Esthetician Cosmetology School
How to Pick the Best 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 process starts to locate and enroll in the ideal program. It's important that the school you pick not only provides the proper training for the specialty you have decided on, but also preps you for passing the licensing examination. You may be a little confused when beginning your search for esthetician classes as to the difference between beauty and cosmetology schools, which both offer esthetician training. Well don't be, because the names are essentially interchangeable and both refer to the same type of school. You will want to find a school that is within reasonable driving distance of your home unless you can relocate for training. Tuition will likewise be a critical aspect when assessing possible schools. But keep in mind, a school is not always the right option simply because it has the lowest tuition or is located closest to your home. Accreditation and reputation, for example are among the other qualifications that you need to evaluate when weighing your school options. We will go over what questions you should ask about the cosmetology schools you are considering later within this article. Before we do, let's discuss a bit about what kinds of courses are available.
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Esthetics Degrees and Certificates
There are essentially two avenues offered to get 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 usually take 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 concentrate on just one area, for instance esthetics. A degree program will also likely feature management and marketing training so that graduates are better prepared to run a parlor or other Birmingham AL business. Higher degrees are not common, but Bachelor and Master's degree programs are offered in such areas as salon or spa management. Whichever type of course you opt for, it's imperative to make sure that it's recognized by the Alabama Board of Cosmetology. Many states only recognize schools that are accredited by certain reputable agencies, for example the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS). We will discuss the advantages of accreditation for the school you choose in the upcoming segment.
Online Esthetics Training
Online esthetician classes are convenient for Birmingham AL students who are working full-time and have family obligations that make it challenging to enroll in a more traditional school. There are numerous web-based cosmetology school programs available that can be accessed by means of a desktop computer or laptop at the student's convenience. More traditional cosmetology programs are typically fast paced given that many programs are as short as six or eight months. This means that a large amount of time is spent in the classroom. With internet 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 program you select can provide internship training in area salons and parlors to ensure that you also receive the hands-on training required for a complete education. Without the internship portion of the training, it's impossible to gain the skills required to work in any area of the cosmetology industry. 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 Training Courses
Below is a series of questions that you need to research for any esthetician training school you are considering. As we have previously discussed, 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 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 initial qualifications, there are even more factors that you must research and take into consideration before enrolling in a cosmetology program. Below we have compiled some of those supplemental questions that you need to ask each school before making a final determination.
Is the Esthetician Program Accredited? It's important to make sure that the esthetician training program you pick 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). Schools accredited by the NACCAS must comply with their high standards assuring a superior curriculum and education. Accreditation may also be essential for getting student loans or financial aid, which frequently 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 concluding benefit, many Birmingham AL employers will not employ recent graduates of non-accredited schools, or might look more positively upon individuals with accredited training.
Does the School have a Great Reputation? Every esthetician college that you are seriously evaluating should have a good to exceptional reputation within the field. Being accredited is a good beginning. Next, ask the schools for endorsements from their network of employers where they have referred their students. Verify that the schools have high job placement rates, signifying that their students are highly sought after. Check rating services for reviews along with the school's accrediting agencies. If you have any contacts 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 considering. They may even be able to propose others that you had not thought of. And last, consult the Alabama school licensing authority to see if there have been any complaints submitted or if the schools are in complete compliance.
What’s the School’s Specialty? A number of esthetician schools offer programs that are broad in nature, concentrating on all facets of cosmetology. Others are more focused, offering training in a particular specialty, for instance hairstyling, manicuring or electrolysis. Schools that offer degree programs frequently expand into a management and marketing curriculum. So it's important that you choose a school that specializes in your area of interest. If your goal 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 desire is to launch 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 regarded school with a weak program in the specialty you are pursuing will not provide the training you need.
Is Enough Hands-On Training Provided? Practicing and mastering esthetician skills and techniques requires lots of practice on volunteers. Ask how much live, hands-on training is furnished in the beauty courses you will be attending. A number of schools have salons on site that enable students to practice their growing skills on volunteers. If a beauty school offers little or no scheduled live training, but instead relies heavily on the use of mannequins, it may not be the best alternative for acquiring your skills. Therefore search for other schools that provide this kind of training.
Does the School Provide Job Assistance? Once a student graduates from an esthetician school, it's crucial that she or he receives support in finding that initial job. Job placement programs are an integral part of that process. Schools that offer aid maintain relationships with Birmingham AL employers that are searching for trained graduates available for hiring. Confirm that the programs you are considering have job placement programs and inquire which salons and businesses they refer students to. Also, 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 regarded as well.
Is Financial Aid Available? Almost all esthetician schools provide financial aid or student loan assistance for their students. Check if the schools you are reviewing have a financial aid department. Speak with a counselor and learn what student loans or grants you might qualify for. If the school is a member of the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS), it will have scholarships accessible to students too. If a school meets each of your other qualifications with the exception of cost, do not drop it as an option before you find out what financial help may be offered.
Choose the Right Birmingham Esthetician Program
Choosing and enrolling in the ideal esthetician college near Birmingham AL is important to receive the proper training to become a licensed cosmetology professional. Be sure to ask all the questions that you need to so as to feel positive about your decision. Be sure to organize all of the responses you receive from the beauty school admissions departments, prioritize what matters the most to you, and then use that data to contrast schools. A good start in your due diligence procedure is to make sure that the college and program you select are accredited and have excellent reputations within the field. If you begin with that base, and answer the additional questions supplied in this article, you will be able to reduce your list of schools so that you can make the right selection. And when you graduate and pass your licensing examination, you will be self-assured that you are qualified to begin your career as a professional esthetician.