Esthetician Cosmetology Training Course
How to Choose the Best One Near Birmingham Alabama
Now that you have made the decision to become an esthetician, you must enroll in the best esthetician school near Birmingham AL to receive your training. Because estheticians are licensed in all 50 states, the college you choose should prep you to pass the licensing exam as well as provide the proper training for your specialty. When you begin your initial search, you may be somewhat confused about the contrast between beauty schools and cosmetology schools. Well don't be, because the names are essentially interchangeable and both relate to the same kind of school. If you intend on commuting to classes you will need to find a school that is within driving distance of your Birmingham residence. Tuition will additionally be a critical factor when evaluating prospective schools. But keep in mind, a school is not always the best choice just because it happens to have a campus near your home or is lower in cost. Accreditation and reputation, as examples are among the other qualifications that you should evaluate when weighing your school options. We will examine what questions you should ask concerning the cosmetology schools you are thinking about later in this article. Before we do, let's discuss a bit about what kinds of training programs are offered.
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Esthetician Degrees and Certificates
There are basically two pathways available to obtain esthetician training and a credential upon completion. You can enroll in a certificate (or diploma) program, or you can work toward an Associate's degree. Certificate programs normally require 12 to 18 months to complete, while an Associate's degree ordinarily takes about 2 years. If you enroll in a certificate program you will be instructed in all of the main areas of cosmetology. Briefer programs are offered if you want to specialize in just one area, for instance 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 typical, but Bachelor and Master's degree programs are offered in such specialties as salon or spa management. Whatever type of course you opt for, it's essential to make sure that it's certified by the Alabama Board of Cosmetology. Numerous states only certify schools that are accredited by certain respected agencies, for instance the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS). We will examine the benefits of accreditation for the school you choose in the following section.
Questions to Ask Esthetics Training Courses
Following is a list of questions that you will want to investigate for any esthetician training program you are contemplating. As we have already discussed, the location of the school in relation to your Birmingham residence, as well as the price of tuition, will most likely be your first qualifiers. Whether you wish to pursue 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 preliminary qualifications, there are additional factors that you should research and take into consideration before enrolling in a cosmetology school. Below we have compiled several of those supplemental questions that you should ask every school before making a final determination.
Is the Esthetician Program Accredited? It's necessary to make sure that the esthetician training program you enroll in is accredited. The accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized local or national agency, such as the National Accrediting Commission for Cosmetology Arts & Sciences (NACCAS). Schools accredited by the NACCAS must meet their high standards guaranteeing a quality curriculum and education. Accreditation may also be necessary for getting student loans or financial aid, which often are not obtainable for non- accredited schools. It's also a criteria for licensing in many states that the training be accredited. And as a concluding benefit, numerous Birmingham AL employers will not recruit recent graduates of non-accredited schools, or might look more favorably upon those with accredited training.
Does the School have a Good Reputation? Any esthetician school that you are seriously considering should have a good to excellent reputation within the industry. Being accredited is a good starting point. Next, ask the schools for references from their network of businesses where they have referred their students. Verify that the schools have high job placement rates, indicating that their students are highly regarded. Visit rating services for reviews together with the school's accrediting agencies. If you have any relationships with Birmingham AL salon owners or managers, or someone working in the business, ask them if they are familiar with the schools you are considering. They may even be able to recommend others that you had not looked into. And finally, consult the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there have been any complaints submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
What’s the School’s Focus? Some esthetician schools offer programs that are broad in nature, concentrating on all areas of cosmetology. Others are more focused, offering training in a specific specialty, for example hairstyling, manicuring or electrolysis. Schools that offer degree programs often expand into a management and marketing curriculum. So it's essential that you pick 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 respected for that program. If your dream 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 rated school with a poor program in the specialty you are seeking will not provide the training you need.
Is Enough Hands-On Training Provided? Practicing and refining esthetician skills and techniques involves plenty of practice on people. Ask how much live, hands-on training is provided 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 limited or no scheduled live training, but rather relies mainly on the use of mannequins, it may not be the best alternative for developing your skills. Therefore try to find other schools that offer this kind of training.
Does the School Provide Job Assistance? As soon as a student graduates from an esthetician academy, it's essential that he or she receives assistance in finding that very first job. Job placement programs are an integral part of that process. Schools that provide help maintain relationships with Birmingham AL businesses that are seeking trained graduates available for hiring. Verify that the schools you are looking at have job placement programs and inquire which salons and organizations they refer students to. Also, find out what their job placement rates are. High rates not only affirm that they have wide networks of employers, but that their programs are highly regarded as well.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Most 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. Speak with a counselor and learn 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 offered to students too. If a school satisfies each of your other qualifications with the exception of cost, do not drop it as an option before you learn what financial assistance may be available.
Choose the Right Birmingham Esthetician Course
Locating and enrolling in the right esthetician school near Birmingham AL is essential to obtain the proper training to become a licensed cosmetology practitioner. Be sure to ask all the questions that you need to so as to feel confident about your decision. Make sure to collect all of the information you receive from the cosmetology school admissions departments, focus on what matters the most to you, and then utilize that information to compare schools. A reasonable start in your due diligence process is to make sure that the institution and program you choose are accredited and have exceptional reputations within the profession. If you start with that base, and address the additional questions provided in this article, you will be able to reduce your list of schools so that you can make the ideal selection. Once you graduate and pass your licensing test, you will be self-assured that you are prepared to start your career as a professional esthetician.