How to Choose the Right Esthetician School Near Athens Alabama
Once you have decided to enter the field of cosmetology and attend an esthetician school near Athens AL, the process starts to search for and enroll in the right program. It's imperative that the school you select not only provides the necessary training for the specialty you have decided on, but also prepares you for passing the licensing exam. When you begin your initial search, you might be somewhat puzzled about the distinction between beauty schools and cosmetology schools. Well don't be, because the names are pretty much interchangeable and both refer to the same kind of school. If you anticipate commuting to classes you will need to find a school that is within driving distance of your Athens residence. Tuition will additionally be a critical aspect when reviewing potential schools. Just keep in mind that because a school is the closest or the cheapest it's not automatically the ideal option. There are various other qualifications that you should evaluate when reviewing schools, for example their reputation and accreditation. We will examine what questions you should ask concerning the aesthetician 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 offered.
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Esthetics Certificates and Degrees
There are primarily two pathways offered to get esthetician training and a credential after completion. You can enroll in a certificate (or diploma) course, or you can pursue an Associate's degree. Certificate programs usually 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 instructed in each of the major areas of cosmetology. Shorter programs are available if you want to specialize in 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 parlor or other Athens AL business. Higher degrees are not prevalent, but Bachelor and Master's degree programs are available in such specializations as salon or spa management. Whatever type of program you opt for, it's important to make certain that it's recognized by the Alabama Board of Cosmetology. A number of states only recognize schools that are accredited by certain highly regarded organizations, including the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS). We will review the benefits of accreditation for the school you choose in the upcoming section.
Online Esthetics Programs
Online esthetician schools are accommodating for Athens AL students who are employed full time and have family commitments that make it difficult to enroll in a more traditional school. There are many online cosmetology school programs offered that can be attended via a desktop computer or laptop at the student's convenience. More traditional beauty schools are frequently fast paced given that many programs are as short as 6 or 8 months. This means that a large amount of time is spent in the classroom. With online programs, you are covering the same volume of material, but you're not spending many hours away from your home or commuting back and forth from classes. However, it's important that the program you pick can provide internship training in nearby salons and parlors so that you also obtain the hands-on training necessary for a complete education. Without the internship portion of the training, it's difficult to obtain the skills required to work in any area of the cosmetology field. So don't forget if you decide to enroll in an online school to confirm that internship training is provided in your area.
What to Ask Esthetics Trade Schools
Following is a list of questions that you should investigate for any esthetician training school you are contemplating. As we have previously discussed, the location of the school relative to your Athens home, as well as the expense of tuition, will probably 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 need to research and take into consideration before enrolling in a cosmetology school. Following we have compiled several of those additional questions that you should ask each school before making a final selection.
Is the Esthetician School Accredited? It's important to make certain that the esthetician training program 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 meet their high standards guaranteeing a superior curriculum and education. Accreditation can also be necessary for acquiring student loans or financial aid, which typically are not obtainable for non- accredited schools. It's also a prerequisite for licensing in some states that the training be accredited. And as a final benefit, many Athens AL businesses will not employ recent graduates of non-accredited schools, or might look more positively upon individuals with accredited training.
Does the School have a Good Reputation? Any esthetician school that you are seriously evaluating should have a good to outstanding reputation within the profession. Being accredited is an excellent starting point. Next, ask the schools for references from their network of businesses where they have referred their students. Confirm that the schools have high job placement rates, indicating that their students are highly demanded. Check rating companies for reviews together with the school's accrediting agencies. If you have any connections with Athens AL salon owners or managers, or anyone working in the trade, ask them if they are familiar with the schools you are considering. They might even be able to suggest others that you had not considered. And last, consult the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there have been any grievances submitted or if the schools are in complete compliance.
What’s the School’s Focus? A number of esthetician schools offer programs that are expansive 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 often expand into a management and marketing curriculum. So it's essential that you enroll in a school that focuses on your area of interest. Since your goal is to be trained as an esthetician, make sure that the school you enroll in is accredited and well regarded for that program. If your vision is to open a Athens AL beauty salon, then you need to enroll in a degree program that will instruct you how to be an owner/operator as well. Picking a highly regarded school with a weak program in the specialty you are pursuing will not deliver the training you require.
Is Enough Hands-On Training Provided? Practicing and mastering esthetician techniques and abilities demands lots of practice on volunteers. Check how much live, hands-on training is furnished 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 provides minimal or no scheduled live training, but instead depends heavily on the use of mannequins, it might not be the best option for acquiring your skills. So search for other schools that provide this kind of training.
Does the School have a Job Placement Program? Once a student graduates from an esthetician academy, it's important that he or she receives aid in finding that first job. Job placement programs are an important part of that process. Schools that provide assistance maintain relationships with Athens AL businesses that are looking for trained graduates available for hiring. Check that the schools you are considering have job placement programs and ask which salons and establishments they refer students to. Additionally, ask 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? Almost all esthetician schools offer financial aid or student loan assistance for their students. Find out if the schools you are looking at have a financial aid office. Consult with a counselor and learn what student loans or grants you may qualify for. If the school belongs to the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS), it will have scholarships available to students also. If a school meets each of your other qualifications except for expense, do not eliminate it as an alternative before you learn what financial aid may be offered.
Enroll in the Best Athens Esthetician Course
Finding and enrolling in the ideal esthetician school is essential to receive the appropriate training to become a licensed cosmetology specialist. Make sure to ask all the questions that you require so as to feel confident about your decision. Make certain to compile all of the information you get from the beauty school admissions departments, focus on what matters the most to you, and then employ that information to contrast schools. A good start in your due diligence process is to make certain that the school and program you choose are accredited and have excellent reputations within the profession. If you begin with that foundation, and address the additional questions presented in this article, you will be able to filter your list of schools so that you can make the proper selection. Once you graduate and pass your licensing examination, you will be self-assured that you are ready to launch your new career as a professional esthetician in Athens Alabama.