Become a Cosmetologist | Cosmetology Schools Anchorage AK

How to Pick a Cosmetology College near Anchorage Alaska

nail technicians training at Anchorage AK beauty schoolNow that you have decided to train as a cosmetologist and attend a beauty school near Anchorage AK, the process begins to find and enroll in the best school. It’s essential that the program you choose not only furnishes the appropriate education for the specialty you have decided on, but also prepares you for passing the licensing exam. When you start your initial search, you may be rather puzzled about the distinction between beauty schools and cosmetology schools. Well don’t be, because the titles are basically interchangeable and both pertain to the same type of school. We’ll speak a bit more regarding that in the following section. If you intend on commuting to classes you will want to find a school that is within driving distance of your Anchorage home. Tuition will likewise be an important aspect when evaluating potential schools. Just keep in mind that because a school is the closest or the least expensive it’s not always the ideal option. There are a number of other factors that you should weigh when reviewing schools, such as their reputation and accreditation. We will go over what questions you should ask concerning the cosmetology schools you are thinking about later in this article. Before we do, let’s talk a bit about what cosmetology is, and what types of programs are offered.

Defining Cosmetology

Anchorage AK makeup ar4tist applying makeupCosmetology is an occupation that is everything about making the human anatomy look more attractive with the use of cosmetics. So naturally it makes sense that numerous cosmetology schools are regarded as beauty schools. Most of us think of makeup when we hear the word cosmetics, but actually a cosmetic may be anything that enhances the look of a person’s skin, hair or nails. In order to work as a cosmetologist, the majority of states require that you go through some type of specialized training and then be licensed. Once you are licensed, the work settings include not only Anchorage AK beauty salons and barber shops, but also such venues as spas, hotels and resorts. Many cosmetologists, once they have acquired experience and a client base, open their own shops or salons. Others will begin servicing clients either in their own residences or will go to the client’s home, or both. Cosmetology college graduates have many professional names and are employed in a wide range of specializations including:

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

As previously stated, in the majority of states working cosmetologists have to be licensed. In a few states there is an exception. Only those conducting more skilled services, such as hairstylists, are required to be licensed. Other people working in cosmetology and less skilled, which include shampooers, are not required to get licensed in those states.

Cosmetologist Degrees and Certificates

Anchorage AK hairdresser cutting hairThere are essentially two pathways offered to get cosmetology training and a credential after completion. You can enroll in a certificate (or diploma) program, or you can work toward an Associate’s degree. Certificate programs typically 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 instructed in all of the major areas of cosmetology. Shorter programs are offered if you prefer to specialize in just one area, for example hair coloring. A degree program will also probably feature management and marketing training in order that graduates are better prepared to manage a parlor or other Anchorage AK business. Higher degrees are not typical, but Bachelor and Master’s degree programs are offered in such areas as salon or spa management. Whichever type of training program you go with, it’s imperative to make sure that it’s approved by the Alaska Board of Cosmetology. Numerous states only certify schools that are accredited by certain reputable organizations, including the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS). We will cover the advantages of accreditation for the school you decide on in the following section.

Online Beauty Courses

student attending cosmetology school online in Anchorage AKOnline beauty schools are advantageous for Anchorage AK students who are working full time and have family responsibilities that make it hard to enroll in a more traditional school. There are many online beauty school programs available that can be accessed by means of a personal computer or laptop at the student’s convenience. More traditional beauty programs are often fast paced because many courses are as brief as 6 or 8 months. This means that a significant amount of time is spent in the classroom. With online courses, you are dealing with the same amount of material, but you’re not spending many hours away from your home or travelling back and forth from classes. On the other hand, it’s essential that the program you choose can provide internship training in nearby salons and parlors so that you also get the hands-on training required for a comprehensive education. Without the internship part of the training, it’s impossible to gain the skills necessary to work in any facet of the cosmetology profession. So be sure if you decide to enroll in an online program to verify that internship training is available in your area.

What to Ask Cosmetologist Trade Schools

Questions to ask Anchorage AK beauty schoolsFollowing is a series of questions that you should look into for any beauty training school you are considering. As we have previously covered, the location of the school in relation to your Anchorage AK home, as well as the price of tuition, will most likely be your first qualifiers. Whether you would like to pursue 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 consider before enrolling in a cosmetology school. Following we have put together some of those additional questions that you need to ask each school before making a final selection.

Is the Program Accredited? It’s essential to make certain that the cosmetology training program you pick 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 meet their high standards assuring a quality curriculum and education. Accreditation may also be important for obtaining student loans or financial aid, which often are not obtainable in 99501 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 Anchorage AK businesses will not hire recent graduates of non-accredited schools, or may look more positively upon those with accredited training.

Does the School have a Great Reputation?  Each cosmetologist school that you are seriously evaluating should have a good to excellent reputation within the profession. Being accredited is an excellent starting point. Next, ask the schools for testimonials from their network of employers where they have referred their students. Confirm that the schools have high job placement rates, showing that their students are highly demanded. Check rating companies for reviews together with the school’s accrediting agencies. If you have any contacts with Anchorage AK salon owners or managers, or someone working in the field, ask them if they are familiar with the schools you are considering. They might even be able to recommend others that you had not considered. And last, consult the Alaska school licensing authority to find out if there have been any complaints filed or if the schools are in total compliance.

What’s the School’s Specialty?  A number of beauty schools offer programs that are expansive in nature, concentrating on all areas of cosmetology. Others are more focused, offering training in a particular specialty, for example hairstyling, manicuring or electrolysis. Schools that offer degree programs often broaden into a management and marketing curriculum. So it’s important that you decide on a school that focuses on your area of interest. If your goal 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 Anchorage AK, then you need to enroll in a degree program that will instruct you how to be an owner/operator. Selecting a highly regarded school with a weak program in the specialty you are pursuing will not provide the training you need.

Is Any Hands-On Training Provided?  Studying and perfecting cosmetology skills and techniques requires lots of practice on people. Find out how much live, hands-on training is furnished in the cosmetology courses you will be attending. A number of schools have salons on campus that enable students to practice their developing skills on volunteers. If a beauty academy offers limited or no scheduled live training, but rather relies heavily on the use of mannequins, it might not be the best alternative for cultivating your skills. Therefore look for other schools that offer this type of training.

Does the School have a Job Placement Program?  Once a student graduates from a cosmetology school, it’s crucial that he or she receives help in securing that very first job. Job placement programs are an important part of that process. Schools that provide assistance maintain relationships with Anchorage AK businesses that are searching for skilled graduates available for hiring. Check that the programs you are considering have job placement programs and inquire which salons and businesses they refer students to. Also, find out what their job placement rates are. High rates not only confirm that they have broad networks of employers, but that their programs are highly regarded as well.

Is Financial Aid Available?  Almost all cosmetology schools offer financial aid or student loan assistance for their students. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have a financial aid department. Talk to a counselor and find out 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 offered to students too. If a school meets each of your other qualifications with the exception of expense, do not omit it as an option before you determine what financial help may be provided.

Enrolled in Cosmetology School near Anchorage AK?

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

Anchorage, Alaska

Anchorage (officially called the Municipality of Anchorage; Dena'ina: Dgheyaytnu) is a unified home rule municipality in the U.S. state of Alaska. With an estimated 298,192 residents in 2016,[7] it is Alaska's most populous city and contains more than 40 percent of the state's total population; among the 50 states, only New York has a higher percentage of residents who live in its most populous city. All together, the Anchorage metropolitan area, which combines Anchorage with the neighboring Matanuska-Susitna Borough, had a population of 401,635 in 2016, which accounts for more than half of the state's population. At 1,706 square miles of land area, the city is the fourth largest city by land in the United States and larger than the smallest state, Rhode Island, at 1,212 square miles.[8][9]

Anchorage is in the south-central portion of Alaska, at the terminus of the Cook Inlet, on a peninsula formed by the Knik Arm to the north and the Turnagain Arm to the south.[10] The city limits span 1,961.1 square miles (5,079.2 km2) which encompass the urban core, a joint military base,[11] several outlying communities and almost all of Chugach State Park.[12]

Due to its location, almost equidistant from New York City, Frankfurt, and Tokyo, Anchorage lies within ​9 1⁄2 hours by air of nearly 90% of the industrialized world.[13] For this reason, the Anchorage International Airport is a common refueling stop for many international cargo flights and home to a major FedEx hub, which the company calls a "critical part" of its global network of services.[14]

Select the Right Cosmetologist Vocational School near Anchorage AK

Anchorage AK barber blow drying client's hairFinding and enrolling in the ideal beauty college is imperative to receive the appropriate training to become a licensed cosmetology technician. 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 responses you get from the cosmetology school admissions departments, focus on what matters the most to you, and then employ that data to compare schools. A sensible beginning in your due diligence process is to make sure that the college and program you select are accredited and have exceptional reputations within the field. If you start with that foundation, and answer the additional questions presented in this article, you will be able to narrow down your list of schools so that you can make the right selection. And when you graduate and pass your licensing examination, you will be self-assured that you are qualified to start your new career as a professional cosmetologist in Anchorage AK.

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