How to Select the Right Esthetician Classes Near Decatur Alabama
Since you have made a decision to enter the field of cosmetology and enroll in an esthetician school near Decatur AL, the process starts to locate and enroll in the right program. It's essential that the program you pick not only provides the proper education for the specialty you have chosen, but also prepares you for passing the licensing examination. When you start your preliminary search, you might be a little bit unclear about the difference between beauty schools and cosmetology schools. Well don't be, because the names are pretty much interchangeable and both refer to the same type of school. If you anticipate commuting to classes you will want to find a school that is within driving distance of your Decatur residence. Tuition will additionally be an important consideration when reviewing possible schools. Just bear in mind that because a school is the nearest or the lowest cost it's not automatically the best choice. There are many other factors that you should evaluate when reviewing schools, such as their reputation and accreditation. We will review what questions you should ask about the aesthetician schools you are looking at later within this article. Before we do, let's talk a bit about what kinds of training programs are offered.
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Esthetics Degrees and Certificates
There are primarily two pathways offered to receive esthetician training and a credential upon completion. You can enroll in a certificate (or diploma) program, or you can work toward an Associate's degree. Certificate programs usually call for 12 to 18 months to complete, 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. Briefer programs are offered if you wish to focus on just one area, for instance esthetics. A degree program will also most likely incorporate management and marketing training in order that graduates are better prepared to run a parlor or other Decatur AL business. More advanced degrees are not prevalent, but Bachelor and Master's degree programs are offered in such specialties as salon or spa management. Whichever type of course you opt for, it's imperative to make sure that it's recognized by the Alabama Board of Cosmetology. A number of states only approve schools that are accredited by certain reputable agencies, such as the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS). We will cover the advantages of accreditation for the school you choose in the upcoming section.
Online Esthetics Classes
Online esthetician programs are advantageous for Decatur AL students who are employed full time and have family obligations that make it difficult to enroll in a more traditional school. There are numerous web-based cosmetology school programs offered that can be attended through a desktop computer or laptop at the student's convenience. More conventional cosmetology schools are typically fast paced because many programs are as short as 6 or 8 months. This means that a large portion of time is spent in the classroom. With online programs, you are covering the same amount of material, but you are not devoting many hours outside of your home or driving back and forth from classes. On the other hand, it's important that the school you choose can provide internship training in nearby salons and parlors so that you also receive the hands-on training needed for a comprehensive education. Without the internship part of the training, it's difficult to obtain the skills necessary to work in any facet of the cosmetology profession. So make sure if you choose to enroll in an online school to verify that internship training is provided in your area.
Questions to Ask Esthetics Programs
Following is a list of questions that you need to research for any esthetician training school you are contemplating. As we have already covered, the location of the school in relation to your Decatur residence, in addition to the expense of tuition, will undoubtedly be your initial qualifiers. Whether you want to pursue a certificate, diploma or a degree will no doubt be next on your list. But once you have reduced your school options based on those initial qualifications, there are additional factors that you need to research and consider before enrolling in a cosmetology school. Following we have put together some of those additional questions that you need to ask each school before making a final selection.
Is the Esthetician Program Accredited? It's important to make certain that the esthetician college you choose is accredited. The accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged local or national agency, 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 quality curriculum and education. Accreditation can also be necessary for obtaining student loans or financial aid, which typically are not offered for non- accredited schools. It's also a requirement for licensing in some states that the training be accredited. And as a final benefit, a number of Decatur AL employers will not recruit recent graduates of non-accredited schools, or might look more positively upon those with accredited training.
Does the School have an Excellent Reputation? Any esthetician college that you are seriously evaluating should have a good to outstanding reputation within the profession. Being accredited is an excellent beginning. Next, ask the schools for endorsements from their network of businesses where they have placed their students. Confirm that the schools have high job placement rates, signifying that their students are highly demanded. Visit rating companies for reviews along with the school's accrediting agencies. If you have any connections with Decatur AL salon owners or managers, or anyone working in the industry, 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. And finally, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to see if there have been any grievances submitted or if the schools are in full 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 specific specialty, such as hairstyling, manicuring or electrolysis. Schools that offer degree programs often broaden into a management and marketing curriculum. So it's essential that you enroll in a school that focuses on 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 respected for that program. If your vision is to open a Decatur AL beauty salon, then you need to enroll in a degree program that will teach you how to be an owner/operator as well. Picking a highly regarded school with a weak program in the specialty you are seeking will not provide the training you need.
Is Enough Hands-On Training Provided? Learning and refining esthetician skills and techniques demands plenty of practice on volunteers. Ask how much live, hands-on training is provided in the beauty lessons you will be attending. A number of schools have salons on campus that make it possible for students to practice their growing talents on volunteers. If a beauty school provides minimal or no scheduled live training, but rather relies predominantly on using mannequins, it may not be the best alternative for developing your skills. Therefore look for other schools that furnish this kind of training.
Does the School have a Job Placement Program? Once a student graduates from an esthetician academy, it's crucial that he or she receives assistance in landing that first job. Job placement programs are an integral part of that process. Schools that furnish aid develop relationships with Decatur AL businesses that are searching for skilled graduates available for hiring. Verify that the schools you are considering have job placement programs and ask which salons and organizations they refer students to. Also, ask what their job placement rates are. High rates not only affirm that they have extensive networks of employers, but that their programs are highly respected as well.
Is Financial Aid Offered? The majority of esthetician schools offer financial aid or student loan assistance for their students. Check if the schools you are looking at have a financial aid department. Consult with a counselor and learn 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 available to students also. If a school meets all of your other qualifications except for cost, do not discard it as an alternative until you find out what financial aid may be provided.
Enroll in the Best Decatur Esthetician Course
Locating and enrolling in the ideal esthetician program is imperative to obtain the proper training to become a licensed cosmetology technician. Be 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 utilize that information to contrast schools. A reasonable beginning in your due diligence procedure is to make certain that the institution and program you choose are accredited and have outstanding reputations within the field. If you start with that base, and answer the additional questions provided in this article, you will be able to filter your list of schools so that you can make the right selection. Once you graduate and pass your licensing exam, you will be self-assured that you are prepared to launch your career as a professional esthetician in Decatur Alabama.