How to Select the Right Esthetician Training Program Near Birmingham Alabama
Since you have decided to enter the field of cosmetology and attend an esthetician school near Birmingham AL, the process begins to find and enroll in the ideal program. It's important that the school you pick not only furnishes the proper training for the specialty you have decided on, but also readies you for passing the licensing examination. When you begin your preliminary search, you might be a little bit puzzled about the difference between beauty schools and cosmetology schools. Well don't be, because the titles are basically interchangeable and both relate to the same kind of school. If you anticipate commuting to classes you will want to find a school that is within driving distance of your Birmingham residence. Tuition will likewise be a critical consideration when evaluating possible schools. Just keep in mind that because a school is the nearest or the lowest cost it's not automatically the ideal option. There are various other qualifications 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 considering later within this article. Before we do, let's discuss a little bit about what types of programs are offered.
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There are primarily two pathways available to receive esthetician training and a credential upon completion. You can enroll in a certificate (or diploma) program, or you can pursue an Associate's degree. Certificate programs typically require 12 to 18 months to finish, 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. Shorter programs are available if you wish to focus on just one area, such as esthetics. A degree program will also most likely feature management and marketing training to ensure that graduates are better prepared to manage a parlor or other Birmingham AL business. More advanced degrees are not typical, but Bachelor and Master's degree programs are offered in such areas as salon or spa management. Whatever type of training program you go with, it's important to make certain that it's recognized by the Alabama Board of Cosmetology. Many states only recognize schools that are accredited by certain reputable organizations, for instance the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS). We will cover the benefits of accreditation for the school you choose in the next section.
Online Esthetics Training
Online esthetician classes are convenient for Birmingham AL students who are employed full-time and have family responsibilities that make it difficult to attend a more traditional school. There are numerous online cosmetology school programs offered that can be attended through a personal computer or laptop at the student's convenience. More traditional cosmetology programs are typically fast paced because many courses are as brief as 6 or 8 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 devoting many hours outside of your home or driving to and from classes. On the other hand, it's imperative that the program you pick can provide internship training in local salons and parlors in order that you also obtain the hands-on training necessary for a comprehensive education. Without the internship portion of the training, it's difficult to acquire the skills necessary to work in any facet of the cosmetology industry. So don't forget if you choose to enroll in an online school to verify that internship training is provided in your area.
What to Ask Esthetics Training Classes
Following is a series of questions that you should look into for any esthetician training program you are contemplating. As we have previously discussed, the location of the school relative to your Birmingham home, as well as the cost of tuition, will probably be your first qualifiers. Whether you wish to earn a certificate, diploma or a degree will no doubt be next on your list. But once you have narrowed your school options based on those preliminary qualifications, there are additional factors that you should research and take into consideration before enrolling in a cosmetology school. Following we have compiled some of those supplemental questions that you should ask every school before making a final decision.
Is the Esthetician Program Accredited? It's essential to make sure that the esthetician school you select 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). Programs accredited by the NACCAS must comply with their high standards guaranteeing a superior curriculum and education. Accreditation may also be essential for obtaining student loans or financial aid, which typically are not obtainable for non- accredited schools. It's also a prerequisite for licensing in several states that the training be accredited. And as a final benefit, numerous Birmingham AL businesses will not employ recent graduates of non-accredited schools, or may look more positively upon individuals with accredited training.
Does the School have a Good Reputation? Every esthetician school that you are seriously considering should have a good to excellent reputation within the field. Being accredited is a good beginning. Next, ask the schools for testimonials 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 demanded. Visit rating services for reviews in addition to the school's accrediting agencies. If you have any contacts with Birmingham AL salon owners or managers, or someone working in the trade, ask them if they are familiar with the schools you are reviewing. They may even be able to recommend others that you had not considered. Finally, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there have been any complaints filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
What’s the School’s Specialty? Many esthetician schools offer programs that are broad in nature, concentrating 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 essential that you decide on a school that focuses on your area of interest. Since your ambition is to be trained as an esthetician, make certain that the school you enroll in is accredited and well regarded for that program. If your desire is to start 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 rated school with a poor program in the specialty you are seeking will not provide the training you need.
Is Enough Hands-On Training Provided? Learning and mastering esthetician techniques and abilities demands plenty of practice on people. Ask how much live, hands-on training is provided in the beauty classes 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 little or no scheduled live training, but instead depends heavily on using mannequins, it might not be the best option for developing your skills. Therefore look for other schools that provide this type of training.
Does the School have a Job Placement Program? Once a student graduates from an esthetician school, it's important that he or she receives support in landing that initial job. Job placement programs are an integral part of that process. Schools that provide help develop relationships with Birmingham AL businesses that are looking for qualified graduates available for hiring. Verify that the programs you are contemplating have job placement programs and find out which salons and organizations they refer students to. Additionally, find out what their job placement rates are. Higher rates not only affirm that they have broad networks of employers, but that their programs are highly regarded as well.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Many esthetician schools offer financial aid or student loan assistance for their students. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have a financial aid department. Talk to a counselor and identify what student loans or grants you may 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 meets all of your other qualifications with the exception of cost, do not eliminate it as an option before you determine what financial assistance may be provided.
Enroll in the Right Birmingham Esthetician Course
Picking and enrolling in the right esthetician program is essential to get the proper training to become a licensed cosmetology specialist. Make sure to ask all the questions that you need to so as to feel positive 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 use that data to compare schools. A reasonable beginning in your due diligence procedure is to make certain that the institution and program you pick are accredited and have outstanding reputations within the profession. If you start with that foundation, and answer the additional questions presented in this post, you will be able to filter your list of schools so that you can make the proper selection. 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.