Esthetician Cosmetology School
How to Pick the Best One Near Helena Alabama
Now that you have decided to enter the field of cosmetology and enroll in an esthetician school near Helena AL, the task starts to search for and enroll in the best program. Because estheticians are licensed in all 50 states, the college you select should prepare you to pass the licensing exam as well as provide the proper training for your specialty. When you start your initial search, you may be rather unclear about the difference between beauty schools and cosmetology schools. Because the names are in effect interchangeable and pertain to the same kind of school, there is no need to be. You will want to find a school that is within reasonable driving distance of your residence unless you are willing to relocate for training. An additional qualification when examining possible esthetician schools is the cost of tuition. But keep in mind that just because a school is the closest or the cheapest it's not automatically the best choice. There are many other factors that you should evaluate when analyzing schools, such as their reputation and accreditation. We will go over what questions you should ask regarding the cosmetology schools you are considering later in this article. Before we do, let's talk a little bit about what kinds of training programs are available.
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There are essentially two pathways available to obtain esthetician training and a credential upon completion. You can enroll in a certificate (or diploma) program, or you can pursue an Associate's degree. Certificate programs normally call for 12 to 18 months to finish, while an Associate's degree ordinarily takes about 2 years. If you enroll in a certificate program you will be trained in all of the main areas of cosmetology. Briefer programs are offered if you want to specialize in just one area, such as esthetics. A degree program will also most likely incorporate management and marketing training to ensure that graduates are better prepared to operate a salon or other Helena AL business. More advanced degrees are not prevalent, but Bachelor and Master's degree programs are offered in such areas as salon or spa management. Whatever type of training program you choose, it's imperative to make sure that it's recognized by the Alabama Board of Cosmetology. A number of states only recognize schools that are accredited by certain highly regarded organizations, for instance the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS). We will discuss the advantages of accreditation for the school you decide on in the next section.
Questions to Ask Esthetics Degree Programs
Below is a series of questions that you will want to investigate for any esthetician training program you are considering. As we have previously covered, the location of the school in relation to your Helena residence, together with the price of tuition, will probably be your initial qualifiers. Whether you want to earn 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 should research and take into consideration before enrolling in a cosmetology school. Below we have collected several of those additional questions that you need to ask each school before making a final selection.
Is the Esthetician Program Accredited? It's essential 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 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 essential for obtaining student loans or financial aid, which often are not available for non- accredited schools. It's also a criteria for licensing in some states that the training be accredited. And as a concluding benefit, many Helena AL employers will not hire recent graduates of non-accredited schools, or might look more favorably upon individuals with accredited training.
Does the School have a Good Reputation? Any esthetician institute that you are seriously evaluating should have a good to outstanding 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. Check that the schools have high job placement rates, indicating that their students are highly demanded. Check rating companies for reviews along with the school's accrediting agencies. If you have any connections with Helena AL salon owners or managers, or any person working in the trade, ask them if they are familiar with the schools you are looking at. They may even be able to propose others that you had not looked into. And finally, check with 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? Many esthetician schools offer programs that are broad in nature, focusing on all facets of cosmetology. Others are more focused, providing training in a particular specialty, for example hairstyling, manicuring or electrolysis. Schools that offer degree programs frequently broaden into a management and marketing curriculum. So it's imperative that you select a school that focuses on 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 aspiration is to start a Helena 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 regarded school with a weak program in the specialty you are pursuing will not provide the training you need.
Is Plenty of Live Training Provided? Practicing and refining esthetician skills and techniques involves plenty of practice on volunteers. Check how much live, hands-on training is provided in the beauty courses you will be attending. Some schools have salons on site that allow students to practice their growing skills on real people. If a beauty academy offers little or no scheduled live training, but instead relies heavily on utilizing mannequins, it may not be the best alternative for developing your skills. So search for alternate schools that provide this type of training.
Does the School have a Job Placement Program? Once a student graduates from an esthetician school, it's imperative that he or she receives assistance in landing that very first job. Job placement programs are an important part of that process. Schools that furnish assistance develop relationships with Helena AL businesses that are looking for qualified graduates available for hiring. Verify that the schools you are looking at have job placement programs and find out which salons and organizations they refer students to. Additionally, ask what their job placement rates are. High rates not only confirm that they have extensive 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. Check if the schools you are considering have a financial aid department. Consult with a counselor and identify what student loans or grants you may qualify for. If the school belongs to the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS), it will have scholarships offered to students as well. If a school meets all of your other qualifications with the exception of expense, do not eliminate it as an alternative before you determine what financial aid may be available.
Enroll in the Right Helena Esthetician Course
Picking and enrolling in the ideal esthetician school near Helena AL is imperative to obtain the proper training to become a licensed cosmetology professional. Be sure to ask all the questions that you require so as to feel confident about your decision. Make sure to compile all of the information you receive from the cosmetology school admissions departments, focus on what matters the most to you, and then employ that information to contrast schools. A sensible beginning in your due diligence process is to make certain that the academy and program you select are accredited and have excellent reputations within the field. If you start with that base, and address the additional questions presented in this post, you will be able to narrow down your list of schools so that you can make the right selection. Once you graduate and pass your licensing examination, you will be confident that you are prepared to start your career as a professional esthetician.