How to Find the Best Aesthetician Course Near Birmingham Alabama
Since you have decided to enter the field of cosmetology and enroll in an esthetician school near Birmingham AL, the task begins to find and enroll in the ideal program. It's important that the program you select not only provides the necessary education for the specialty you have chosen, but also readies you for passing the licensing exam. When you begin your preliminary search, you might be rather unclear about the difference between beauty schools and cosmetology schools. Well don't be, because the names are basically interchangeable and both relate to the same type 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 likewise be a critical factor when reviewing possible schools. Just keep in mind that because a school is the closest or the cheapest it's not always the right option. There are a number of other factors that you should weigh when reviewing schools, for example their reputation and accreditation. We will go over what questions you should ask regarding the aesthetician schools you are considering later in this article. Before we do, let's discuss a bit about what kinds of training programs are available.
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Esthetician Training Programs
An esthetics program may be found in a school of cosmetology, a dedicated esthetics school or, in some cases, a junior college. An esthetics program’s length is generally determined by the state in which it is located, as each state board of cosmetology sets minimum requirements for the number of hours of training an esthetics program must provide to meet the state’s licensing requirements. However, it is also quite common for esthetics programs to offer more extensive study beyond what is required for licensing purposes. In general, an esthetics program consists of about 600 hours, a common requirement in many states. However, a number of states require less than 600 hours and perhaps just as many require more than 600. Most state boards of cosmetology maintain lists of approved programs of esthetics within the state, while others recognize all programs that meet the state’s minimum clock-hour requirement. A comprehensive esthetics program includes instruction not only in esthetic treatment procedures and services, but in areas such as the structure of the skin and its function, disorders of the skin, and professional business skills.
Esthetician Job Description
An esthetician is a professional skin specialist who identifies cosmetic issues (such as wrinkles, pigmentation, or blemishes) and applies treatments to improve their condition. Most estheticians perform skin treatments like facials, superficial chemical peels, body treatments, skin conditioning, and blemish extraction, but they may also do waxing, lash extensions, and makeovers. Estheticians, unlike licensed cosmetologists, are also able to provide advanced treatments like microdermabrasion, chemical peels, light therapy, and hair removal. They may also educate clients on products, skincare regimens, and the benefits of esthetic procedures. Medical estheticians in clinical settings may help people identify and recover from health issues affecting the skin, such as working with cancer patients or burn victims after surgical procedures. Typically an esthetician works with a client in a spa or salon setting. Some estheticians work in a medical setting to complement medical services, such as in a dermatologist’s office, but they are not medical professionals. Estheticians may also work in locations as varied as Birmingham Alabama nursing facilities, luxury resorts, dermatologist offices or hospitals.
Online Esthetician Programs
Online esthetician programs are convenient for Birmingham AL students who are employed full-time and have family responsibilities that make it challenging to enroll in a more traditional school. There are a large number of web-based beauty school programs offered that can be attended by means of a home computer or laptop at the student's convenience. More conventional cosmetology programs are often fast paced because many courses are as short as six or eight months. This means that a significant portion of time is spent in the classroom. With online programs, you are covering the same volume of material, but you're not devoting numerous hours outside of your home or driving to and from classes. However, it's important that the school you pick can provide internship training in nearby salons and parlors to ensure that you also obtain the hands-on training necessary for a complete education. Without the internship part of the training, it's impossible to gain the skills required to work in any area of the cosmetology profession. So don't forget if you decide to enroll in an online program to confirm that internship training is provided in your area.
Questions to Ask Esthetician Trade Schools
Following is a series of questions that you will want to investigate for any esthetician training program you are considering. As we have already covered, the location of the school relative to your Birmingham residence, in addition to the cost of tuition, will undoubtedly be your first qualifiers. Whether you wish to pursue a certificate, diploma or a degree will undoubtedly be next on your list. But once you have reduced your school options based on those preliminary qualifications, there are additional factors that you need to research and take into consideration before enrolling in a cosmetology program. Following we have compiled some of those additional questions that you should ask every school before making a final selection.
Is the Esthetician School Accredited? It's necessary to make certain that the esthetician training program you enroll in is accredited. The accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education certified local or national agency, such as the National Accrediting Commission for Cosmetology Arts & Sciences (NACCAS). Programs accredited by the NACCAS must measure up to their high standards guaranteeing a quality curriculum and education. Accreditation may also be essential for acquiring student loans or financial aid, which frequently are not offered for non- accredited schools. It's also a prerequisite for licensing in several states that the training be accredited. And as a concluding benefit, many Birmingham AL businesses will not hire recent graduates of non-accredited schools, or may look more favorably upon individuals with accredited training.
Does the School have a Great Reputation? Every esthetician school that you are seriously considering should have a good to excellent reputation within the profession. Being accredited is a good 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, attesting that their students are highly regarded. Check rating companies for reviews along with the school's accrediting agencies. If you have any contacts with Birmingham AL salon owners or managers, or any person working in the trade, ask them if they are familiar with the schools you are considering. They might even be able to recommend others that you had not considered. And last, consult the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there have been any grievances filed or if the schools are in complete compliance.
What’s the School’s Focus? Many esthetician schools offer programs that are expansive in nature, concentrating on all facets of cosmetology. Others are more focused, providing training in a particular specialty, for example hairstyling, manicuring or electrolysis. Schools that offer degree programs commonly broaden 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 ambition 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 aspiration is to launch a Birmingham AL beauty salon, then you want to enroll in a degree program that will teach you how to be an owner/operator as well. Choosing a highly ranked school with a poor program in the specialty you are seeking will not provide the training you need.
Is Enough Hands-On Training Provided? Studying and mastering esthetician techniques and abilities involves lots of practice on volunteers. Ask how much live, hands-on training is furnished in the cosmetology courses you will be attending. A number of schools have salons on campus that enable students to practice their growing skills on real people. If a beauty school offers limited or no scheduled live training, but instead relies heavily on the use of mannequins, it may not be the most effective alternative for cultivating your skills. So look for alternate schools that provide this kind of training.
Does the School Provide Job Assistance? Once a student graduates from an esthetician program, it's imperative that she or he gets aid in securing that very first job. Job placement programs are an important part of that process. Schools that offer help develop relationships with Birmingham AL businesses that are looking for trained graduates available for hiring. Check that the schools you are considering have job placement programs and find out which salons and organizations they refer students to. Also, ask what their job placement rates are. High rates not only verify that they have broad networks of employers, but that their programs are highly regarded as well.
Is Financial Aid Available? The majority of esthetician schools provide financial aid or student loan assistance for their students. Ask if the schools you are looking at have a financial aid department. Consult 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 also. If a school satisfies each of your other qualifications except for expense, do not omit it as an alternative before you learn what financial aid may be offered.
Enroll in the Best Birmingham Esthetician Training
Locating and enrolling in the ideal esthetician program is important to get the appropriate training to become a licensed cosmetology practitioner. Make sure to ask all the questions that you require in order to feel confident about your decision. Make certain to organize all of the responses you get from the cosmetology school admissions departments, prioritize what matters the most to you, and then use that data to contrast schools. A good beginning in your due diligence procedure is to make sure that the school and program you choose are accredited and have exceptional reputations within the field. If you start with that base, and answer the additional questions supplied in this article, you will be able to filter your list of schools so that you can make the right choice. Once you graduate and pass your licensing examination, you will be self-assured that you are qualified to start your new career as a professional esthetician in Birmingham Alabama.