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How to Choose the Best Aesthetician College Near Athens Alabama

Athens Alabama aesthetician giving facial with machineSince you have made a decision to enter the field of cosmetology and attend an esthetician school near Athens AL, the task starts to find and enroll in the best program. It's important that the program you select not only furnishes the proper instruction for the specialty you have selected, but also preps you for passing the licensing examination. When you start your initial search, you might be somewhat puzzled 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. If you anticipate commuting to classes you will want to find a school that is within driving distance of your Athens home. Tuition will also be an important consideration when reviewing potential schools. Just remember that because a school is the nearest or the cheapest it's not automatically the right option. There are several other factors that you should evaluate when analyzing schools, such as their reputation and accreditation. We will go over what questions you should ask regarding the aesthetician schools you are considering later within this article. Before we do, let's talk a bit about what types of training programs are offered.

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Esthetician Degrees and Certificates

Athens Alabama aesthetician giving wax treatmentThere are primarily two options 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 generally 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 instructed in all of the main areas of cosmetology. Shorter programs are offered if you wish to concentrate on just one area, for example esthetics. A degree program will also probably include management and marketing training so that graduates are better prepared to operate a parlor or other Athens AL business. More advanced degrees are not typical, but Bachelor and Master's degree programs are offered in such areas as salon or spa management. Whatever type of program you choose, it's essential to make certain that it's recognized by the Alabama Board of Cosmetology. Numerous states only approve schools that are accredited by certain highly regarded agencies, for example the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS). We will discuss the benefits of accreditation for the school you select in the next segment.

Online Esthetics Classes

Athens Alabama woman enrolled in esthetician training onlineOnline esthetician schools are accommodating for Athens AL students who are working full time and have family responsibilities that make it difficult to attend a more traditional school. There are many web-based cosmetology school programs available that can be attended by means of a desktop computer or laptop at the student's convenience. More conventional cosmetology schools are often fast paced due to the fact that many programs are as short as six or eight months. This means that a large portion of time is spent in the classroom. With internet courses, you are covering the same volume of material, but you are not spending many hours outside of your home or commuting back and forth from classes. On the other hand, it's important that the training program you choose can provide internship training in area salons and parlors so that you also obtain the hands-on training necessary for a comprehensive education. Without the internship part of the training, it's difficult to gain the skills necessary to work in any facet of the cosmetology industry. So be sure if you choose to enroll in an online school to verify that internship training is provided in your area.

Questions 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 already discussed, the location of the school relative to your Athens home, as well as the expense of tuition, will probably be your primary qualifiers. Whether you would like to earn a certificate, diploma or a degree will probably be next on your list. But once you have reduced your school choices based on those initial qualifications, there are even more factors that you should research and take into consideration before enrolling in a cosmetology program. Below we have put together several of those supplemental questions that you need to ask every school before making a final decision.

Is the Esthetician School Accredited? It's necessary to make certain that the esthetician school you select 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). Schools accredited by the NACCAS must meet their high standards guaranteeing a superior curriculum and education. Accreditation can also be important for acquiring student loans or financial aid, which frequently are not obtainable for non- accredited schools. It's also a criteria for licensing in many states that the training be accredited. And as a final benefit, many Athens AL businesses will not recruit recent graduates of non-accredited schools, or might look more favorably upon individuals with accredited training.

Does the School have a Good Reputation?  Every esthetician institute that you are seriously evaluating should have a good to excellent reputation within the field. Being accredited is an excellent starting point. Next, ask the schools for endorsements from their network of businesses where they have placed their students. Verify that the schools have high job placement rates, attesting that their students are highly sought after. 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 industry, ask them if they are familiar with the schools you are reviewing. They might even be able to recommend others that you had not thought of. Finally, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to see if there have been any grievances submitted or if the schools are in complete compliance.

What’s the School’s Specialty?  A number of esthetician schools offer programs that are expansive in nature, focusing on all areas of cosmetology. Others are more focused, offering 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 important that you enroll in a school that specializes in your area of interest. Since 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 dream is to launch a Athens AL beauty salon, then you want to enroll in a degree program that will instruct you how to be an owner/operator as well. Choosing a highly rated school with a poor program in the specialty you are pursuing will not provide the training you need.

Is Any Hands-On Training Provided?  Learning and mastering esthetician skills and techniques involves plenty of practice on people. Check how much live, hands-on training is included in the cosmetology classes you will be attending. Some schools have salons on campus that make it possible for students to practice their growing talents on real people. If a beauty program provides little or no scheduled live training, but instead depends heavily on the use of mannequins, it may not be the most effective alternative for developing your skills. Therefore search for other schools that offer this kind of training.

Does the School have a Job Placement Program?  As soon as a student graduates from an esthetician school, it's crucial that he or she receives assistance in finding that initial job. Job placement programs are an important part of that process. Schools that offer assistance develop relationships with Athens AL businesses that are searching for qualified graduates available for hiring. Verify that the programs you are considering have job placement programs and inquire which salons and businesses they refer students to. Additionally, ask what their job placement rates are. High rates not only verify that they have wide networks of employers, but that their programs are highly regarded as well.

Is Financial Assistance Available?  The majority of esthetician schools provide financial aid or student loan assistance for their students. Check if the schools you are investigating have a financial aid department. Talk to a counselor and learn what student loans or grants you might qualify for. If the school belongs to the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS), it will have scholarships accessible to students as well. If a school fulfills each of your other qualifications with the exception of expense, do not eliminate it as an option until you determine what financial assistance may be provided.

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Enroll in the Right Athens Esthetician Training

Locating and enrolling in the right esthetician college is essential to receive the necessary training to become a licensed cosmetology practitioner. Make sure to ask all the questions that you require in order to feel positive about your decision. Make sure to organize all of the information you receive from the beauty school admissions departments, prioritize what matters the most to you, and then use that data to contrast schools. A reasonable start in your due diligence procedure is to make sure that the college and program you pick are accredited and have exceptional reputations within the field. If you begin with that foundation, and address the additional questions provided in this article, you will be able to filter your list of schools so that you can make the proper choice. And when you graduate and pass your licensing test, you will be confident that you are ready to begin your career as a professional esthetician in Athens Alabama.



 

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