Esthetician Cosmetology Program
How to Enroll In the Best One Near Northport Alabama
Now that you have made a decision to enter the field of cosmetology and enroll in an esthetician school near Northport AL, the process begins to locate and enroll in the right program. It's important that the school you choose not only provides the necessary training for the specialty you have chosen, but also preps you for passing the licensing exam. You might be a little puzzled when starting your search for esthetician classes as to the difference between beauty and cosmetology schools, since both provide esthetician training. Because the names are for all practical purposes interchangeable and relate to the same type of school, you shouldn’t be. If you anticipate commuting to classes you will need to choose a school that is within driving distance of your Northport residence. Another qualification when examining possible esthetician schools is the price of tuition. However, a school is not always the best choice simply because it happens to have a campus near your home or is lower in cost. There are a number of other qualifications that you should evaluate when reviewing schools, such as their reputation and accreditation. We will go over what questions you should ask regarding the cosmetology schools you are looking at later in this article. Before we do, let's talk a bit about what types of training programs are offered.
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Esthetician Degree and Certificate Programs
There are primarily two pathways offered to get esthetician training and a credential after completion. You can enroll in a certificate (or diploma) program, or you can pursue an Associate's degree. Certificate programs typically take 12 to 18 months to complete, while an Associate's degree commonly takes about 2 years. If you enroll in a certificate program you will be instructed in all of the major areas of cosmetology. Shorter programs are offered if you want to focus on just one area, for example esthetics. A degree program will also probably include management and marketing training in order that graduates are better prepared to manage a salon or other Northport AL business. More advanced degrees are not prevalent, but Bachelor and Master's degree programs are available in such areas as salon or spa management. Whatever type of course you go with, it's essential to make certain that it's certified by the Alabama Board of Cosmetology. Many states only approve schools that are accredited by certain reputable agencies, including the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS). We will examine the advantages of accreditation for the school you select in the next segment.
Online Esthetics Schools
Online esthetician classes are advantageous for Northport AL students who are working full time and have family commitments that make it difficult to attend a more traditional school. There are a large number of web-based beauty school programs available that can be accessed by means of a personal computer or laptop at the student's convenience. More conventional beauty schools are often fast paced given that many courses are as brief as six or eight months. This means that a large portion of time is spent in the classroom. With online courses, you are dealing with the same volume of material, but you're not spending numerous hours outside of your home or travelling back and forth from classes. On the other hand, it's important that the school you choose can provide internship training in area salons and parlors to ensure that you also get the hands-on training required for a complete education. Without the internship part of the training, it's difficult to obtain the skills needed to work in any facet of the cosmetology field. So don't forget if you choose to enroll in an online school to verify that internship training is provided in your area.
Questions to Ask Esthetics Training Programs
Following is a series of questions that you will want to investigate for any esthetician training program you are considering. As we have already covered, the location of the school relative to your Northport residence, in addition to the cost of tuition, will undoubtedly be your first qualifiers. Whether you want to earn a certificate, diploma or a degree will undoubtedly be next on your list. But once you have reduced your school options based on those initial qualifications, there are additional factors that you must research and take into consideration before enrolling in a cosmetology school. Following we have collected some of those supplemental questions that you should ask every school before making a final determination.
Is the Esthetician School Accredited? It's necessary to make certain that the esthetician college you choose 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). Programs accredited by the NACCAS must measure up to their high standards ensuring a quality curriculum and education. Accreditation can also be necessary for obtaining student loans or financial aid, which typically are not available for non- accredited schools. It's also a requirement for licensing in many states that the training be accredited. And as a final benefit, many Northport AL businesses will not recruit recent graduates of non-accredited schools, or may look more favorably upon individuals with accredited training.
Does the School have a Good Reputation? Every esthetician school that you are seriously considering should have a good to outstanding reputation within the profession. Being accredited is a good starting point. Next, ask the schools for references from their network of businesses where they have referred their students. Check that the schools have high job placement rates, showing that their students are highly demanded. Check rating companies for reviews together with the school's accrediting agencies. If you have any connections with Northport AL salon owners or managers, or anyone working in the industry, ask them if they are familiar with the schools you are reviewing. They might even be able to propose others that you had not thought of. Finally, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to see if there have been any complaints filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
What’s the School’s Specialty? A number of esthetician schools offer programs that are comprehensive in nature, focusing on all facets of cosmetology. Others are more focused, providing training in a specific specialty, for example hairstyling, manicuring or electrolysis. Schools that offer degree programs frequently broaden into a management and marketing curriculum. So it's imperative that you choose a school that focuses on your area of interest. If your goal 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 start 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 weak program in the specialty you are seeking will not provide the training you need.
Is Plenty of Live Training Provided? Practicing and mastering esthetician skills and techniques requires lots of practice on volunteers. Ask how much live, hands-on training is provided in the beauty classes you will be attending. A number of schools have salons on site that allow students to practice their developing skills on volunteers. If a beauty school provides minimal or no scheduled live training, but rather relies mainly on using mannequins, it may not be the most effective option for developing your skills. Therefore look for other schools that offer this kind of training.
Does the School Provide Job Assistance? As soon as a student graduates from an esthetician program, it's important that she or he gets assistance in landing that initial job. Job placement programs are an integral part of that process. Schools that provide assistance develop relationships with Northport AL businesses that are seeking skilled graduates available for hiring. Check that the programs you are considering have job placement programs and ask which salons and businesses they refer students to. Also, ask what their job placement rates are. High rates not only verify that they have extensive networks of employers, but that their programs are highly respected as well.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Most 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. Speak with a counselor and find out what student loans or grants you may qualify for. If the school is a member of the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS), it will have scholarships available to students too. If a school meets each of your other qualifications with the exception of cost, do not omit it as an option before you learn what financial help may be offered.
Choose the Right Northport Esthetician Course
Picking and enrolling in the ideal esthetician college near Northport AL is imperative to receive the proper training to become a licensed cosmetology technician. Make sure to ask all the questions that you need to so as to feel positive about your decision. Make certain to organize all of the responses you get from the beauty school admissions departments, prioritize what matters the most to you, and then use that data to contrast schools. A reasonable beginning in your due diligence process is to make certain that the institution and program you pick are accredited and have outstanding reputations within the profession. If you start with that foundation, and address the additional questions provided in this post, you will be able to narrow down your list of schools so that you can make the proper choice. And when you graduate and pass your licensing examination, you will be self-assured that you are qualified to begin your career as a professional esthetician.