Esthetician Cosmetology Program
How to Choose the Best One Near Vestavia Hills Alabama
Now that you have decided to become an esthetician, you must find the right esthetician school near Vestavia Hills AL to receive your training. It's important that the program you pick not only furnishes the necessary training for the specialty you have selected, but also readies you for passing the licensing examination. When you begin your preliminary search, you might be a little bit unclear about the difference between beauty schools and cosmetology schools. Well don't be, because the names are basically interchangeable and both refer to the same type of school. You will need to find a school that is within reasonable driving distance of your residence unless you plan to relocate for training. Another consideration when examining possible esthetician schools is the cost of tuition. But keep in mind, a school is not always the right option just because it happens to have a campus near your home or is lower in cost. There are many other considerations that you should evaluate when reviewing schools, for instance their reputation and accreditation. We will review what questions you should ask about the cosmetology schools you are considering later in this article. Before we do, let's discuss a little bit about what kinds of programs are available.
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Esthetician Degree and Certificate Programs
There are essentially two pathways offered to get 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 typically require 12 to 18 months to complete, 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. Shorter programs are offered if you prefer to specialize in just one area, such as esthetics. A degree program will also most likely incorporate management and marketing training so that graduates are better prepared to run a salon or other Vestavia Hills AL business. More advanced degrees are not typical, but Bachelor and Master's degree programs are available in such specialties 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. Many states only recognize schools that are accredited by certain reputable organizations, including the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS). We will discuss the benefits of accreditation for the school you select in the next segment.
Questions to Ask Esthetician Training Programs
Below is a list of questions that you should research for any esthetician training program you are contemplating. As we have already covered, the location of the school in relation to your Vestavia Hills home, together with the price of tuition, will undoubtedly be your first qualifiers. Whether you would like to pursue a certificate, diploma or a degree will undoubtedly be next on your list. But once you have reduced your school choices based on those initial qualifications, there are additional factors that you should research and consider before enrolling in a cosmetology program. Below we have put together some of those additional questions that you should ask every school before making a final selection.
Is the Esthetician Program Accredited? It's important to make certain that the esthetician school you pick is accredited. The accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged local or national organization, such as the National Accrediting Commission for Cosmetology Arts & Sciences (NACCAS). Schools accredited by the NACCAS must meet their high standards guaranteeing a quality 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, numerous Vestavia Hills AL employers will not employ recent graduates of non-accredited schools, or may look more favorably upon individuals with accredited training.
Does the School have a Great Reputation? Any esthetician school that you are seriously considering should have a good to outstanding reputation within the field. Being accredited is a good 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, signifying that their students are highly demanded. Visit rating companies for reviews in addition to the school's accrediting organizations. If you have any contacts with Vestavia Hills AL salon owners or managers, or someone working in the business, ask them if they are acquainted with the schools you are looking at. They might even be able to suggest others that you had not thought of. And last, check with 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 broad in nature, focusing on all areas of cosmetology. Others are more focused, providing training in a specific specialty, for instance hairstyling, manicuring or electrolysis. Schools that offer degree programs frequently broaden 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 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 dream is to start a Vestavia Hills AL beauty salon, then you need to enroll in a degree program that will instruct you how to be an owner/operator. Picking a highly regarded school with a weak program in the specialty you are seeking will not provide the training you need.
Is Enough Live Training Provided? Learning and refining esthetician skills and techniques requires plenty of practice on people. Find out how much live, hands-on training is furnished in the cosmetology courses you will be attending. A number of schools have salons on site that enable students to practice their developing skills on real people. If a beauty academy provides minimal or no scheduled live training, but instead depends mainly on the use of mannequins, it might not be the most effective alternative for developing your skills. Therefore look for other schools that offer this type of training.
Does the School have a Job Placement Program? Once a student graduates from an esthetician program, it's important that he or she gets support in securing that first job. Job placement programs are an important part of that process. Schools that offer aid maintain relationships with Vestavia Hills AL businesses that are seeking skilled graduates available for hiring. Confirm that the programs you are looking at have job placement programs and find out which salons and organizations 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 regarded as well.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Many esthetician schools offer financial aid or student loan assistance for their students. Check if the schools you are looking at have a financial aid department. Speak with a counselor and learn what student loans or grants you might qualify for. If the school is a member of the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS), it will have scholarships offered to students as well. If a school satisfies all of your other qualifications except for cost, do not drop it as an option until you determine what financial aid may be provided.
Enroll in the Right Vestavia Hills Esthetician Program
Picking and enrolling in the right esthetician college near Vestavia Hills AL is imperative to receive the necessary training to become a licensed cosmetology professional. Make sure to ask all the questions that you require in order to feel confident about your decision. Make certain to compile all of the information you receive from the cosmetology school admissions departments, prioritize what matters the most to you, and then utilize that data to contrast schools. A good beginning in your due diligence process is to make certain that the college and program you decide on are accredited and have impressive reputations within the field. If you begin with that base, and answer the additional questions provided in this article, you will be able to filter your list of schools so that you can make the proper selection. And when you graduate and pass your licensing test, you will be confident that you are prepared to begin your new career as a professional esthetician.