Esthetician Cosmetology School
How to Find the Best One Near Northport Alabama
Now that you have made the decision to begin your career in cosmetology, you must enroll in the best esthetician school near Northport AL to get your training. It's important that the school you choose not only furnishes the necessary instruction for the specialty you have selected, but also preps you for passing the licensing examination. When you start your initial search, you might be rather confused about the difference between beauty schools and cosmetology schools. Because the names are in effect interchangeable and relate to the same kind of school, there is no need to be. If you anticipate commuting to classes you will want to find a school that is within driving distance of your Northport home. An additional qualification when examining prospective esthetician schools is the price of tuition. But remember that just because a school is the closest or the least expensive it's not automatically the ideal choice. There are many other qualifications that you should weigh when reviewing schools, for instance their reputation and accreditation. We will go over what questions you should ask concerning the cosmetology schools you are thinking about later within this article. Before we do, let's talk a bit about what types of courses are available.
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Esthetics Certificates and Degrees
There are primarily two avenues available to obtain esthetician training and a credential upon completion. You can enroll in a certificate (or diploma) course, or you can pursue an Associate's degree. Certificate programs usually 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 instructed in all of the major areas of cosmetology. Briefer programs are available if you want to specialize in just one area, for example esthetics. A degree program will also most likely feature management and marketing training to ensure that graduates are better prepared to manage a parlor or other Northport AL business. More advanced degrees are not typical, but Bachelor and Master's degree programs are offered in such specialties as salon or spa management. Whatever type of course you go with, it's essential to make sure that it's recognized by the Alabama Board of Cosmetology. Many states only certify schools that are accredited by certain reputable agencies, including the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS). We will discuss the benefits of accreditation for the school you decide on in the following section.
Online Esthetician Schools
Online esthetician programs are convenient for Northport AL students who are employed full time and have family responsibilities 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 accessed via a desktop computer or laptop at the student's convenience. More traditional beauty programs are often fast paced because many courses are as short as 6 or 8 months. This means that a large amount of time is spent in the classroom. With online courses, you are covering the same amount of material, but you're not spending many hours away from your home or travelling to and from classes. However, it's important that the school you pick can provide internship training in local salons and parlors so that you also get the hands-on training needed for a complete education. Without the internship part of the training, it's impossible to obtain the skills needed to work in any area of the cosmetology profession. So be sure if you choose to enroll in an online school to verify that internship training is provided in your area.
What to Ask Esthetics Training Programs
Following is a list of questions that you will want to investigate for any esthetician training program you are contemplating. As we have already discussed, the location of the school in relation to your Northport home, together with the cost of tuition, will undoubtedly be your first qualifiers. Whether you wish to pursue a certificate, diploma or a degree will undoubtedly be next on your list. But once you have narrowed 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. Below we have put together some of those additional questions that you need to ask every school before making a final decision.
Is the Esthetician Program Accredited? It's important to make sure that the esthetician training program you enroll in 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 measure up to 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 available for non- accredited schools. It's also a requirement for licensing in some states that the training be accredited. And as a final benefit, many Northport AL employers will not recruit recent graduates of non-accredited schools, or may look more favorably upon individuals with accredited training.
Does the School have a Great Reputation? Every esthetician college that you are seriously evaluating should have a good to exceptional reputation within the industry. Being accredited is an excellent beginning. Next, ask the schools for endorsements from their network of employers where they have placed their students. Verify that the schools have high job placement rates, indicating that their students are highly regarded. Visit rating services for reviews in addition to the school's accrediting organizations. If you have any relationships with Northport AL salon owners or managers, or someone working in the field, ask them if they are acquainted with the schools you are looking at. They may even be able to recommend others that you had not considered. And finally, consult the Alabama school licensing authority to see if there have been any complaints submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
What’s the School’s Focus? Some esthetician schools offer programs that are broad in nature, concentrating on all facets of cosmetology. Others are more focused, providing training in a particular specialty, such as hairstyling, manicuring or electrolysis. Schools that offer degree programs frequently expand into a management and marketing curriculum. So it's important that you decide on a school that focuses on 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 well regarded for that program. If your desire is to open a Northport AL beauty salon, then you want to enroll in a degree program that will teach you how to be an owner/operator. Selecting a highly ranked school with a poor program in the specialty you are seeking will not deliver the training you need.
Is Any Hands-On Training Provided? Practicing and refining esthetician techniques and abilities 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 make it possible for students to practice their growing skills on volunteers. If a beauty program offers minimal or no scheduled live training, but instead relies predominantly on using mannequins, it might not be the best alternative for developing your skills. So look for alternate schools that furnish this kind of training.
Does the School Provide Job Assistance? Once a student graduates from an esthetician academy, it's essential that he or she receives assistance in finding that very first job. Job placement programs are an integral part of that process. Schools that offer help develop relationships with Northport AL employers that are seeking qualified graduates available for hiring. Confirm that the schools you are considering have job placement programs and find out which salons and businesses they refer students to. In addition, find out what their job placement rates are. High rates not only confirm that they have broad networks of employers, but that their programs are highly regarded 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 looking at have a financial aid office. Talk to a counselor and identify what student loans or grants you might 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 discard it as an option until you learn what financial help may be available.
Enroll in the Right Northport Esthetician Course
Selecting and enrolling in the ideal esthetician college near Northport AL is important to obtain the appropriate training to become a licensed cosmetology specialist. Be sure to ask all the questions that you need to so as to feel certain about your decision. Make sure to organize all of the responses you receive from the beauty school admissions departments, prioritize what matters the most to you, and then utilize that data to compare schools. A reasonable beginning in your due diligence process is to make sure that the academy and program you pick are accredited and have excellent reputations within the profession. If you start with that base, and address the additional questions supplied in this post, you will be able to filter your list of schools so that you can make the proper selection. And when you graduate and pass your licensing exam, you will be self-assured that you are prepared to start your career as a professional esthetician.