How to Choose the Best Aesthetician College Near Decatur Alabama
Once you have made a decision to enter the field of cosmetology and enroll in an esthetician school near Decatur AL, the task starts to locate and enroll in the right program. It's imperative that the school you choose not only furnishes the necessary training for the specialty you have decided on, but also preps you for passing the licensing examination. When you begin your preliminary search, you may be a little bit unclear about the difference between beauty schools and cosmetology schools. Well don't be, because the names are basically interchangeable and both pertain to the same type of school. If you anticipate commuting to classes you will want to locate a school that is within driving distance of your Decatur home. Tuition will likewise be an important consideration when evaluating potential schools. Just keep in mind that because a school is the closest or the least expensive it's not always the best choice. There are a number of other factors that you should evaluate when analyzing schools, such as their reputation and accreditation. We will go over what questions you should ask regarding the aesthetician schools you are considering later within this article. Before we do, let's talk a little bit about what types of courses are offered.
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Esthetics Certificates and Degrees
There are basically two pathways offered to obtain 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 typically call for 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 major areas of cosmetology. Briefer programs are offered if you prefer to specialize in just one area, for instance esthetics. A degree program will also probably feature management and marketing training in order that graduates are better prepared to manage a parlor or other Decatur AL business. Higher degrees are not prevalent, but Bachelor and Master's degree programs are offered in such specialties as salon or spa management. Whatever type of course you opt for, it's important to make sure that it's approved by the Alabama Board of Cosmetology. A number of states only recognize schools that are accredited by certain reputable organizations, including the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS). We will discuss the benefits of accreditation for the school you decide on in the next segment.
Online Esthetician Schools
Online esthetician classes are convenient for Decatur AL students who are working full time and have family obligations that make it hard to enroll in a more traditional school. There are a large number of web-based cosmetology school programs offered that can be attended via a personal computer or laptop at the student's convenience. More conventional beauty programs are typically fast paced due to the fact that many programs are as short 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 volume of material, but you are not devoting numerous hours outside of your home or commuting to and from classes. On the other hand, it's imperative that the school you choose can provide internship training in area salons and parlors in order that you also receive the hands-on training necessary for a comprehensive education. Without the internship portion of the training, it's difficult to acquire the skills needed to work in any area of the cosmetology industry. So be sure if you choose to enroll in an online school to verify that internship training is available in your area.
Questions to Ask Esthetics Degree Programs
Following is a series of questions that you should research for any esthetician training program you are contemplating. As we have previously covered, the location of the school relative to your Decatur residence, together with the cost of tuition, will undoubtedly be your primary qualifiers. Whether you wish to pursue a certificate, diploma or a degree will probably be next on your list. But once you have reduced your school choices based on those initial qualifications, there are even more factors that you should research and take into consideration before enrolling in a cosmetology school. Below we have compiled some of those supplemental questions that you should ask each school before making a final determination.
Is the Esthetician School Accredited? It's important to make certain that the esthetician college you select is accredited. The accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized 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 assuring a superior curriculum and education. Accreditation may also be important for getting student loans or financial aid, which frequently are not obtainable for non- accredited schools. It's also a requirement for licensing in several states that the training be accredited. And as a final benefit, numerous Decatur AL businesses will not hire 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 institute that you are seriously evaluating should have a good to exceptional reputation within the industry. Being accredited is an excellent starting point. Next, ask the schools for references from their network of employers where they have placed their students. Check that the schools have high job placement rates, indicating that their students are highly regarded. Visit rating services for reviews as well as the school's accrediting agencies. If you have any connections with Decatur AL salon owners or managers, or someone working in the field, ask them if they are familiar with the schools you are looking at. They might even be able to suggest others that you had not looked into. Finally, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there have been any complaints submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
What’s the School’s Focus? Many esthetician schools offer programs that are broad in nature, focusing on all areas of cosmetology. Others are more focused, offering training in a particular specialty, for instance hairstyling, manicuring or electrolysis. Schools that offer degree programs frequently expand into a management and marketing curriculum. So it's imperative that you enroll in 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 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. Picking a highly ranked school with a poor program in the specialty you are seeking will not provide the training you need.
Is Any Live Training Provided? Learning and perfecting esthetician techniques and abilities requires lots of practice on volunteers. Find out how much live, hands-on training is included in the beauty lessons you will be attending. Some schools have salons on site that allow students to practice their growing skills on volunteers. If a beauty academy offers minimal or no scheduled live training, but instead depends heavily on utilizing mannequins, it might not be the most effective alternative for acquiring your skills. So search 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 she or he gets assistance in finding that initial job. Job placement programs are an important part of that process. Schools that furnish aid maintain relationships with Decatur AL businesses that are searching for skilled graduates available for hiring. Confirm that the programs you are contemplating have job placement programs and ask which salons and businesses they refer students to. In addition, find out what their job placement rates are. Higher rates not only verify that they have broad networks of employers, but that their programs are highly regarded as well.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Most esthetician schools offer financial aid or student loan assistance for their students. Find out if the schools you are investigating have a financial aid office. Talk to 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 offered to students as well. If a school fulfills all of your other qualifications with the exception of expense, do not discard it as an alternative until you find out what financial assistance may be provided.
Enroll in the Right Decatur Esthetician Course
Selecting and enrolling in the ideal esthetician school is essential to get the appropriate training to become a licensed cosmetology professional. Make sure to ask all the questions that you need to so as to feel positive about your decision. Make sure to compile all of the responses you receive from the cosmetology school admissions departments, prioritize what matters the most to you, and then utilize that information to compare schools. A sensible beginning in your due diligence procedure is to make certain that the academy and program you select are accredited and have excellent reputations within the field. If you begin with that foundation, and answer the additional questions provided in this post, you will be able to reduce your list of schools so that you can make the ideal choice. And when you graduate and pass your licensing test, you will be confident that you are ready to launch your new career as a professional esthetician in Decatur Alabama.