How to Find the Right Beauty School near Northport Alabama
Since you have decided to become a cosmetologist and enroll in a beauty school near Northport AL, the task starts to locate and enroll in the right school. It’s important that the program you pick not only furnishes the necessary training for the specialty you have decided on, but also preps you for passing the licensing examination. When you begin your preliminary search, you might be a little bit confused about the distinction between beauty schools and cosmetology schools. Well don’t be, because the names are pretty much interchangeable and both relate to the same kind of school. We’ll discuss a bit more regarding that in the upcoming section. If you intend on commuting to classes you will want to locate a school that is within driving distance of your Northport home. Tuition will likewise be an important aspect when evaluating potential schools. Just keep in mind that because a school is the nearest or the cheapest it’s not always the ideal option. There are many other qualifications that you should evaluate when comparing schools, for instance their reputation and accreditation. We will go over what questions you should ask regarding 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 available.
Definition of Cosmetology
Cosmetology is an occupation that is everything about making the human body look more beautiful with the application of cosmetics. So of course it makes sense that numerous cosmetology schools are referred to as beauty schools. Many of us think of makeup when we hear the word cosmetics, but really a cosmetic can be almost anything that improves the look of a person’s skin, hair or nails. If you want to work as a cosmetologist, most states mandate that you go through some kind of specialized training and then become licensed. Once you are licensed, the work environments include not only Northport AL beauty salons and barber shops, but also such businesses as spas, hotels and resorts. Many cosmetologists, after they have acquired experience and a clientele, establish their own shops or salons. Others will begin seeing customers either in their own residences or will travel to the client’s house, or both. Cosmetology college graduates go by many professional names and are employed in a wide variety of specialties including:
- Nail Technicians
- Makeup Artists
- Hair Coloring Specialists
- Electrolysis Technicians
As previously stated, in most states working cosmetologists must be licensed. In a few states there is an exemption. Only those conducting more skilled services, for instance hairstylists, are required to be licensed. Other people working in cosmetology and less skilled, including shampooers, are not required to get licensed in those states.
Cosmetologist Certificates and Degrees
There are essentially two pathways offered to receive cosmetology training and a credential upon completion. You can enroll in a certificate (or diploma) course, or you can pursue an Associate’s degree. Certificate programs normally take 12 to 18 months to complete, 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 main areas of cosmetology. Shorter programs are offered if you wish to focus on just one area, for example hair coloring. A degree program will also probably incorporate management and marketing training so that graduates are better prepared to operate a parlor or other Northport AL business. Higher degrees are not typical, but Bachelor and Master’s degree programs are offered in such specializations as salon or spa management. Whatever type of program you opt for, it’s essential to make sure that it’s certified by the Alabama Board of Cosmetology. Many states only approve schools that are accredited by certain highly regarded organizations, including the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS). We will review the benefits of accreditation for the school you select in the following segment.
Online Cosmetologist Training
Online cosmetology schools are advantageous for Northport AL students who are employed full time and have family obligations that make it difficult to enroll in a more traditional school. There are many web-based beauty school programs offered that can be accessed through a desktop computer or laptop at the student’s convenience. More conventional beauty schools are often fast paced since many programs are as short as 6 or 8 months. This means that a significant portion of time is spent in the classroom. With internet programs, you are covering the same amount of material, but you are not devoting many hours away from your home or commuting to and from classes. However, it’s important that the program you pick can provide internship training in local salons and parlors so that you also get the hands-on training necessary for a comprehensive education. Without the internship portion of the training, it’s impossible to acquire the skills needed to work in any facet of the cosmetology industry. So be sure if you choose to enroll in an online program to verify that internship training is provided in your area.
What to Ask Cosmetologist Training Programs
Below is a series of questions that you should look into for any cosmetologist training school you are considering. As we have already discussed, the location of the school relative to your Northport AL residence, as well as the expense of tuition, will undoubtedly be your first 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 must research and take into consideration before enrolling in a cosmetology school. Below we have compiled several of those additional questions that you need to ask each school before making a final selection.
Is the Program Accredited? It’s necessary to make certain that the cosmetology college you pick 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 comply with their high standards ensuring a quality curriculum and education. Accreditation may also be necessary for securing student loans or financial aid, which typically are not offered in 35473 for non- accredited schools. It’s also a criteria for licensing in some states that the training be accredited. And as a final benefit, a number of Northport AL businesses will not employ recent graduates of non-accredited schools, or might look more favorably upon individuals with accredited training.
Does the School have a Good Reputation? Each cosmetology college that you are seriously considering should have a good to exceptional reputation within the industry. Being accredited is an excellent starting point. Next, ask the schools for references from their network of businesses where they have placed their students. Verify that the schools have high job placement rates, signifying that their students are highly demanded. Visit rating services for reviews together with the school’s accrediting agencies. If you have any connections with Northport AL salon owners or managers, or someone working in the industry, ask them if they are acquainted with the schools you are considering. They might even be able to recommend others that you had not considered. And finally, check with 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, concentrating on all areas of cosmetology. Others are more focused, offering training in a particular specialty, such as hairstyling, manicuring or electrolysis. Schools that offer degree programs typically expand into a management and marketing curriculum. So it’s imperative that you enroll in a school that focuses on your area of interest. If your intention 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 launch a hair salon in Northport AL, then you need to enroll in a degree program that will teach you how to be an owner/operator. Selecting a highly rated school with a poor program in the specialty you are pursuing will not deliver the training you need.
Is Enough Live Training Provided? Studying and perfecting cosmetology skills and techniques involves lots of practice on volunteers. Find out how much live, hands-on training is provided in the beauty lessons you will be attending. Some schools have salons on campus that allow students to practice their developing skills on volunteers. If a beauty school offers minimal or no scheduled live training, but instead depends mainly on utilizing mannequins, it may not be the most effective option for cultivating your skills. So try to find other schools that provide this kind of training.
Does the School have a Job Placement Program? When a student graduates from a beauty school, it’s essential that she or he receives support in securing that first job. Job placement programs are an important part of that process. Schools that provide help maintain relationships with Northport AL employers that are looking for qualified graduates available for hiring. Confirm that the programs you are considering have job placement programs and find out which salons and establishments they refer students to. Also, find out what their job placement rates are. Higher rates not only affirm that they have wide networks of employers, but that their programs are highly regarded as well.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Almost all beauty schools provide financial aid or student loan assistance for their students. Ask if the schools you are looking at have a financial aid department. Talk to a counselor and identify 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 also. If a school fulfills each of your other qualifications with the exception of expense, do not drop it as an alternative before you find out what financial assistance may be available.
Enrolled in Cosmetology School near Northport AL?
If you have decided to attend Beauty School in the greater Northport AL area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.
Northport is a city in Tuscaloosa County in the west central part of the State of Alabama. Located on the Black Warrior River across from downtown Tuscaloosa, it is currently the 21st largest city in Alabama with an estimated population of 24,497 in 2013. It incorporated in 1871. It is part of the Tuscaloosa Metropolitan Statistical Area.
As Northport is adjacent to the larger city of Tuscaloosa, many residents work in Tuscaloosa or other parts of Tuscaloosa County. Although the two cities share a land boundary, much of their boundary (and historically all of the boundary) is the Black Warrior River.
As of the census of 2000, there were 19,435 people, 7,844 households, and 5,255 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,328.3 people per square mile (512.9/km²). There were 8,509 housing units at an average density of 581.6 per square mile (224.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 71.11% White, 26.03% Black or African American, 0.19% Native American, 0.80% Asian, 0.15% Pacific Islander, 1.02% from other races, and 0.70% from two or more races. 1.92% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Find the Right Cosmetologist School near Northport AL
Locating and enrolling in the ideal beauty school is essential to obtain the proper training to become a licensed cosmetology practitioner. Be sure to ask all the questions that you require so as to feel certain about your decision. Make sure to organize all of the responses you receive from the cosmetology school admissions departments, focus on what matters the most to you, and then employ that data to compare schools. A good beginning in your due diligence process is to make sure that the institution and program you choose are accredited and have exceptional reputations within the profession. If you begin with that foundation, and answer the additional questions provided in this article, you will be able to reduce your list of schools so that you can make the proper 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 Northport AL.
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