How to Choose the Right Esthetician College Near Anchorage Alaska
Now that you have made a decision to enter the field of cosmetology and enroll in an esthetician school near Anchorage AK, the task begins to locate and enroll in the best program. It's important that the program you pick not only provides the proper training for the specialty you have selected, but also readies you for passing the licensing exam. When you start your initial search, you might be a little bit puzzled about the contrast between beauty schools and cosmetology schools. Well don't be, because the names are essentially interchangeable and both relate to the same type of school. If you intend on commuting to classes you will want to locate a school that is within driving distance of your Anchorage residence. Tuition will likewise be an important consideration when assessing possible schools. Just bear in mind that because a school is the closest or the least expensive it's not automatically the ideal choice. There are many other considerations that you should evaluate when comparing schools, for instance their reputation and accreditation. We will review what questions you should ask concerning the aesthetician schools you are looking at later within this article. Before we do, let's discuss a bit about what kinds of training programs are offered.
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Esthetician Certificates and Degrees
There are essentially two options offered to obtain esthetician training and a credential upon completion. You can enroll in a certificate (or diploma) program, or you can pursue an Associate's degree. Certificate programs typically take 12 to 18 months to complete, while an Associate's degree ordinarily takes about 2 years. If you enroll in a certificate program you will be instructed in each of the major areas of cosmetology. Shorter programs are available if you wish to specialize in just one area, such as esthetics. A degree program will also likely include management and marketing training to ensure that graduates are better prepared to run a salon or other Anchorage AK business. More advanced degrees are not common, but Bachelor and Master's degree programs are available in such areas as salon or spa management. Whichever type of program you choose, it's essential to make certain that it's certified by the Alaska Board of Cosmetology. Many states only approve schools that are accredited by certain highly regarded organizations, such as the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS). We will cover the advantages of accreditation for the school you decide on in the upcoming segment.
Online Esthetician Schools
Online esthetician classes are accommodating for Anchorage AK students who are employed full-time and have family obligations that make it difficult to attend a more traditional school. There are a large number of web-based cosmetology school programs available that can be accessed via a home computer or laptop at the student's convenience. More conventional beauty schools are often fast paced due to the fact that 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 volume of material, but you're not spending many hours away from your home or driving to and from classes. On the other hand, it's important that the training program you select can provide internship training in local salons and parlors in order that you also get the hands-on training required for a comprehensive education. Without the internship part of the training, it's impossible to acquire the skills required to work in any facet of the cosmetology industry. So make sure if you decide to enroll in an online school to verify that internship training is provided in your area.
What to Ask Esthetician Trade Schools
Below is a series of questions that you will want to investigate for any esthetician training program you are contemplating. As we have previously covered, the location of the school relative to your Anchorage residence, as well as the price of tuition, will undoubtedly be your first qualifiers. Whether you want to pursue a certificate, diploma or a degree will probably be next on your list. But once you have reduced your school options based on those preliminary qualifications, there are even more factors that you need to research and take into consideration before enrolling in a cosmetology school. Following we have collected several of those additional questions that you need to ask every school before making a final determination.
Is the Esthetician Program Accredited? It's essential to make sure that the esthetician school you enroll in 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 meet their high standards guaranteeing a superior curriculum and education. Accreditation may also be essential for obtaining student loans or financial aid, which typically are not offered for non- accredited schools. It's also a criteria for licensing in several states that the training be accredited. And as a final benefit, many Anchorage AK employers will not recruit recent graduates of non-accredited schools, or may look more favorably upon those with accredited training.
Does the School have a Great Reputation? Each esthetician college that you are seriously considering should have a good to exceptional reputation within the industry. Being accredited is a good beginning. Next, ask the schools for testimonials from their network of employers where they have placed their students. Verify that the schools have high job placement rates, showing that their students are highly regarded. Visit rating services for reviews in addition to the school's accrediting organizations. If you have any contacts with Anchorage AK salon owners or managers, or someone working in the field, ask them if they are acquainted with the schools you are looking at. They might even be able to propose others that you had not considered. And finally, check with the Alaska school licensing authority to find out if there have been any complaints filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
What’s the School’s Specialty? Many esthetician schools offer programs that are expansive in nature, concentrating on all facets of cosmetology. Others are more focused, offering training in a specific specialty, for example hairstyling, manicuring or electrolysis. Schools that offer degree programs commonly broaden into a management and marketing curriculum. So it's essential that you enroll in a school that specializes in your area of interest. Since your intention 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 open a Anchorage AK 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 ranked school with a poor program in the specialty you are pursuing will not provide the training you require.
Is Plenty of Hands-On Training Provided? Learning and refining esthetician skills and techniques involves plenty of practice on people. Find out how much live, hands-on training is included in the beauty classes you will be attending. Some schools have salons on campus that enable students to practice their growing talents on volunteers. If a beauty program furnishes little or no scheduled live training, but instead relies predominantly on utilizing mannequins, it may not be the most effective option for developing your skills. Therefore look for other schools that offer this type of training.
Does the School Provide Job Assistance? When a student graduates from an esthetician program, it's crucial that she or he gets help in landing that initial job. Job placement programs are an integral part of that process. Schools that furnish assistance develop relationships with Anchorage AK employers that are seeking qualified graduates available for hiring. Check that the schools you are considering have job placement programs and find out which salons and establishments they refer students to. In addition, find out 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? The majority of esthetician schools provide financial aid or student loan assistance for their students. Ask if the schools you are considering have a financial aid office. Talk to a counselor and identify what student loans or grants you may qualify for. If the school belongs to the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS), it will have scholarships available to students too. If a school meets all of your other qualifications except for expense, do not omit it as an alternative before you determine what financial assistance may be offered.
Enroll in the Right Anchorage Esthetician Program
Selecting and enrolling in the right esthetician program is important to get the appropriate training to become a licensed cosmetology technician. Be sure to ask all the questions that you require so as to feel confident about your decision. Make certain to compile all of the information you get from the cosmetology school admissions departments, prioritize what matters the most to you, and then utilize that information to contrast schools. A sensible start in your due diligence process is to make certain that the academy and program you pick are accredited and have exceptional reputations within the field. If you begin with that base, and address the additional questions supplied in this article, 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 confident that you are ready to launch your career as a professional esthetician in Anchorage Alaska.