Esthetician Cosmetology Training Program
How to Find the Right One Near Birmingham Alabama
Since you have made a decision to enter the field of cosmetology and enroll in an esthetician school near Birmingham AL, the task begins to search for and enroll in the right program. Since estheticians are required to be licensed in all states, the school you choose should prep you to pass the licensing test as well as provide the necessary training for your specialty. You may be somewhat puzzled when starting your search for esthetician classes as to the difference between beauty and cosmetology schools, since both offer esthetician training. Because the names are in effect interchangeable and pertain to the same type of school, you shouldn’t be. If you intend on commuting to classes you will want to find a school that is within driving distance of your Birmingham residence. Another qualification when examining prospective esthetician schools is the price of tuition. But keep in mind that just because a school is the nearest or the lowest cost it's not necessarily the ideal choice. There are several other qualifications that you should evaluate when reviewing schools, for instance their reputation and accreditation. We will examine what questions you should ask about the cosmetology schools you are thinking about later within this article. Before we do, let's discuss a little bit about what types of programs are offered.
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Esthetician Degrees and Certificates
There are essentially two pathways available 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 normally 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 trained in each of the major areas of cosmetology. Shorter programs are offered if you wish to focus on just one area, such as esthetics. A degree program will also probably include management and marketing training in order that graduates are better prepared to operate a salon or other Birmingham AL business. More advanced degrees are not common, but Bachelor and Master's degree programs are available in such specializations as salon or spa management. Whatever type of training program you go with, it's important to make sure that it's approved by the Alabama Board of Cosmetology. Numerous states only recognize schools that are accredited by certain highly regarded organizations, for example the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS). We will discuss the advantages of accreditation for the school you decide on in the next section.
Questions to Ask Esthetics Programs
Below is a list of questions that you need to investigate for any esthetician training school you are contemplating. As we have already covered, the location of the school relative to your Birmingham residence, together with the expense of tuition, will undoubtedly be your first qualifiers. Whether you want to pursue a certificate, diploma or a degree will undoubtedly be next on your list. But once you have reduced your school choices based on those preliminary qualifications, there are additional factors that you should research and take into consideration before enrolling in a cosmetology program. Following we have compiled some of those supplemental questions that you need to ask each school before making a final decision.
Is the Esthetician Program Accredited? It's essential to make sure that the esthetician college you pick is accredited. The accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged local or national agency, such as the National Accrediting Commission for Cosmetology Arts & Sciences (NACCAS). Programs accredited by the NACCAS must comply with their high standards assuring a quality curriculum and education. Accreditation can also be essential for obtaining student loans or financial aid, which typically are not available for non- accredited schools. It's also a requirement for licensing in many states that the training be accredited. And as a final benefit, numerous Birmingham AL employers will not employ recent graduates of non-accredited schools, or might look more favorably upon those with accredited training.
Does the School have a Great Reputation? Each esthetician school 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 testimonials from their network of businesses where they have referred their students. Confirm that the schools have high job placement rates, indicating that their students are highly demanded. Visit rating companies for reviews in addition to the school's accrediting organizations. If you have any relationships with Birmingham AL salon owners or managers, or anyone working in the business, ask them if they are acquainted with the schools you are looking at. They might even be able to propose others that you had not thought of. Finally, contact 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? A number of esthetician schools offer programs that are expansive in nature, concentrating on all facets of cosmetology. Others are more focused, offering training in a specific specialty, such as hairstyling, manicuring or electrolysis. Schools that offer degree programs commonly expand into a management and marketing curriculum. So it's imperative that you select a school that specializes in your area of interest. If your ambition 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 Birmingham AL beauty salon, then you need to enroll in a degree program that will instruct you how to be an owner/operator. Selecting a highly regarded school with a poor program in the specialty you are pursuing will not deliver the training you require.
Is Plenty of Live Training Provided? Practicing and refining esthetician techniques and abilities requires lots of practice on volunteers. Find out how much live, hands-on training is furnished in the beauty lessons you will be attending. Some schools have salons on site that enable students to practice their growing skills on real people. If a beauty school provides limited or no scheduled live training, but instead relies heavily on utilizing mannequins, it may not be the best option for developing your skills. Therefore search for alternate schools that provide this type of training.
Does the School have a Job Placement Program? As soon as a student graduates from an esthetician program, it's important that she or he gets help in landing that initial job. Job placement programs are an integral part of that process. Schools that offer aid develop relationships with Birmingham AL businesses that are seeking qualified graduates available for hiring. Verify that the programs you are contemplating have job placement programs and find out which salons and establishments 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 Assistance Offered? Almost all esthetician schools provide financial aid or student loan assistance for their students. Check if the schools you are looking at have a financial aid office. Consult with 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 accessible to students as well. If a school fulfills each of your other qualifications except for expense, do not discard it as an option until you learn what financial help may be offered.
Choose the Right Birmingham Esthetician Course
Locating and enrolling in the right esthetician school near Birmingham AL is important to get 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 consolidate 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 beginning in your due diligence process is to make sure that the institution and program you pick are accredited and have outstanding 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 ideal choice. Once you graduate and pass your licensing examination, you will be self-assured that you are qualified to begin your career as a professional esthetician.