How to Find the Right Esthetician College near Opelika Alabama
Now that you have decided to enter the field of cosmetology and attend an esthetician school near Opelika AL, the task starts to search for and enroll in the ideal program. It’s important that the program you pick not only provides the appropriate training for the specialty you have selected, but also preps you for passing the licensing exam. When you begin your initial search, you might be rather puzzled about the difference between beauty schools and cosmetology schools. Well don’t be, because the titles are pretty much interchangeable and both pertain to the same type of school. We’ll talk a bit further regarding that in the next section. If you intend on commuting to classes you will need to choose a school that is within driving distance of your Opelika residence. Tuition will additionally be a critical factor when evaluating prospective schools. Just bear in mind that because a school is the closest or the lowest cost it’s not automatically the right choice. There are many other considerations that you should evaluate when analyzing schools, for example their reputation and accreditation. We will go over what questions you should ask regarding the cosmetology schools you are thinking about later within this article. Before we do, let’s talk a little bit about what cosmetology is, and what types of courses are offered.
What is Cosmetology
Cosmetology is a profession that is all about making the human anatomy look more attractive with the use of cosmetics. So of course it makes sense that numerous cosmetology schools are referred to as beauty schools. Most of us think of makeup when we hear the word cosmetics, but actually 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 require that you take some kind of specialized training and then become licensed. Once you are licensed, the work environments include not only Opelika AL beauty salons and barber shops, but also such venues as spas, hotels and resorts. Many cosmetologists, after they have acquired experience and a clientele, establish their own shops or salons. Others will start seeing customers either in their own residences or will travel to the client’s house, or both. Cosmetology college graduates are known by many professional names and are employed in a wide range of specialties including:
- Nail Technicians
- Makeup Artists
- Hair Coloring Specialists
- Electrolysis Technicians
As previously stated, in the majority of states working cosmetologists must be licensed. In certain states there is an exemption. Only those conducting more skilled services, for example 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.
Esthetician Degrees and Certificates
There are essentially two avenues offered to get esthetician training and a credential upon completion. You can enroll in a certificate (or diploma) course, or you can work toward an Associate’s degree. Certificate programs usually require 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 trained in each of the main areas of cosmetology. Briefer programs are available if you wish 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 operate a salon or other Opelika AL business. More advanced degrees are not common, but Bachelor and Master’s degree programs are available in such areas as salon or spa management. Whichever type of course you decide on, it’s imperative to make sure that it’s approved by the Alabama Board of Cosmetology. A number of states only recognize schools that are accredited by certain highly regarded agencies, for instance the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS). We will discuss the advantages of accreditation for the school you choose in the next section.
Online Esthetician Training
Online esthetician programs are advantageous for Opelika AL students who are working full time and have family commitments that make it challenging to enroll in a more traditional school. There are many online beauty school programs offered that can be accessed via a home computer or laptop at the student’s convenience. More traditional beauty programs are frequently fast paced since many programs are as short as 6 or 8 months. This means that a considerable amount of time is spent in the classroom. With internet programs, you are dealing with the same amount of material, but you’re not devoting numerous hours away from your home or travelling back and forth from classes. However, it’s vital that the training program you select can provide internship training in area salons and parlors to ensure that you also obtain the hands-on training necessary for a comprehensive education. Without the internship portion of the training, it’s impossible to gain the skills needed to work in any facet of the cosmetology field. So be sure if you choose to enroll in an online program to confirm that internship training is provided in your area.
What to Ask Esthetician Training Classes
Following is a series of questions that you should investigate for any esthetician training program you are contemplating. As we have already discussed, the location of the school in relation to your Opelika home, in addition to the cost of tuition, will undoubtedly be your initial qualifiers. Whether you would like to earn a certificate, diploma or a degree will undoubtedly be next on your list. But once you have narrowed your school choices based on those initial qualifications, there are additional factors that you should research and consider before enrolling in a cosmetology school. Following we have put together several of those supplemental questions that you need to ask every school before making a final selection.
Is the Program Accredited? It’s necessary to make sure that the esthetician school you pick is accredited. The accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged local or national agency, such as the National Accrediting Commission for Cosmetology Arts & Sciences (NACCAS). Schools accredited by the NACCAS must meet their high standards guaranteeing a superior curriculum and education. Accreditation may also be essential for obtaining student loans or financial aid, which frequently are not offered in 36801 for non- accredited schools. It’s also a criteria for licensing in many states that the training be accredited. And as a final benefit, numerous Opelika AL businesses will not hire recent graduates of non-accredited schools, or may look more positively upon those with accredited training.
Does the School have a Good Reputation? Each esthetician school 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 businesses where they have referred their students. Check that the schools have high job placement rates, signifying that their students are highly regarded. Visit rating companies for reviews as well as the school’s accrediting organizations. If you have any contacts with Opelika AL salon owners or managers, or anyone working in the field, ask them if they are acquainted with the schools you are looking at. They may even be able to suggest others that you had not looked into. And last, consult the Alabama school licensing authority to see if there have been any complaints submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
What’s the School’s Specialty? Many esthetician schools offer programs that are broad in nature, focusing on all areas of cosmetology. Others are more focused, providing training in a specific specialty, for instance hairstyling, manicuring or electrolysis. Schools that offer degree programs frequently broaden into a management and marketing curriculum. So it’s imperative that you choose 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 well regarded for that program. If your desire is to start a Opelika AL beauty salon, then you want to enroll in a degree program that will teach you how to be an owner/operator. Selecting a highly rated school with a weak program in the specialty you are pursuing will not deliver the training you need.
Is Any Live Training Provided? Studying and mastering esthetician skills and techniques involves lots of practice on volunteers. Check how much live, hands-on training is furnished in the beauty courses you will be attending. A number of schools have salons on campus that allow students to practice their developing talents on volunteers. If a beauty school offers minimal or no scheduled live training, but rather relies predominantly on using mannequins, it might not be the best alternative for acquiring your skills. So search for other schools that provide this kind of training.
Does the School Provide Job Assistance? As soon as a student graduates from an esthetician school, it’s important that he or she gets help in finding that very first job. Job placement programs are an important part of that process. Schools that provide aid maintain relationships with Opelika AL businesses that are seeking skilled graduates available for hiring. Verify that the programs you are looking at have job placement programs and find out which salons and businesses they refer students to. In addition, find out what their job placement rates are. Higher rates not only affirm that they have wide networks of employers, but that their programs are highly respected as well.
Is Financial Aid Available? Many esthetician schools offer financial aid or student loan assistance for their students. Ask if the schools you are looking at have a financial aid department. Speak with a counselor and find out what student loans or grants you may 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 all of your other qualifications except for expense, do not omit it as an option before you learn what financial aid may be offered.
Attending Esthetician School Near Opelika AL?
Perhaps you live in the Opelika 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.
Opelika (pronounced /ˌoʊpəˈlaɪkə/ OH-pə-LY-kə) is a city in and the county seat of Lee County in the east central part of the State of Alabama. It is a principal city of the Auburn-Opelika Metropolitan Area. According to the 2013 Census Estimate, the population of Opelika was 28,635. The Auburn-Opelika, AL MSA with a population of 150,933 which, along with the Columbus, Georgia metropolitan area and Macon County, Alabama, comprises the Greater Columbus, Georgia, a region home to 501,649 residents.
The first white settlers in the area now known as Opelika arrived in the late 1830s and established a community called Lebanon. After the removal of the native Creek (Muscogee) peoples by federal troops in 1836-37, the area became known as "Opelika." This word taken from the Muskogee language means "large swamp".
In 1848, the Montgomery and West Point Railroad Company extended a rail line from Montgomery, Alabama, to Opelika, and in 1851, completed a connection to West Point, Georgia, thus connecting Opelika with Atlanta, Georgia. This line was the only direct rail route between New Orleans and the Eastern Seaboard. It rapidly became one of the primary trade lines for shipments of raw cotton from Southern plantations to the North. The Montgomery and West Point was soon joined by a rail connection to Columbus, Georgia, in 1855, and a connection to Birmingham, Alabama, in 1869. Almost overnight, Opelika became a regional hub for commerce.
Find the Right Esthetician Training Program near Opelika AL
Picking and enrolling in the ideal esthetician program is essential to get the necessary training to become a licensed cosmetology specialist. Be sure to ask all the questions that you need to so as to feel confident about your decision. Make sure to organize all of the responses you get from the cosmetology school admissions departments, focus on what matters the most to you, and then utilize that data 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 excellent reputations within the field. If you begin with that base, and answer the additional questions presented in this article, you will be able to reduce your list of schools so that you can make the proper selection. Once you graduate and pass your licensing exam, you will be confident that you are qualified to start your career as a professional esthetician in Opelika 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.