Esthetician Cosmetology Training School
How to Select the Best One Near Decatur Alabama
Now that you have decided to become an esthetician, you must enroll in the right esthetician school near Decatur AL to get your training. Since estheticians are licensed in all states, the college you select should prepare you to pass the licensing exam and provide the necessary training for your specialty. When you start your initial search, you may be rather unclear about the distinction between beauty schools and cosmetology schools. Because the names are for all practical purposes interchangeable and relate to the same type of school, you shouldn’t be. You will need to find a school that is within reasonable commuting distance of your residence unless you can relocate for training. An additional consideration when examining possible esthetician schools is the cost of tuition. But keep in mind that just because a school is the nearest or the least expensive it's not automatically the right option. There are many other qualifications that you should evaluate when analyzing schools, such as their reputation and accreditation. We will examine what questions you should ask regarding the cosmetology schools you are looking at later in this article. Before we do, let's discuss a little bit about what kinds of programs are offered.
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Esthetician Certificates and Degrees
There are basically two avenues offered to get 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 usually take 12 to 18 months to finish, while an Associate's degree commonly 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 available if you want to concentrate on just one area, for example esthetics. A degree program will also probably incorporate management and marketing training in order that graduates are better prepared to manage a parlor or other Decatur AL business. Higher degrees are not prevalent, 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 certain that it's approved by the Alabama Board of Cosmetology. A number of states only recognize schools that are accredited by certain reputable agencies, for example the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS). We will review the advantages of accreditation for the school you choose in the next segment.
Online Esthetics Training
Online esthetician schools are accommodating for Decatur AL students who are working full time and have family commitments that make it hard to enroll in a more traditional school. There are a large number of online beauty school programs available that can be attended through a home computer or laptop at the student's convenience. More conventional cosmetology programs are frequently fast paced since many programs are as brief as six or eight months. This means that a large portion of time is spent in the classroom. With online programs, you are dealing with the same amount of material, but you are not devoting numerous hours outside of your home or driving to and from classes. On the other hand, it's important that the program you select can provide internship training in local salons and parlors to ensure that you also obtain the hands-on training necessary for a complete education. Without the internship portion of the training, it's difficult to acquire the skills needed to work in any facet of the cosmetology profession. So make sure if you choose to enroll in an online school to verify that internship training is available in your area.
Questions to Ask Esthetics Schools
Following is a list of questions that you need to investigate for any esthetician training school you are considering. As we have previously covered, the location of the school in relation to your Decatur residence, as well as the price of tuition, will probably be your primary 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 options based on those preliminary qualifications, there are additional factors that you should research and consider before enrolling in a cosmetology school. Below we have compiled several of those supplemental questions that you need to ask every school before making a final decision.
Is the Esthetician School 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 certified local or national organization, such as the National Accrediting Commission for Cosmetology Arts & Sciences (NACCAS). Programs accredited by the NACCAS must meet their high standards ensuring a quality curriculum and education. Accreditation may also be important for obtaining student loans or financial aid, which frequently are not offered for non- accredited schools. It's also a criteria for licensing in some states that the training be accredited. And as a final benefit, a number of Decatur AL employers will not recruit recent graduates of non-accredited schools, or may look more positively upon individuals with accredited training.
Does the School have an Excellent Reputation? Any esthetician institute 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, signifying that their students are highly regarded. Check rating services for reviews as well as the school's accrediting agencies. If you have any contacts with Decatur AL salon owners or managers, or someone working in the business, ask them if they are acquainted with the schools you are looking at. They may even be able to suggest others that you had not looked into. And finally, consult the Alabama school licensing authority to see if there have been any complaints filed or if the schools are in complete compliance.
What’s the School’s Specialty? Some 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, such as hairstyling, manicuring or electrolysis. Schools that offer degree programs typically 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 goal is to be trained as an esthetician, make certain that the school you enroll in is accredited and respected for that program. If your aspiration is to open a Decatur 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 rated school with a poor program in the specialty you are pursuing will not provide the training you need.
Is Enough Live Training Provided? Learning and mastering esthetician skills and techniques requires plenty of practice on people. Find out how much live, hands-on training is provided in the beauty lessons you will be attending. A number of schools have salons on site that enable students to practice their growing talents on real people. If a beauty academy offers limited or no scheduled live training, but instead depends predominantly on the use of mannequins, it might not be the best option for developing your skills. So search for other schools that provide this type of training.
Does the School Provide Job Assistance? As soon as a student graduates from an esthetician academy, it's crucial that she or he gets help in securing that first job. Job placement programs are an important part of that process. Schools that provide assistance maintain relationships with Decatur AL businesses that are looking for qualified graduates available for hiring. Check that the programs you are considering have job placement programs and find out which salons and organizations they refer students to. In addition, find out what their job placement rates are. Higher rates not only confirm that they have extensive networks of employers, but that their programs are highly regarded as well.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Many esthetician schools offer financial aid or student loan assistance for their students. Ask if the schools you are investigating have a financial aid department. Speak with a counselor and learn 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 offered to students too. If a school fulfills each of your other qualifications except for cost, do not drop it as an option before you find out what financial help may be available.
Choose the Right Decatur Esthetician Program
Selecting and enrolling in the right esthetician college near Decatur AL is important to obtain the necessary training to become a licensed cosmetology practitioner. Make sure to ask all the questions that you need to so as to feel positive about your decision. Make sure to compile all of the information you receive from the beauty school admissions departments, focus on what matters the most to you, and then utilize that data to contrast schools. A sensible beginning in your due diligence procedure is to make sure that the institution and program you choose are accredited and have impressive reputations within the profession. If you begin with that foundation, and answer the additional questions supplied in this post, 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 launch your career as a professional esthetician.