How to Pick a Beauty School near Valley Alabama
Since you have made a decision to become a cosmetologist and enroll in a beauty school near Valley AL, the task starts to find and enroll in the right school. It’s essential that the school you pick not only provides the necessary instruction for the specialty you have selected, but also prepares you for passing the licensing exam. When you begin your initial search, you may be a little bit unclear about the distinction between beauty schools and cosmetology schools. Well don’t be, because the names are pretty much interchangeable and both pertain to the same type of school. We’ll talk a bit further about that in the next section. If you intend on commuting to classes you will need to locate a school that is within driving distance of your Valley residence. Tuition will also be a critical aspect when evaluating possible schools. Just remember that because a school is the closest or the least expensive it’s not automatically the ideal choice. There are various other factors that you should evaluate when comparing schools, for instance their reputation and accreditation. We will review 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 kinds of programs are available.
What is Cosmetology
Cosmetology is a profession that is all about making the human anatomy look more beautiful through the application of cosmetics. So naturally it makes sense that a number of cosmetology schools are referred to as beauty schools. Many of us think of makeup when we hear the term cosmetics, but really a cosmetic may be anything that improves the appearance of a person’s skin, hair or nails. If you want to work as a cosmetologist, most states require that you undergo some kind of specialized training and then become licensed. Once licensed, the work environments include not only Valley AL beauty salons and barber shops, but also such businesses as spas, hotels and resorts. Many cosmetologists, after they have acquired experience and a client base, launch their own shops or salons. Others will start servicing customers either in their own homes or will travel to the client’s home, or both. Cosmetology college graduates go by many titles and work in a wide variety of specializations including:
- Nail Technicians
- Makeup Artists
- Hair Coloring Specialists
- Electrolysis Technicians
As formerly mentioned, in most states working cosmetologists must be licensed. In certain states there is an exception. Only those offering more skilled services, such as hairstylists, are required to be licensed. Other people working in cosmetology and less skilled, such as shampooers, are not required to become licensed in those states.
Cosmetologist Certificates and Degrees
There are primarily two avenues available to get 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 typically take 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 trained in each of the main areas of cosmetology. Briefer programs are offered if you wish to specialize in just one area, such as hair coloring. A degree program will also likely incorporate management and marketing training to ensure that graduates are better prepared to manage a parlor or other Valley AL business. More advanced degrees are not common, but Bachelor and Master’s degree programs are available in such specialties as salon or spa management. Whatever type of course you choose, it’s important to make sure that it’s certified by the Alabama Board of Cosmetology. Many states only approve schools that are accredited by certain reputable agencies, such as the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS). We will examine the advantages of accreditation for the school you select in the following segment.
Online Beauty Schools
Online beauty schools are accommodating for Valley AL students who are employed full time and have family responsibilities that make it challenging to enroll in a more traditional school. There are numerous online cosmetology school programs available that can be accessed through a personal computer or laptop at the student’s convenience. More traditional cosmetology schools are often fast paced given that many courses are as short as six or eight months. This means that a large amount of time is spent in the classroom. With online courses, you are covering the same volume of material, but you’re not devoting many hours outside of your home or driving back and forth from classes. However, it’s essential that the school you pick can provide internship training in local salons and parlors to ensure that you also get the hands-on training required for a comprehensive education. Without the internship part of the training, it’s difficult to gain the skills necessary to work in any area of the cosmetology profession. 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 Cosmetologist Trade Schools
Below is a series of questions that you need to look into for any cosmetology training school you are contemplating. As we have previously covered, the location of the school relative to your Valley AL home, in addition to the expense of tuition, will probably be your initial qualifiers. Whether you want to pursue a certificate, diploma or a degree will probably be next on your list. But once you have narrowed your school options based on those initial qualifications, there are additional factors that you must research and consider before enrolling in a cosmetology program. Below we have put together several of those additional questions that you need to ask every school before making a final decision.
Is the Program Accredited? It’s important to make certain that the cosmetology college you pick is accredited. The accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education certified local or national agency, such as the National Accrediting Commission for Cosmetology Arts & Sciences (NACCAS). Schools accredited by the NACCAS must comply with their high standards assuring a superior curriculum and education. Accreditation can also be essential for acquiring student loans or financial aid, which often are not available in 36854 for non- accredited schools. It’s also a prerequisite for licensing in some states that the training be accredited. And as a concluding benefit, numerous Valley AL businesses will not recruit recent graduates of non-accredited schools, or may look more positively upon those with accredited training.
Does the School have an Excellent Reputation? Each cosmetology school that you are seriously evaluating should have a good to excellent reputation within the industry. Being accredited is a good starting point. Next, ask the schools for endorsements 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. Visit rating services for reviews together with the school’s accrediting organizations. If you have any contacts with Valley AL salon owners or managers, or any person working in the industry, ask them if they are acquainted with the schools you are reviewing. They may even be able to recommend others that you had not considered. Finally, consult the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there have been any complaints filed or if the schools are in complete compliance.
What’s the School’s Focus? Many cosmetology schools offer programs that are expansive in nature, concentrating on all areas of cosmetology. Others are more focused, offering training in a specific specialty, such as hairstyling, manicuring or electrolysis. Schools that offer degree programs frequently broaden into a management and marketing curriculum. So it’s essential that you decide on a school that specializes in your area of interest. If your goal 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 aspiration is to open a hair salon in Valley AL, then you need to enroll in a degree program that will teach you how to be an owner/operator. Choosing a highly ranked school with a poor program in the specialty you are pursuing will not provide the training you require.
Is Enough Hands-On Training Provided? Practicing and perfecting cosmetology techniques and abilities demands lots of practice on volunteers. Find out how much live, hands-on training is provided in the cosmetology classes you will be attending. Some schools have salons on site that enable students to practice their developing skills on volunteers. If a beauty program offers limited or no scheduled live training, but instead depends mainly on using mannequins, it might not be the best alternative for cultivating your skills. Therefore try to find alternate schools that furnish this type of training.
Does the School Provide Job Assistance? Once a student graduates from a beauty school, it’s imperative that he or she receives help in landing that very first job. Job placement programs are an important part of that process. Schools that offer aid maintain relationships with Valley AL businesses that are searching for skilled graduates available for hiring. Verify that the programs you are considering have job placement programs and find out which salons and establishments they refer students to. Additionally, find out what their job placement rates are. High rates not only confirm that they have extensive networks of employers, but that their programs are highly regarded as well.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Almost all cosmetology schools provide financial aid or student loan assistance for their students. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have a financial aid department. Consult with a counselor and learn what student loans or grants you might qualify for. If the school is a member of the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS), it will have scholarships available to students also. If a school fulfills each of your other qualifications with the exception of cost, do not omit it as an alternative until you find out what financial aid may be offered.
Enrolled in Cosmetology School near Valley AL?
If you have decided to attend Beauty School in the greater Valley AL area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.
Chambers County, Alabama
Chambers County is a county of the U.S. state of Alabama. As of the 2010 census the population was 34,215. Its county seat is Lafayette. Its name is in honor of Henry H. Chambers, who served as a United States Senator from Alabama.
Chambers County joined its four mill cities to make the city of Valley (which is now the largest city). Valley is rapidly increasing in size and located between Montgomery, Alabama and Atlanta, Georgia.
As of the census of 2010, there were 34,215 people, 13,933 households, and 9,391 families residing in the county. The population density was 57 people per square mile (22/km2). There were 17,004 housing units at an average density of 28 per square mile (11/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 58.8% White (non-Hispanic), 38.7% Black or African American, 0.2% Native American, 0.5% Asian, 0.6% from other races, and 1.1% from two or more races. 1.6% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Find the Right Beauty School near Valley AL
Finding and enrolling in the right cosmetology college is imperative to get 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. Don’t forget to consolidate all of the information you receive from the beauty school admissions departments, prioritize what matters the most to you, and then employ that data to contrast schools. A sensible beginning in your due diligence procedure is to make certain that the institution and program you choose are accredited and have impressive reputations within the profession. If you start with that foundation, and address the additional questions presented in this article, you will be able to filter your list of schools so that you can make the right selection. And when you graduate and pass your licensing exam, you will be confident that you are prepared to start your career as a professional cosmetologist in Valley AL.
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