How to Choose an Esthetics Course near Madison Alabama
Since you have decided to enter the field of cosmetology and enroll in an esthetician school near Madison AL, the process starts to locate and enroll in the ideal program. It’s important that the program you pick not only furnishes the proper training for the specialty you have selected, but also preps you for passing the licensing examination. When you begin your initial search, you may be rather unclear about the distinction between beauty schools and cosmetology schools. Well don’t be, because the titles are essentially interchangeable and both relate to the same type of school. We’ll talk a bit more regarding that in the next section. If you plan on commuting to classes you will want to choose a school that is within driving distance of your Madison home. Tuition will also be an important consideration when assessing possible schools. Just remember that because a school is the nearest or the lowest cost it’s not automatically the ideal option. 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 cosmetology schools you are looking at later in this article. Before we do, let’s discuss a little bit about what cosmetology is, and what types of programs are offered.
Definition of Cosmetology
Cosmetology is a profession that is all about making the human anatomy look more beautiful through the application 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 term cosmetics, but actually a cosmetic may be anything that improves the look of a person’s skin, hair or nails. In order to work as a cosmetologist, almost all states mandate that you go through some type of specialized training and then become licensed. Once licensed, the work environments include not only Madison AL beauty salons and barber shops, but also such places as spas, hotels and resorts. Many cosmetologists, once they have gotten experience and a customer base, establish their own shops or salons. Others will start servicing customers either in their own homes or will go to the client’s residence, or both. Cosmetology college graduates go by many professional names and work in a wide range of specialties including:
- Nail Technicians
- Makeup Artists
- Hair Coloring Specialists
- Electrolysis Technicians
As already stated, in most states working cosmetologists must be licensed. In some states there is an exception. Only those conducting more skilled services, for instance hairstylists, are required to be licensed. Other people working in cosmetology and less skilled, which include shampooers, are not required to be licensed in those states.
Esthetics Certificates and Degrees
There are basically two avenues available to get esthetician training and a credential after completion. You can enroll in a certificate (or diploma) course, or you can work toward an Associate’s degree. Certificate programs usually 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 trained in each of the main areas of cosmetology. Shorter programs are offered if you want to focus on just one area, such as esthetics. A degree program will also probably include management and marketing training in order that graduates are better prepared to operate a salon or other Madison AL business. Higher degrees are not typical, 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 recognized by the Alabama Board of Cosmetology. Numerous states only approve schools that are accredited by certain highly regarded organizations, for instance the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS). We will discuss the benefits of accreditation for the school you choose in the following section.
Online Esthetician Schools
Online esthetician classes are accommodating for Madison AL students who are working full time and have family obligations that make it challenging to enroll in a more traditional school. There are numerous online beauty school programs offered that can be accessed through a home computer or laptop at the student’s convenience. More conventional cosmetology schools are often fast paced given that many courses are as brief as six or eight months. This means that a significant portion of time is spent in the classroom. With online courses, you are covering the same amount of material, but you’re not devoting numerous hours outside of your home or commuting to and from classes. However, it’s vital that the training program you choose can provide internship training in area salons and parlors so that you also get the hands-on training necessary for a complete education. Without the internship part of the training, it’s difficult to gain the skills required to work in any area of the cosmetology field. So make sure if you choose to enroll in an online school to confirm that internship training is available in your area.
Questions to Ask Esthetician Schools
Following is a list of questions that you should research for any esthetician training school you are contemplating. As we have already discussed, the location of the school in relation to your Madison home, as well as the expense of tuition, will most likely be your first qualifiers. Whether you want to earn a certificate, diploma or a degree will probably be next on your list. But once you have reduced your school choices based on those preliminary qualifications, there are even more factors that you need to research and consider before enrolling in a cosmetology program. Following we have put together some of those additional questions that you need to ask every school before making a final decision.
Is the School Accredited? It’s essential to make certain that the esthetician college 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 ensuring a quality curriculum and education. Accreditation may also be necessary for obtaining student loans or financial aid, which frequently are not offered in 35756 for non- accredited schools. It’s also a prerequisite for licensing in many states that the training be accredited. And as a concluding benefit, numerous Madison AL employers will not employ recent graduates of non-accredited schools, or may look more positively upon individuals with accredited training.
Does the School have a Great Reputation? Every esthetician institute that you are seriously evaluating should have a good to exceptional reputation within the field. Being accredited is an excellent starting point. Next, ask the schools for references 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 regarded. Check rating companies for reviews along with the school’s accrediting organizations. If you have any contacts with Madison AL salon owners or managers, or any person working in the field, ask them if they are familiar with the schools you are looking at. They might even be able to suggest others that you had not thought of. And finally, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there have been any complaints filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
What’s the School’s Focus? Some esthetician schools offer programs that are broad in nature, focusing on all areas of cosmetology. Others are more focused, offering training in a particular specialty, for instance hairstyling, manicuring or electrolysis. Schools that offer degree programs frequently expand into a management and marketing curriculum. So it’s essential that you select a school that focuses on 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 vision is to open a Madison AL beauty salon, then you need to enroll in a degree program that will teach you how to be an owner/operator. Choosing a highly rated school with a poor program in the specialty you are pursuing will not deliver the training you require.
Is Enough Hands-On Training Provided? Practicing and refining esthetician techniques and abilities involves plenty of practice on volunteers. Find out how much live, hands-on training is included in the beauty classes you will be attending. Some schools have salons on site that make it possible for students to practice their developing skills on real people. If a beauty school provides minimal or no scheduled live training, but rather relies predominantly on the use of mannequins, it might not be the most effective alternative for developing your skills. Therefore try to find other schools that offer this type 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 gets assistance in landing that very first job. Job placement programs are an integral part of that process. Schools that offer assistance develop relationships with Madison AL businesses that are searching for trained graduates available for hiring. Verify that the schools you are contemplating have job placement programs and ask which salons and organizations they refer students to. Additionally, find out what their job placement rates are. High rates not only confirm that they have wide networks of employers, but that their programs are highly respected 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 reviewing have a financial aid office. Consult with 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 also. If a school meets each of your other qualifications with the exception of cost, do not eliminate it as an alternative before you learn what financial assistance may be provided.
Attending Esthetician School Near Madison AL?
Perhaps you live in the Madison 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.
Madison is a city located primarily in Madison County, near the northern border of the State of Alabama. Madison extends west into neighboring Limestone County. The city is included in the Huntsville Metropolitan Area, the second-largest in the state, and is also included in the merged Huntsville-Decatur Combined Statistical Area. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city was 42,938. Madison is bordered by Huntsville on all sides.
Madison's first European-American resident was John Cartwright, who settled in the area in 1818. The city was originally known as Madison Station, and it developed in the 1850s around a stop of the Memphis & Charleston Railroad. Textile mills were built in the area in the late 19th century for processing of cotton.
Madison was the site of a battle in the American Civil War. On May 17, 1864, Col. Josiah Patterson's 5th Alabama Cavalry, supported by Col. James H. Stuart's cavalry battalion and a section of horse artillery, drove Col. Adam G. Gorgas's 13th Illinois Infantry Regiment from the city. Patterson's men captured the 13th Illinois Regiment's wagon train, taking 66 prisoners. They also burned Union supplies and tore up the railroad tracks before retreating. Portions of the 5th Ohio Cavalry, the 59th Indiana Infantry and the 5th Iowa Infantry were sent in pursuit from Huntsville. They skirmished with Patterson's rear guard that evening at Fletcher's Ferry on the Tennessee River south of Madison.
Find the Right Esthetician College near Madison AL
Finding and enrolling in the right esthetician program is imperative to obtain the proper training to become a licensed cosmetology technician. Make sure to ask all the questions that you need to in order to feel certain about your decision. Be sure to collect all of the information you receive from the beauty 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 institution and program you select are accredited and have outstanding reputations within the field. If you begin 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 right choice. And when you graduate and pass your licensing exam, you will be self-assured that you are qualified to launch your new career as a professional esthetician in Madison AL.
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