Become a Cosmetologist | Cosmetology Schools Helena AL

How to Choose a Cosmetologist School near Helena Alabama

nail technicians training at Helena AL beauty schoolSince you have made a decision to become a cosmetologist and attend a beauty school near Helena AL, the process starts to find and enroll in the ideal school. It’s essential that the school you choose not only furnishes the appropriate instruction for the specialty you have chosen, but also preps you for passing the licensing examination. When you begin your initial search, you might be a little bit confused about the contrast between beauty schools and cosmetology schools. Well don’t be, because the names are essentially interchangeable and both refer to the same kind of school. We’ll talk a little bit more regarding that in the following segment. If you anticipate commuting to classes you will need to locate a school that is within driving distance of your Helena residence. Tuition will also be an important aspect when reviewing possible schools. Just bear in mind that because a school is the closest or the cheapest it’s not always the ideal choice. There are various other qualifications that you should evaluate when analyzing schools, for example their reputation and accreditation. We will go over what questions you should ask about the cosmetology schools you are looking at later within this article. Before we do, let’s discuss a bit about what cosmetology is, and what types of training programs are offered.

Defining Cosmetology

Helena AL makeup ar4tist applying makeupCosmetology is an occupation that is everything about making the human anatomy look more attractive with the use of cosmetics. So naturally it makes sense that a number of cosmetology schools are referred to 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 look of a person’s skin, hair or nails. In order to work as a cosmetologist, most states mandate that you take some type of specialized training and then become licensed. Once you are licensed, the work environments include not only Helena AL beauty salons and barber shops, but also such venues as spas, hotels and resorts. Many cosmetologists, after they have gained experience and a clientele, open their own shops or salons. Others will begin seeing customers either in their own residences or will go to the client’s residence, or both. Cosmetology college graduates go by many professional names and work in a wide range of specialties including:

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

As earlier mentioned, in most states working cosmetologists have to be licensed. In certain states there is an exception. Only those offering more skilled services, such as hairstylists, are required to be licensed. Others employed in cosmetology and less skilled, including shampooers, are not required to get licensed in those states.

Cosmetology Degrees and Certificates

Helena AL hairdresser cutting hairThere are basically two pathways offered to receive cosmetology 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 call for 12 to 18 months to finish, while an Associate’s degree usually takes about 2 years. If you enroll in a certificate program you will be instructed in each of the major areas of cosmetology. Shorter programs are offered if you want to focus on just one area, such as hair coloring. A degree program will also probably incorporate management and marketing training to ensure that graduates are better prepared to operate a parlor or other Helena AL business. Higher degrees are not common, but Bachelor and Master’s degree programs are offered in such specialties as salon or spa management. Whatever type of course you go with, it’s important to make sure that it’s certified by the Alabama Board of Cosmetology. A number of states only certify schools that are accredited by certain respected organizations, for example the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS). We will review the advantages of accreditation for the school you decide on in the next segment.

Online Cosmetologist Programs

student attending cosmetology school online in Helena ALOnline cosmetology classes are accommodating for Helena AL students who are employed full time and have family obligations that make it hard to enroll in a more traditional school. There are numerous online beauty school programs offered that can be attended by means of a desktop computer or laptop at the student’s convenience. More conventional beauty programs are often fast paced since many programs are as short as six or eight months. This means that a substantial portion of time is spent in the classroom. With online courses, you are covering the same amount of material, but you are not devoting numerous hours away from your home or travelling back and forth from classes. On the other hand, it’s imperative that the program you choose can provide internship training in nearby salons and parlors in order that you also obtain the hands-on training necessary for a comprehensive education. Without the internship part of the training, it’s impossible to gain the skills required to work in any facet of the cosmetology field. So be sure if you decide to enroll in an online program to confirm that internship training is provided in your area.

Questions to Ask Beauty Training Programs

Questions to ask Helena AL beauty schoolsBelow is a series of questions that you need to research for any cosmetology training school you are contemplating. As we have previously covered, the location of the school relative to your Helena AL residence, together with the price of tuition, will probably be your first qualifiers. Whether you wish to pursue a certificate, diploma or a degree will no doubt be next on your list. But once you have reduced your school options based on those initial qualifications, there are even more factors that you need to research and take into consideration before enrolling in a cosmetology program. Below we have collected several of those additional questions that you should ask every school before making a final selection.

Is the Program 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 recognized local or national organization, such as the National Accrediting Commission for Cosmetology Arts & Sciences (NACCAS). Programs accredited by the NACCAS must meet their high standards assuring a superior curriculum and education. Accreditation may also be necessary for getting student loans or financial aid, which often are not offered in 35080 for non- accredited schools. It’s also a requirement for licensing in some states that the training be accredited. And as a final benefit, numerous Helena 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 a Great Reputation?  Each beauty college that you are seriously evaluating should have a good to excellent reputation within the profession. Being accredited is an excellent beginning. Next, ask the schools for testimonials from their network of employers where they have referred their students. Confirm that the schools have high job placement rates, attesting that their students are highly demanded. Visit rating companies for reviews in addition to the school’s accrediting organizations. If you have any relationships with Helena AL salon owners or managers, or anyone working in the trade, ask them if they are acquainted with the schools you are considering. They may even be able to recommend others that you had not looked into. Finally, consult the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there have been any grievances filed or if the schools are in complete compliance.

What’s the School’s Specialty?  Many beauty schools offer programs that are broad in nature, focusing on all areas of cosmetology. Others are more focused, providing training in a particular specialty, for example hairstyling, manicuring or electrolysis. Schools that offer degree programs often broaden into a management and marketing curriculum. So it’s important that you choose a school that focuses on your area of interest. If your objective is to be trained as an esthetician, make certain that the school you enroll in is accredited and well regarded for that program. If your dream is to start a hair salon in Helena AL, then you need to enroll in a degree program that will teach you how to be an owner/operator. Choosing a highly regarded school with a poor program in the specialty you are seeking will not provide the training you need.

Is Enough Hands-On Training Provided?  Practicing and refining cosmetology techniques and abilities demands lots of practice on volunteers. Ask how much live, hands-on training is provided in the beauty courses you will be attending. A number of schools have salons on site that enable students to practice their growing talents on volunteers. If a beauty school offers limited or no scheduled live training, but instead relies heavily on utilizing mannequins, it may not be the most effective alternative for cultivating your skills. So try to find alternate schools that provide this type of training.

Does the School have a Job Placement Program?  When a student graduates from a cosmetology program, it’s crucial that she or he receives assistance in landing that very first job. Job placement programs are an important part of that process. Schools that provide aid develope relationships with Helena AL businesses that are looking for qualified graduates available for hiring. Verify that the schools you are considering have job placement programs and ask which salons and establishments they refer students to. Additionally, ask what their job placement rates are. High rates not only verify that they have broad networks of employers, but that their programs are highly regarded as well.

Is Financial Aid Available?  Most cosmetology 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 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 available to students as well. If a school fulfills all of your other qualifications with the exception of cost, do not omit it as an alternative before you find out what financial aid may be available.

Enrolled in Cosmetology School near Helena AL?

If you have decided to attend Beauty School in the greater Helena AL area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.

Helena, Alabama

Helena (pronunciation hel-LE-nah) is a city in Jefferson and Shelby Counties in the state of Alabama. Helena is considered a suburb of Birmingham and part of the Birmingham-Hoover Metropolitan Area. As of the 2010 census, the population was 16,793. Helena is highly regarded as a place to live and raise children; Business Week named Helena the 13th "Best Place to Raise Your Kids" in 2007.[4] It has the eighth-lowest crime rate per population in the U.S., and the city was ranked in Money magazine's 2007 list of "Best Places to Live: Top 100" in the U.S., placing at number 91.[5] The Alabama League of Municipalities awarded Helena the 2008 Municipal Achievement Award (population 10,001 to 20,000).[6]

Helena initially incorporated in 1877, but reincorporated in 1917 after errors were discovered in the initial incorporation papers.[7] It did not first appear on the U.S. Census until 1920, giving credence to the later date of incorporation.

The initial settlers to Helena, initially named Cove, were veterans of the final campaigns of the War of 1812. Members of Andrew Jackson's army who cut through the brush were attracted to the quiet, peaceful valleys and streams after the Battle of Horseshoe Bend. These first settlers were reported to arrive in 1849 and were predated by the Creek Indian tribes who these settlers had battled. By 1856, the Cove post office opened. Shortly thereafter, the settlers changed the name of the town to Hillsboro.

Pick the Right Cosmetologist College near Helena AL

Helena AL barber blow drying client's hairChoosing and enrolling in the right cosmetology college is important to obtain the necessary training to become a licensed cosmetology technician. Be sure to ask all the questions that you need to in order to feel confident about your decision. Don’t forget to organize all of the information you receive from the cosmetology school admissions departments, prioritize what matters the most to you, and then utilize that information to contrast schools. A good start in your due diligence process is to make certain that the institution and program you decide on are accredited and have exceptional reputations within the profession. If you begin with that foundation, and address the additional questions provided in this article, you will be able to filter your list of schools so that you can make the ideal choice. Once 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 Helena AL.

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