How to Find the Right Esthetics Program near Montgomery Alabama
Now that you have made a decision to enter the field of cosmetology and attend an esthetician school near Montgomery AL, the task starts to locate and enroll in the right program. It’s essential that the program you select not only provides the appropriate instruction for the specialty you have chosen, but also prepares you for passing the licensing examination. When you begin your preliminary search, you may be a little bit unclear about the distinction 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 speak a bit further about that in the next segment. If you intend on commuting to classes you will need to locate a school that is within driving distance of your Montgomery residence. Tuition will likewise be an important consideration when evaluating potential schools. Just bear in mind that because a school is the nearest or the lowest cost it’s not automatically the best option. There are various other factors that you should weigh when reviewing schools, such as their reputation and accreditation. We will examine what questions you should ask about the cosmetology schools you are looking at later in this article. Before we do, let’s talk a little bit about what cosmetology is, and what kinds of courses are available.
Cosmetology is a profession that is everything about making the human body look more beautiful through the application of cosmetics. So of course it makes sense that many cosmetology schools are referred to as beauty schools. Many of us think of makeup when we hear the word cosmetics, but basically a cosmetic may be almost anything that improves the appearance of a person’s skin, hair or nails. If you want to work as a cosmetologist, the majority of states require that you go through some type of specialized training and then be licensed. Once licensed, the work settings include not only Montgomery AL beauty salons and barber shops, but also such venues as spas, hotels and resorts. Many cosmetologists, once they have gotten experience and a client base, open their own shops or salons. Others will start servicing clients either in their own homes or will travel to the client’s home, or both. Cosmetology college graduates go by many names and work in a wide variety of specializations including:
- Nail Technicians
- Makeup Artists
- Hair Coloring Specialists
- Electrolysis Technicians
As formerly stated, in the majority of states working cosmetologists have to be licensed. In some states there is an exception. Only those conducting more skilled services, such as hairstylists, are required to be licensed. Other people working in cosmetology and less skilled, such as shampooers, are not required to become licensed in those states.
Esthetician Certificates and Degrees
There are basically two avenues available to get esthetician training and a credential upon 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 complete, while an Associate’s degree commonly takes about 2 years. If you enroll in a certificate program you will be trained in all of the main areas of cosmetology. Shorter programs are available if you want to focus on just one area, for instance esthetics. A degree program will also most likely feature management and marketing training in order that graduates are better prepared to manage a salon or other Montgomery AL business. Higher degrees are not typical, but Bachelor and Master’s degree programs are offered in such areas as salon or spa management. Whatever type of program you decide on, it’s essential to make certain that it’s recognized by the Alabama Board of Cosmetology. Many states only approve 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 decide on in the next section.
Online Esthetics Classes
Online esthetician schools are convenient for Montgomery AL students who are working full-time and have family commitments that make it hard to attend a more traditional school. There are many online beauty school programs available that can be accessed through a personal computer or laptop at the student’s convenience. More traditional beauty programs are frequently fast paced because many courses are as brief as 6 or 8 months. This means that a considerable portion of time is spent in the classroom. With internet courses, you are dealing with the same amount of material, but you’re not devoting numerous hours away from your home or travelling to and from classes. On the other hand, it’s essential that the school you select can provide internship training in nearby salons and parlors to ensure that you also obtain the hands-on training needed for a complete education. Without the internship portion of the training, it’s difficult to obtain the skills needed to work in any facet of the cosmetology industry. So don’t forget if you decide to enroll in an online school to verify that internship training is provided in your area.
What to Ask Esthetics Degree Programs
Following is a list of questions that you should research for any esthetician training program you are contemplating. As we have already discussed, the location of the school in relation to your Montgomery home, as well as the price of tuition, will most likely be your initial qualifiers. Whether you wish to pursue a certificate, diploma or a degree will undoubtedly be next on your list. But once you have reduced your school choices based on those initial qualifications, there are additional factors that you should research and take into consideration before enrolling in a cosmetology school. Below we have collected some of those supplemental questions that you should ask every school before making a final selection.
Is the Program Accredited? It’s necessary to make sure that the esthetician training program you enroll in is accredited. The accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education certified local or national agency, such as the National Accrediting Commission for Cosmetology Arts & Sciences (NACCAS). Schools accredited by the NACCAS must measure up to their high standards assuring a quality curriculum and education. Accreditation can also be necessary for obtaining student loans or financial aid, which typically are not obtainable in 36101 for non- accredited schools. It’s also a requirement for licensing in some states that the training be accredited. And as a concluding benefit, many Montgomery AL employers will not hire recent graduates of non-accredited schools, or might look more positively upon individuals with accredited training.
Does the School have an Excellent Reputation? Every esthetician institute that you are seriously evaluating should have a good to outstanding reputation within the field. Being accredited is an excellent beginning. Next, ask the schools for endorsements from their network of employers where they have referred their students. Verify that the schools have high job placement rates, signifying that their students are highly regarded. Visit rating services for reviews together with the school’s accrediting agencies. If you have any relationships with Montgomery AL salon owners or managers, or anyone working in the field, ask them if they are acquainted with the schools you are reviewing. They might even be able to suggest others that you had not considered. And finally, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to see if there have been any complaints filed or if the schools are in complete compliance.
What’s the School’s Specialty? 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 commonly broaden into a management and marketing curriculum. So it’s important that you enroll in 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 dream is to open a Montgomery AL beauty salon, then you want to enroll in a degree program that will instruct you how to be an owner/operator. Selecting a highly regarded school with a weak program in the specialty you are pursuing will not deliver the training you need.
Is Enough Live Training Provided? Studying and mastering esthetician techniques and abilities involves lots of practice on volunteers. Find out how much live, hands-on training is provided in the cosmetology classes you will be attending. Some schools have salons on site that enable students to practice their growing talents on real people. If a beauty school provides limited or no scheduled live training, but rather relies mainly on the use of mannequins, it may not be the best alternative for acquiring your skills. So search for other schools that provide this type of training.
Does the School have a Job Placement Program? When a student graduates from an esthetician program, it’s crucial that he or she gets assistance in securing that first job. Job placement programs are an integral part of that process. Schools that furnish aid develop relationships with Montgomery AL employers that are looking for trained graduates available for hiring. Check that the programs you are considering have job placement programs and inquire which salons and businesses they refer students to. Also, ask what their job placement rates are. Higher rates not only verify that they have broad networks of employers, but that their programs are highly regarded as well.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Almost all esthetician schools offer financial aid or student loan assistance for their students. Find out if the schools you are looking at have a financial aid office. Speak with a counselor and identify 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 except for expense, do not omit it as an alternative until you determine what financial assistance may be offered.
Attending Esthetician School Near Montgomery AL?
Perhaps you live in the Montgomery 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.
Montgomery is the capital city of the U.S. state of Alabama and the county seat of Montgomery County. Named for Richard Montgomery, it stands beside the Alabama River, on the coastal Plain of the Gulf of Mexico. In the 2010 Census, Montgomery's population was 205,764. It is the second most populous city in Alabama, after Birmingham, and is the 118th most populous in the United States. The Montgomery Metropolitan Statistical Area's population in 2010 was estimated at 374,536; it is the fourth largest in the state and 136th among United States metropolitan areas.
The city was incorporated in 1819 as a merger of two towns situated along the Alabama River. It became the state capital in 1846, representing the shift of power to the south-central area of Alabama with the growth of cotton as a commodity crop of the Black Belt and the rise of Mobile as a mercantile port on the Gulf Coast. In February 1861, Montgomery was chosen the first capital of the Confederate States of America, which it remained until the Confederate seat of government moved to Richmond, Virginia, in May of that year. In the middle of the 20th century, Montgomery was a major center of events and protests in the Civil Rights Movement, including the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the Selma to Montgomery marches.
In addition to housing many Alabama government agencies, Montgomery has a large military presence, due to Maxwell Air Force Base; public universities Alabama State University, Troy University (Montgomery campus), and Auburn University at Montgomery; two private post-secondary institutions, Faulkner University and Huntingdon College; high-tech manufacturing, including Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama; and many cultural attractions, such as the Alabama Shakespeare Festival and the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts.
Select the Right Esthetics School near Montgomery AL
Choosing and enrolling in the ideal esthetician program is essential to get the appropriate training to become a licensed cosmetology practitioner. Make sure to ask all the questions that you require in order to feel positive about your decision. Don’t forget to compile all of the responses you receive from the cosmetology school admissions departments, prioritize what matters the most to you, and then use that data to contrast schools. A reasonable beginning in your due diligence process is to make certain that the academy and program you pick are accredited and have impressive reputations within the profession. If you begin with that foundation, and answer the additional questions supplied in this post, 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 start your career as a professional esthetician in Montgomery AL.
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A successful, long-term career in the skincare industry starts with a comprehensive, quality education in the art and science of esthetics. An education in esthetics is also a requirement for licensure in all states except Connecticut, the only state that does not currently license estheticians.