How to Choose the Right Aesthetician Classes Near Birmingham Alabama
Once 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 ideal program. It's imperative that the program you choose not only provides the proper instruction for the specialty you have chosen, but also preps you for passing the licensing exam. When you begin your initial search, you may be rather puzzled about the contrast between beauty schools and cosmetology schools. Well don't be, because the names are essentially interchangeable and both relate to the same type of school. If you intend on commuting to classes you will want to locate a school that is within driving distance of your Birmingham residence. Tuition will likewise be an important consideration when evaluating possible schools. Just keep in mind that because a school is the closest or the cheapest it's not necessarily the best choice. There are several other qualifications that you should evaluate when analyzing schools, such as their reputation and accreditation. We will examine what questions you should ask about the aesthetician schools you are considering later within this article. Before we do, let's talk a little bit about what types of training programs are available.
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Esthetician Degrees and Certificates
There are basically two options offered to obtain 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 normally 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 all of the major areas of cosmetology. Briefer programs are offered if you want to specialize in just one area, for instance esthetics. A degree program will also likely incorporate management and marketing training so that graduates are better prepared to manage a salon or other Birmingham AL business. Higher degrees are not common, but Bachelor and Master's degree programs are offered in such areas as salon or spa management. Whatever type of training program you choose, it's essential to make certain that it's recognized by the Alabama Board of Cosmetology. Numerous states only certify schools that are accredited by certain respected organizations, including the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS). We will review the advantages of accreditation for the school you select in the next section.
Online Esthetics Programs
Online esthetician schools are accommodating for Birmingham AL students who are employed full-time and have family commitments that make it difficult to attend a more traditional school. There are a large number of web-based beauty school programs offered that can be attended by means of a personal computer or laptop at the student's convenience. More conventional beauty programs are typically fast paced since many programs are as brief as six or eight months. This means that a substantial amount of time is spent in the classroom. With internet programs, you are dealing with the same amount of material, but you're not devoting many hours outside of your home or commuting to and from classes. However, it's imperative that the training program you choose 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 portion of the training, it's impossible to obtain the skills necessary to work in any area of the cosmetology field. 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 Aesthetician Training Courses
Below is a list of questions that you will want to investigate for any esthetician training school you are contemplating. As we have previously covered, the location of the school relative to your Birmingham home, as well as the price of tuition, will most likely be your initial qualifiers. Whether you wish to earn 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 program. Following we have compiled some of those additional questions that you should ask every school before making a final decision.
Is the Esthetician School Accredited? It's essential to make sure that the esthetician training program 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). Programs accredited by the NACCAS must measure up to their high standards assuring a quality curriculum and education. Accreditation may also be necessary for getting student loans or financial aid, which typically are not available for non- accredited schools. It's also a prerequisite for licensing in some states that the training be accredited. And as a concluding benefit, a number of Birmingham AL businesses will not hire 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 institute that you are seriously considering should have a good to exceptional reputation within the industry. Being accredited is a good starting point. Next, ask the schools for references from their network of businesses where they have referred their students. Verify that the schools have high job placement rates, showing that their students are highly demanded. Visit rating companies for reviews in addition to the school's accrediting organizations. If you have any relationships with Birmingham AL salon owners or managers, or someone working in the trade, ask them if they are acquainted with the schools you are considering. They might even be able to recommend others that you had not considered. And finally, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to see if there have been any grievances filed 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, concentrating on all facets of cosmetology. Others are more focused, providing training in a specific specialty, such as hairstyling, manicuring or electrolysis. Schools that offer degree programs commonly expand into a management and marketing curriculum. So it's essential that you select a school that specializes in 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 respected for that program. If your vision is to start 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 ranked school with a weak program in the specialty you are seeking will not provide the training you need.
Is Any Live Training Provided? Studying and perfecting esthetician skills and techniques requires plenty of practice on volunteers. Find out how much live, hands-on training is included in the beauty courses you will be attending. Some schools have salons on site that allow students to practice their developing talents on real people. If a beauty program offers limited or no scheduled live training, but instead relies predominantly on using mannequins, it may not be the best alternative for developing your skills. So try to find alternate 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 essential that she or he gets support in securing that very first job. Job placement programs are an important part of that process. Schools that offer assistance develop relationships with Birmingham AL employers that are looking for qualified graduates available for hiring. Check that the schools you are looking at have job placement programs and ask which salons and organizations they refer students to. Additionally, find out what their job placement rates are. Higher rates not only verify that they have extensive 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. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have a financial aid office. Speak with a counselor and find out 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 too. If a school meets each of your other qualifications with the exception of expense, do not eliminate it as an alternative until you learn what financial assistance may be provided.
Enroll in the Right Birmingham Esthetician Course
Selecting and enrolling in the right esthetician school is essential to get the appropriate training to become a licensed cosmetology practitioner. Be sure to ask all the questions that you require in order to feel certain about your decision. Don't forget to consolidate all of the responses 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 beginning in your due diligence procedure is to make certain that the academy 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 reduce your list of schools so that you can make the right selection. And when you graduate and pass your licensing test, you will be self-assured that you are ready to launch your career as a professional esthetician in Birmingham Alabama.