Esthetician Cosmetology School
How to Choose the Best One Near Homewood Alabama
Now that you have made the decision to begin your career in cosmetology, you must find the right esthetician school near Homewood AL to receive your training. Since estheticians are licensed in all states, the school you choose should prepare you to pass the licensing exam as well as provide the proper training for your specialty. When you start your preliminary search, you might be a little bit puzzled about the distinction between beauty schools and cosmetology schools. Because the names are for all practical purposes interchangeable and pertain to the same type of school, you shouldn’t be. You will need to find a campus that is within reasonable driving distance of your home unless you are willing to relocate for training. Tuition will also be a critical factor when evaluating possible schools. However, a school is not always the right choice simply because it happens to have a campus near your home or is lower in cost. Reputation and accreditation, for example are among the other qualifications that you need to evaluate when comparing schools. We will review what questions you should ask about the cosmetology schools you are looking at later within this article. Before we do, let's talk a bit about what kinds of courses are available.
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Esthetician Certificate and Degree Programs
There are primarily two avenues available to receive 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 typically take 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 instructed in each of the major areas of cosmetology. Briefer programs are offered if you wish to focus on just one area, for example esthetics. A degree program will also most likely incorporate management and marketing training so that graduates are better prepared to operate a parlor or other Homewood AL business. More advanced degrees are not common, but Bachelor and Master's degree programs are offered in such areas as salon or spa management. Whatever type of training program you opt for, it's imperative to make sure that it's certified by the Alabama Board of Cosmetology. Numerous states only certify schools that are accredited by certain highly regarded organizations, for instance the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS). We will review the advantages of accreditation for the school you decide on in the upcoming section.
Questions to Ask Esthetics Degree Programs
Following is a list of questions that you need to look into for any esthetician training school you are considering. As we have already discussed, the location of the school relative to your Homewood home, as well as the cost of tuition, will most likely 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 choices based on those initial qualifications, there are even more factors that you need to research and consider before enrolling in a cosmetology program. Following we have put together some of those additional questions that you should ask each school before making a final selection.
Is the Esthetician School Accredited? It's important to make sure that the esthetician college you choose 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). Schools accredited by the NACCAS must measure up to their high standards ensuring a quality curriculum and education. Accreditation may also be important for obtaining student loans or financial aid, which typically are not offered for non- accredited schools. It's also a requirement for licensing in several states that the training be accredited. And as a concluding benefit, numerous Homewood AL businesses will not hire recent graduates of non-accredited schools, or may look more positively upon individuals with accredited training.
Does the School have a Great Reputation? Any esthetician college that you are seriously evaluating should have a good to excellent reputation within the field. Being accredited is a good starting point. 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 sought after. Visit rating services for reviews along with the school's accrediting agencies. If you have any contacts with Homewood AL salon owners or managers, or anyone working in the industry, 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 find out if there have been any complaints filed or if the schools are in complete compliance.
What’s the School’s Focus? Many esthetician schools offer programs that are comprehensive 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 commonly 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 ambition 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 Homewood AL beauty salon, then you need to enroll in a degree program that will teach you how to be an owner/operator. Selecting a highly ranked school with a weak program in the specialty you are pursuing will not deliver the training you require.
Is Any Hands-On Training Provided? Learning and mastering esthetician skills and techniques requires lots of practice on volunteers. Ask 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 make it possible for students to practice their growing talents on real people. If a beauty program offers minimal or no scheduled live training, but rather depends heavily on utilizing mannequins, it might not be the most effective alternative for developing your skills. Therefore look for alternate schools that furnish this kind of training.
Does the School Provide Job Assistance? Once a student graduates from an esthetician program, it's imperative that he or she gets help in finding that first job. Job placement programs are an integral part of that process. Schools that furnish assistance maintain relationships with Homewood AL employers that are seeking trained graduates available for hiring. Check that the schools you are considering have job placement programs and find out which salons and establishments they refer students to. Additionally, find out 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 Assistance Offered? Many esthetician schools offer financial aid or student loan assistance for their students. Find out if the schools you are considering have a financial aid office. Talk to a counselor and learn 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 offered to students also. If a school satisfies all of your other qualifications with the exception of cost, do not drop it as an option before you find out what financial aid may be offered.
Choose the Right Homewood Esthetician Course
Selecting and enrolling in the right esthetician program near Homewood AL is imperative to obtain the necessary training to become a licensed cosmetology practitioner. Make sure to ask all the questions that you need to in order to feel confident about your decision. Don't forget to organize all of the information you receive from the cosmetology school admissions departments, focus on what matters the most to you, and then utilize that data to contrast schools. A good beginning in your due diligence procedure is to make certain that the academy and program you decide on are accredited and have excellent reputations within the profession. If you start with that foundation, and answer the additional questions presented in this article, you will be able to narrow down your list of schools so that you can make the ideal choice. And when you graduate and pass your licensing test, you will be confident that you are qualified to start your career as a professional esthetician.