Esthetician Cosmetology School
How to Select 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. Since estheticians are required to be licensed in all states, the school you choose should prepare you to pass the licensing test and provide the necessary training for your specialty. When you begin your preliminary search, you might be a little bit puzzled about the difference between beauty schools and cosmetology schools. Since the names are in effect interchangeable and relate to the same type of school, you shouldn’t be. If you plan on commuting to classes you will need to locate a school that is within driving distance of your Northport residence. An additional consideration when examining possible esthetician schools is the cost of tuition. But keep in mind, a school is not always the right choice simply because it has the lowest tuition or is located closest to your home. Reputation and accreditation, for example 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 talk a bit about what kinds of courses are available.
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There are basically two pathways offered to get 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 generally 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 all of the major areas of cosmetology. Briefer programs are available if you wish to specialize in just one area, for example esthetics. A degree program will also likely include management and marketing training in order that graduates are better prepared to run a parlor or other Northport AL business. Higher degrees are not typical, but Bachelor and Master's degree programs are offered in such specialties as salon or spa management. Whatever type of program you go with, it's imperative to make sure that it's certified by the Alabama Board of Cosmetology. A number of states only certify schools that are accredited by certain respected agencies, for example the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS). We will cover the advantages of accreditation for the school you select in the following section.
What to Ask Esthetics Degree Programs
Below is a series of questions that you need to look into for any esthetician training school you are considering. As we have already covered, the location of the school in relation to your Northport home, as well as the price of tuition, will probably be your primary qualifiers. Whether you want to earn a certificate, diploma or a degree will no doubt 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 should research and take into consideration before enrolling in a cosmetology school. Below we have collected several of those supplemental questions that you should ask every school before making a final determination.
Is the Esthetician Program Accredited? It's necessary to make sure that the esthetician school you enroll in is accredited. The accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education certified local or national agency, such as the National Accrediting Commission for Cosmetology Arts & Sciences (NACCAS). Programs accredited by the NACCAS must comply with their high standards guaranteeing a quality curriculum and education. Accreditation can also be necessary for acquiring student loans or financial aid, which often are not obtainable for non- accredited schools. It's also a requirement for licensing in some states that the training be accredited. And as a final benefit, a number of Northport AL employers will not recruit recent graduates of non-accredited schools, or may look more positively upon those with accredited training.
Does the School have a Great Reputation? Every esthetician school that you are seriously considering should have a good to exceptional reputation within the profession. Being accredited is a good beginning. Next, ask the schools for testimonials from their network of employers where they have placed their students. Verify that the schools have high job placement rates, signifying that their students are highly demanded. Check rating services for reviews as well as the school's accrediting organizations. If you have any contacts with Northport AL salon owners or managers, or someone working in the field, ask them if they are familiar with the schools you are reviewing. They may even be able to recommend others that you had not thought of. Finally, consult the Alabama school licensing authority to see if there have been any grievances filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
What’s the School’s Focus? A number of esthetician schools offer programs that are comprehensive in nature, concentrating on all areas of cosmetology. Others are more focused, offering training in a particular specialty, for example hairstyling, manicuring or electrolysis. Schools that offer degree programs commonly broaden 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 certain that the school you enroll in is accredited and respected for that program. If your desire is to open a Northport AL beauty salon, then you need to enroll in a degree program that will teach you how to be an owner/operator. Choosing a highly ranked school with a weak program in the specialty you are pursuing will not provide the training you require.
Is Plenty of Live Training Provided? Learning and refining esthetician techniques and abilities involves lots of practice on volunteers. Find out how much live, hands-on training is included in the beauty courses you will be attending. A number of schools have salons on campus that enable students to practice their growing skills on volunteers. If a beauty school offers limited or no scheduled live training, but instead relies predominantly on utilizing mannequins, it might not be the most effective alternative for acquiring your skills. So search for other schools that provide this kind of training.
Does the School Provide Job Assistance? As soon as a student graduates from an esthetician academy, it's essential that she or he gets assistance in landing that first job. Job placement programs are an important part of that process. Schools that offer help develop relationships with Northport AL employers that are searching for trained 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. Also, 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 Offered? Many esthetician schools offer financial aid or student loan assistance for their students. Ask if the schools you are looking at have a financial aid department. Consult with a counselor and identify what student loans or grants you might qualify for. If the school belongs to the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS), it will have scholarships accessible to students also. If a school meets all of your other qualifications except for expense, do not omit it as an alternative until you determine what financial assistance may be provided.
Enroll in the Right Northport Esthetician Program
Choosing and enrolling in the ideal esthetician program near Northport AL is imperative to get the appropriate training to become a licensed cosmetology technician. Be sure to ask all the questions that you need to so as to feel certain about your decision. Be sure to collect all of the responses you get from the beauty school admissions departments, prioritize what matters the most to you, and then employ that data to contrast schools. A reasonable beginning in your due diligence procedure is to make sure that the college and program you choose are accredited and have exceptional reputations within the profession. If you begin with that foundation, and address the additional questions provided in this article, you will be able to narrow down your list of schools so that you can make the right choice. And when you graduate and pass your licensing exam, you will be self-assured that you are prepared to launch your career as a professional esthetician.