How to Select the Right Aesthetician Classes Near Opelika Alabama
Since you have decided to enter the field of cosmetology and enroll in an esthetician school near Opelika AL, the task begins to find and enroll in the ideal program. It's imperative that the program you select not only provides the necessary instruction for the specialty you have selected, but also prepares you for passing the licensing exam. When you begin your initial search, you might be rather unclear about the difference between beauty schools and cosmetology schools. Well don't be, because the names are basically interchangeable and both relate to the same type of school. If you intend on commuting to classes you will need to locate a school that is within driving distance of your Opelika home. Tuition will additionally be a critical factor when assessing prospective schools. Just remember that because a school is the nearest or the cheapest it's not automatically the right choice. There are several other factors that you should evaluate when analyzing schools, such as their reputation and accreditation. We will examine what questions you should ask concerning the aesthetician schools you are looking at later within this article. Before we do, let's talk a little bit about what kinds of courses are offered.
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Esthetician Certificates and Degrees
There are basically two options available to obtain esthetician training and a credential after completion. You can enroll in a certificate (or diploma) program, or you can work toward an Associate's degree. Certificate programs typically take 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 instructed in each of the major areas of cosmetology. Briefer programs are available if you want to focus on just one area, such as esthetics. A degree program will also most likely include management and marketing training to ensure that graduates are better prepared to run a parlor or other Opelika AL business. Higher degrees are not common, but Bachelor and Master's degree programs are offered in such specializations as salon or spa management. Whatever type of course you choose, it's essential to make sure that it's recognized by the Alabama Board of Cosmetology. Many states only approve schools that are accredited by certain highly regarded organizations, for example the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS). We will review the advantages of accreditation for the school you select in the following segment.
Online Esthetics Schools
Online esthetician schools are advantageous for Opelika AL students who are employed full time and have family responsibilities that make it challenging to attend a more traditional school. There are a large number of online beauty school programs offered that can be accessed via a home computer or laptop at the student's convenience. More conventional beauty schools are often fast paced because many programs are as short as six or eight months. This means that a large portion of time is spent in the classroom. With internet programs, you are covering the same volume of material, but you are not devoting many hours outside of your home or travelling to and from classes. On the other hand, it's important that the training program you pick can provide internship training in area salons and parlors to ensure that you also get the hands-on training necessary for a complete education. Without the internship part of the training, it's difficult to gain the skills needed to work in any area of the cosmetology field. So don't forget 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 should research for any esthetician training school you are contemplating. As we have already discussed, the location of the school in relation to your Opelika residence, as well as the expense of tuition, will most likely be your first qualifiers. Whether you wish to pursue a certificate, diploma or a degree will undoubtedly be next on your list. But once you have narrowed your school options based on those initial qualifications, there are additional factors that you should research and consider before enrolling in a cosmetology program. Below we have collected several of those additional questions that you should ask every school before making a final selection.
Is the Esthetician School Accredited? It's important to make sure that the esthetician college you pick is accredited. The accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education certified local or national organization, such as the National Accrediting Commission for Cosmetology Arts & Sciences (NACCAS). Schools accredited by the NACCAS must measure up to their high standards assuring a quality curriculum and education. Accreditation may also be essential for securing student loans or financial aid, which frequently are not offered for non- accredited schools. It's also a requirement for licensing in several states that the training be accredited. And as a concluding benefit, a number of Opelika AL employers will not employ recent graduates of non-accredited schools, or may look more positively upon individuals with accredited training.
Does the School have a Great Reputation? Every esthetician institute that you are seriously considering should have a good to exceptional reputation within the industry. Being accredited is a good 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, attesting that their students are highly sought after. Visit rating companies for reviews together with the school's accrediting agencies. If you have any connections with Opelika AL salon owners or managers, or anyone working in the field, ask them if they are familiar with the schools you are considering. They may even be able to propose others that you had not thought of. Finally, consult the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there have been any complaints submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
What’s the School’s Focus? Some esthetician schools offer programs that are broad in nature, focusing on all facets of cosmetology. Others are more focused, providing training in a specific specialty, for example hairstyling, manicuring or electrolysis. Schools that offer degree programs typically broaden into a management and marketing curriculum. So it's imperative that you decide on a school that focuses on 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 well regarded for that program. If your aspiration 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. Picking a highly ranked school with a poor program in the specialty you are seeking will not provide the training you require.
Is Any Live Training Provided? Practicing and perfecting esthetician skills and techniques demands lots of practice on volunteers. Check how much live, hands-on training is included in the cosmetology courses 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 offers minimal or no scheduled live training, but instead depends predominantly on utilizing mannequins, it might not be the best option for developing your skills. So search for other schools that provide this type of training.
Does the School Provide Job Assistance? Once a student graduates from an esthetician program, it's important that she or he gets support in securing that initial job. Job placement programs are an important part of that process. Schools that furnish aid develop relationships with Opelika AL businesses that are seeking skilled graduates available for hiring. Check that the schools you are considering have job placement programs and find out which salons and organizations they refer students to. In addition, ask what their job placement rates are. Higher rates not only confirm that they have broad networks of employers, but that their programs are highly regarded as well.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Almost all esthetician schools provide financial aid or student loan assistance for their students. Ask if the schools you are looking at have a financial aid department. Consult with a counselor and identify 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 offered to students also. If a school fulfills all of your other qualifications except for cost, do not discard it as an option until you determine what financial help may be available.
Enroll in the Right Opelika Esthetician Program
Selecting and enrolling in the ideal esthetician program is imperative to get the appropriate training to become a licensed cosmetology technician. Make sure to ask all the questions that you require in order to feel positive about your decision. Don't forget to consolidate all of the responses you receive from the cosmetology school admissions departments, focus on what matters the most to you, and then utilize that data to compare schools. A good beginning in your due diligence procedure is to make sure that the school and program you select are accredited and have outstanding reputations within the field. If you begin with that base, and answer the additional questions supplied 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 test, you will be self-assured that you are prepared to launch your career as a professional esthetician in Opelika Alabama.