How to Pick the Right Cosmetology Training Program near Helena Alabama
Once you have made a decision to train as a cosmetologist and attend a beauty school near Helena AL, the task begins to find and enroll in the right school. It’s important that the program you pick not only furnishes the proper instruction for the specialty you have selected, but also prepares you for passing the licensing exam. When you start your initial search, you may be somewhat puzzled about the contrast 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. We’ll discuss a bit further concerning that in the following section. If you intend on commuting to classes you will want to find a school that is within driving distance of your Helena residence. Tuition will likewise be a critical consideration when assessing possible schools. Just bear in mind that because a school is the closest or the cheapest it’s not necessarily the best option. There are several other qualifications that you should evaluate when reviewing schools, for instance their reputation and accreditation. We will go over what questions you should ask concerning the cosmetology schools you are considering later in this article. Before we do, let’s talk a bit about what cosmetology is, and what types of training programs are offered.
What is Cosmetology
Cosmetology is an occupation that is everything about making the human body look more beautiful through the application of cosmetics. So naturally it makes sense that numerous cosmetology schools are regarded as beauty schools. Many of us think of makeup when we hear the term cosmetics, but actually a cosmetic may be almost anything that improves the look of a person’s skin, hair or nails. If you want to work as a cosmetologist, almost all states mandate that you undergo some kind of specialized training and then be licensed. Once you are licensed, the work environments include not only Helena AL beauty salons and barber shops, but also such venues as spas, hotels and resorts. Many cosmetologists, after they have gained experience and a customer base, establish their own shops or salons. Others will begin seeing customers either in their own homes or will go to the client’s home, or both. Cosmetology college graduates go by many names and work in a wide range of specialties including:
- Nail Technicians
- Makeup Artists
- Hair Coloring Specialists
- Electrolysis Technicians
As already stated, in the majority of states working cosmetologists have to be licensed. In a few states there is an exception. Only those conducting more skilled services, such as hairstylists, are required to be licensed. Others employed in cosmetology and less skilled, which include shampooers, are not required to become licensed in those states.
Cosmetology Degrees and Certificates
There are primarily two pathways offered to obtain cosmetology 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 require 12 to 18 months to finish, while an Associate’s degree ordinarily takes about 2 years. If you enroll in a certificate program you will be instructed in all of the main areas of cosmetology. Shorter programs are offered if you want to concentrate on just one area, for example hair coloring. A degree program will also probably include management and marketing training in order that graduates are better prepared to run a salon or other Helena AL business. More advanced degrees are not prevalent, but Bachelor and Master’s degree programs are offered in such areas as salon or spa management. Whichever type of course you go with, it’s essential to make sure that it’s approved by the Alabama Board of Cosmetology. A number of states only approve schools that are accredited by certain reputable organizations, for instance the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS). We will review the advantages of accreditation for the school you decide on in the upcoming section.
Online Cosmetology Schools
Online beauty schools are convenient for Helena AL students who are employed full time and have family commitments that make it difficult to enroll in a more traditional school. There are a large number of online cosmetology school programs available that can be attended via a desktop computer or laptop at the student’s convenience. More traditional beauty programs are typically fast paced since many courses are as brief as 6 or 8 months. This means that a substantial amount of time is spent in the classroom. With online courses, you are dealing with the same amount of material, but you are not devoting numerous hours away from your home or travelling back and forth from classes. However, it’s vital that the training program you choose can provide internship training in local salons and parlors so that you also obtain the hands-on training needed for a complete education. Without the internship portion of the training, it’s difficult to gain the skills required to work in any area of the cosmetology field. So be sure if you choose to enroll in an online program to verify that internship training is available in your area.
Questions to Ask Cosmetology Schools
Below is a series of questions that you need to investigate for any beauty training program you are contemplating. As we have previously covered, the location of the school in relation to your Helena AL residence, together with the cost of tuition, will most likely be your initial qualifiers. Whether you would like to earn a certificate, diploma or a degree will probably be next on your list. But once you have narrowed your school options based on those initial qualifications, there are even more factors that you need to research and consider before enrolling in a cosmetology program. Following we have put together several of those additional questions that you should ask each school before making a final selection.
Is the Program Accredited? It’s important to make sure that the cosmetology college you choose is accredited. The accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized local or national organization, such as the National Accrediting Commission for Cosmetology Arts & Sciences (NACCAS). Schools accredited by the NACCAS must comply with their high standards guaranteeing a quality curriculum and education. Accreditation may also be important for obtaining student loans or financial aid, which often are not obtainable in 35080 for non- accredited schools. It’s also a requirement for licensing in some states that the training be accredited. And as a final benefit, a number of Helena AL businesses will not employ recent graduates of non-accredited schools, or may look more positively upon those with accredited training.
Does the School have a Great Reputation? Every cosmetologist school that you are seriously considering should have a good to excellent reputation within the profession. Being accredited is a good beginning. 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 sought after. Visit rating companies for reviews as well as the school’s accrediting organizations. If you have any connections with Helena AL salon owners or managers, or someone working in the business, ask them if they are familiar with the schools you are reviewing. They may even be able to propose others that you had not considered. 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 Specialty? Many cosmetology schools offer programs that are broad in nature, concentrating on all facets of cosmetology. Others are more focused, providing training in a particular specialty, for instance hairstyling, manicuring or electrolysis. Schools that offer degree programs typically expand into a management and marketing curriculum. So it’s important that you choose a school that specializes in your area of interest. If 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 aspiration is to launch a hair salon in Helena AL, then you want to enroll in a degree program that will teach you how to be an owner/operator. Selecting a highly rated school with a poor program in the specialty you are seeking will not provide the training you need.
Is Enough Hands-On Training Provided? Practicing and refining cosmetology skills and techniques involves lots of practice on volunteers. 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 site that make it possible for students to practice their growing skills on volunteers. If a beauty program offers limited or no scheduled live training, but instead depends mainly on utilizing mannequins, it might not be the best option for cultivating your skills. So search for other schools that furnish this type of training.
Does the School have a Job Placement Program? As soon as a student graduates from a beauty school, it’s essential that she or he gets aid in securing that very first job. Job placement programs are an important part of that process. Schools that offer assistance maintain relationships with Helena AL businesses that are looking for skilled graduates available for hiring. Check that the schools you are looking at have job placement programs and inquire which salons and organizations they refer students to. In addition, ask what their job placement rates are. Higher rates not only verify that they have wide networks of employers, but that their programs are highly regarded as well.
Is Financial Aid Offered? The majority of beauty schools offer financial aid or student loan assistance for their students. Ask if the schools you are considering have a financial aid department. Talk to a counselor and find out 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 offered to students too. If a school meets all of your other qualifications with the exception of expense, do not drop it as an option before you determine what financial assistance may be provided.
Considering Cosmetology Schools in Helena AL?
If you are considering attending Beauty School in Helena AL or in a nearby area, following is some interesting and useful information regarding the location of your new school campus.
Helena (pronunciation hel-LE-nah) is a city in Jefferson and Shelby counties in the state of Alabama. Helena is considered a suburb of Birmingham and part of the Birmingham-Hoover Metropolitan Area. As of the 2010 census, the population was 16,793.
Helena is highly regarded as a place to live and raise children; Business Week ranked the city as the 13th "Best Place to Raise Your Kids" in 2007. It has the eighth-lowest crime rate per population in the U.S., and the city was ranked in Money magazine's 2007 list of "Best Places to Live: Top 100" in the U.S., placing at number 91. The Alabama League of Municipalities awarded Helena the 2008 Municipal Achievement Award (population 10,001 to 20,000).
Helena initially incorporated in 1877, but reincorporated in 1917 after errors were discovered in the initial incorporation papers. Its population was not recorded separately in the U.S. Census until 1920, reflecting the later date of incorporation.
Becoming An Esthetician Helena AL
Selecting and enrolling in the right cosmetology program is important to receive the proper training to become a licensed cosmetology professional. You originally came to this website because you have an interest in learning more about Becoming An Esthetician. So be sure to ask all the questions that you need to in order to feel certain about your decision. Be sure to consolidate all of the information you get from the cosmetology school admissions departments, focus on what matters the most to you, and then use that data to contrast schools. A reasonable start in your due diligence procedure is to make certain that the academy and program you select are accredited and have outstanding reputations within the field. If you start with that base, and address the additional questions provided in this article, you will be able to narrow down your list of schools so that you can make the ideal choice. Once you graduate and pass your licensing exam, you will be self-assured that you are ready to start your new career as a professional cosmetologist in Helena AL.
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