Esthetician Cosmetology Training Course
How to Choose the Best One Near Northport Alabama
Since you have decided to enter the field of cosmetology and enroll in an esthetician school near Northport AL, the process starts to find and enroll in the best program. It's important that the school you select not only provides the proper instruction for the specialty you have chosen, but also preps you for passing the licensing examination. You might be somewhat confused when beginning your search for esthetician programs as to the difference between beauty and cosmetology schools, which both offer esthetician training. Well don't be, because the titles are essentially interchangeable and both refer to the same type of school. You will want to find a school that is within reasonable commuting distance of your residence unless you can relocate for training. Tuition will likewise be a critical aspect when evaluating potential schools. But keep in mind, 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 need to evaluate when comparing schools. 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 types of training programs are offered.
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Esthetician Degree and Certificate Programs
There are primarily two pathways available to obtain 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 normally require 12 to 18 months to complete, 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 main areas of cosmetology. Shorter programs are available if you want to concentrate on just one area, for example esthetics. A degree program will also likely feature management and marketing training so that graduates are better prepared to operate a parlor or other Northport AL business. More advanced degrees are not typical, but Bachelor and Master's degree programs are offered in such areas as salon or spa management. Whichever type of training program you go with, it's important 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 agencies, for instance the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS). We will cover the advantages of accreditation for the school you decide on in the following segment.
What to Ask Esthetics Training Programs
Following is a list of questions that you will want to research for any esthetician training school you are contemplating. As we have already covered, the location of the school relative to your Northport home, as well as the expense 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 options based on those initial qualifications, there are even more factors that you need to research and take into consideration before enrolling in a cosmetology school. Below we have compiled some of those additional questions that you should ask each school before making a final decision.
Is the Esthetician School Accredited? It's necessary to make sure that the esthetician training program 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 measure up to their high standards guaranteeing a quality curriculum and education. Accreditation can also be important for getting student loans or financial aid, which often are not obtainable for non- accredited schools. It's also a prerequisite for licensing in several states that the training be accredited. And as a final benefit, many Northport AL businesses will not employ recent graduates of non-accredited schools, or might look more favorably upon individuals with accredited training.
Does the School have an Excellent Reputation? Each esthetician school that you are seriously evaluating should have a good to exceptional reputation within the industry. 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, attesting that their students are highly regarded. Visit rating companies for reviews in addition to the school's accrediting agencies. If you have any contacts with Northport AL salon owners or managers, or someone working in the industry, 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, consult the Alabama school licensing authority to see if there have been any grievances submitted or if the schools are in complete compliance.
What’s the School’s Focus? A number of esthetician schools offer programs that are expansive in nature, concentrating on all facets of cosmetology. Others are more focused, offering training in a specific specialty, for example 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 specializes in your area of interest. If your intention 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 dream is to launch a Northport 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 regarded school with a weak program in the specialty you are pursuing will not deliver the training you need.
Is Any Hands-On Training Provided? Studying and mastering esthetician techniques and abilities involves plenty of practice on volunteers. Ask how much live, hands-on training is included in the cosmetology classes 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 academy offers limited or no scheduled live training, but rather depends predominantly on utilizing mannequins, it may not be the most effective option for developing your skills. So try to find other schools that offer this type of training.
Does the School have a Job Placement Program? When a student graduates from an esthetician academy, it's crucial that she or he gets assistance in landing that initial job. Job placement programs are an important part of that process. Schools that offer aid develop relationships with Northport AL businesses that are looking for skilled graduates available for hiring. Confirm that the programs you are considering have job placement programs and inquire which salons and businesses they refer students to. In addition, ask what their job placement rates are. Higher rates not only affirm that they have broad networks of employers, but that their programs are highly respected as well.
Is Financial Aid Available? Many 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 learn what student loans or grants you may get approved for. If the school belongs to the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS), it will have scholarships accessible to students also. If a school fulfills each of your other qualifications except for cost, do not discard it as an option until you find out what financial aid may be provided.
Choose the Right Northport Esthetician Training
Choosing and enrolling in the ideal esthetician college near Northport AL is imperative to receive the necessary training to become a licensed cosmetology professional. Be sure to ask all the questions that you need to so as to feel positive about your decision. Make sure to organize all of the information you get from the cosmetology school admissions departments, focus on what matters the most to you, and then use that information to compare schools. A good start in your due diligence process is to make sure that the academy and program you decide on are accredited and have outstanding reputations within the field. 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 proper choice. Once you graduate and pass your licensing exam, you will be confident that you are prepared to launch your career as a professional esthetician.