How to Enroll In the Right Esthetician Classes Near Opelika Alabama
Now that you have decided to enter the field of cosmetology and enroll in an esthetician school near Opelika AL, the process starts to locate and enroll in the ideal 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 start your initial search, you might be somewhat puzzled about the distinction between beauty schools and cosmetology schools. Well don't be, because the names are pretty much interchangeable and both pertain to the same type of school. If you intend on commuting to classes you will need to choose a school that is within driving distance of your Opelika home. Tuition will additionally be a critical factor when evaluating potential schools. Just keep in mind that because a school is the nearest or the lowest cost it's not always the right option. There are several other considerations that you should weigh when comparing schools, for instance their reputation and accreditation. We will review what questions you should ask about the aesthetician schools you are thinking about later in this article. Before we do, let's talk a little bit about what kinds of programs are available.
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Esthetician Degrees and Certificates
There are primarily two avenues offered to get 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 generally 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 all of the main areas of cosmetology. Shorter programs are available if you want to concentrate on just one area, for instance esthetics. A degree program will also most likely incorporate management and marketing training so that graduates are better prepared to operate a salon or other Opelika AL business. More advanced degrees are not common, but Bachelor and Master's degree programs are offered in such specializations as salon or spa management. Whichever type of course you decide on, it's imperative to make certain that it's certified by the Alabama Board of Cosmetology. A number of states only certify schools that are accredited by certain respected agencies, for example the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS). We will examine the advantages of accreditation for the school you select in the next segment.
Online Esthetics Schools
Online esthetician schools are convenient for Opelika AL students who are working full-time and have family responsibilities that make it difficult to attend a more traditional school. There are many web-based beauty school programs offered that can be attended by means of a home computer or laptop at the student's convenience. More traditional beauty programs are often fast paced due to the fact that many courses 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 covering the same volume of material, but you're not devoting numerous hours outside of your home or driving to and from classes. However, it's vital that the program you choose can provide internship training in area salons and parlors so that you also get the hands-on training required for a complete education. Without the internship portion of the training, it's impossible to gain the skills needed to work in any facet of the cosmetology profession. 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 Training Classes
Following is a series of questions that you need to investigate for any esthetician training school you are contemplating. As we have previously discussed, the location of the school relative to your Opelika residence, in addition to the expense of tuition, will probably be your initial qualifiers. Whether you want 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 even more factors that you need to research and take into consideration before enrolling in a cosmetology program. Below we have collected some of those additional questions that you need to ask every school before making a final decision.
Is the Esthetician School Accredited? It's necessary to make certain that the esthetician school 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). Programs accredited by the NACCAS must measure up to their high standards guaranteeing a quality curriculum and education. Accreditation can also be essential for getting student loans or financial aid, which frequently are not available for non- accredited schools. It's also a prerequisite for licensing in several states that the training be accredited. And as a concluding benefit, a number of Opelika AL employers will not hire recent graduates of non-accredited schools, or may look more positively upon those with accredited training.
Does the School have a Good Reputation? Each esthetician college that you are seriously evaluating should have a good to excellent reputation within the profession. Being accredited is a good 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, attesting that their students are highly demanded. Check rating companies for reviews in addition to the school's accrediting agencies. If you have any connections with Opelika AL salon owners or managers, or someone working in the trade, ask them if they are familiar with the schools you are reviewing. They may even be able to suggest others that you had not thought of. Finally, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to see if there have been any grievances filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
What’s the School’s Focus? A number of esthetician schools offer programs that are expansive in nature, concentrating on all areas of cosmetology. Others are more focused, offering training in a specific specialty, for instance hairstyling, manicuring or electrolysis. Schools that offer degree programs often expand into a management and marketing curriculum. So it's imperative that you choose a school that specializes in your area of interest. Since your objective is to be trained as an esthetician, make sure that the school you enroll in is accredited and respected for that program. If your vision is to launch a Opelika AL beauty salon, then you need to enroll in a degree program that will teach you how to be an owner/operator as well. Selecting a highly rated school with a weak program in the specialty you are seeking will not deliver the training you require.
Is Enough Hands-On Training Provided? Practicing and perfecting esthetician techniques and abilities demands plenty of practice on people. Find out how much live, hands-on training is included in the beauty lessons you will be attending. A number of schools have salons on campus that enable students to practice their growing skills on volunteers. If a beauty program offers minimal or no scheduled live training, but rather depends predominantly on utilizing mannequins, it might not be the most effective alternative for cultivating your skills. So search for alternate schools that provide this type of training.
Does the School Provide Job Assistance? When a student graduates from an esthetician academy, it's crucial that she or he receives aid in finding that initial job. Job placement programs are an integral part of that process. Schools that provide assistance maintain relationships with Opelika AL businesses that are seeking skilled graduates available for hiring. Verify that the schools you are looking at have job placement programs and find out which salons and establishments they refer students to. Also, ask what their job placement rates are. High rates not only verify that they have broad networks of employers, but that their programs are highly regarded as well.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Many esthetician schools offer 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 learn what student loans or grants you might get approved for. If the school belongs to the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS), it will have scholarships accessible to students as well. If a school satisfies each of your other qualifications with the exception of cost, do not discard it as an alternative until you learn what financial help may be available.
Enroll in the Right Opelika Esthetician Course
Choosing and enrolling in the right esthetician college is essential to obtain the necessary training to become a licensed cosmetology professional. Be sure to ask all the questions that you require in order to feel positive about your decision. Make certain to consolidate all of the responses you get from the beauty school admissions departments, prioritize what matters the most to you, and then use that data to compare schools. A reasonable start in your due diligence procedure is to make sure that the institution and program you choose are accredited and have excellent reputations within the field. If you begin with that base, and address the additional questions provided in this post, you will be able to narrow down your list of schools so that you can make the right selection. And when you graduate and pass your licensing examination, you will be self-assured that you are ready to launch your career as a professional esthetician in Opelika Alabama.