How to Find the Right Cosmetologist College near Fort Richardson Alaska
Now that you have made a decision to become a cosmetologist and attend a beauty school near Fort Richardson AK, the process begins to find and enroll in the right school. It’s important that the school you choose not only provides 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 a little bit puzzled about the difference between beauty schools and cosmetology schools. Well don’t be, because the names are basically interchangeable and both relate to the same type of school. We’ll speak a little bit further regarding that in the upcoming section. If you plan on commuting to classes you will want to locate a school that is within driving distance of your Fort Richardson home. Tuition will likewise be an important factor when evaluating prospective schools. Just remember that because a school is the nearest or the cheapest it’s not automatically the ideal option. There are various other factors that you should evaluate when comparing schools, for example their reputation and accreditation. We will examine what questions you should ask about the cosmetology schools you are thinking about later in this article. Before we do, let’s discuss a bit about what cosmetology is, and what types of courses are offered.
What is Cosmetology
Cosmetology is a profession that is everything about making the human anatomy look more attractive with the application of cosmetics. So naturally 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 may be anything that improves the look of a person’s skin, hair or nails. In order to work as a cosmetologist, almost all states mandate that you undergo some type of specialized training and then become licensed. Once you are licensed, the work settings include not only Fort Richardson AK beauty salons and barber shops, but also such places as spas, hotels and resorts. Many cosmetologists, once they have gained experience and a clientele, open their own shops or salons. Others will start servicing clients either in their own residences or will go to the client’s residence, or both. Cosmetology college graduates are known by many names and work in a wide range of specialties including:
- Nail Technicians
- Makeup Artists
- Hair Coloring Specialists
- Electrolysis Technicians
As earlier mentioned, in most states practicing cosmetologists must be licensed. In a few 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 become licensed in those states.
Cosmetologist Certificates and Degrees
There are primarily two avenues available to obtain cosmetology training and a credential after completion. You can enroll in a certificate (or diploma) program, or you can pursue an Associate’s degree. Certificate programs normally require 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 major areas of cosmetology. Briefer programs are offered if you want to specialize in just one area, for instance hair coloring. A degree program will also most likely feature management and marketing training to ensure that graduates are better prepared to operate a parlor or other Fort Richardson AK business. More advanced degrees are not common, but Bachelor and Master’s degree programs are offered in such areas as salon or spa management. Whatever type of course you opt for, it’s essential to make certain that it’s recognized by the Alaska Board of Cosmetology. A number of states only approve schools that are accredited by certain respected agencies, including the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS). We will discuss the advantages of accreditation for the school you choose in the next segment.
Online Cosmetologist Schools
Online cosmetology classes are accommodating for Fort Richardson AK students who are employed full-time and have family commitments that make it hard to enroll in a more traditional school. There are a large number of online beauty school programs offered that can be accessed via a home computer or laptop at the student’s convenience. More traditional cosmetology programs are frequently fast paced given that many courses are as short as 6 or 8 months. This means that a considerable amount of time is spent in the classroom. With internet courses, you are covering the same amount of material, but you’re not devoting numerous hours away from your home or travelling to and from classes. On the other hand, it’s important that the school you pick can provide internship training in area 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 difficult to obtain the skills required to work in any facet of the cosmetology field. So don’t forget if you decide to enroll in an online school to verify that internship training is available in your area.
What to Ask Beauty Schools
Below is a list of questions that you need to look into for any cosmetology training program you are contemplating. As we have previously covered, the location of the school in relation to your Fort Richardson AK 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 probably be next on your list. But once you have narrowed your school options based on those preliminary qualifications, there are even more factors that you need to research and take into consideration before enrolling in a cosmetology program. Following we have collected some of those additional questions that you need to ask each school before making a final determination.
Is the Program Accredited? It’s important to make certain that the cosmetology college you choose is accredited. The accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged local or national agency, such as the National Accrediting Commission for Cosmetology Arts & Sciences (NACCAS). Programs accredited by the NACCAS must meet their high standards ensuring a superior curriculum and education. Accreditation may also be important for getting student loans or financial aid, which often are not obtainable in 99505 for non- accredited schools. It’s also a prerequisite for licensing in some states that the training be accredited. And as a final benefit, many Fort Richardson AK employers will not hire recent graduates of non-accredited schools, or may look more positively upon individuals with accredited training.
Does the School have an Excellent Reputation? Any cosmetology college that you are seriously considering should have a good to excellent reputation within the industry. Being accredited is an excellent starting point. Next, ask the schools for endorsements from their network of employers where they have referred their students. Verify that the schools have high job placement rates, showing that their students are highly sought after. Check rating services for reviews together with the school’s accrediting organizations. If you have any contacts with Fort Richardson AK salon owners or managers, or someone working in the business, ask them if they are acquainted with the schools you are considering. They may even be able to propose others that you had not considered. And last, check with the Alaska school licensing authority to see if there have been any complaints filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
What’s the School’s Specialty? Many beauty schools offer programs that are expansive in nature, focusing on all facets of cosmetology. Others are more focused, providing training in a particular specialty, for example hairstyling, manicuring or electrolysis. Schools that offer degree programs typically expand into a management and marketing curriculum. So it’s important that you pick 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 aspiration is to launch a hair salon in Fort Richardson AK, then you want to enroll in a degree program that will teach you how to be an owner/operator. Picking a highly rated school with a poor program in the specialty you are pursuing will not provide the training you require.
Is Plenty of Hands-On Training Provided? Practicing and mastering cosmetology skills and techniques demands plenty of practice on people. Ask how much live, hands-on training is furnished in the beauty classes you will be attending. Some schools have salons on site that allow students to practice their developing skills on real people. If a beauty academy furnishes limited or no scheduled live training, but instead depends predominantly on the use of mannequins, it might not be the most effective option for cultivating your skills. So search for other schools that offer this kind of training.
Does the School have a Job Placement Program? As soon as a student graduates from a beauty school, it’s important that she or he gets help in finding that initial job. Job placement programs are an important part of that process. Schools that furnish help maintain relationships with Fort Richardson AK businesses that are searching for trained graduates available for hiring. Verify that the programs you are considering have job placement programs and ask which salons and businesses they refer students to. Additionally, find out what their job placement rates are. Higher rates not only confirm that they have extensive networks of employers, but that their programs are highly respected as well.
Is Financial Aid Offered? The majority of cosmetology schools offer financial aid or student loan assistance for their students. Check if the schools you are considering have a financial aid office. Talk to a counselor and learn 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 available to students too. If a school meets each of your other qualifications with the exception of expense, do not discard it as an alternative before you learn what financial assistance may be available.
Enrolled in Cosmetology School near Fort Richardson AK?
If you have decided to attend Beauty School in the greater Fort Richardson AK area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.
Fort Richardson (Alaska)
Fort Richardson is a United States Army installation in the U.S. state of Alaska, adjacent to the city of Anchorage. In 2010, it was merged with nearby Elmendorf Air Force Base to form Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.
Fort Richardson was named for the military pioneer explorer, Brig. Gen. Wilds P. Richardson, who served three tours of duty in the rugged Alaska territory between 1897 and 1917. Richardson, a native Texan and an 1884 West Point graduate, commanded troops along the Yukon River and supervised construction of Fort Egbert near Eagle, and Fort William H. Seward (Chilkoot Barracks) near Haines. As head of the War Department's Alaska Road Commission from 1905 to 1917, he was responsible for much of the surveying and building of early railroads, roads and bridges that helped the state’s settlement and growth. The Valdez-Fairbanks Trail, surveyed under his direction in 1904, was named the Richardson Highway in his honor.
During World War II, Fort Richardson was used briefly as a holding center for several family members of Alaskan Japanese Americans arrested after Pearl Harbor. Fifteen Japanese Americans and two German Americans were interned here before being transferred to other camps. Built during 1940-1941 on the site of what is now Elmendorf Air Force Base and established as the headquarters of the United States Army, Alaska (USARAK) in 1947, the post moved to its present location five miles (8 km) northeast of Anchorage in 1950. The post then had barracks for 500 soldiers, a rifle range, a few warehouses, a hospital, and bachelor officer quarters. From 1986-1994 the fort was headquarters of the 6th Infantry Division (Light). Fort Richardson is now headquarters for United States Army Alaska (USARAK), a subordinate unit of United States Army Pacific Command. For more than a decade, the major combat unit at Fort Richardson was Task Force 1-501, the only airborne infantry battalion in the Pacific Theater. Task Force 1-501 deployed to Afghanistan from October 2003 through August 2004.
Enroll in the Right Cosmetology Training Program near Fort Richardson AK
Choosing and enrolling in the right cosmetologist program is imperative to obtain the appropriate training to become a licensed cosmetology specialist. Make sure to ask all the questions that you require in order to feel confident about your decision. Make sure to organize all of the responses you receive from the cosmetology school admissions departments, prioritize what matters the most to you, and then utilize that data to compare schools. A reasonable beginning in your due diligence process is to make certain that the academy and program you decide on are accredited and have impressive reputations within the field. If you start with that base, and answer the additional questions presented in this post, you will be able to narrow down your list of schools so that you can make the ideal selection. And when you graduate and pass your licensing exam, you will be self-assured that you are qualified to start your new career as a professional cosmetologist in Fort Richardson AK.
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