How to Pick the Right Cosmetologist College near Decatur Alabama
Since you have decided to train as a cosmetologist and attend a beauty school near Decatur AL, the task begins to locate and enroll in the right school. It’s important that the program you pick not only provides the proper education for the specialty you have chosen, but also readies you for passing the licensing examination. When you start your initial search, you may be rather confused about the difference between beauty schools and cosmetology schools. Well don’t be, because the names are pretty much interchangeable and both relate to the same kind of school. We’ll discuss a little bit further concerning that in the following section. If you intend on commuting to classes you will need to locate a school that is within driving distance of your Decatur home. Tuition will additionally be a critical aspect when assessing possible schools. Just keep in mind that because a school is the closest or the cheapest it’s not always the ideal option. There are many other qualifications that you should weigh when comparing schools, for instance their reputation and accreditation. We will go over what questions you should ask concerning the cosmetology schools you are thinking about later in this article. Before we do, let’s discuss a little bit about what cosmetology is, and what kinds of programs are available.
Definition of Cosmetology
Cosmetology is a profession that is all about making the human body look more attractive with the use of cosmetics. So of course it makes sense that a number of cosmetology schools are referred to as beauty schools. Many of us think of makeup when we hear the word cosmetics, but really a cosmetic can be almost anything that improves the appearance of a person’s skin, hair or nails. If you want to work as a cosmetologist, most states mandate that you undergo some kind of specialized training and then become licensed. Once licensed, the work environments include not only Decatur AL beauty salons and barber shops, but also such venues as spas, hotels and resorts. Many cosmetologists, after they have gotten experience and a customer base, establish their own shops or salons. Others will begin servicing customers either in their own residences or will go to the client’s house, or both. Cosmetology college graduates are known by many professional names and work in a wide range of specialties including:
- Nail Technicians
- Makeup Artists
- Hair Coloring Specialists
- Electrolysis Technicians
As formerly mentioned, in the majority of states practicing cosmetologists have to be licensed. In some states there is an exception. Only those conducting more skilled services, for example hairstylists, are required to be licensed. Others working in cosmetology and less skilled, including shampooers, are not required to be licensed in those states.
Cosmetology Certificates and Degrees
There are essentially two options available to receive cosmetology 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 normally call for 12 to 18 months to finish, while an Associate’s degree commonly 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, for example hair coloring. A degree program will also most likely incorporate management and marketing training in order that graduates are better prepared to run a parlor or other Decatur AL business. Higher degrees are not common, but Bachelor and Master’s degree programs are offered in such areas as salon or spa management. Whichever type of course you decide on, it’s essential to make sure that it’s certified by the Alabama Board of Cosmetology. Numerous states only approve schools that are accredited by certain reputable organizations, such as the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS). We will cover the benefits of accreditation for the school you decide on in the following section.
Online Cosmetology Courses
Online cosmetology schools are accommodating for Decatur AL students who are working full time and have family obligations that make it challenging to enroll in a more traditional school. There are a large number of online cosmetology school programs offered that can be attended via a personal computer or laptop at the student’s convenience. More conventional beauty programs are frequently fast paced because many courses are as brief as 6 or 8 months. This means that a large amount of time is spent in the classroom. With internet courses, you are covering the same amount 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 nearby salons and parlors so that you also obtain the hands-on training required for a complete education. Without the internship part of the training, it’s impossible to acquire the skills necessary to work in any facet of the cosmetology field. So make sure if you decide to enroll in an online school to confirm that internship training is available in your area.
Questions to Ask Cosmetology Training Classes
Below is a series of questions that you need to investigate for any beauty training program you are considering. As we have already discussed, the location of the school in relation to your Decatur AL residence, as well as the expense of tuition, will undoubtedly be your primary qualifiers. Whether you want to earn a certificate, diploma or a degree will no doubt be next on your list. But once you have narrowed your school choices 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 put together several of those supplemental questions that you need to ask each school before making a final selection.
Is the Program Accredited? It’s essential to make sure that the cosmetology 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). Programs accredited by the NACCAS must comply with their high standards assuring a quality curriculum and education. Accreditation may also be necessary for acquiring student loans or financial aid, which frequently are not available in 35601 for non- accredited schools. It’s also a requirement for licensing in many states that the training be accredited. And as a concluding benefit, a number of Decatur AL employers will not recruit recent graduates of non-accredited schools, or may look more positively upon individuals with accredited training.
Does the School have an Excellent Reputation? Every beauty college that you are seriously considering should have a good to exceptional reputation within the industry. Being accredited is an excellent beginning. Next, ask the schools for references from their network of employers where they have referred their students. Confirm that the schools have high job placement rates, indicating that their students are highly demanded. Visit rating companies for reviews along with the school’s accrediting agencies. If you have any connections with Decatur AL salon owners or managers, or someone working in the field, ask them if they are acquainted with the schools you are reviewing. They may even be able to propose others that you had not considered. And last, 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? Many cosmetology schools offer programs that are comprehensive in nature, concentrating on all facets of cosmetology. Others are more focused, providing training in a particular 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 specializes in your area of interest. If your goal 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 launch a hair salon in Decatur AL, then you need to enroll in a degree program that will instruct you how to be an owner/operator. Choosing a highly ranked school with a poor program in the specialty you are seeking will not provide the training you require.
Is Enough Live Training Provided? Learning and refining cosmetology techniques and abilities requires lots of practice on people. Ask how much live, hands-on training is furnished 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 school offers little or no scheduled live training, but rather relies heavily on the use of mannequins, it may not be the best alternative for acquiring your skills. Therefore search for alternate schools that offer this kind of training.
Does the School Provide Job Assistance? Once a student graduates from a beauty school, it’s essential that he or she receives help in finding that first job. Job placement programs are an important part of that process. Schools that furnish help develope relationships with Decatur AL employers that are searching for skilled graduates available for hiring. Confirm that the programs you are considering have job placement programs and inquire which salons and establishments they refer students to. Additionally, ask what their job placement rates are. Higher rates not only affirm that they have broad networks of employers, but that their programs are highly regarded as well.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Most beauty schools offer financial aid or student loan assistance for their students. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have a financial aid office. 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 accessible to students as well. If a school satisfies all of your other qualifications with the exception of cost, do not eliminate it as an option until you learn what financial help may be offered.
Considering Cosmetology Schools in Decatur AL?
If you are considering attending Beauty School in Decatur AL or in a nearby area, following is some interesting and useful information regarding the location of your new school campus.
Decatur is a city in Morgan and Limestone counties in the State of Alabama. The city, nicknamed "The River City", is located in Northern Alabama on the banks of Wheeler Lake, along the Tennessee River. It is the largest city and county seat of Morgan County. The population in 2010 was 55,683.
Decatur is also the core city of the two-county large Decatur, Alabama metropolitan area which had an estimated population of 153,374 in 2013. Combined with the Huntsville Metropolitan Area, the two create the Huntsville-Decatur Combined Statistical Area, of which Decatur is the second-largest city.
Like many southern cities in the early 19th century, Decatur's early success was based upon its location along a river. Railroad routes and boating traffic pushed the city to the front of North Alabama's economic atmosphere. The city rapidly grew into a large economic center within the Tennessee Valley and was a hub for travelers and cargo between Nashville and Mobile, as well as Chattanooga and New Orleans. Throughout the 20th century, the city experienced steady growth, but was eclipsed as the regional economic center by the fast-growing Huntsville during the space race. The city now finds its economy heavily based on manufacturing, mining, cargo transit, chemical, and high-tech companies such as Vulcan Materials, Daikin, Toray, United Launch Alliance.
Online Cosmetology School Decatur AL
Choosing and enrolling in the ideal cosmetologist school is essential to get the necessary training to become a licensed cosmetology professional. You originally came to this website because you have an interest in learning more about Online Cosmetology School. So be sure to ask all the questions that you need to so as to feel confident about your decision. Make sure 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 information to compare schools. A reasonable beginning in your due diligence process is to make sure that the academy and program you decide on are accredited and have impressive reputations within the field. If you start with that foundation, 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 choice. Once you graduate and pass your licensing exam, you will be confident that you are prepared to begin your new career as a professional cosmetologist in Decatur AL.
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