How to Enroll In an Esthetics College near Anchorage Alaska
Once you have decided to enter the field of cosmetology and attend an esthetician school near Anchorage AK, the process starts to search for and enroll in the right program. It’s essential that the program you select not only provides the proper education for the specialty you have chosen, but also prepares you for passing the licensing exam. When you begin your initial search, you may 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 kind of school. We’ll talk a bit more concerning that in the upcoming segment. If you intend on commuting to classes you will need to locate a school that is within driving distance of your Anchorage residence. Tuition will likewise be a critical consideration when evaluating possible schools. Just remember that because a school is the closest or the lowest cost it’s not automatically the ideal choice. There are many other qualifications that you should weigh 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 within this article. Before we do, let’s discuss a little bit about what cosmetology is, and what types of training programs are available.
Definition of Cosmetology
Cosmetology is an occupation that is everything about making the human body look more attractive with the use of cosmetics. So naturally it makes sense that a number of cosmetology schools are referred to as beauty schools. Most of us think of makeup when we hear the word cosmetics, but actually a cosmetic may be almost anything that improves the look of a person’s skin, hair or nails. In order to work as a cosmetologist, the majority of states require that you take some type of specialized training and then be licensed. Once you are licensed, the work settings include not only Anchorage AK beauty salons and barber shops, but also such venues as spas, hotels and resorts. Many cosmetologists, after they have gained experience and a clientele, open their own shops or salons. Others will begin seeing customers either in their own residences or will go to the client’s residence, or both. Cosmetology college graduates go by many names and are employed in a wide range of specializations including:
- Nail Technicians
- Makeup Artists
- Hair Coloring Specialists
- Electrolysis Technicians
As earlier stated, in the majority of states practicing cosmetologists must be licensed. In certain states there is an exemption. Only those conducting more skilled services, for instance hairstylists, are required to be licensed. Other people employed in cosmetology and less skilled, including shampooers, are not required to be licensed in those states.
Esthetician Degrees and Certificates
There are basically two avenues available to obtain 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 generally take 12 to 18 months to complete, 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. Briefer programs are available if you prefer to focus on just one area, such as esthetics. A degree program will also likely feature management and marketing training in order that graduates are better prepared to operate a salon or other Anchorage AK business. Higher degrees are not common, but Bachelor and Master’s degree programs are offered in such specializations as salon or spa management. Whichever type of program you choose, it’s important to make sure that it’s certified by the Alaska Board of Cosmetology. A number of states only approve schools that are accredited by certain reputable organizations, such as the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS). We will examine the advantages of accreditation for the school you select in the next segment.
Online Esthetician Classes
Online esthetician classes are convenient for Anchorage AK students who are working full time and have family commitments 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 accessed through a personal computer or laptop at the student’s convenience. More conventional beauty programs are often fast paced since many courses are as short as 6 or 8 months. This means that a large amount of time is spent in the classroom. With online courses, you are covering the same volume of material, but you are not devoting many hours outside of your home or commuting back and forth 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 obtain the hands-on training required for a complete education. Without the internship part of the training, it’s difficult to obtain the skills required to work in any facet of the cosmetology industry. So make sure if you choose to enroll in an online program to verify that internship training is available in your area.
Questions to Ask Esthetician Schools
Below is a series of questions that you should research for any esthetician training program you are considering. As we have already covered, the location of the school relative to your Anchorage home, as well as the expense of tuition, will most likely be your primary qualifiers. Whether you want to pursue a certificate, diploma or a degree will probably be next on your list. But once you have narrowed your school choices based on those initial qualifications, there are even more factors that you must research and take into consideration before enrolling in a cosmetology program. Below we have put together several of those supplemental questions that you should ask every school before making a final determination.
Is the School Accredited? It’s essential to make certain that the esthetician school you select 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 assuring a quality curriculum and education. Accreditation may also be essential for acquiring student loans or financial aid, which often are not available in 99501 for non- accredited schools. It’s also a prerequisite for licensing in some states that the training be accredited. And as a concluding benefit, numerous Anchorage AK employers will not hire recent graduates of non-accredited schools, or may look more favorably upon individuals with accredited training.
Does the School have an Excellent Reputation? Each esthetician institute that you are seriously considering should have a good to outstanding reputation within the industry. Being accredited is an excellent starting point. Next, ask the schools for endorsements 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 in addition to the school’s accrediting agencies. If you have any contacts with Anchorage AK salon owners or managers, or anyone working in the trade, ask them if they are acquainted with the schools you are looking at. They might even be able to suggest others that you had not looked into. Finally, contact the Alaska school licensing authority to find out if there have been any complaints filed or if the schools are in complete compliance.
What’s the School’s Focus? Many esthetician schools offer programs that are expansive in nature, focusing 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 important that you choose a school that specializes in your area of interest. If your intention 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 Anchorage AK beauty salon, then you need to enroll in a degree program that will teach you how to be an owner/operator. Choosing a highly ranked school with a weak program in the specialty you are pursuing will not deliver the training you need.
Is Any Live Training Provided? Learning and refining esthetician skills and techniques demands plenty of practice on people. Check how much live, hands-on training is included in the cosmetology classes you will be attending. Some schools have salons on site that enable students to practice their growing skills on volunteers. If a beauty school offers minimal or no scheduled live training, but instead depends predominantly on using mannequins, it may not be the best alternative for acquiring your skills. Therefore search for other schools that provide this kind of training.
Does the School have a Job Placement Program? When a student graduates from an esthetician academy, it’s crucial that he or she receives aid in landing that first job. Job placement programs are an important part of that process. Schools that offer aid develop relationships with Anchorage AK businesses that are searching for qualified graduates available for hiring. Verify that the programs you are contemplating have job placement programs and inquire which salons and establishments they refer students to. Additionally, find out what their job placement rates are. Higher rates not only affirm that they have extensive networks of employers, but that their programs are highly regarded as well.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Most esthetician schools provide financial aid or student loan assistance for their students. Find out if the schools you are looking at have a financial aid office. Talk to a counselor and find out what student loans or grants you might qualify 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 with the exception of expense, do not drop it as an option before you determine what financial aid may be available.
Attending Esthetician School Near Anchorage AK?
Perhaps you live in the Anchorage Alaska 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.
Anchorage (officially called the Municipality of Anchorage; Dena'ina: Dgheyaytnu) is a unified home rule municipality in the U.S. state of Alaska. With an estimated 298,192 residents in 2016, it is Alaska's most populous city and contains more than 40 percent of the state's total population; among the 50 states, only New York has a higher percentage of residents who live in its most populous city. All together, the Anchorage metropolitan area, which combines Anchorage with the neighboring Matanuska-Susitna Borough, had a population of 401,635 in 2016, which accounts for more than half of the state's population. At 1,706 square miles of land area, the city is larger than the smallest state, Rhode Island, at 1,212 square miles.
Anchorage is in the south-central portion of Alaska, at the terminus of the Cook Inlet, on a peninsula formed by the Knik Arm to the north and the Turnagain Arm to the south. The city limits span 1,961.1 square miles (5,079.2 km2) which encompass the urban core, a joint military base, several outlying communities and almost all of Chugach State Park.
Due to its location, almost equidistant from New York City, Frankfurt, and Tokyo, Anchorage lies within 9 1⁄2 hours by air of nearly 90% of the industrialized world. For this reason, the Anchorage International Airport is a common refueling stop for many international cargo flights and home to a major FedEx hub, which the company calls a "critical part" of its global network of services.
Pick the Right Esthetician Vocational School near Anchorage AK
Picking and enrolling in the ideal esthetician school is imperative to receive the appropriate training to become a licensed cosmetology technician. Make sure to ask all the questions that you need to in order to feel confident about your decision. Don’t forget to collect all of the responses you get from the beauty school admissions departments, focus on what matters the most to you, and then utilize that information to compare schools. A good start in your due diligence procedure is to make sure that the school and program you choose are accredited and have exceptional reputations within the profession. If you start with that base, 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. Once you graduate and pass your licensing test, you will be confident that you are qualified to begin your career as a professional esthetician in Anchorage AK.
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