How to Choose the Best 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 search for and enroll in the best program. It's important that the program you pick not only furnishes the appropriate education for the specialty you have decided on, but also readies you for passing the licensing exam. When you start your preliminary search, you may be somewhat confused about the distinction between beauty schools and cosmetology schools. Well don't be, because the names are pretty much interchangeable and both relate to the same kind of school. If you plan on commuting to classes you will need to find a school that is within driving distance of your Birmingham home. Tuition will likewise be a critical aspect when evaluating potential schools. Just remember that because a school is the closest or the cheapest it's not necessarily the ideal option. There are a number of other considerations that you should weigh when analyzing schools, such as their reputation and accreditation. We will review 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 kinds of training programs are available.
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There are basically two pathways offered to receive esthetician training and a credential after completion. You can enroll in a certificate (or diploma) course, or you can work toward an Associate's degree. Certificate programs generally 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 trained in each of the main areas of cosmetology. Briefer programs are offered if you wish to focus on just one area, for example esthetics. A degree program will also most likely include management and marketing training in order that graduates are better prepared to run a parlor or other Birmingham AL business. Higher degrees are not common, but Bachelor and Master's degree programs are offered in such specialties as salon or spa management. Whichever type of program you opt for, it's essential to make sure that it's recognized by the Alabama Board of Cosmetology. Numerous states only certify schools that are accredited by certain respected organizations, such as the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS). We will cover the advantages of accreditation for the school you decide on in the upcoming section.
Online Esthetician Classes
Online esthetician classes are advantageous for Birmingham AL students who are employed full-time and have family obligations that make it hard to enroll in a more traditional school. There are numerous online beauty school programs offered that can be attended via a personal computer or laptop at the student's convenience. More conventional beauty schools are typically fast paced because many programs are as brief as 6 or 8 months. This means that a substantial amount of time is spent in the classroom. With internet programs, you are covering the same amount of material, but you're not devoting many hours outside of your home or travelling back and forth from classes. However, it's essential that the training program you choose can provide internship training in local salons and parlors to ensure that you also receive the hands-on training required for a comprehensive education. Without the internship portion of the training, it's difficult to obtain the skills necessary to work in any area of the cosmetology profession. So be sure if you decide to enroll in an online program to confirm that internship training is provided in your area.
Questions to Ask Aesthetician Degree Programs
Below is a series of questions that you should look into for any esthetician training school you are contemplating. As we have already covered, the location of the school relative to your Birmingham home, in addition to the cost of tuition, will most likely be your first qualifiers. Whether you want to pursue a certificate, diploma or a degree will no doubt be next on your list. But once you have narrowed your school choices based on those preliminary qualifications, there are additional factors that you need to research and take into consideration before enrolling in a cosmetology program. Below we have collected several of those supplemental questions that you should ask every school before making a final selection.
Is the Esthetician Program Accredited? It's essential to make sure that the esthetician school 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). Programs accredited by the NACCAS must measure up to their high standards ensuring a superior curriculum and education. Accreditation can also be important for securing student loans or financial aid, which typically are not offered for non- accredited schools. It's also a criteria for licensing in many states that the training be accredited. And as a final benefit, many Birmingham AL employers will not employ recent graduates of non-accredited schools, or might look more favorably upon individuals with accredited training.
Does the School have a Good Reputation? Every esthetician school that you are seriously evaluating should have a good to excellent reputation within the industry. Being accredited is an excellent beginning. Next, ask the schools for testimonials from their network of businesses where they have placed their students. Confirm that the schools have high job placement rates, showing that their students are highly regarded. Check rating companies 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 field, ask them if they are acquainted with the schools you are reviewing. They may even be able to propose others that you had not considered. And last, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there have been any grievances filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
What’s the School’s Focus? Some esthetician schools offer programs that are broad 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 essential that you decide on a school that specializes in your area of interest. Since your goal 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 aspiration 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. Selecting a highly regarded school with a weak program in the specialty you are seeking will not deliver the training you require.
Is Any Live Training Provided? Practicing and refining esthetician techniques and abilities demands plenty of practice on volunteers. Ask how much live, hands-on training is included in the beauty classes you will be attending. Some schools have salons on site that enable students to practice their developing talents on real people. If a beauty program furnishes minimal or no scheduled live training, but rather relies heavily on the use of mannequins, it might not be the best alternative for developing your skills. So search for other schools that provide this type of training.
Does the School have a Job Placement Program? As soon as a student graduates from an esthetician program, it's crucial that she or he gets support in landing that initial job. Job placement programs are an integral part of that process. Schools that furnish assistance maintain relationships with Birmingham AL businesses that are seeking skilled graduates available for hiring. Confirm that the schools you are considering have job placement programs and inquire which salons and organizations they refer students to. In addition, 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? Almost all esthetician schools offer financial aid or student loan assistance for their students. Ask if the schools you are considering have a financial aid office. Talk to a counselor and identify 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 as well. If a school satisfies each of your other qualifications with the exception of cost, do not drop it as an alternative before you find out what financial assistance may be available.
Enroll in the Best Birmingham Esthetician Training
Selecting and enrolling in the right esthetician program is essential to get the necessary training to become a licensed cosmetology professional. Be sure to ask all the questions that you require so as to feel certain about your decision. Make sure to consolidate all of the information you get from the beauty school admissions departments, prioritize what matters the most to you, and then employ that information to compare schools. A reasonable start in your due diligence process is to make certain that the school and program you select are accredited and have impressive reputations within the profession. If you start with that base, and answer the additional questions supplied in this post, 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 exam, you will be self-assured that you are prepared to launch your new career as a professional esthetician in Birmingham Alabama.