How to Become an Esthetician | Esthetician Schools Birmingham AL

How to Select an Esthetics School near Birmingham Alabama

Birmingham AL esthetician client with cucumber facialSince you have decided to enter the field of cosmetology and enroll in an esthetician school near Birmingham AL, the task begins to locate and enroll in the ideal program. It’s important that the school you choose not only furnishes the necessary training for the specialty you have chosen, but also preps you for passing the licensing examination. When you start your preliminary search, you might be somewhat unclear about the distinction between beauty schools and cosmetology schools. Well don’t be, because the names are basically interchangeable and both pertain to the same type of school. We’ll discuss a bit further concerning that in the following section. If you plan on commuting to classes you will need to locate a school that is within driving distance of your Birmingham residence. Tuition will also be an important consideration when assessing potential schools. Just bear in mind that because a school is the nearest or the least expensive it’s not always the best choice. There are many other considerations that you should evaluate when comparing schools, for instance their reputation and accreditation. We will go over what questions you should ask about the cosmetology schools you are considering later in this article. Before we do, let’s discuss a little bit about what cosmetology is, and what kinds of courses are available.

What is Cosmetology

esthetics facial toners Birmingham ALCosmetology is an occupation that is everything about making the human body look more beautiful with the use of cosmetics. So of course it makes sense that many cosmetology schools are regarded as beauty schools. Many of us think of makeup when we hear the word cosmetics, but basically a cosmetic can be anything that enhances the appearance of a person’s skin, hair or nails. If you want to work as a cosmetologist, most states require that you undergo some kind of specialized training and then become licensed. Once you are licensed, the work settings include not only Birmingham AL beauty salons and barber shops, but also such venues as spas, hotels and resorts. Many cosmetologists, after they have acquired experience and a customer base, establish their own shops or salons. Others will begin seeing clients either in their own residences or will travel to the client’s residence, or both. Cosmetology college graduates are known by many professional names and work in a wide range of specialties including:

  • Estheticians
  • Hairdressers
  • Hairstylists
  • Beauticians
  • Barbers
  • Manicurists
  • Nail Technicians
  • Makeup Artists
  • Hair Coloring Specialists
  • Electrolysis Technicians

As already mentioned, in most states practicing cosmetologists have to be licensed. In a few states there is an exception. Only those performing more skilled services, such as hairstylists, are required to be licensed. Others employed in cosmetology and less skilled, such as shampooers, are not required to be licensed in those states.

Esthetics Certificates and Degrees

Birmingham AL esthetician client with face maskThere are primarily two options available to get esthetician training and a credential upon completion. You can enroll in a certificate (or diploma) course, or you can pursue an Associate’s degree. Certificate programs normally 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 trained in all of the major areas of cosmetology. Briefer programs are available if you prefer to specialize in just one area, such as esthetics. A degree program will also likely incorporate management and marketing training to ensure that graduates are better prepared to run a parlor or other Birmingham 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 opt for, it’s imperative to make sure that it’s certified by the Alabama Board of Cosmetology. A number of states only recognize schools that are accredited by certain reputable organizations, including the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS). We will cover the advantages of accreditation for the school you choose in the following segment.

Online Esthetics Training

woman attending esthetician school online in Birmingham ALOnline esthetician schools are advantageous for Birmingham AL students who are employed full-time and have family obligations that make it hard to attend a more traditional school. There are a large number of web-based beauty school programs offered that can be attended through a home computer or laptop at the student’s convenience. More traditional beauty programs are frequently fast paced given that many programs are as short as 6 or 8 months. This means that a significant portion of time is spent in the classroom. With internet courses, you are covering the same volume of material, but you’re not spending numerous hours outside of your home or driving back and forth from classes. On the other hand, it’s vital that the program you choose can provide internship training in local 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 obtain the skills needed to work in any facet of the cosmetology industry. So make sure if you decide to enroll in an online program to confirm that internship training is provided in your area.

What to Ask Esthetics Training Programs

Birmingham AL models benefit from esthetic treatmentsBelow is a list of questions that you need to research for any esthetician training program you are considering. As we have previously discussed, the location of the school relative to your Birmingham residence, as well as the price of tuition, will undoubtedly be your primary qualifiers. Whether you would like to pursue a certificate, diploma or a degree will no doubt be next on your list. But once you have reduced your school choices based on those preliminary qualifications, there are additional factors that you should research and consider before enrolling in a cosmetology school. Following we have collected some of those additional questions that you need to ask each school before making a final decision.

Is the School Accredited? It’s necessary to make sure that the esthetician 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). Programs accredited by the NACCAS must measure up to their high standards ensuring a quality curriculum and education. Accreditation may also be important for obtaining student loans or financial aid, which typically are not available in 35201 for non- accredited schools. It’s also a criteria for licensing in some states that the training be accredited. And as a final benefit, many Birmingham AL businesses will not employ recent graduates of non-accredited schools, or might look more positively upon individuals with accredited training.

Does the School have a Great Reputation?  Any esthetician institute that you are seriously considering should have a good to outstanding reputation within the profession. Being accredited is an excellent beginning. Next, ask the schools for testimonials 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. Check rating services for reviews together with the school’s accrediting agencies. If you have any contacts with Birmingham AL salon owners or managers, or someone working in the business, ask them if they are familiar with the schools you are looking at. They may even be able to recommend others that you had not thought of. And finally, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there have been any grievances submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.

What’s the School’s Specialty?  A number of esthetician schools offer programs that are broad in nature, focusing 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 frequently broaden into a management and marketing curriculum. So it’s important that you decide on a school that specializes in your area of interest. If your ambition 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 start a Birmingham AL beauty salon, then you need to enroll in a degree program that will teach you how to be an owner/operator. Picking a highly regarded school with a poor program in the specialty you are seeking will not deliver the training you require.

Is Enough Hands-On Training Provided?  Learning and mastering esthetician skills and techniques involves lots of practice on people. Check how much live, hands-on training is provided in the cosmetology classes you will be attending. A number of schools have salons on campus that make it possible for students to practice their growing talents on volunteers. If a beauty academy furnishes minimal or no scheduled live training, but rather relies predominantly on the use of mannequins, it may not be the best alternative for cultivating your skills. Therefore look for other schools that furnish this kind of training.

Does the School have a Job Placement Program?  Once a student graduates from an esthetician academy, it’s important that he or she gets aid in landing that very first job. Job placement programs are an integral part of that process. Schools that offer assistance develop relationships with Birmingham AL employers that are searching for trained graduates available for hiring. Confirm that the schools you are looking at have job placement programs and find out which salons and businesses they refer students to. Additionally, ask what their job placement rates are. Higher rates not only confirm that they have extensive networks of employers, but that their programs are highly respected as well.

Is Financial Assistance Offered?  The majority of esthetician schools offer financial aid or student loan assistance for their students. Check if the schools you are considering 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 as well. If a school fulfills each of your other qualifications with the exception of expense, do not eliminate it as an option before you learn what financial assistance may be available.

Attending Esthetician School Near Birmingham AL?

Perhaps you live in the Birmingham Alabama area, or have found a school that you will commute to or even relocate to attend.  Either way, following is some interesting background information about the location of your new esthetician program.

Birmingham, Alabama

Birmingham (/ˈbɜːrmɪŋhæm/ BUR-ming-ham) is a city located in the north central region of the U.S. state of Alabama. With an estimated 2017 population of 210,710, it is the most populous city in Alabama.[4] Birmingham is the seat of Jefferson County, Alabama's most populous and fifth largest county. As of 2017, the Birmingham-Hoover Metropolitan Statistical Area had a population of 1,149,807, making it the most populous in Alabama and 49th-most populous in the United States. Birmingham serves as an important regional hub and is associated with the Deep South, Piedmont, and Appalachian regions of the nation.

Birmingham was founded in 1871, during the post-Civil War Reconstruction era, through the merger of three pre-existing farm towns, most notably Elyton. The new city was named for Birmingham, England, the UK's second largest city and, at the time, a major industrial city. The Alabama city annexed smaller neighbors and developed as an industrial center, based on mining, the new iron and steel industry, and rail transport. Most of the original settlers who founded Birmingham were of English ancestry.[5] The city was developed as a place where cheap, non-unionized immigrant labor (primarily Irish and Italian), along with African-American labor from rural Alabama, could be employed in the city's steel mills and blast furnaces, giving it a competitive advantage over unionized industrial cities in the Midwest and Northeast.[6]:14

From its founding through the end of the 1960s, Birmingham was a primary industrial center of the southern United States. Its growth from 1881 through 1920 earned it nicknames such as "The Magic City" and "The Pittsburgh of the South". Its major industries were iron and steel production. Major components of the railroad industry, rails and railroad cars, were manufactured in Birmingham. Since the 1860s, the two primary hubs of railroading in the "Deep South" have been Birmingham and Atlanta. The economy diversified in the latter half of the 20th century. Banking, telecommunications, transportation, electrical power transmission, medical care, college education, and insurance have become major economic activities. Birmingham ranks as one of the largest banking centers in the U.S. Also, it is among the most important business centers in the Southeast.

Enroll in the Right Esthetics Program near Birmingham AL

Picking and enrolling in the ideal esthetician college is important to get the proper training to become a licensed cosmetology specialist. Be sure to ask all the questions that you require in order to feel positive about your decision. Make certain to organize all of the responses you receive from the beauty school admissions departments, prioritize what matters the most to you, and then utilize that information to compare schools. A good start in your due diligence process is to make sure that the academy and program you pick are accredited and have exceptional reputations within the field. If you begin with that foundation, and answer the additional questions provided in this article, you will be able to narrow down your list of schools so that you can make the proper selection. And when you graduate and pass your licensing test, you will be confident that you are ready to begin your new career as a professional esthetician in Birmingham AL.

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    Seiler Skin Cosmetic Laser & Aesthetics Center
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