How to Enroll In the Best Esthetician Training Near Decatur Alabama
Once you have decided to enter the field of cosmetology and attend an esthetician school near Decatur AL, the task begins to search for and enroll in the right program. It's essential that the program you choose not only furnishes the proper education for the specialty you have selected, but also preps you for passing the licensing examination. When you begin your initial search, you may be somewhat puzzled about the difference between beauty schools and cosmetology schools. Well don't be, because the titles are essentially interchangeable and both refer 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 Decatur residence. Tuition will additionally be a critical consideration when reviewing prospective schools. Just bear in mind that because a school is the nearest or the least expensive it's not necessarily the right option. There are various other qualifications that you should evaluate when reviewing schools, for example their reputation and accreditation. We will review what questions you should ask about the aesthetician schools you are looking at later in this article. Before we do, let's talk a bit about what kinds of training programs are available.
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Esthetician Degrees and Certificates
There are primarily two avenues available 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 usually take 12 to 18 months to complete, while an Associate's degree commonly takes about 2 years. If you enroll in a certificate program you will be trained in all of the major areas of cosmetology. Briefer programs are available if you wish to focus on just one area, for instance esthetics. A degree program will also probably incorporate management and marketing training in order that graduates are better prepared to operate a salon or other Decatur AL business. Higher degrees are not typical, but Bachelor and Master's degree programs are offered in such areas as salon or spa management. Whichever type of program you go with, it's imperative to make certain that it's certified by the Alabama Board of Cosmetology. Many states only approve schools that are accredited by certain respected organizations, including the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS). We will cover the benefits of accreditation for the school you select in the next section.
Online Esthetician Courses
Online esthetician schools are convenient for Decatur AL students who are working full-time and have family responsibilities that make it difficult to attend a more traditional school. There are many online cosmetology school programs offered that can be attended via a home computer or laptop at the student's convenience. More conventional beauty programs are often fast paced since many courses are as brief as six or eight months. This means that a significant portion of time is spent in the classroom. With internet courses, you are covering the same amount of material, but you're not spending many hours away from your home or driving back and forth from classes. However, it's imperative that the training program you select can provide internship training in local salons and parlors so that you also obtain the hands-on training necessary for a complete education. Without the internship portion of the training, it's difficult to obtain the skills necessary to work in any facet of the cosmetology field. So make sure if you decide to enroll in an online program to confirm that internship training is available in your area.
Questions to Ask Esthetician Programs
Following is a series of questions that you will want to investigate for any esthetician training program you are considering. As we have already discussed, the location of the school in relation to your Decatur residence, in addition to the cost of tuition, will most likely be your initial qualifiers. Whether you wish to pursue a certificate, diploma or a degree will probably be next on your list. But once you have narrowed your school choices based on those initial qualifications, there are additional factors that you must research and take into consideration before enrolling in a cosmetology program. Below we have collected some of those supplemental questions that you should ask each school before making a final selection.
Is the Esthetician School Accredited? It's necessary to make certain that the esthetician school you choose 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 meet their high standards assuring a quality curriculum and education. Accreditation may also be necessary for acquiring student loans or financial aid, which frequently are not available for non- accredited schools. It's also a criteria for licensing in many states that the training be accredited. And as a final benefit, numerous Decatur AL businesses will not employ recent graduates of non-accredited schools, or might look more positively upon individuals with accredited training.
Does the School have an Excellent Reputation? Every esthetician college that you are seriously evaluating should have a good to exceptional reputation within the industry. Being accredited is a good beginning. Next, ask the schools for endorsements from their network of businesses where they have referred their students. Verify that the schools have high job placement rates, attesting that their students are highly sought after. Visit rating companies for reviews along with the school's accrediting organizations. If you have any contacts with Decatur AL salon owners or managers, or any person working in the field, ask them if they are acquainted with the schools you are considering. They may even be able to suggest others that you had not considered. And finally, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to see if there have been any grievances filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
What’s the School’s Specialty? Some esthetician schools offer programs that are comprehensive in nature, focusing 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 typically expand into a management and marketing curriculum. So it's essential that you enroll in 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 aspiration is to start 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. Picking a highly ranked school with a poor program in the specialty you are seeking will not provide the training you require.
Is Enough Hands-On Training Provided? Practicing and refining esthetician skills and techniques demands plenty of practice on people. Check how much live, hands-on training is provided in the cosmetology lessons you will be attending. A number of schools have salons on campus that enable students to practice their growing skills on real people. If a beauty academy furnishes limited or no scheduled live training, but rather relies predominantly on the use of mannequins, it might not be the best option for developing your skills. So look for alternate schools that furnish this type of training.
Does the School have a Job Placement Program? As soon as a student graduates from an esthetician program, it's imperative that she or he receives aid in landing that first job. Job placement programs are an integral part of that process. Schools that offer assistance develop relationships with Decatur AL businesses that are looking for qualified graduates available for hiring. Confirm that the programs you are looking at have job placement programs and inquire which salons and organizations they refer students to. Additionally, ask what their job placement rates are. High rates not only verify that they have wide networks of employers, but that their programs are highly regarded as well.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Most esthetician schools provide financial aid or student loan assistance for their students. Check if the schools you are reviewing have a financial aid office. Consult with a counselor and learn 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 also. If a school satisfies 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 Right Decatur Esthetician Course
Finding and enrolling in the right esthetician school is important to get the necessary training to become a licensed cosmetology specialist. Be sure to ask all the questions that you require so as to feel confident about your decision. Be sure to consolidate all of the responses you receive from the beauty school admissions departments, prioritize what matters the most to you, and then employ that information to contrast schools. A reasonable start in your due diligence procedure is to make sure that the school and program you pick are accredited and have exceptional reputations within the field. If you begin with that foundation, and address the additional questions provided in this article, you will be able to reduce your list of schools so that you can make the ideal choice. Once you graduate and pass your licensing exam, you will be confident that you are prepared to launch your new career as a professional esthetician in Decatur Alabama.