How to Choose the Best Esthetician School Near Athens Alabama
Once you have made a decision to enter the field of cosmetology and enroll in an esthetician school near Athens AL, the task begins to find and enroll in the right program. It's imperative that the school you select not only provides the necessary instruction for the specialty you have chosen, but also prepares you for passing the licensing exam. When you begin your initial search, you might be somewhat unclear about the distinction between beauty schools and cosmetology schools. Well don't be, because the names are essentially interchangeable and both refer to the same type of school. If you intend on commuting to classes you will need to find a school that is within driving distance of your Athens residence. Tuition will additionally be an important aspect when assessing prospective schools. Just bear in mind that because a school is the nearest or the lowest cost it's not necessarily the best choice. There are many other considerations that you should weigh when comparing schools, such as their reputation and accreditation. We will examine what questions you should ask about the aesthetician 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 Certificates and Degrees
There are primarily two avenues offered to receive 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 trained in each of the main areas of cosmetology. Shorter programs are available if you want to concentrate on just one area, such as esthetics. A degree program will also probably incorporate management and marketing training so that graduates are better prepared to run a salon or other Athens AL business. More advanced degrees are not typical, but Bachelor and Master's degree programs are available in such specializations as salon or spa management. Whichever type of training program you choose, it's essential to make sure that it's approved by the Alabama Board of Cosmetology. Numerous states only recognize schools that are accredited by certain reputable agencies, for instance the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS). We will examine the benefits of accreditation for the school you choose in the upcoming segment.
Online Esthetician Courses
Online esthetician schools are advantageous for Athens AL students who are working full time and have family obligations that make it difficult to enroll in a more traditional school. There are a large number of online beauty school programs offered that can be accessed through a personal computer or laptop at the student's convenience. More conventional beauty schools are often fast paced given that many programs are as brief as 6 or 8 months. This means that a large amount of time is spent in the classroom. With internet programs, you are dealing with the same volume of material, but you are not devoting numerous hours away from your home or commuting back and forth from classes. However, it's imperative that the program you choose can provide internship training in area salons and parlors so that you also obtain the hands-on training needed for a complete education. Without the internship portion of the training, it's impossible to obtain the skills needed to work in any facet of the cosmetology field. So be sure if you decide to enroll in an online program to verify that internship training is available in your area.
Questions to Ask Esthetician Training Courses
Below is a list of questions that you need to investigate for any esthetician training school you are considering. As we have previously discussed, the location of the school relative to your Athens residence, together with the cost of tuition, will probably be your initial qualifiers. Whether you would like to pursue a certificate, diploma or a degree will no doubt 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 put together several of those supplemental questions that you should ask every school before making a final selection.
Is the Esthetician School Accredited? It's essential to make certain that the esthetician training program 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). Programs accredited by the NACCAS must comply with their high standards assuring a superior curriculum and education. Accreditation may also be necessary for acquiring student loans or financial aid, which often are not obtainable for non- accredited schools. It's also a criteria for licensing in several states that the training be accredited. And as a final benefit, many Athens AL employers will not recruit recent graduates of non-accredited schools, or may look more favorably upon individuals with accredited training.
Does the School have an Excellent Reputation? Each esthetician college that you are seriously considering should have a good to outstanding reputation within the industry. Being accredited is an excellent starting point. Next, ask the schools for references from their network of employers where they have referred their students. Check that the schools have high job placement rates, indicating that their students are highly demanded. Check rating companies for reviews as well as the school's accrediting organizations. If you have any connections with Athens AL salon owners or managers, or any person working in the trade, ask them if they are familiar with the schools you are reviewing. They may even be able to recommend others that you had not considered. And finally, consult the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there have been any grievances filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
What’s the School’s Specialty? A number of esthetician schools offer programs that are broad in nature, concentrating on all facets of cosmetology. Others are more focused, offering training in a specific specialty, such as hairstyling, manicuring or electrolysis. Schools that offer degree programs frequently broaden into a management and marketing curriculum. So it's imperative that you pick a school that focuses on your area of interest. Since your intention is to be trained as an esthetician, make sure that the school you enroll in is accredited and respected for that program. If your dream is to open a Athens AL beauty salon, then you need to enroll in a degree program that will teach you how to be an owner/operator as well. Picking a highly rated school with a poor program in the specialty you are seeking will not provide the training you need.
Is Any Hands-On Training Provided? Practicing and mastering esthetician skills and techniques demands plenty of practice on volunteers. Ask how much live, hands-on training is provided in the cosmetology lessons you will be attending. Some schools have salons on site that allow students to practice their growing talents on volunteers. If a beauty school furnishes little or no scheduled live training, but instead depends mainly on using mannequins, it might not be the most effective alternative for developing your skills. Therefore search for other schools that offer this type of training.
Does the School have a Job Placement Program? As soon as a student graduates from an esthetician school, it's essential that he or she gets assistance in landing that first job. Job placement programs are an integral part of that process. Schools that provide help develop relationships with Athens AL businesses that are searching for qualified graduates available for hiring. Confirm that the schools you are considering have job placement programs and ask which salons and establishments they refer students to. Also, ask what their job placement rates are. High rates not only affirm that they have extensive networks of employers, but that their programs are highly respected as well.
Is Financial Aid Available? Most esthetician schools provide financial aid or student loan assistance for their students. Find out if the schools you are considering have a financial aid department. Speak with a counselor and find out 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 too. If a school satisfies all of your other qualifications with the exception of expense, do not drop it as an option until you find out what financial help may be provided.
Enroll in the Best Athens Esthetician Program
Choosing and enrolling in the ideal esthetician school is important to get the necessary training to become a licensed cosmetology practitioner. Be sure to ask all the questions that you need to in order to feel certain about your decision. Make sure to consolidate all of the responses you get from the beauty school admissions departments, prioritize 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 school and program you decide on are accredited and have impressive reputations within the profession. If you start with that base, and address the additional questions presented in this post, you will be able to reduce your list of schools so that you can make the right selection. Once you graduate and pass your licensing test, you will be self-assured that you are qualified to start your career as a professional esthetician in Athens Alabama.