Become a Cosmetologist | Cosmetology Schools Opelika AL

How to Enroll In a Cosmetology School near Opelika Alabama

nail technicians training at Opelika AL beauty schoolSince you have decided to train as a cosmetologist and attend a beauty school near Opelika AL, the task begins to find and enroll in the ideal school. It’s imperative that the school you choose not only furnishes the appropriate training for the specialty you have selected, but also readies you for passing the licensing examination. When you start your preliminary search, you might be rather puzzled about the difference 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 discuss a bit further concerning that in the next section. If you plan on commuting to classes you will need to choose a school that is within driving distance of your Opelika home. Tuition will also be a critical consideration when reviewing prospective schools. Just keep in mind that because a school is the closest or the least expensive it’s not necessarily the ideal choice. There are many other qualifications that you should evaluate when analyzing schools, for instance their reputation and accreditation. We will examine what questions you should ask concerning the cosmetology schools you are considering later within this article. Before we do, let’s talk a little bit about what cosmetology is, and what kinds of programs are available.

Definition of Cosmetology

Opelika AL makeup ar4tist applying makeupCosmetology is an occupation that is everything about making the human anatomy look more beautiful through the application of cosmetics. So of course it makes sense that numerous cosmetology schools are referred to as beauty schools. Most of us think of makeup when we hear the term cosmetics, but basically a cosmetic may be almost anything that improves the appearance of a person’s skin, hair or nails. In order to work as a cosmetologist, most states require that you go through some form of specialized training and then become licensed. Once you are licensed, the work settings include not only Opelika AL beauty salons and barber shops, but also such places as spas, hotels and resorts. Many cosmetologists, once they have gotten experience and a client base, launch their own shops or salons. Others will start seeing customers either in their own residences or will go to the client’s house, or both. Cosmetology college graduates are known by many professional names and work in a wide variety of specializations including:

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

As formerly mentioned, in most states practicing cosmetologists have to be licensed. In certain states there is an exception. 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 be licensed in those states.

Cosmetology Degrees

Opelika AL hairdresser cutting hairThere are primarily two pathways available 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 normally take 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 each of the major areas of cosmetology. Shorter programs are available if you prefer to concentrate on just one area, for example hair coloring. A degree program will also probably incorporate management and marketing training in order that graduates are better prepared to operate a parlor or other Opelika AL business. Higher degrees are not prevalent, but Bachelor and Master’s degree programs are available in such specializations as salon or spa management. Whichever type of course you go with, it’s imperative to make sure that it’s approved by the Alabama Board of Cosmetology. Numerous states only certify schools that are accredited by certain highly regarded organizations, 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 Beauty Training

student attending cosmetology school online in Opelika ALOnline cosmetology programs are accommodating for Opelika AL students who are working full-time and have family responsibilities that make it challenging to enroll in a more traditional school. There are numerous web-based beauty school programs offered that can be accessed via a home computer or laptop at the student’s convenience. More traditional beauty schools are typically fast paced since many courses are as short as six or eight months. This means that a substantial amount of time is spent in the classroom. With internet courses, you are covering the same amount of material, but you’re not spending numerous hours outside of your home or driving to and from classes. However, it’s important that the training program you pick 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 portion of the training, it’s impossible to obtain the skills needed to work in any facet of the cosmetology industry. So make sure if you choose to enroll in an online school to verify that internship training is provided in your area.

Questions to Ask Beauty Schools

Questions to ask Opelika AL beauty schoolsBelow is a list of questions that you should look into for any beauty training school you are contemplating. As we have previously covered, the location of the school relative to your Opelika AL home, together with the price of tuition, will most likely 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 need to research and consider before enrolling in a cosmetology program. Following we have collected 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 training program you enroll in 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). Programs accredited by the NACCAS must comply with their high standards ensuring a superior curriculum and education. Accreditation may also be important for obtaining student loans or financial aid, which typically are not offered in 36801 for non- accredited schools. It’s also a criteria for licensing in some states that the training be accredited. And as a final benefit, numerous Opelika AL businesses will not recruit recent graduates of non-accredited schools, or may look more positively upon individuals with accredited training.

Does the School have an Excellent Reputation?  Any beauty institute that you are seriously considering should have a good to excellent reputation within the field. Being accredited is a good beginning. Next, ask the schools for references from their network of businesses where they have placed their students. Check that the schools have high job placement rates, attesting that their students are highly demanded. Visit rating services for reviews as well as the school’s accrediting organizations. If you have any relationships with Opelika AL salon owners or managers, or someone working in the business, ask them if they are acquainted with the schools you are reviewing. They might even be able to suggest others that you had not considered. And last, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there have been any grievances submitted or if the schools are in complete compliance.

What’s the School’s Focus?  A number of cosmetology schools offer programs that are expansive in nature, focusing on all areas of cosmetology. Others are more focused, offering training in a specific specialty, for example hairstyling, manicuring or electrolysis. Schools that offer degree programs typically expand into a management and marketing curriculum. So it’s essential that you enroll in a school that specializes in your area of interest. If your objective 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 hair salon in Opelika AL, then you need to enroll in a degree program that will teach you how to be an owner/operator. Picking a highly ranked school with a weak program in the specialty you are pursuing will not provide the training you need.

Is Enough Live Training Provided?  Studying and perfecting cosmetology techniques and abilities requires plenty of practice on volunteers. Find out how much live, hands-on training is provided in the beauty courses you will be attending. Some schools have salons on site that make it possible for students to practice their growing skills on volunteers. If a beauty program furnishes minimal or no scheduled live training, but instead depends predominantly on using mannequins, it might not be the most effective option for developing your skills. Therefore search for alternate schools that offer this type of training.

Does the School Provide Job Assistance?  As soon as a student graduates from a beauty school, it’s important that she or he gets aid in finding that first job. Job placement programs are an integral part of that process. Schools that furnish help maintain relationships with Opelika AL employers that are seeking skilled graduates available for hiring. Verify that the schools you are considering have job placement programs and inquire which salons and businesses they refer students to. In addition, find out what their job placement rates are. High rates not only affirm that they have extensive networks of employers, but that their programs are highly respected as well.

Is Financial Aid Available?  Almost all beauty schools provide financial aid or student loan assistance for their students. Find out if the schools you are considering have a financial aid office. Talk to a counselor and find out 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 accessible to students as well. If a school meets each of your other qualifications with the exception of expense, do not omit it as an option until you determine what financial aid may be provided.

Enrolled in Cosmetology School near Opelika AL?

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

Opelika, Alabama

Opelika (pronounced /ˌoʊpəˈlaɪkə/ OH-pə-LY-kə) is a city in and the county seat of Lee County in the east central part of the State of Alabama.[4] It is a principal city of the Auburn-Opelika Metropolitan Area. According to the 2013 Census Estimate, the population of Opelika was 28,635.[2] The Auburn-Opelika, AL MSA with a population of 150,933 which, along with the Columbus, Georgia metropolitan area and Macon County, Alabama, comprises the greater Greater Columbus, Georgia, a region home to 501,649 residents.

The first white settlers in the area now known as Opelika arrived in the late 1830s and established a community called Lebanon. After the removal of the native Creek (Muscogee) peoples by federal troops in 1836-37, the area became known as "Opelika." This word taken from the Muskogee language means "large swamp".

In 1848, the Montgomery and West Point Railroad Company extended a rail line from Montgomery, Alabama, to Opelika, and in 1851, completed a connection to West Point, Georgia, thus connecting Opelika with Atlanta, Georgia. This line was the only direct rail route between New Orleans and the Eastern Seaboard. It rapidly became one of the primary trade lines for shipments of raw cotton from Southern plantations to the North. The Montgomery and West Point was soon joined by a rail connection to Columbus, Georgia, in 1855, and a connection to Birmingham, Alabama, in 1869. Almost overnight, Opelika became a regional hub for commerce.

Find the Right Cosmetologist Program near Opelika AL

Opelika AL barber blow drying client's hairPicking and enrolling in the right cosmetologist program is imperative to receive the necessary training to become a licensed cosmetology technician. Make sure to ask all the questions that you require in order to feel confident about your decision. Make certain to consolidate all of the responses you receive from the cosmetology school admissions departments, focus on what matters the most to you, and then use that information to contrast schools. A good start in your due diligence procedure is to make sure that the college and program you decide on are accredited and have excellent reputations within the field. If you begin with that base, and address the additional questions supplied in this article, you will be able to filter your list of schools so that you can make the ideal selection. Once you graduate and pass your licensing exam, you will be confident that you are qualified to begin your career as a professional cosmetologist in Opelika AL.

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