How to Pick the Right Esthetician College Near Decatur Alabama
Now that you have made a decision to enter the field of cosmetology and attend an esthetician school near Decatur AL, the process begins to search for and enroll in the best program. It's imperative that the program you select not only furnishes the appropriate education for the specialty you have selected, but also prepares you for passing the licensing exam. When you begin your preliminary search, you may be somewhat puzzled about the difference between beauty schools and cosmetology schools. Well don't be, because the titles are pretty much interchangeable and both refer to the same type of school. If you plan on commuting to classes you will need to find a school that is within driving distance of your Decatur residence. Tuition will likewise be an important consideration when assessing possible schools. Just remember that because a school is the closest or the cheapest it's not automatically the best option. There are a number of other considerations that you should weigh when reviewing schools, such as their reputation and accreditation. We will go over what questions you should ask regarding the aesthetician schools you are looking at later in this article. Before we do, let's discuss a little bit about what kinds of training programs are offered.
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There are basically two avenues offered to receive esthetician training and a credential upon completion. You can enroll in a certificate (or diploma) course, or you can work toward an Associate's degree. Certificate programs usually 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 trained in each of the major areas of cosmetology. Shorter programs are offered if you prefer to focus on just one area, for instance esthetics. A degree program will also most likely feature management and marketing training so that graduates are better prepared to manage a salon or other Decatur AL business. Higher degrees are not common, but Bachelor and Master's degree programs are available in such specialties as salon or spa management. Whichever type of course you opt for, it's important to make sure that it's approved by the Alabama Board of Cosmetology. Numerous states only recognize schools that are accredited by certain highly regarded agencies, such as the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS). We will cover the benefits of accreditation for the school you choose in the upcoming section.
Online Esthetician Training
Online esthetician programs are convenient for Decatur AL students who are working full time and have family commitments that make it difficult to attend a more traditional school. There are many online beauty school programs offered that can be accessed by means of a desktop computer or laptop at the student's convenience. More traditional beauty programs are often fast paced because many programs are as brief as six or eight months. This means that a large portion of time is spent in the classroom. With internet courses, you are dealing with the same volume of material, but you are not devoting many hours away from your home or driving to and from classes. On the other hand, it's essential that the school you select can provide internship training in local salons and parlors in order that you also obtain the hands-on training needed for a complete education. Without the internship part of the training, it's difficult to gain the skills needed to work in any facet of the cosmetology industry. So make sure if you choose to enroll in an online school to confirm that internship training is provided in your area.
Questions to Ask Esthetician Training Courses
Below is a series of questions that you will want to research for any esthetician training program you are considering. As we have previously covered, the location of the school relative to your Decatur residence, together with the expense of tuition, will most likely 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 must research and take into consideration before enrolling in a cosmetology school. Following we have compiled some of those additional questions that you need to ask every school before making a final selection.
Is the Esthetician Program Accredited? It's important to make certain that the esthetician training program you select 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). Schools accredited by the NACCAS must meet their high standards guaranteeing a superior curriculum and education. Accreditation may also be important for getting student loans or financial aid, which often are not obtainable 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 Decatur AL employers will not employ recent graduates of non-accredited schools, or may look more favorably upon individuals with accredited training.
Does the School have a Good Reputation? Every esthetician institute that you are seriously considering should have a good to excellent reputation within the field. Being accredited is an excellent starting point. Next, ask the schools for endorsements from their network of employers where they have placed their students. Confirm that the schools have high job placement rates, showing that their students are highly regarded. Visit rating companies for reviews along with the school's accrediting organizations. If you have any relationships with Decatur AL salon owners or managers, or someone working in the trade, ask them if they are acquainted with the schools you are looking at. They may even be able to propose others that you had not considered. And last, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there have been any grievances submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
What’s the School’s Specialty? Many esthetician schools offer programs that are comprehensive in nature, concentrating on all facets of cosmetology. Others are more focused, offering training in a particular specialty, for instance hairstyling, manicuring or electrolysis. Schools that offer degree programs commonly broaden into a management and marketing curriculum. So it's imperative that you pick 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 dream is to open a Decatur AL beauty salon, then you want to enroll in a degree program that will instruct you how to be an owner/operator as well. Choosing a highly regarded school with a weak program in the specialty you are seeking will not deliver the training you need.
Is Enough Hands-On Training Provided? Learning and refining esthetician techniques and abilities involves lots of practice on people. 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 growing skills on real people. If a beauty school offers limited or no scheduled live training, but rather relies predominantly on utilizing mannequins, it might not be the best alternative for acquiring your skills. So look for other schools that offer this kind of training.
Does the School have a Job Placement Program? When a student graduates from an esthetician academy, it's crucial that he or she gets support in securing that very first job. Job placement programs are an important part of that process. Schools that furnish assistance develop relationships with Decatur AL employers that are searching for qualified graduates available for hiring. Check that the schools you are contemplating have job placement programs and ask which salons and businesses they refer students to. In addition, ask what their job placement rates are. Higher rates not only affirm that they have wide networks of employers, but that their programs are highly respected as well.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? The majority of esthetician schools provide financial aid or student loan assistance for their students. Check if the schools you are investigating have a financial aid department. Consult with a counselor and find out what student loans or grants you might qualify for. If the school is a member of the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS), it will have scholarships available to students too. If a school satisfies all of your other qualifications except for expense, do not eliminate it as an alternative until you learn what financial aid may be available.
Enroll in the Best Decatur Esthetician Program
Finding and enrolling in the right esthetician college is essential to obtain the necessary training to become a licensed cosmetology specialist. Make sure to ask all the questions that you require in order to feel positive about your decision. Make certain to compile all of the information you receive from the cosmetology school admissions departments, prioritize what matters the most to you, and then use that information to contrast schools. A sensible beginning in your due diligence procedure is to make certain that the school and program you pick are accredited and have outstanding reputations within the profession. If you start with that foundation, and address the additional questions supplied in this post, you will be able to reduce your list of schools so that you can make the right choice. And when you graduate and pass your licensing test, you will be confident that you are prepared to launch your career as a professional esthetician in Decatur Alabama.