How to Become an Esthetician | Esthetician Schools Alton IL

How to Choose an Esthetics School near Alton Illinois

Alton IL esthetician client with cucumber facialNow that you have made a decision to enter the field of cosmetology and enroll in an esthetician school near Alton IL, the process begins to search for and enroll in the right program. It’s imperative that the school you select not only furnishes the proper training 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 confused about the distinction between beauty schools and cosmetology schools. Well don’t be, because the titles are pretty much interchangeable and both pertain to the same kind of school. We’ll speak a little bit further regarding that in the next section. If you plan on commuting to classes you will want to find a school that is within driving distance of your Alton residence. Tuition will also be an important aspect when evaluating possible schools. Just remember that because a school is the nearest or the cheapest it’s not always the best choice. There are various other factors that you should weigh when analyzing 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 bit about what cosmetology is, and what types of training programs are available.

Defining Cosmetology

esthetics facial toners Alton ILCosmetology is a profession that is all about making the human body look more beautiful with 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 really a cosmetic may be almost anything that enhances the appearance of a person’s skin, hair or nails. In order to work as a cosmetologist, the majority of states require that you take some form of specialized training and then become licensed. Once you are licensed, the work environments include not only Alton IL 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, establish their own shops or salons. Others will start seeing customers either in their own homes or will go to the client’s residence, or both. Cosmetology college graduates are known by many professional names and work in a wide variety of specialties including:

  • Estheticians
  • Hairdressers
  • Hairstylists
  • Beauticians
  • Barbers
  • Manicurists
  • Nail Technicians
  • Makeup Artists
  • Hair Coloring Specialists
  • Electrolysis Technicians

As previously mentioned, in the majority of states working cosmetologists must be licensed. In some states there is an exemption. Only those conducting more skilled services, for instance hairstylists, are required to be licensed. Others working in cosmetology and less skilled, such as shampooers, are not required to become licensed in those states.

Esthetician Certificates and Degrees

Alton IL esthetician client with face maskThere are basically two options available to receive 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 ordinarily takes about 2 years. If you enroll in a certificate program you will be instructed in all of the main areas of cosmetology. Briefer programs are offered if you want to concentrate on just one area, such as esthetics. A degree program will also probably incorporate management and marketing training so that graduates are better prepared to run a parlor or other Alton IL business. More advanced degrees are not common, but Bachelor and Master’s degree programs are available in such specializations as salon or spa management. Whatever type of program you opt for, it’s essential to make sure that it’s recognized by the Illinois Board of Cosmetology. Many states only recognize schools that are accredited by certain reputable organizations, for instance the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS). We will review the benefits of accreditation for the school you decide on in the next section.

Online Esthetician Courses

woman attending esthetician school online in Alton ILOnline esthetician programs are accommodating for Alton IL students who are working full-time and have family responsibilities that make it hard to enroll in a more traditional school. There are a large number of online beauty school programs available that can be accessed through a home computer or laptop at the student’s convenience. More conventional cosmetology schools are frequently fast paced due to the fact that many courses are as short as six or eight months. This means that a substantial amount of time is spent in the classroom. With online programs, you are dealing with the same amount of material, but you are not spending numerous hours outside of your home or commuting to and from classes. On the other hand, it’s vital that the training program you select can provide internship training in nearby salons and parlors so that you also receive the hands-on training needed for a comprehensive education. Without the internship part of the training, it’s difficult to gain the skills necessary to work in any area of the cosmetology industry. So be sure if you choose to enroll in an online program to confirm that internship training is available in your area.

What to Ask Esthetics Programs

Alton IL models benefit from esthetic treatmentsFollowing 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 relative to your Alton home, as well as the price of tuition, will undoubtedly be your initial qualifiers. Whether you want to earn a certificate, diploma or a degree will undoubtedly be next on your list. But once you have reduced your school choices based on those preliminary qualifications, there are additional factors that you need to research and take into consideration before enrolling in a cosmetology program. Below we have collected some of those additional questions that you need to ask every school before making a final selection.

Is the School Accredited? It’s important to make sure that the esthetician school you choose 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). Schools accredited by the NACCAS must comply with their high standards assuring a quality curriculum and education. Accreditation may also be important for obtaining student loans or financial aid, which often are not available in 62002 for non- accredited schools. It’s also a criteria for licensing in some states that the training be accredited. And as a concluding benefit, a number of Alton IL employers will not recruit recent graduates of non-accredited schools, or may look more favorably upon those with accredited training.

Does the School have a Great Reputation?  Every esthetician institute that you are seriously considering should have a good to exceptional reputation within the profession. Being accredited is a good 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, attesting that their students are highly regarded. Visit rating companies for reviews together with the school’s accrediting organizations. If you have any contacts with Alton IL salon owners or managers, or someone working in the field, ask them if they are acquainted with the schools you are reviewing. They may even be able to recommend others that you had not thought of. Finally, check with the Illinois school licensing authority to see if there have been any grievances submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.

What’s the School’s Focus?  A number of esthetician schools offer programs that are broad in nature, focusing on all facets of cosmetology. Others are more focused, providing training in a specific specialty, for instance hairstyling, manicuring or electrolysis. Schools that offer degree programs often expand into a management and marketing curriculum. So it’s essential that you enroll in a school that focuses on 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 aspiration is to open a Alton IL 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 need.

Is Enough Hands-On Training Provided?  Studying and mastering esthetician skills and techniques involves lots of practice on people. Find out how much live, hands-on training is furnished in the cosmetology courses you will be attending. A number of schools have salons on site that make it possible for students to practice their growing skills on volunteers. If a beauty academy furnishes little or no scheduled live training, but rather relies mainly on the use of mannequins, it might not be the best option for cultivating your skills. Therefore try to find other schools that provide this kind of training.

Does the School Provide Job Assistance?  Once a student graduates from an esthetician program, it’s crucial that she or he receives aid in finding that very first job. Job placement programs are an important part of that process. Schools that provide assistance develop relationships with Alton IL employers that are seeking qualified graduates available for hiring. Confirm that the schools you are looking at have job placement programs and find out which salons and businesses they refer students to. Additionally, ask what their job placement rates are. Higher rates not only confirm that they have extensive networks of employers, but that their programs are highly respected as well.

Is Financial Assistance Offered?  Almost all esthetician schools offer financial aid or student loan assistance for their students. Check if the schools you are looking at have a financial aid department. Speak with a counselor and learn 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 available to students as well. If a school meets each of your other qualifications except for cost, do not omit it as an option before you learn what financial help may be provided.

Attending Esthetician School Near Alton IL?

Perhaps you live in the Alton Illinois 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.

Alton, Illinois

Alton is a city on the Mississippi River in Madison County, Illinois, United States, about 15 miles (24 km) north of St. Louis, Missouri. The population was 27,865 at the 2010 census. It is a part of the Metro-East region of the Greater St. Louis metropolitan area. It is famous for its limestone bluffs along the river north of the city, for its role preceding and during the American Civil War, and as the home town of jazz musician Miles Davis and Robert Wadlow, the tallest known person in history. It was the site of the last Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas debate in October 1858. The former state penitentiary in Alton was used during the Civil War to hold up to 12,000 Confederate prisoners of war.

Although Alton once was growing faster than its sister city of St. Louis, a coalition of St. Louis businessmen planned to build a competing town to stop its expansion and bring business to St. Louis. The result was Grafton, Illinois.

Many blocks of housing in Alton were built in the Victorian Queen Anne style; they represent a prosperous period in the river city's history. At the top of the hill in the commercial area, several stone churches and a fine city hall also represent the city's wealth during its good times based on river traffic, manufacturing and shipping. It was a commercial center for a large agricultural area. Numerous residences on hills have sweeping views of the Mississippi River.

Find the Right Esthetics Vocational School near Alton IL

Locating and enrolling in the ideal esthetician school is important to obtain the necessary training to become a licensed cosmetology technician. Make sure to ask all the questions that you require in order to feel positive about your decision. Make sure to organize all of the information you receive from the beauty school admissions departments, prioritize what matters the most to you, and then employ that information to compare schools. A good start in your due diligence procedure is to make certain that the school and program you choose are accredited and have exceptional reputations within the profession. If you begin with that base, and address the additional questions supplied in this post, you will be able to narrow down your list of schools so that you can make the ideal choice. And when you graduate and pass your licensing exam, you will be confident that you are ready to start your career as a professional esthetician in Alton IL.

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