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How to Pick the Right Aesthetician Classes Near Birmingham Alabama

Birmingham Alabama esthetician performing facial treatment with machineNow that you have decided to enter the field of cosmetology and enroll in an esthetician school near Birmingham AL, the task begins to locate and enroll in the best program. It's important that the program you select not only provides the proper instruction for the specialty you have chosen, but also preps you for passing the licensing examination. When you begin your initial search, you may be somewhat puzzled about the distinction 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 anticipate commuting to classes you will want to locate a school that is within driving distance of your Birmingham home. Tuition will additionally be a critical factor when assessing possible schools. Just remember that because a school is the closest or the cheapest it's not automatically the best choice. There are various other considerations that you should evaluate when comparing schools, for instance their reputation and accreditation. We will review what questions you should ask concerning the aesthetician schools you are looking at later in this article. Before we do, let's talk a little bit about what types of programs are available.

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Esthetician Training Programs

Birmingham Alabama esthetician performing wax treatmentEsthetics school is an investment of time, energy, and money. Requirements vary from state to state, but the majority of states require that you complete at least 600 hours of training. Full-time school can take an average of six months to complete, and part-time school can take anywhere from 9-12 months. The primary purpose of esthetics school is to get you ready to pass the state licensing exam. They also teach basic skills that you will need to perfect through experience and sometimes additional classes, such as giving facials, body treatments, and performing waxing.  More advanced training includes learning to work with machines, such as IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) and Lasers used to rejuvenate the skin and permanently remove hair.

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
  • Waxing
  • Facials
  • Massage of the head and neck
  • Microdermabrasion

Online Esthetics Training

Birmingham Alabama woman taking aesthetician classes onlineOnline esthetician programs are advantageous for Birmingham AL students who are employed full time and have family obligations that make it difficult to attend a more traditional school. There are numerous online beauty school programs offered that can be accessed by means of a home computer or laptop at the student's convenience. More conventional cosmetology programs are often fast paced since many courses are as brief as six or eight months. This means that a substantial amount of time is spent in the classroom. With online courses, you are dealing with the same amount of material, but you are not devoting numerous hours outside of your home or commuting back and forth from classes. However, it's important that the training program you select can provide internship training in local salons and parlors to ensure that you also get the hands-on training needed for a comprehensive education. Without the internship portion of the training, it's impossible to gain the skills necessary to work in any area of the cosmetology profession. So make sure if you decide to enroll in an online school to verify that internship training is provided in your area.

What to Ask Esthetician Trade Schools

Below is a series of questions that you will want to look into for any esthetician training school you are contemplating. As we have already covered, the location of the school relative to your Birmingham residence, in addition to the price of tuition, will most likely be your initial 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 must research and consider before enrolling in a cosmetology program. Below we have collected several of those additional questions that you need to ask every school before making a final determination.

Is the Esthetician School Accredited? It's essential to make sure that the esthetician college you pick is accredited. The accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education certified local or national organization, such as the National Accrediting Commission for Cosmetology Arts & Sciences (NACCAS). Schools accredited by the NACCAS must comply with 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 offered for non- accredited schools. It's also a requirement for licensing in many states that the training be accredited. And as a concluding benefit, a number of Birmingham AL employers will not recruit recent graduates of non-accredited schools, or may look more positively upon those with accredited training.

Does the School have a Good Reputation?  Every esthetician college that you are seriously evaluating should have a good to excellent reputation within the industry. Being accredited is a good beginning. Next, ask the schools for endorsements from their network of employers where they have placed their students. Verify that the schools have high job placement rates, attesting that their students are highly regarded. Check rating companies for reviews as well as the school's accrediting agencies. If you have any contacts with Birmingham AL salon owners or managers, or anyone working in the trade, ask them if they are acquainted with the schools you are considering. They might even be able to propose others that you had not thought of. Finally, 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 Specialty?  Many esthetician schools offer programs that are comprehensive 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 typically expand into a management and marketing curriculum. So it's important that you choose a school that specializes in 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 well regarded 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 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 deliver the training you need.

Is Any Hands-On Training Provided?  Learning and perfecting esthetician skills and techniques involves plenty of practice on people. Ask how much live, hands-on training is furnished in the beauty classes you will be attending. A number of schools have salons on campus that allow students to practice their growing talents on real people. If a beauty program offers minimal or no scheduled live training, but instead relies predominantly on the use of mannequins, it may not be the best alternative for cultivating your skills. So try to find alternate schools that provide this kind of training.

Does the School have a Job Placement Program?  Once a student graduates from an esthetician school, it's imperative that he or she gets assistance in securing that initial job. Job placement programs are an integral part of that process. Schools that provide help develop relationships with Birmingham AL employers that are searching for qualified graduates available for hiring. Check that the schools you are looking at have job placement programs and inquire which salons and businesses they refer students to. Additionally, find out what their job placement rates are. High rates not only confirm that they have broad networks of employers, but that their programs are highly respected as well.

Is Financial Aid Available?  Almost all esthetician schools offer financial aid or student loan assistance for their students. Check if the schools you are reviewing have a financial aid department. Talk to a counselor and learn 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 offered to students too. If a school fulfills each of your other qualifications except for cost, do not drop it as an option before you learn what financial assistance may be offered.

More Info on How to Become an Esthetician in Birmingham

Enroll in the Best Birmingham Esthetician Program

Choosing and enrolling in the ideal esthetician college is imperative to receive the necessary training to become a licensed cosmetology technician. Be sure to ask all the questions that you require in order to feel positive 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 employ that data to compare schools. A good beginning in your due diligence procedure is to make sure that the college and program you pick are accredited and have outstanding reputations within the field. If you start with that foundation, and address the additional questions supplied in this post, you will be able to reduce your list of schools so that you can make the right choice. Once you graduate and pass your licensing test, you will be confident that you are qualified to begin your career as a professional esthetician in Birmingham Alabama.



 

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