited training.
Does the School have a Great Reputation? Each esthetician college that you are seriously evaluating should have a good to outstanding reputation within the field. Being accredited is an excellent beginning. Next, ask the schools for endorsements from their network of businesses where they have referred their students. Check that the schools have high job placement rates, indicating that their students are highly regarded. Check rating services for reviews as well as the school's accrediting agencies. If you have any connections with Birmingham AL salon owners or managers, or someone working in the business, ask them if they are acquainted with the schools you are considering. They may even be able to recommend 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 total compliance.
What’s the School’s Specialty? A number of esthetician schools offer programs that are expansive in nature, focusing on all facets of cosmetology. Others are more focused, providing training in a specific specialty, such as hairstyling, manicuring or electrolysis. Schools that offer degree programs often broaden into a management and marketing curriculum. So it's important that you decide on a school that focuses on 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 well regarded for that program. If your aspiration is to launch a Birmingham AL beauty salon, then you want to enroll in a degree program that will teach you how to be an owner/operator. Selecting a highly rated school with a poor program in the specialty you are seeking will not provide the training you require.
Is Plenty of Live Training Provided? Practicing and refining esthetician skills and techniques requires lots of practice on volunteers. Find out how much live, hands-on training is furnished in the beauty classes you will be attending. A number of schools have salons on campus that make it possible for students to practice their growing talents on real people. If a beauty school offers little or no scheduled live training, but instead depends heavily on utilizing mannequins, it may not be the most effective alternative for acquiring your skills. Therefore search for alternate schools that provide this type of training.
Does the School have a Job Placement Program? Once a student graduates from an esthetician program, it's crucial that he or she receives 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 employers that are looking for skilled graduates available for hiring. Check that the programs you are contemplating have job placement programs and find out 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 respected as well.
Is Financial Aid Offered? The majority of esthetician schools offer financial aid or student loan assistance for their students. Check if the schools you are looking at have a financial aid department. Talk to a counselor and find out what student loans or grants you may get approved for. If the school belongs to the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS), it will have scholarships available to students too. If a school fulfills all of your other qualifications with the exception of cost, do not discard it as an option until you find out what financial help may be available.
Enroll in the Right Birmingham Esthetician Training
Picking and enrolling in the right esthetician program near Birmingham AL is imperative to obtain the proper training to become a licensed cosmetology technician. Make sure to ask all the questions that you require in order to feel positive about your decision. Make sure to compile all of the responses you receive from the cosmetology school admissions departments, focus on what matters the most to you, and then employ that data to compare schools. A reasonable beginning in your due diligence process is to make sure that the institution and program you decide on are accredited and have impressive reputations within the field. If you start with that foundation, and address the additional questions provided in this post, you will be able to filter your list of schools so that you can make the proper selection. Once you graduate and pass your licensing examination, you will be self-assured that you are prepared to begin your new career as a professional esthetician.