Esthetician Cosmetology Training School
How to Choose the Best One Near Opelika Alabama
Now that you have decided to become an esthetician, you must find the right esthetician school near Opelika AL to get your training. It's imperative that the program you pick not only provides the appropriate training for the specialty you have chosen, but also prepares you for passing the licensing exam. When you start your preliminary search, you may be a little bit confused about the contrast between beauty schools and cosmetology schools. Well don't be, because the titles are pretty much interchangeable and both pertain to the same type of school. You will need to find a campus that is within reasonable commuting distance of your home unless you plan to relocate for training. Another consideration 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 option. There are a number of other considerations that you should weigh when comparing schools, for example their reputation and accreditation. We will go over what questions you should ask concerning the cosmetology schools you are thinking about later in this article. Before we do, let's discuss a bit about what types of programs are offered.
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Esthetics Certificates and Degrees
There are basically two options available to obtain esthetician training and a credential upon completion. You can enroll in a certificate (or diploma) program, or you can work toward an Associate's degree. Certificate programs normally call for 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 trained in all of the major areas of cosmetology. Shorter programs are offered if you prefer to concentrate on just one area, for instance esthetics. A degree program will also probably feature management and marketing training to ensure that graduates are better prepared to manage a parlor or other Opelika AL business. More advanced degrees are not common, but Bachelor and Master's degree programs are available in such specializations as salon or spa management. Whichever type of course you decide on, it's imperative to make sure that it's approved by the Alabama Board of Cosmetology. A number of states only recognize schools that are accredited by certain respected agencies, for example the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS). We will review the benefits of accreditation for the school you select in the next segment.
Questions to Ask Esthetician Degree Programs
Following is a list of questions that you will want to investigate for any esthetician training program you are considering. As we have previously discussed, the location of the school relative to your Opelika residence, in addition to the price of tuition, will probably be your initial qualifiers. Whether you want to earn a certificate, diploma or a degree will no doubt be next on your list. But once you have reduced your school choices 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 put together several of those supplemental questions that you need to ask every school before making a final selection.
Is the Esthetician Program Accredited? It's necessary to make certain 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). Schools accredited by the NACCAS must comply with their high standards guaranteeing a superior curriculum and education. Accreditation can also be important for acquiring student loans or financial aid, which typically are not obtainable for non- accredited schools. It's also a prerequisite for licensing in many states that the training be accredited. And as a concluding benefit, a number of Opelika AL employers will not employ recent graduates of non-accredited schools, or might look more favorably upon those 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 profession. Being accredited is a good starting point. Next, ask the schools for testimonials from their network of employers where they have referred their students. Check that the schools have high job placement rates, attesting that their students are highly demanded. Check rating companies for reviews in addition to the school's accrediting agencies. If you have any relationships with Opelika AL salon owners or managers, or anyone working in the industry, ask them if they are acquainted with the schools you are considering. They may even be able to recommend others that you had not considered. And finally, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to see if there have been any complaints filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
What’s the School’s Focus? Some esthetician schools offer programs that are expansive in nature, focusing on all areas of cosmetology. Others are more focused, providing training in a specific 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 decide on a school that specializes in your area of interest. If your objective is to be trained as an esthetician, make certain that the school you enroll in is accredited and respected for that program. If your dream is to launch a Opelika 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 rated school with a poor program in the specialty you are pursuing will not deliver the training you need.
Is Any Live Training Provided? Practicing and perfecting esthetician skills and techniques requires lots of practice on volunteers. Find out how much live, hands-on training is included in the beauty classes you will be attending. A number of schools have salons on campus that make it possible for students to practice their growing skills on real people. If a beauty school furnishes little or no scheduled live training, but instead relies heavily on the use of mannequins, it might not be the best option for developing your skills. So look for other schools that furnish this kind of training.
Does the School have a Job Placement Program? When a student graduates from an esthetician school, it's essential that she or he gets support in securing that initial job. Job placement programs are an integral part of that process. Schools that offer help develop relationships with Opelika AL businesses that are looking for trained graduates available for hiring. Confirm that the schools you are looking at have job placement programs and inquire which salons and organizations they refer students to. Also, find out what their job placement rates are. High rates not only verify that they have broad networks of employers, but that their programs are highly regarded as well.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Almost all esthetician schools provide 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 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 available to students also. If a school satisfies all of your other qualifications with the exception of cost, do not omit it as an alternative until you learn what financial help may be provided.
Choose the Right Opelika Esthetician Program
Finding and enrolling in the right esthetician school near Opelika AL is imperative to obtain the appropriate training to become a licensed cosmetology professional. Be sure to ask all the questions that you require in order to feel positive about your decision. Don't forget to consolidate all of the responses you receive from the beauty school admissions departments, focus on what matters the most to you, and then use that data to compare schools. A reasonable beginning in your due diligence process is to make certain that the academy and program you choose are accredited and have impressive reputations within the field. If you begin with that foundation, and answer the additional questions provided in this article, you will be able to reduce 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 qualified to begin your new career as a professional esthetician.