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What to Ask Esthetician Programs
Following is a list of questions that you should 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, together with the expense of tuition, will most likely be your initial qualifiers. Whether you wish to earn a certificate, diploma or a degree will probably be next on your list. But once you have reduced your school choices based on those preliminary qualifications, there are even more factors that you must research and consider before enrolling in a cosmetology program. Below we have collected some of those additional questions that you need to ask every school before making a final selection.
Is the Esthetician School Accredited? It's necessary to make certain that the esthetician school you select 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). Programs accredited by the NACCAS must meet their high standards guaranteeing a superior curriculum and education. Accreditation may also be important for acquiring student loans or financial aid, which typically are not available for non- accredited schools. It's also a prerequisite for licensing in some states that the training be accredited. And as a final benefit, numerous Birmingham AL employers will not hire recent graduates of non-accredited schools, or might look more positively upon those with accredited training.
Does the School have a Good Reputation? Any esthetician school that you are seriously evaluating should have a good to exceptional reputation within the profession. Being accredited is a good beginning. Next, ask the schools for references from their network of employers where they have referred their students. Check that the schools have high job placement rates, showing that their students are highly sought after. Check 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 anyone working in the field, ask them if they are acquainted with the schools you are considering. They might even be able to suggest others that you had not thought of. Finally, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to see if there have been any complaints submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
What’s the School’s Specialty? A number of esthetician schools offer programs that are broad in nature, focusing 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 often broaden into a management and marketing curriculum. So it's important 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 teach you how to be an owner/operator. Picking a highly rated school with a weak program in the specialty you are pursuing will not provide the training you need.
Is Enough Live Training Provided? Learning and mastering esthetician techniques and abilities demands lots of practice on volunteers. Check how much live, hands-on training is furnished in the beauty classes 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 limited or no scheduled live training, but rather relies predominantly on the use of mannequins, it might not be the most effective option for developing your skills. Therefore try to find alternate schools that provide this type of training.
Does the School Provide Job Assistance? When a student graduates from an esthetician school, it's imperative that she or he receives aid in securing that first job. Job placement programs are an integral part of that process. Schools that offer help maintain relationships with Birmingham AL businesses that are searching for qualified graduates available for hiring. Check that the programs you are contemplating have job placement programs and ask which salons and businesses they refer students to. In addition, find out what their job placement rates are. High rates not only confirm that they have broad networks of employers, but that their programs are highly respected as well.
Is Financial Aid Available? Most esthetician schools provide financial aid or student loan assistance for their students. Ask if the schools you are investigating have a financial aid office. Talk to a counselor and identify what student loans or grants you might get approved for. If the school belongs to the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS), it will have scholarships accessible to students too. If a school satisfies all of your other qualifications except for expense, do not drop it as an alternative before you determine what financial aid may be available.