How to Choose a Cosmetology College near Sterling Alaska
Now that you have made a decision to train as a cosmetologist and attend a beauty school near Sterling AK, the task begins to search for and enroll in the right school. It’s important that the program you choose not only provides the proper education for the specialty you have decided on, but also readies you for passing the licensing examination. When you begin your initial search, you may be rather unclear about the difference between beauty schools and cosmetology schools. Well don’t be, because the names are basically interchangeable and both refer to the same type of school. We’ll talk a bit more concerning that in the next section. If you intend on commuting to classes you will need to locate a school that is within driving distance of your Sterling residence. Tuition will also be a critical consideration when reviewing prospective schools. Just keep in mind that because a school is the closest or the lowest cost it’s not always the best choice. There are several other considerations that you should evaluate when reviewing schools, for example their reputation and accreditation. We will examine what questions you should ask regarding the cosmetology schools you are looking at later in this article. Before we do, let’s talk a bit about what cosmetology is, and what types of programs are available.
What is Cosmetology
Cosmetology is a profession that is all about making the human body look more beautiful through the use of cosmetics. So of course it makes sense that many cosmetology schools are regarded as beauty schools. Many of us think of makeup when we hear the word cosmetics, but really a cosmetic may be almost anything that enhances the look of a person’s skin, hair or nails. If you want to work as a cosmetologist, most states require that you undergo some kind of specialized training and then become licensed. Once you are licensed, the work settings include not only Sterling AK beauty salons and barber shops, but also such businesses as spas, hotels and resorts. Many cosmetologists, after they have gained 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 have many titles 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 have to be licensed. In a few states there is an exemption. Only those performing more skilled services, such as hairstylists, are required to be licensed. Other people employed in cosmetology and less skilled, such as shampooers, are not required to be licensed in those states.
Cosmetology Degrees and Certificates
There are essentially two pathways offered to get cosmetology 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 call for 12 to 18 months to complete, while an Associate’s degree ordinarily takes about 2 years. If you enroll in a certificate program you will be trained in each of the major areas of cosmetology. Shorter programs are offered if you want to specialize in just one area, such as hair coloring. A degree program will also most likely incorporate management and marketing training to ensure that graduates are better prepared to manage a salon or other Sterling AK business. Higher degrees are not common, but Bachelor and Master’s degree programs are available in such areas as salon or spa management. Whichever type of program you opt for, it’s important to make certain that it’s certified by the Alaska Board of Cosmetology. A number of states only recognize schools that are accredited by certain reputable agencies, for instance the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS). We will cover the benefits of accreditation for the school you choose in the next section.
Online Cosmetologist Programs
Online cosmetology schools are advantageous for Sterling AK students who are employed full-time and have family responsibilities that make it difficult to enroll in a more traditional school. There are many online cosmetology school programs available that can be accessed by means of a desktop computer or laptop at the student’s convenience. More traditional beauty programs are often fast paced since many courses are as brief as six or eight months. This means that a substantial portion of time is spent in the classroom. With internet programs, you are covering the same amount of material, but you’re not spending numerous hours away from your home or driving to and from classes. However, it’s essential that the school you choose can provide internship training in local salons and parlors to ensure that you also get the hands-on training necessary for a complete education. Without the internship part of the training, it’s impossible to gain the skills required to work in any facet of the cosmetology profession. So make sure if you decide to enroll in an online program to confirm that internship training is provided in your area.
What to Ask Cosmetology Degree Programs
Following is a series of questions that you should research for any cosmetologist training program you are contemplating. As we have already covered, the location of the school in relation to your Sterling AK home, together with the cost of tuition, will most likely be your primary qualifiers. Whether you would like to earn a certificate, diploma or a degree will undoubtedly be next on your list. But once you have reduced your school options based on those preliminary qualifications, there are additional factors that you should research and consider before enrolling in a cosmetology program. Below we have collected some of those additional questions that you should ask every school before making a final selection.
Is the School Accredited? It’s necessary to make certain that the cosmetology school you choose is accredited. The accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged local or national organization, such as the National Accrediting Commission for Cosmetology Arts & Sciences (NACCAS). Schools accredited by the NACCAS must measure up to their high standards guaranteeing a quality curriculum and education. Accreditation may also be essential for securing student loans or financial aid, which frequently are not offered in 99672 for non- accredited schools. It’s also a criteria for licensing in several states that the training be accredited. And as a concluding benefit, many Sterling AK businesses 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? Any cosmetologist college that you are seriously evaluating should have a good to outstanding reputation within the profession. Being accredited is an excellent starting point. Next, ask the schools for endorsements from their network of businesses where they have referred their students. Verify that the schools have high job placement rates, attesting that their students are highly sought after. Check rating services for reviews along with the school’s accrediting agencies. If you have any contacts with Sterling AK salon owners or managers, or someone working in the business, ask them if they are acquainted with the schools you are looking at. They may even be able to recommend others that you had not looked into. Finally, check with the Alaska school licensing authority to find out if there have been any complaints submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
What’s the School’s Specialty? Many beauty schools offer programs that are comprehensive in nature, concentrating on all facets of cosmetology. Others are more focused, offering training in a particular specialty, for example 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 goal 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 start a hair salon in Sterling AK, then you want to enroll in a degree program that will teach you how to be an owner/operator. Choosing a highly ranked school with a weak program in the specialty you are pursuing will not deliver the training you need.
Is Any Hands-On Training Provided? Learning and mastering cosmetology techniques and abilities demands lots of practice on people. Check how much live, hands-on training is included in the cosmetology lessons you will be attending. Some schools have salons on site that enable students to practice their growing skills on real people. If a beauty academy offers limited or no scheduled live training, but instead relies mainly on the use of mannequins, it may not be the best option for cultivating your skills. So search for alternate schools that offer this kind of training.
Does the School have a Job Placement Program? As soon as a student graduates from a beauty school, it’s imperative that he or she receives assistance in finding that very first job. Job placement programs are an integral part of that process. Schools that provide help develope relationships with Sterling AK employers that are searching for qualified graduates available for hiring. Check that the schools you are looking at have job placement programs and inquire which salons and establishments they refer students to. Also, find out what their job placement rates are. High rates not only affirm that they have broad networks of employers, but that their programs are highly regarded as well.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Most cosmetology schools provide financial aid or student loan assistance for their students. Check if the schools you are investigating have a financial aid office. Consult with a counselor and learn what student loans or grants you may qualify for. If the school is a member of the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS), it will have scholarships offered to students too. If a school fulfills all of your other qualifications except for cost, do not eliminate it as an option before you find out what financial assistance may be provided.
Enrolled in Cosmetology School near Sterling AK?
If you have decided to attend Beauty School in the greater Sterling AK area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.
Sterling is located on the western side of the Kenai Peninsula at 60°31′47″N 150°47′52″W / 60.52972°N 150.79778°W / 60.52972; -150.79778 (60.529635, -150.797887). It is bordered to the west by Ridgeway, to the southwest by Soldotna, and to the south by Funny River. Soldotna Creek forms the western boundary of the community, and the Kenai River forms the southern boundary.
Alaska Route 1, the Sterling Highway, runs through the community, leading southwest 11 miles (18 km) to the center of Soldotna and east 34 miles (55 km) to Cooper Landing at the outlet of Kenai Lake. The city of Kenai is 22 miles (35 km) to the west via Soldotna.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the Sterling CDP has a total area of 79.7 square miles (206.3 km2), of which 77.8 square miles (201.4 km2) are land and 1.9 square miles (4.9 km2), or 2.36%, are water.
Choose the Right Cosmetologist College near Sterling AK
Finding and enrolling in the ideal beauty program is imperative to get the appropriate training to become a licensed cosmetology professional. Be sure to ask all the questions that you require so as to feel certain about your decision. Make certain to organize all of the information you get from the cosmetology school admissions departments, focus on what matters the most to you, and then use that data to compare schools. A sensible beginning in your due diligence process is to make sure that the school and program you pick are accredited and have impressive reputations within the field. If you begin with that base, and address the additional questions supplied in this article, you will be able to narrow down your list of schools so that you can make the right selection. And when you graduate and pass your licensing test, you will be confident that you are prepared to start your new career as a professional cosmetologist in Sterling AK.
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