How to Choose the Best Esthetician Training Program Near Birmingham Alabama
Since you have made a decision to enter the field of cosmetology and attend an esthetician school near Birmingham AL, the task begins to search for and enroll in the ideal program. It's important that the program you pick not only provides the proper education for the specialty you have decided on, but also prepares you for passing the licensing exam. When you begin your initial search, you may be somewhat confused about the difference between beauty schools and cosmetology schools. Well don't be, because the titles are pretty much interchangeable and both relate to the same kind of school. If you plan on commuting to classes you will want to locate a school that is within driving distance of your Birmingham residence. Tuition will also be an important consideration when reviewing possible schools. Just remember that because a school is the closest or the lowest cost it's not automatically the ideal choice. There are several other considerations that you should weigh when reviewing schools, such as their reputation and accreditation. We will examine what questions you should ask concerning the aesthetician schools you are thinking about later in this article. Before we do, let's discuss a little bit about what kinds of training programs are available.
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Esthetics programs, which are available through dedicated schools of esthetics, career colleges or schools of cosmetology, must meet the requirements set forth by each state’s board of cosmetology. Most states recognize esthetics programs that consist of 600 hours of coursework and practical training as meeting the requirements for licensure, although a number of states require more hours while others require significantly fewer. For example, esthetician license candidates in Wisconsin must complete a program that is at least 450 hours long, while candidates in Indiana must complete a program consisting of at least 700 hours. Esthetics programs blend theory and practical study to introduce students to everything from skin histology and sanitation practices to the safe application of facial products and makeup. These programs also include coursework that covers the business, ethics and professional standards of the esthetics industry.
Esthetician Job Description
Estheticians provide a wide range of beauty services to help their Birmingham Alabama clients look and feel better. This includes improving the quality of the skin (including the treatment of skin disorders), hair removal, permanent makeup application, and facial massage. Some types of estheticians, like medical estheticians, provide highly specialized procedures that require detailed training in order for it to be done safely and effectively. Medical estheticians can help individuals suffering from serious skin disorders, burns, and other trauma, and to help with pre and post-operative surgery affecting the health of their skin. Estheticians work closely with their clients in a friendly and positive manner, so an enthusiastic attitude and desire to help people is an excellent attribute for an aspiring esthetician to possess. Some of the basic duties an esthetician may perform will include such tasks as:
- Assessing a patient’s needs
- Chemical peels
- Laser treatments
- Massage of the head and neck
Online Esthetics Training
Online esthetician schools are advantageous for Birmingham AL students who are working full time and have family obligations that make it hard to attend a more traditional school. There are a large number of online beauty school programs available that can be accessed by means of a personal computer or laptop at the student's convenience. More traditional cosmetology programs are typically fast paced because many programs are as short as six or eight months. This means that a substantial amount of time is spent in the classroom. With online courses, you are covering the same volume of material, but you're not spending many hours away from your home or driving to and from classes. However, it's important that the program you choose 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 area of the cosmetology profession. So be sure if you decide to enroll in an online program to confirm that internship training is available in your area.
Questions to Ask Esthetician Schools
Following is a list of questions that you need to research for any esthetician training program you are contemplating. As we have already covered, the location of the school in relation to your Birmingham home, as well as the price of tuition, will most likely be your primary qualifiers. Whether you wish to pursue a certificate, diploma or a degree will no doubt be next on your list. But once you have reduced your school choices based on those preliminary qualifications, there are additional factors that you must research and take into consideration before enrolling in a cosmetology school. Below we have collected several of those supplemental questions that you need to ask each school before making a final selection.
Is the Esthetician Program Accredited? It's essential to make sure that the esthetician college you select 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). Programs accredited by the NACCAS must measure up to their high standards ensuring a quality curriculum and education. Accreditation may also be essential for getting student loans or financial aid, which typically are not available for non- accredited schools. It's also a criteria for licensing in some states that the training be accredited. And as a final benefit, numerous Birmingham AL employers will not employ recent graduates of non-accredited schools, or might look more positively upon individuals with accredited training.
Does the School have a Great Reputation? Each esthetician school that you are seriously considering should have a good to excellent reputation within the industry. Being accredited is an excellent beginning. Next, ask the schools for endorsements from their network of employers where they have referred their students. Confirm that the schools have high job placement rates, signifying that their students are highly demanded. Check rating companies for reviews together with the school's accrediting organizations. If you have any contacts with Birmingham AL salon owners or managers, or someone working in the industry, ask them if they are acquainted with the schools you are looking at. They may even be able to suggest others that you had not considered. Finally, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to see if there have been any complaints submitted 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, concentrating on all areas 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 specializes in your area of interest. Since your goal is to be trained as an esthetician, make certain that the school you enroll in is accredited and respected for that program. If your desire is to open a Birmingham AL beauty salon, then you need to enroll in a degree program that will teach you how to be an owner/operator as well. Choosing a highly regarded school with a weak program in the specialty you are pursuing will not deliver the training you require.
Is Plenty of Live Training Provided? Practicing and refining esthetician techniques and abilities requires plenty of practice on volunteers. Ask how much live, hands-on training is included in the cosmetology classes you will be attending. A number of schools have salons on campus that allow students to practice their developing talents on real people. If a beauty school provides minimal or no scheduled live training, but instead depends heavily on using mannequins, it might not be the most effective alternative for cultivating your skills. So look for other schools that offer this kind of training.
Does the School Provide Job Assistance? As soon as a student graduates from an esthetician academy, it's crucial that he or she receives assistance in securing that first job. Job placement programs are an integral part of that process. Schools that offer aid develop relationships with Birmingham AL employers that are looking for trained graduates available for hiring. Check that the schools you are considering have job placement programs and inquire which salons and businesses they refer students to. Also, ask what their job placement rates are. Higher rates not only confirm that they have broad networks of employers, but that their programs are highly respected as well.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Most esthetician schools offer financial aid or student loan assistance for their students. Find out if the schools you are considering have a financial aid office. Speak with a counselor and find out what student loans or grants you may get approved for. If the school belongs to the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS), it will have scholarships available to students too. If a school fulfills all of your other qualifications with the exception of expense, do not drop it as an option until you find out what financial aid may be provided.
Enroll in the Right Birmingham Esthetician Training
Locating and enrolling in the right esthetician school is important to obtain the proper training to become a licensed cosmetology specialist. Make sure to ask all the questions that you require so as to feel certain about your decision. Make certain to collect all of the responses you get from the beauty school admissions departments, focus on what matters the most to you, and then utilize that data to contrast schools. A good start in your due diligence procedure is to make certain that the institution and program you select are accredited and have impressive reputations within the profession. If you start with that base, and answer the additional questions provided in this post, you will be able to reduce your list of schools so that you can make the proper selection. Once you graduate and pass your licensing exam, you will be self-assured that you are prepared to launch your new career as a professional esthetician in Birmingham Alabama.