Become a Cosmetologist | Cosmetology Schools Leeds AL

How to Find the Right Cosmetology College near Leeds Alabama

nail technicians training at Leeds AL beauty schoolNow that you have made a decision to train as a cosmetologist and attend a beauty school near Leeds AL, the process starts to search for and enroll in the ideal school. It’s imperative that the school you choose not only provides the necessary instruction for the specialty you have chosen, but also readies you for passing the licensing examination. When you begin your initial search, you might 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 refer to the same type of school. We’ll talk a bit more about that in the next segment. If you plan on commuting to classes you will want to choose a school that is within driving distance of your Leeds residence. Tuition will likewise be a critical aspect when reviewing potential schools. Just remember that because a school is the closest or the least expensive it’s not necessarily the right choice. There are many other considerations that you should evaluate when reviewing schools, for example their reputation and accreditation. We will go over what questions you should ask about the cosmetology schools you are considering later in this article. Before we do, let’s discuss a little bit about what cosmetology is, and what types of training programs are offered.

Defining Cosmetology

Leeds AL makeup ar4tist applying makeupCosmetology is a profession that is all about making the human anatomy look more beautiful through the use of cosmetics. So naturally it makes sense that numerous cosmetology schools are described as beauty schools. Many of us think of makeup when we hear the term cosmetics, but actually a cosmetic can be anything that enhances the appearance of a person’s skin, hair or nails. In order to work as a cosmetologist, most states mandate that you take some form of specialized training and then become licensed. Once licensed, the work environments include not only Leeds AL beauty salons and barber shops, but also such places as spas, hotels and resorts. Many cosmetologists, after they have gained experience and a client base, establish their own shops or salons. Others will begin servicing clients either in their own residences or will travel to the client’s residence, or both. Cosmetology college graduates go by many names and are employed in a wide variety of specialties including:

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

As previously mentioned, in most states working cosmetologists must be licensed. In some states there is an exception. Only those performing more skilled services, such as hairstylists, are required to be licensed. Other people employed in cosmetology and less skilled, which include shampooers, are not required to get licensed in those states.

Cosmetologist Degrees and Certificates

Leeds AL hairdresser cutting hairThere are basically two options offered to obtain cosmetology training and a credential after completion. You can enroll in a certificate (or diploma) program, or you can pursue an Associate’s degree. Certificate programs usually call for 12 to 18 months to complete, while an Associate’s degree commonly takes about 2 years. If you enroll in a certificate program you will be trained in all of the major areas of cosmetology. Shorter programs are offered if you prefer to focus on just one area, for instance hair coloring. A degree program will also probably include management and marketing training in order that graduates are better prepared to manage a parlor or other Leeds AL business. Higher degrees are not prevalent, but Bachelor and Master’s degree programs are offered in such specializations as salon or spa management. Whatever type of course you opt for, it’s essential to make sure that it’s certified by the Alabama Board of Cosmetology. Numerous states only certify schools that are accredited by certain reputable agencies, such as the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS). We will discuss the benefits of accreditation for the school you select in the next segment.

Online Cosmetology Schools

student attending cosmetology school online in Leeds ALOnline cosmetology programs are convenient for Leeds AL students who are employed full time and have family obligations that make it challenging to attend a more traditional school. There are a large number of online cosmetology school programs offered that can be attended via a desktop computer or laptop at the student’s convenience. More traditional beauty schools are typically fast paced because many courses are as short as 6 or 8 months. This means that a large portion of time is spent in the classroom. With online courses, you are covering the same amount of material, but you’re not spending many hours away from your home or driving to and from classes. On the other hand, it’s important that the school you select can provide internship training in local salons and parlors to ensure that you also obtain the hands-on training needed for a complete education. Without the internship part of the training, it’s difficult to acquire the skills required to work in any area of the cosmetology field. So make sure if you choose to enroll in an online program to confirm that internship training is provided in your area.

What to Ask Beauty Training Classes

Questions to ask Leeds AL beauty schoolsBelow is a list of questions that you need to look into for any cosmetologist training program you are contemplating. As we have previously covered, the location of the school relative to your Leeds AL residence, in addition to the price of tuition, will probably be your first qualifiers. Whether you would like to earn a certificate, diploma or a degree will probably be next on your list. But once you have narrowed your school choices 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. Following we have put together several of those additional questions that you should ask each school before making a final selection.

Is the Program Accredited? It’s necessary to make sure that the cosmetology training program you enroll in 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 measure up to their high standards ensuring a superior curriculum and education. Accreditation may also be essential for securing student loans or financial aid, which typically are not obtainable in 35094 for non- accredited schools. It’s also a criteria for licensing in many states that the training be accredited. And as a final benefit, a number of Leeds AL employers will not hire recent graduates of non-accredited schools, or might look more favorably upon those with accredited training.

Does the School have an Excellent Reputation?  Any cosmetology college that you are seriously considering should have a good to outstanding reputation within the industry. Being accredited is a good beginning. Next, ask the schools for references from their network of businesses where they have referred their students. Verify that the schools have high job placement rates, signifying that their students are highly regarded. Check rating companies for reviews together with the school’s accrediting organizations. If you have any relationships with Leeds AL salon owners or managers, or anyone working in the business, ask them if they are familiar with the schools you are considering. They might even be able to recommend others that you had not thought of. And last, consult the Alabama school licensing authority to see if there have been any complaints filed or if the schools are in complete compliance.

What’s the School’s Focus?  Many beauty schools offer programs that are expansive in nature, concentrating 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 commonly expand into a management and marketing curriculum. So it’s important that you select 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 respected for that program. If your desire is to start a hair salon in Leeds 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 pursuing will not provide the training you need.

Is Plenty of Live Training Provided?  Practicing and perfecting cosmetology skills and techniques requires lots of practice on people. Ask how much live, hands-on training is included in the beauty courses you will be attending. Some schools have salons on site that enable students to practice their growing skills on volunteers. If a beauty school offers minimal or no scheduled live training, but rather relies predominantly on utilizing mannequins, it may not be the most effective option for cultivating your skills. Therefore look for alternate schools that provide this kind of training.

Does the School Provide Job Assistance?  As soon as a student graduates from a cosmetology academy, it’s imperative that she or he receives assistance in finding that very first job. Job placement programs are an important part of that process. Schools that provide aid maintain relationships with Leeds AL businesses that are seeking trained graduates available for hiring. Check that the programs you are looking at have job placement programs and inquire which salons and establishments they refer students to. In addition, find out 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 Assistance Available?  Most beauty schools offer financial aid or student loan assistance for their students. Find out if the schools you are looking at have a financial aid department. Talk to a counselor and learn 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 offered to students as well. If a school meets all of your other qualifications except for expense, do not omit it as an alternative before you determine what financial assistance may be available.

Enrolled in Cosmetology School near Leeds AL?

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

Leeds, Alabama

Leeds is a tri-county municipality located in Jefferson, St. Clair, and Shelby counties in the State of Alabama and is an eastern suburb of Birmingham. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city was 11,773.

The War of 1812, geography, geology, and three cultures shaped the history of Leeds. Lying at the crossroads of desecrated ancient Native-American paths in the center of Alabama, Leeds drew European and African-American settlers to a land of fertile growing seasons and rich sources of coal and mineral ore. The early settlers built churches and schools with many remaining in Cedar Grove, Oak Ridge, Ohanafeefee and Mt. Pleasant. The principal survey of Leeds was entered into Jefferson County Map Book 10, page 21, in 1908. The settlement, dating to 1818 and incorporating on April 27, 1887[4] as "Leeds", has existed along the banks of the Little Cahaba River; beside an historic stagecoach route; and along two large railroads for the greater part of American History.[5]

James Hamilton, a Scottish-Irish American veteran of the War of 1812 and first sheriff of Shelby County, settled in Cedar Grove in 1816. John Richard Ingram Pashal Stewart, a Cherokee English teacher and American veteran of the War of 1812, settled at Ohanafeefee Village c.1840. At Oak Ridge in 1820 or 1821, European settlers formed Shiloh Cumberland Presbyterian Church, the first CPC congregation in middle Alabama. By 1887, the original railroad pioneers included free African-American settlers who came to work at the Leeds cement plant and the Central of Georgia as the Georgia Pacific railroads. Some gravitated to historic Mt. Pleasant Church where a handful of freed slaves had founded Scott City, Hillard Holley, Ciscero Davis, Jeff Harris, and Bill Johnson started Leeds Negro/Primary School in 1921.[5]

Enroll in the Right Beauty Program near Leeds AL

Leeds AL barber blow drying client's hairChoosing and enrolling in the right cosmetology college is essential to obtain the proper training to become a licensed cosmetology specialist. Be sure to ask all the questions that you need to so as to feel certain about your decision. Make sure to organize all of the information you receive from the beauty school admissions departments, focus on 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 sure that the college and program you pick are accredited and have outstanding reputations within the field. If you start with that base, and address the additional questions supplied in this post, you will be able to reduce your list of schools so that you can make the ideal selection. And when you graduate and pass your licensing test, you will be self-assured that you are prepared to begin your new career as a professional cosmetologist in Leeds AL.

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