How to Pick an Esthetician School near Sheffield Alabama
Now that you have made a decision to enter the field of cosmetology and attend an esthetician school near Sheffield AL, the task begins to find and enroll in the ideal program. It’s important that the school you pick not only provides the necessary training for the specialty you have decided on, but also prepares you for passing the licensing examination. When you begin your initial search, you might be somewhat confused about the difference between beauty schools and cosmetology schools. Well don’t be, because the names are pretty much interchangeable and both relate to the same type of school. We’ll speak a bit further regarding that in the upcoming segment. If you anticipate commuting to classes you will need to locate a school that is within driving distance of your Sheffield home. Tuition will additionally be a critical aspect when evaluating possible schools. Just remember that because a school is the nearest or the lowest cost it’s not automatically the ideal option. There are a number of other considerations that you should weigh when comparing schools, for example their reputation and accreditation. We will examine what questions you should ask concerning the cosmetology schools you are considering later within this article. Before we do, let’s discuss a bit about what cosmetology is, and what kinds of courses are offered.
What is Cosmetology
Cosmetology is an occupation that is everything about making the human anatomy look more beautiful through the use of cosmetics. So naturally it makes sense that a number of cosmetology schools are regarded as beauty schools. Most of us think of makeup when we hear the word cosmetics, but basically a cosmetic may be anything that enhances the look of a person’s skin, hair or nails. If you want to work as a cosmetologist, most states mandate that you undergo some type of specialized training and then be licensed. Once licensed, the work settings include not only Sheffield AL beauty salons and barber shops, but also such venues as spas, hotels and resorts. Many cosmetologists, after they have gotten experience and a clientele, open their own shops or salons. Others will start servicing clients either in their own homes or will go to the client’s home, or both. Cosmetology college graduates are known by many names and work in a wide variety of specialties including:
- Nail Technicians
- Makeup Artists
- Hair Coloring Specialists
- Electrolysis Technicians
As already stated, in the majority of states practicing cosmetologists must be licensed. In certain states there is an exception. Only those conducting 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 become licensed in those states.
Esthetician Degrees and Certificates
There are basically two avenues offered to obtain esthetician training and a credential after completion. You can enroll in a certificate (or diploma) course, or you can pursue an Associate’s degree. Certificate programs typically 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 instructed in each of the major areas of cosmetology. Briefer programs are offered if you prefer to specialize in just one area, for example 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 Sheffield AL business. More advanced degrees are not prevalent, but Bachelor and Master’s degree programs are offered in such areas as salon or spa management. Whatever type of training program you go with, it’s imperative to make certain that it’s approved by the Alabama Board of Cosmetology. Many states only approve schools that are accredited by certain reputable agencies, including the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS). We will review the advantages of accreditation for the school you select in the next segment.
Online Esthetics Schools
Online esthetician schools are convenient for Sheffield AL students who are employed full-time and have family obligations that make it difficult to attend a more traditional school. There are numerous web-based cosmetology school programs offered that can be accessed by means of a home computer or laptop at the student’s convenience. More traditional cosmetology programs are typically fast paced given that many courses are as short as six or eight months. This means that a considerable amount of time is spent in the classroom. With internet programs, you are covering the same amount of material, but you are not spending many hours away from your home or travelling back and forth from classes. On the other hand, it’s vital that the program you pick can provide internship training in area salons and parlors in order that you also get the hands-on training needed for a complete education. Without the internship portion of the training, it’s difficult to acquire the skills required to work in any area of the cosmetology field. So don’t forget if you choose to enroll in an online school to verify that internship training is provided in your area.
Questions to Ask Esthetician Degree Programs
Following is a series of questions that you need to investigate for any esthetician training school you are considering. As we have already discussed, the location of the school relative to your Sheffield residence, in addition to the expense of tuition, will undoubtedly be your initial qualifiers. Whether you wish 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 initial qualifications, there are even more factors that you must research and consider before enrolling in a cosmetology program. Below we have put together several of those additional questions that you need to ask each school before making a final determination.
Is the School Accredited? It’s important to make sure that the esthetician training program you select 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 comply with their high standards guaranteeing a superior curriculum and education. Accreditation may also be necessary for acquiring student loans or financial aid, which often are not obtainable in 35660 for non- accredited schools. It’s also a requirement for licensing in some states that the training be accredited. And as a final benefit, many Sheffield AL employers will not hire recent graduates of non-accredited schools, or may look more positively upon those with accredited training.
Does the School have a Great Reputation? Every esthetician institute that you are seriously evaluating should have a good to excellent reputation within the industry. Being accredited is a good starting point. Next, ask the schools for testimonials from their network of businesses where they have referred their students. Verify that the schools have high job placement rates, showing that their students are highly demanded. Check rating services for reviews along with the school’s accrediting agencies. If you have any contacts with Sheffield AL salon owners or managers, or any person working in the business, ask them if they are familiar with the schools you are reviewing. They might even be able to propose others that you had not looked into. And finally, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to see if there have been any grievances filed or if the schools are in complete compliance.
What’s the School’s Specialty? Many 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, such as hairstyling, manicuring or electrolysis. Schools that offer degree programs typically broaden into a management and marketing curriculum. So it’s essential that you pick 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 dream is to start a Sheffield AL beauty salon, then you need to enroll in a degree program that will instruct you how to be an owner/operator. Picking a highly regarded school with a weak program in the specialty you are seeking will not deliver the training you require.
Is Plenty of Live Training Provided? Studying and refining esthetician techniques and abilities requires plenty of practice on volunteers. Check how much live, hands-on training is included in the cosmetology classes you will be attending. A number of schools have salons on campus that enable students to practice their growing skills on volunteers. If a beauty program offers limited or no scheduled live training, but rather relies heavily on the use of mannequins, it may not be the most effective alternative for acquiring your skills. So try to find alternate schools that provide this kind of training.
Does the School have a Job Placement Program? When a student graduates from an esthetician program, it’s imperative that he or she receives assistance in finding that first job. Job placement programs are an integral part of that process. Schools that provide aid maintain relationships with Sheffield AL employers that are looking for trained graduates available for hiring. Verify that the schools you are looking at have job placement programs and inquire which salons and organizations they refer students to. Additionally, ask what their job placement rates are. Higher rates not only confirm that they have wide networks of employers, but that their programs are highly respected as well.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? The majority of esthetician schools provide financial aid or student loan assistance for their students. Check if the schools you are looking at have a financial aid office. Speak with a counselor and find out what student loans or grants you might get approved for. If the school is a member of the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS), it will have scholarships available to students as well. If a school meets all of your other qualifications except for cost, do not drop it as an option before you learn what financial assistance may be available.
Attending Esthetician School Near Sheffield AL?
Perhaps you live in the Sheffield 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.
Sheffield is a city in Colbert County, Alabama, United States, and is included in the Shoals metropolitan area. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city was 9,039. Sheffield is the birthplace of "country-soul pioneer" and songwriter Arthur Alexander, French horn player Willie Ruff, notable attorney, actor, former senator and presidential contender Fred Thompson, Watergate committee U.S. Senator Howell Heflin and U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell, whose father was working in nearby Athens when he was born. It sometimes is referred to as "the City of Senators" due to the births of Heflin, McConnell and Thompson within its borders. Col. Harland Sanders worked in the Sheffield depot for Southern Railway in the 1900s. It is also home to the Muscle Shoals Sound Studio where many popular 20th century musicians recorded their work, including Alexander and Ruff. It is the site of historic Helen Keller Hospital, formerly known as Colbert County Hospital and originally constructed in 1921. It was changed to Helen Keller Hospital in 1979, and Keller's birthplace Ivy Green is located less than one mile southwest of the hospital in adjacent Tuscumbia.
Sheffield is located in eastern Colbert County at 34°45′35″N 87°41′41″W / 34.75972°N 87.69472°W / 34.75972; -87.69472 (34.759721, -87.694592), on the south bank of the Tennessee River. Sheffield is bordered to the south by the city of Tuscumbia, to the southeast by Muscle Shoals, and to the north, across the river, by Florence.
Sheffield was one of the Colbert County sites of embarkation by riverboat and barge on the Tennessee River during the forced relocation of Eastern and Southern United States Indian tribes, known as the Trail of Tears. The embarkation site was at what is now the Spring Creek boat launch and park area.
Pick the Right Esthetician Program near Sheffield AL
Picking and enrolling in the ideal esthetician college is essential to obtain the proper training to become a licensed cosmetology professional. Make sure to ask all the questions that you require so as to feel confident about your decision. Make certain to consolidate all of the responses you receive from the cosmetology school admissions departments, focus on what matters the most to you, and then utilize that data to contrast schools. A good start in your due diligence procedure is to make sure that the institution and program you decide on are accredited and have outstanding reputations within the profession. If you begin with that base, and answer the additional questions presented 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 new career as a professional esthetician in Sheffield 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.