How to Select the Best Esthetician Program Near Opelika Alabama
Now that you have made a decision to enter the field of cosmetology and enroll in an esthetician school near Opelika AL, the process starts to locate and enroll in the right program. It's imperative that the program you choose not only furnishes the necessary instruction for the specialty you have selected, but also preps you for passing the licensing exam. When you begin your initial search, you might be a little bit puzzled about the distinction between beauty schools and cosmetology schools. Well don't be, because the titles are essentially interchangeable and both refer to the same type of school. If you plan on commuting to classes you will want to choose a school that is within driving distance of your Opelika residence. Tuition will also be an important factor when evaluating prospective schools. Just remember that because a school is the nearest or the lowest cost it's not necessarily the best option. There are various other factors that you should evaluate when comparing schools, such as their reputation and accreditation. We will go over what questions you should ask concerning the aesthetician schools you are considering later in this article. Before we do, let's discuss a bit about what types of courses are available.
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Esthetics school is an investment of time, energy, and money. Requirements vary from state to state, but the majority of states require that you complete at least 600 hours of training. Full-time school can take an average of six months to complete, and part-time school can take anywhere from 9-12 months. The primary purpose of esthetics school is to get you ready to pass the state licensing exam. They also teach basic skills that you will need to perfect through experience and sometimes additional classes, such as giving facials, body treatments, and performing waxing. More advanced training includes learning to work with machines, such as IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) and Lasers used to rejuvenate the skin and permanently remove hair.
Esthetician Job Description
Estheticians provide a wide range of beauty services to help their Opelika Alabama clients look and feel better. This includes improving the quality of the skin (including the treatment of skin disorders), hair removal, permanent makeup application, and facial massage. Some types of estheticians, like medical estheticians, provide highly specialized procedures that require detailed training in order for it to be done safely and effectively. Medical estheticians can help individuals suffering from serious skin disorders, burns, and other trauma, and to help with pre and post-operative surgery affecting the health of their skin. Estheticians work closely with their clients in a friendly and positive manner, so an enthusiastic attitude and desire to help people is an excellent attribute for an aspiring esthetician to possess. Some of the basic duties an esthetician may perform will include such tasks as:
- Assessing a patient’s needs
- Chemical peels
- Laser treatments
- Massage of the head and neck
Online Esthetics Classes
Online esthetician classes are accommodating for Opelika AL students who are employed full time and have family responsibilities that make it hard to attend a more traditional school. There are many web-based beauty school programs offered that can be attended through a personal computer or laptop at the student's convenience. More conventional beauty schools are typically fast paced since many courses are as short as six or eight months. This means that a large portion of time is spent in the classroom. With online programs, you are covering the same volume of material, but you are not spending numerous hours away from your home or travelling back and forth from classes. However, it's imperative that the program you pick can provide internship training in area salons and parlors so that you also get the hands-on training needed for a comprehensive education. Without the internship part of the training, it's impossible to gain the skills necessary to work in any area of the cosmetology industry. 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 Esthetician Trade Schools
Following is a series of questions that you should research for any esthetician training school you are contemplating. As we have already covered, the location of the school relative to your Opelika residence, in addition to the expense of tuition, will most likely be your primary qualifiers. Whether you would like to earn a certificate, diploma or a degree will undoubtedly be next on your list. But once you have narrowed your school options based on those preliminary qualifications, there are even more factors that you should research and consider before enrolling in a cosmetology program. Below we have collected some of those additional questions that you need to ask each school before making a final determination.
Is the Esthetician Program Accredited? It's important to make sure that the esthetician training program 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). Schools accredited by the NACCAS must meet their high standards ensuring a quality curriculum and education. Accreditation may also be important for getting 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 concluding benefit, many Opelika AL businesses will not hire recent graduates of non-accredited schools, or might look more favorably upon individuals with accredited training.
Does the School have a Great Reputation? Any esthetician school that you are seriously evaluating should have a good to outstanding reputation within the profession. Being accredited is an excellent starting point. Next, ask the schools for testimonials from their network of employers where they have placed their students. Confirm that the schools have high job placement rates, indicating that their students are highly regarded. Visit rating services for reviews along with the school's accrediting agencies. If you have any relationships with Opelika AL salon owners or managers, or someone working in the field, ask them if they are familiar with the schools you are considering. They might even be able to recommend others that you had not thought of. And last, consult the Alabama school licensing authority to see if there have been any complaints filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
What’s the School’s Focus? Many esthetician schools offer programs that are expansive in nature, focusing on all areas of cosmetology. Others are more focused, offering 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 imperative 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 well regarded for that program. If your vision is to start a Opelika AL beauty salon, then you need to enroll in a degree program that will instruct you how to be an owner/operator as well. Choosing a highly rated school with a poor program in the specialty you are seeking will not deliver the training you require.
Is Any Hands-On Training Provided? Studying and refining esthetician skills and techniques involves lots of practice on people. Check how much live, hands-on training is furnished in the beauty courses you will be attending. A number of schools have salons on campus that allow students to practice their growing talents on real people. If a beauty academy provides limited or no scheduled live training, but instead relies mainly on utilizing mannequins, it might not be the best alternative for cultivating your skills. Therefore try to find alternate schools that furnish this type of training.
Does the School Provide Job Assistance? Once a student graduates from an esthetician school, it's essential that he or she receives support in finding that very first job. Job placement programs are an important part of that process. Schools that provide help develop relationships with Opelika AL businesses that are seeking qualified graduates available for hiring. Verify that the programs you are considering have job placement programs and inquire which salons and businesses they refer students to. In addition, ask what their job placement rates are. Higher rates not only verify that they have extensive networks of employers, but that their programs are highly respected as well.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Almost all esthetician schools offer financial aid or student loan assistance for their students. Check if the schools you are investigating have a financial aid department. Speak with a counselor and find out 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 accessible to students as well. If a school meets each of your other qualifications except for cost, do not omit it as an option until you learn what financial help may be provided.
Enroll in the Best Opelika Esthetician Program
Finding and enrolling in the ideal esthetician college is imperative to obtain the proper training to become a licensed cosmetology specialist. Make sure to ask all the questions that you need to in order to feel certain about your decision. Be sure to organize 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 process is to make sure that the school and program you select are accredited and have exceptional reputations within the field. If you begin with that base, and address the additional questions provided in this post, you will be able to filter your list of schools so that you can make the proper selection. Once you graduate and pass your licensing examination, you will be self-assured that you are ready to start your new career as a professional esthetician in Opelika Alabama.