Esthetician Cosmetology Program
How to Choose the Best One Near Hoover Alabama
Now that you have decided to begin your career in cosmetology, you must enroll in the right esthetician school near Hoover AL to get your training. Since estheticians are licensed in all 50 states, the school you select should prep you to pass the licensing exam as well as provide the necessary training for your specialty. When you start your initial search, you may be rather unclear about the contrast between beauty schools and cosmetology schools. Since the names are in effect interchangeable and pertain to the same kind of school, you shouldn’t be. You will need to find a campus that is within reasonable commuting distance of your residence unless you are willing to relocate for training. An additional qualification when examining possible esthetician schools is the price of tuition. However, a school is not always the best option simply because it has the lowest tuition or is located closest to your home. Accreditation and reputation, as examples are among the other qualifications that you should look into when weighing your school options. We will examine what questions you should ask about the cosmetology schools you are considering later within this article. Before we do, let's discuss a little bit about what types of programs are offered.
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Esthetician Degrees and Certificates
There are primarily two options offered to receive esthetician training and a credential after completion. You can enroll in a certificate (or diploma) course, or you can pursue an Associate's degree. Certificate programs usually require 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 all of the main areas of cosmetology. Shorter programs are offered if you prefer to concentrate on just one area, for instance esthetics. A degree program will also likely incorporate management and marketing training so that graduates are better prepared to manage a parlor or other Hoover AL business. Higher degrees are not common, but Bachelor and Master's degree programs are available in such specialties as salon or spa management. Whichever type of training program you go with, it's imperative to make certain that it's recognized by the Alabama Board of Cosmetology. Numerous states only recognize schools that are accredited by certain respected agencies, for instance the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS). We will examine the advantages of accreditation for the school you select in the following section.
Questions to Ask Esthetician Programs
Below is a list of questions that you need to look into for any esthetician training program you are contemplating. As we have previously discussed, the location of the school in relation to your Hoover residence, together with the cost of tuition, will undoubtedly be your initial qualifiers. Whether you wish 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 must research and consider before enrolling in a cosmetology program. Below we have collected several of those additional questions that you should ask every school before making a final determination.
Is the Esthetician School Accredited? It's necessary to make sure that the esthetician school you select is accredited. The accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged 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 superior curriculum and education. Accreditation can also be essential for securing student loans or financial aid, which often 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 concluding benefit, numerous Hoover 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 a Good Reputation? Every esthetician college that you are seriously considering should have a good to outstanding reputation within the field. Being accredited is an excellent starting point. Next, ask the schools for endorsements from their network of employers where they have placed their students. Check that the schools have high job placement rates, showing that their students are highly demanded. Check rating companies for reviews in addition to the school's accrediting agencies. If you have any connections with Hoover AL salon owners or managers, or anyone 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. Finally, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there have been any complaints filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
What’s the School’s Focus? Many esthetician schools offer programs that are comprehensive in nature, focusing on all facets of cosmetology. Others are more focused, offering training in a particular specialty, such as hairstyling, manicuring or electrolysis. Schools that offer degree programs commonly broaden into a management and marketing curriculum. So it's imperative that you choose 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 aspiration is to open a Hoover AL beauty salon, then you want to enroll in a degree program that will teach you how to be an owner/operator. Picking a highly ranked school with a weak program in the specialty you are seeking will not deliver the training you need.
Is Enough Hands-On Training Provided? Learning and refining esthetician skills and techniques requires plenty of practice on volunteers. Find out how much live, hands-on training is furnished in the cosmetology courses 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 little or no scheduled live training, but instead relies mainly on the use of mannequins, it may not be the most effective alternative for developing your skills. So look for other schools that offer this kind of training.
Does the School have a Job Placement Program? When a student graduates from an esthetician academy, it's important that he or she gets aid in finding that initial job. Job placement programs are an important part of that process. Schools that furnish assistance develop relationships with Hoover AL employers that are looking for qualified graduates available for hiring. Verify that the programs you are contemplating have job placement programs and ask which salons and organizations they refer students to. Also, ask what their job placement rates are. High rates not only affirm that they have extensive networks of employers, but that their programs are highly regarded as well.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Most esthetician schools offer financial aid or student loan assistance for their students. Ask if the schools you are considering have a financial aid department. Consult with a counselor and identify what student loans or grants you may get approved 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 satisfies each of your other qualifications except for cost, do not eliminate it as an alternative until you learn what financial assistance may be provided.
Enroll in the Right Hoover Esthetician Course
Finding and enrolling in the right esthetician program near Hoover AL is important to get the proper training to become a licensed cosmetology technician. Make sure to ask all the questions that you require so as to feel certain about your decision. Be sure to consolidate all of the information you receive from the cosmetology school admissions departments, focus on what matters the most to you, and then use that data to compare schools. A good beginning in your due diligence process is to make certain that the school and program you pick are accredited and have excellent reputations within the profession. If you start with that base, and address the additional questions provided in this post, you will be able to reduce your list of schools so that you can make the proper selection. Once you graduate and pass your licensing test, you will be confident that you are prepared to launch your career as a professional esthetician.