Become a Cosmetologist | Cosmetology Schools Sheffield AL

How to Choose a Beauty College near Sheffield Alabama

nail technicians training at Sheffield AL beauty schoolNow that you have decided to become a cosmetologist and enroll in a beauty school near Sheffield AL, the task begins to search for and enroll in the best school. It’s essential that the school you choose not only furnishes the proper instruction for the specialty you have decided on, but also preps you for passing the licensing exam. When you start your initial search, you may be a little bit confused about the difference 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 talk a bit further about that in the next section. If you plan on commuting to classes you will need to find a school that is within driving distance of your Sheffield home. Tuition will also be a critical consideration when reviewing potential schools. Just remember that because a school is the closest or the least expensive it’s not automatically the best choice. There are several other factors that you should evaluate when reviewing schools, for example their reputation and accreditation. We will examine what questions you should ask about 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 kinds of courses are offered.

Defining Cosmetology

Sheffield AL makeup ar4tist applying makeupCosmetology is an occupation that is everything about making the human anatomy look more attractive through the use 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 really a cosmetic may be anything that enhances the look of a person’s skin, hair or nails. If you want to work as a cosmetologist, the majority of states mandate that you go through some form of specialized training and then be licensed. Once you are licensed, the work settings include not only Sheffield 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 servicing customers either in their own homes or will travel to the client’s residence, or both. Cosmetology college graduates go by many titles and work in a wide range of specializations including:

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

As earlier stated, in most states practicing cosmetologists have to be licensed. In some states there is an exemption. Only those conducting more skilled services, for instance hairstylists, are required to be licensed. Others working in cosmetology and less skilled, which include shampooers, are not required to get licensed in those states.

Cosmetology Degrees and Certificates

Sheffield 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) 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 instructed in all of the main areas of cosmetology. Shorter programs are offered if you wish to concentrate on just one area, for example hair coloring. A degree program will also likely incorporate management and marketing training so that graduates are better prepared to manage a salon or other Sheffield AL business. Higher degrees are not common, but Bachelor and Master’s degree programs are offered in such specializations as salon or spa management. Whichever type of program you choose, it’s imperative to make certain that it’s approved by the Alabama Board of Cosmetology. Numerous states only certify schools that are accredited by certain respected organizations, for example the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS). We will examine the advantages of accreditation for the school you decide on in the upcoming segment.

Online Cosmetology Classes

student attending cosmetology school online in Sheffield ALOnline beauty schools are advantageous for Sheffield AL students who are working full-time and have family responsibilities that make it hard to enroll in a more traditional school. There are many web-based cosmetology school programs offered that can be attended via a desktop computer or laptop at the student’s convenience. More traditional cosmetology programs are typically fast paced due to the fact that many programs are as brief as six or eight months. This means that a large amount of time is spent in the classroom. With internet programs, you are covering the same amount of material, but you are not spending many hours away from your home or commuting back and forth from classes. However, it’s important that the training program you pick can provide internship training in area salons and parlors to ensure that you also receive the hands-on training necessary for a complete education. Without the internship part of the training, it’s difficult to obtain the skills needed to work in any area of the cosmetology field. So make sure if you choose to enroll in an online school to confirm that internship training is available in your area.

Questions to Ask Cosmetologist Schools

Questions to ask Sheffield AL beauty schoolsBelow is a series of questions that you will want to look into for any beauty training program you are considering. As we have already discussed, the location of the school relative to your Sheffield AL residence, as well as the cost of tuition, will most likely be your first qualifiers. Whether you wish to pursue a certificate, diploma or a degree will probably be next on your list. But once you have reduced your school choices based on those initial qualifications, there are additional factors that you need to research and take into consideration before enrolling in a cosmetology school. Below we have put together some of those additional questions that you should ask every school before making a final selection.

Is the School Accredited? It’s important to make sure that the cosmetology school you select 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 comply with their high standards assuring a quality curriculum and education. Accreditation may also be important for getting student loans or financial aid, which frequently are not available in 35660 for non- accredited schools. It’s also a requirement for licensing in some states that the training be accredited. And as a concluding benefit, numerous Sheffield AL employers will not recruit recent graduates of non-accredited schools, or may look more positively upon individuals with accredited training.

Does the School have a Good Reputation?  Any cosmetology college that you are seriously evaluating should have a good to exceptional reputation within the profession. Being accredited is an excellent beginning. Next, ask the schools for endorsements from their network of businesses where they have placed their students. Verify that the schools have high job placement rates, showing that their students are highly demanded. Check rating companies for reviews in addition to the school’s accrediting agencies. If you have any relationships with Sheffield AL salon owners or managers, or someone working in the trade, ask them if they are acquainted with the schools you are considering. They may even be able to propose others that you had not thought of. And finally, consult 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?  Many beauty schools offer programs that are comprehensive in nature, concentrating on all areas of cosmetology. Others are more focused, providing training in a particular specialty, such as hairstyling, manicuring or electrolysis. Schools that offer degree programs commonly broaden into a management and marketing curriculum. So it’s essential that you decide on 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 respected for that program. If your dream is to open a hair salon in Sheffield AL, then you need to enroll in a degree program that will teach you how to be an owner/operator. Selecting a highly regarded school with a weak program in the specialty you are seeking will not provide the training you need.

Is Enough Live Training Provided?  Practicing and perfecting cosmetology skills and techniques requires lots of practice on volunteers. Ask how much live, hands-on training is provided in the cosmetology courses you will be attending. A number of schools have salons on site that enable students to practice their developing talents on real people. If a beauty academy offers limited or no scheduled live training, but instead depends mainly on the use of mannequins, it might not be the most effective option for developing your skills. Therefore try to find alternate schools that offer this kind of training.

Does the School have a Job Placement Program?  When a student graduates from a beauty academy, it’s imperative that she or he receives help in landing that very first job. Job placement programs are an integral part of that process. Schools that provide assistance maintain relationships with Sheffield AL businesses that are looking for skilled graduates available for hiring. Confirm 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. Higher rates not only affirm that they have extensive networks of employers, but that their programs are highly respected as well.

Is Financial Assistance Available?  Many 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 office. Talk to a counselor and learn what student loans or grants you may qualify for. If the school belongs to the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS), it will have scholarships accessible to students too. If a school meets all of your other qualifications with the exception of cost, do not discard it as an alternative before you learn what financial aid may be available.

Enrolled in Cosmetology School near Sheffield AL?

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

Sheffield, Alabama

Sheffield is a city in Colbert County, Alabama, United States, and is included in the Shoals metropolitan area. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city was 9,039.[3] Sheffield is the birthplace of "country-soul pioneer" and songwriter Arthur Alexander, French horn player Willie Ruff, notable attorney, actor, former senator and presidential contender Fred Thompson, Watergate committee U.S. Senator Howell Heflin and U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell, whose father was working in nearby Athens when he was born. It sometimes is referred to as "the City of Senators" due to the births of Heflin, McConnell and Thompson within its borders. Col. Harland Sanders worked in the Sheffield depot for Southern Railway in the 1900s. It is also home to the Muscle Shoals Sound Studio where many popular 20th century musicians recorded their work, including Alexander and Ruff. It is the site of historic Helen Keller Hospital, formerly known as Colbert County Hospital and originally constructed in 1921. It was changed to Helen Keller Hospital in 1979, and Keller's birthplace Ivy Green is located less than one mile southwest of the hospital in adjacent Tuscumbia.

Sheffield is located in eastern Colbert County at 34°45′35″N 87°41′41″W / 34.75972°N 87.69472°W / 34.75972; -87.69472 (34.759721, -87.694592),[4] on the south bank of the Tennessee River. Sheffield is bordered to the south by the city of Tuscumbia, to the southeast by Muscle Shoals, and to the north, across the river, by Florence.

Sheffield was one of the Colbert County sites of embarkation by riverboat and barge on the Tennessee River during the forced relocation of Eastern and Southern United States Indian tribes, known as the Trail of Tears. The embarkation site was at what is now the Spring Creek boat launch and park area.

Select the Right Cosmetologist College near Sheffield AL

Sheffield AL barber blow drying client's hairChoosing and enrolling in the right cosmetology school is essential to get the necessary training to become a licensed cosmetology specialist. Make sure to ask all the questions that you need to so as to feel confident about your decision. Be sure to compile all of the information you receive from the cosmetology school admissions departments, prioritize what matters the most to you, and then use that information to compare schools. A reasonable start in your due diligence procedure is to make sure that the school and program you select are accredited and have exceptional reputations within the field. If you start with that foundation, and address the additional questions provided in this post, you will be able to filter your list of schools so that you can make the right choice. Once you graduate and pass your licensing examination, you will be confident that you are prepared to launch your career as a professional cosmetologist in Sheffield AL.

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