Esthetician Cosmetology Training School
How to Select the Right One Near Decatur Alabama
Since you have decided to enter the field of cosmetology and attend an esthetician school near Decatur AL, the process begins to locate and enroll in the ideal program. It's imperative that the school you pick not only provides the appropriate training for the specialty you have chosen, but also prepares you for passing the licensing examination. When you begin your initial search, you may be rather unclear about the distinction between beauty schools and cosmetology schools. Well don't be, because the names are basically interchangeable and both relate to the same kind of school. You will need to find a campus that is within reasonable commuting distance of your home unless you plan to relocate for training. An additional consideration when evaluating prospective esthetician schools is the cost of tuition. But keep in mind that just because a school is the closest or the lowest cost it's not automatically the right option. There are many other considerations that you should evaluate when comparing schools, such as their reputation and accreditation. We will go over what questions you should ask concerning the cosmetology schools you are looking at later in this article. Before we do, let's talk a bit about what types of training programs are available.
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Esthetics Degree and Certificate Programs
There are essentially two options available to receive esthetician training and a credential after completion. You can enroll in a certificate (or diploma) program, or you can work toward an Associate's degree. Certificate programs generally call for 12 to 18 months to complete, while an Associate's degree commonly takes about 2 years. If you enroll in a certificate program you will be trained in all of the major areas of cosmetology. Shorter programs are offered if you want to specialize in just one area, such as esthetics. A degree program will also probably incorporate management and marketing training so that graduates are better prepared to run a parlor or other Decatur AL business. Higher degrees are not prevalent, but Bachelor and Master's degree programs are offered in such specialties as salon or spa management. Whichever type of training program you decide on, it's imperative to make certain that it's approved by the Alabama Board of Cosmetology. Many states only recognize schools that are accredited by certain highly regarded organizations, including the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS). We will discuss the advantages of accreditation for the school you choose in the following section.
What to Ask Esthetician Programs
Below is a series 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 in relation to your Decatur home, as well as the price of tuition, will probably be your first qualifiers. Whether you want to pursue a certificate, diploma or a degree will no doubt be next on your list. But once you have reduced your school choices based on those initial qualifications, there are additional factors that you should research and consider before enrolling in a cosmetology school. Below we have compiled several of those additional questions that you should ask every school before making a final determination.
Is the Esthetician Program Accredited? It's important to make certain that the esthetician school you enroll in is accredited. The accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged 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 can also be important for getting student loans or financial aid, which typically are not offered for non- accredited schools. It's also a prerequisite for licensing in many states that the training be accredited. And as a final benefit, many Decatur AL employers will not recruit recent graduates of non-accredited schools, or may look more positively upon those with accredited training.
Does the School have an Excellent Reputation? Every esthetician school that you are seriously evaluating should have a good to excellent reputation within the profession. Being accredited is an excellent beginning. Next, ask the schools for references from their network of employers where they have referred their students. Confirm that the schools have high job placement rates, showing that their students are highly regarded. Visit rating companies for reviews along with the school's accrediting organizations. If you have any contacts with Decatur AL salon owners or managers, or anyone working in the business, ask them if they are familiar with the schools you are reviewing. They might even be able to suggest others that you had not thought of. Finally, check with 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? Many esthetician schools offer programs that are broad in nature, focusing 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 broaden into a management and marketing curriculum. So it's essential that you decide on a school that specializes in your area of interest. If your goal is to be trained as an esthetician, make sure that the school you enroll in is accredited and respected for that program. If your vision is to launch a Decatur AL beauty salon, then you want to enroll in a degree program that will teach you how to be an owner/operator. Choosing a highly ranked school with a poor program in the specialty you are seeking will not provide the training you need.
Is Plenty of Hands-On Training Provided? Learning and refining esthetician techniques and abilities involves plenty of practice on volunteers. Ask how much live, hands-on training is furnished in the cosmetology classes you will be attending. A number of schools have salons on site that make it possible for students to practice their developing skills on volunteers. If a beauty school furnishes little or no scheduled live training, but rather depends heavily on the use of mannequins, it might not be the most effective alternative for developing your skills. So look for other schools that provide this type of training.
Does the School have a Job Placement Program? As soon as a student graduates from an esthetician academy, it's imperative that he or she gets aid in finding that initial job. Job placement programs are an integral part of that process. Schools that offer aid develop relationships with Decatur AL employers that are seeking qualified graduates available for hiring. Verify that the programs you are considering have job placement programs and inquire which salons and establishments they refer students to. In addition, find out what their job placement rates are. High rates not only verify that they have wide networks of employers, but that their programs are highly respected as well.
Is Financial Aid Available? Most esthetician schools offer financial aid or student loan assistance for their students. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have a financial aid department. Consult with a counselor and identify what student loans or grants you may qualify for. If the school is a member of the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS), it will have scholarships available to students as well. If a school meets each of your other qualifications except for expense, do not drop it as an alternative until you learn what financial help may be offered.
Choose the Right Decatur Esthetician Course
Finding and enrolling in the ideal esthetician school near Decatur AL is important to get the proper training to become a licensed cosmetology technician. Make sure to ask all the questions that you require in order to feel confident about your decision. Make sure to collect all of the information you receive from the cosmetology school admissions departments, prioritize what matters the most to you, and then utilize that information to compare schools. A sensible start in your due diligence process is to make certain that the academy and program you choose are accredited and have excellent reputations within the profession. If you begin with that base, and address the additional questions provided in this article, you will be able to filter your list of schools so that you can make the proper choice. Once you graduate and pass your licensing examination, you will be confident that you are ready to start your new career as a professional esthetician.