Esthetician Cosmetology Course
How to Choose the Best One Near Opelika Alabama
Since you have made a decision to enter the field of cosmetology and attend an esthetician school near Opelika AL, the task begins to search for and enroll in the right program. It's important that the program you select not only furnishes the necessary instruction for the specialty you have chosen, but also readies you for passing the licensing exam. When you start your initial search, you might be a little bit confused about the contrast between beauty schools and cosmetology schools. Well don't be, because the titles are basically interchangeable and both refer to the same type of school. If you plan on commuting to classes you will want to choose a school that is within driving distance of your Opelika home. Another qualification when examining possible esthetician schools is the cost of tuition. But keep in mind that just because a school is the nearest or the cheapest it's not necessarily the ideal choice. Reputation and accreditation, for example are two of the other qualifications that you should evaluate when comparing schools. We will go over what questions you should ask concerning the cosmetology schools you are looking at later within this article. Before we do, let's discuss a little bit about what types of training programs are available.
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Esthetician Degree and Certificate Programs
There are primarily two pathways 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 generally take 12 to 18 months to finish, while an Associate's degree usually takes about 2 years. If you enroll in a certificate program you will be trained in all of the main areas of cosmetology. Briefer programs are available if you want to concentrate on just one area, such as esthetics. A degree program will also likely feature management and marketing training to ensure that graduates are better prepared to manage a parlor or other Opelika AL business. Higher degrees are not common, but Bachelor and Master's degree programs are available in such specialties as salon or spa management. Whatever type of course you choose, it's important to make certain that it's recognized by the Alabama Board of Cosmetology. Many states only approve schools that are accredited by certain respected organizations, including the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS). We will cover the advantages of accreditation for the school you decide on in the upcoming segment.
Online Esthetics Classes
Online esthetician schools are accommodating for Opelika AL students who are working full-time and have family responsibilities that make it challenging to enroll in a more traditional school. There are many web-based beauty school programs offered that can be attended through a personal computer or laptop at the student's convenience. More conventional cosmetology programs are typically fast paced since many courses are as short as six or eight months. This means that a significant portion of time is spent in the classroom. With online programs, you are covering the same amount of material, but you're not devoting many hours outside of your home or driving back and forth from classes. However, it's imperative that the school you pick can provide internship training in nearby salons and parlors in order that you also receive the hands-on training needed for a comprehensive education. Without the internship portion of the training, it's difficult to gain the skills required to work in any facet of the cosmetology industry. So don't forget if you decide to enroll in an online school to confirm that internship training is available in your area.
Questions to Ask Esthetics Trade Schools
Below is a list of questions that you will want to research for any esthetician training school you are considering. As we have already discussed, the location of the school relative to your Opelika residence, together with the expense of tuition, will most likely be your primary qualifiers. Whether you want to pursue a certificate, diploma or a degree will no doubt 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 should research and consider before enrolling in a cosmetology school. Following we have collected several of those additional questions that you should ask every school before making a final determination.
Is the Esthetician Program Accredited? It's important to make sure that the esthetician college you choose is accredited. The accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized local or national agency, such as the National Accrediting Commission for Cosmetology Arts & Sciences (NACCAS). Schools accredited by the NACCAS must meet their high standards assuring a quality curriculum and education. Accreditation may also be necessary for acquiring student loans or financial aid, which often are not offered for non- accredited schools. It's also a criteria for licensing in many states that the training be accredited. And as a concluding benefit, a number of Opelika AL businesses will not hire recent graduates of non-accredited schools, or may look more favorably upon those with accredited training.
Does the School have an Excellent Reputation? Any esthetician institute that you are seriously considering should have a good to exceptional reputation within the profession. Being accredited is an excellent starting point. Next, ask the schools for testimonials from their network of employers where they have placed their students. Check that the schools have high job placement rates, attesting that their students are highly regarded. Check rating companies for reviews in addition to the school's accrediting organizations. If you have any relationships with Opelika AL salon owners or managers, or someone working in the trade, ask them if they are acquainted with the schools you are considering. They might even be able to suggest others that you had not thought of. And finally, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there have been any grievances filed or if the schools are in complete compliance.
What’s the School’s Focus? Some esthetician schools offer programs that are comprehensive in nature, concentrating on all facets of cosmetology. Others are more focused, offering training in a particular specialty, such as hairstyling, manicuring or electrolysis. Schools that offer degree programs often expand into a management and marketing curriculum. So it's important that you select a school that specializes in your area of interest. If your intention is to be trained as an esthetician, make certain that the school you enroll in is accredited and respected for that program. If your vision is to open a Opelika 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 regarded school with a weak program in the specialty you are pursuing will not deliver the training you require.
Is Any Hands-On Training Provided? Learning and perfecting esthetician techniques and abilities demands plenty of practice on volunteers. Ask 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 minimal or no scheduled live training, but rather relies heavily on using mannequins, it may not be the most effective alternative for developing your skills. So search for alternate schools that offer this kind of training.
Does the School have a Job Placement Program? As soon as a student graduates from an esthetician academy, it's imperative that she or he gets help in securing that initial job. Job placement programs are an important part of that process. Schools that furnish aid develop relationships with Opelika AL businesses that are looking for qualified graduates available for hiring. Confirm that the programs you are contemplating have job placement programs and find out which salons and establishments they refer students to. Also, find out what their job placement rates are. High rates not only affirm that they have broad networks of employers, but that their programs are highly respected as well.
Is Financial Assistance Available? The majority of esthetician schools offer financial aid or student loan assistance for their students. Check if the schools you are reviewing have a financial aid department. Consult with a counselor and find out what student loans or grants you may get approved for. If the school is a member of the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS), it will have scholarships accessible to students as well. If a school meets each of your other qualifications except for expense, do not drop it as an option before you learn what financial aid may be offered.
Choose the Right Opelika Esthetician Program
Selecting and enrolling in the right esthetician college near Opelika AL is important to obtain the proper training to become a licensed cosmetology practitioner. Make sure to ask all the questions that you need to in order to feel positive about your decision. Be sure to organize all of the responses you receive from the cosmetology school admissions departments, focus on what matters the most to you, and then use that information to compare schools. A reasonable beginning in your due diligence procedure is to make sure that the academy and program you pick are accredited and have outstanding reputations within the field. If you start with that base, and answer 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 selection. Once you graduate and pass your licensing exam, you will be confident that you are prepared to begin your new career as a professional esthetician.