How to Find the Right Aesthetician School Near Birmingham Alabama
Now that you have made a decision 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 essential that the program you choose not only furnishes the proper training for the specialty you have chosen, but also preps you for passing the licensing exam. When you begin your initial search, you might be somewhat puzzled about the distinction between beauty schools and cosmetology schools. Well don't be, because the titles are essentially interchangeable and both relate to the same kind of school. If you anticipate commuting to classes you will need to find a school that is within driving distance of your Birmingham residence. Tuition will additionally be an important aspect when evaluating possible schools. Just bear in mind that because a school is the nearest or the least expensive it's not automatically the ideal option. There are several other considerations that you should weigh when reviewing schools, such as their reputation and accreditation. We will review what questions you should ask regarding the aesthetician schools you are thinking about later in this article. Before we do, let's discuss a bit about what types of programs are available.
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There are essentially two avenues offered to receive esthetician training and a credential upon completion. You can enroll in a certificate (or diploma) course, or you can pursue an Associate's degree. Certificate programs usually require 12 to 18 months to finish, while an Associate's degree commonly takes about 2 years. If you enroll in a certificate program you will be instructed in each of the major areas of cosmetology. Shorter programs are available if you want to focus on just one area, for instance esthetics. A degree program will also probably feature management and marketing training to ensure that graduates are better prepared to run a salon or other Birmingham AL business. More advanced degrees are not typical, but Bachelor and Master's degree programs are offered in such specialties as salon or spa management. Whatever type of training program you opt for, it's essential to make sure that it's recognized by the Alabama Board of Cosmetology. Many states only approve schools that are accredited by certain respected agencies, such as the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS). We will review the benefits of accreditation for the school you select in the following segment.
Online Esthetician Programs
Online esthetician programs are accommodating for Birmingham AL students who are working full time and have family responsibilities that make it challenging to attend a more traditional school. There are a large number of web-based beauty school programs offered that can be accessed by means of a desktop computer or laptop at the student's convenience. More conventional beauty programs are often fast paced given that many courses are as short as six or eight months. This means that a considerable amount of time is spent in the classroom. With internet courses, you are dealing with the same volume of material, but you are not spending numerous hours away from your home or commuting to and from classes. On the other hand, it's imperative that the school you pick can provide internship training in local salons and parlors so that you also receive the hands-on training required for a complete 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 make sure if you choose to enroll in an online program to confirm that internship training is provided in your area.
What to Ask Esthetician Schools
Below is a list of questions that you need to investigate for any esthetician training school you are considering. As we have already discussed, the location of the school relative to your Birmingham home, in addition to the expense of tuition, will most likely be your initial 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 preliminary qualifications, there are additional factors that you must research and take into consideration before enrolling in a cosmetology school. Following we have put together some of those additional questions that you should ask each school before making a final decision.
Is the Esthetician School Accredited? It's essential to make sure that the esthetician college you enroll in is accredited. The accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized local or national organization, such as the National Accrediting Commission for Cosmetology Arts & Sciences (NACCAS). Schools accredited by the NACCAS must measure up to their high standards guaranteeing a superior curriculum and education. Accreditation can also be essential for securing student loans or financial aid, which often are not obtainable for non- accredited schools. It's also a requirement for licensing in many states that the training be accredited. And as a concluding benefit, many Birmingham AL employers will not hire recent graduates of non-accredited schools, or may look more favorably upon individuals with accredited training.
Does the School have a Good Reputation? Any esthetician institute that you are seriously considering should have a good to outstanding reputation within the industry. Being accredited is an excellent starting point. Next, ask the schools for testimonials from their network of businesses where they have referred their students. Check that the schools have high job placement rates, showing that their students are highly sought after. Check rating companies for reviews together with the school's accrediting agencies. If you have any contacts with Birmingham AL salon owners or managers, or anyone working in the field, ask them if they are acquainted with the schools you are looking at. They might even be able to recommend others that you had not considered. And finally, consult the Alabama school licensing authority to see if there have been any grievances submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
What’s the School’s Focus? A number of esthetician schools offer programs that are expansive in nature, focusing on all areas of cosmetology. Others are more focused, providing training in a particular specialty, for instance hairstyling, manicuring or electrolysis. Schools that offer degree programs frequently broaden into a management and marketing curriculum. So it's important that you select 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 respected for that program. If your vision is to launch a Birmingham AL beauty salon, then you want to enroll in a degree program that will instruct you how to be an owner/operator as well. Picking a highly ranked school with a poor program in the specialty you are seeking will not deliver the training you require.
Is Plenty of Hands-On Training Provided? Practicing and perfecting esthetician skills and techniques requires lots of practice on people. Find out how much live, hands-on training is included in the cosmetology lessons you will be attending. Some schools have salons on site that enable students to practice their developing skills on volunteers. If a beauty program provides limited or no scheduled live training, but rather depends predominantly on utilizing mannequins, it might not be the best option for cultivating your skills. So try to find alternate schools that provide this type of training.
Does the School have a Job Placement Program? As soon as a student graduates from an esthetician academy, it's essential that he or she receives support in landing that initial job. Job placement programs are an integral part of that process. Schools that furnish aid develop relationships with Birmingham AL businesses that are looking for skilled graduates available for hiring. Verify that the programs you are contemplating have job placement programs and inquire which salons and businesses they refer students to. In addition, ask what their job placement rates are. High rates not only affirm that they have broad networks of employers, but that their programs are highly regarded as well.
Is Financial Aid Available? Most esthetician schools offer financial aid or student loan assistance for their students. Ask if the schools you are investigating have a financial aid office. Talk to a counselor and find out 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 accessible to students as well. If a school fulfills all of your other qualifications except for cost, do not drop it as an alternative before you find out what financial assistance may be offered.
Enroll in the Best Birmingham Esthetician Program
Selecting and enrolling in the right esthetician school is important to get the proper training to become a licensed cosmetology practitioner. Be sure to ask all the questions that you require so as to feel certain about your decision. Don't forget to organize all of the information 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 sensible start in your due diligence procedure is to make certain that the institution and program you pick are accredited and have exceptional reputations within the field. If you start with that base, and answer the additional questions provided in this post, 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 ready to start your career as a professional esthetician in Birmingham Alabama.