Become a Cosmetologist | Cosmetology Schools Alabaster AL

How to Select a Cosmetology College near Alabaster Alabama

nail technicians training at Alabaster AL beauty schoolNow that you have decided to train as a cosmetologist and enroll in a beauty school near Alabaster AL, the task begins to search for and enroll in the best school. It’s imperative that the school you pick not only provides the necessary education for the specialty you have decided on, but also prepares you for passing the licensing exam. When you begin your preliminary search, you might be rather confused about the distinction between beauty schools and cosmetology schools. Well don’t be, because the names are essentially interchangeable and both relate to the same kind of school. We’ll speak a little bit further concerning that in the following segment. If you plan on commuting to classes you will need to find a school that is within driving distance of your Alabaster residence. Tuition will also be a critical aspect when evaluating possible schools. Just keep in mind that because a school is the nearest or the least expensive it’s not necessarily the right option. There are a number of other qualifications that you should evaluate when comparing schools, for instance their reputation and accreditation. We will examine what questions you should ask concerning the cosmetology schools you are thinking about later within this article. Before we do, let’s talk a bit about what cosmetology is, and what types of programs are available.

What is Cosmetology

Alabaster AL makeup ar4tist applying makeupCosmetology is an occupation that is everything about making the human body look more attractive through the application of cosmetics. So naturally it makes sense that numerous cosmetology schools are regarded as beauty schools. Many of us think of makeup when we hear the word cosmetics, but basically a cosmetic may be almost anything that improves the look of a person’s skin, hair or nails. In order to work as a cosmetologist, most states require that you undergo some type of specialized training and then become licensed. Once licensed, the work environments include not only Alabaster AL beauty salons and barber shops, but also such places as spas, hotels and resorts. Many cosmetologists, after they have gotten experience and a customer base, launch their own shops or salons. Others will start seeing clients either in their own residences or will travel to the client’s home, or both. Cosmetology college graduates go by many titles and are employed in a wide range of specialties including:

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

As formerly mentioned, in the majority of states practicing cosmetologists must be licensed. In a few states there is an exemption. Only those offering more skilled services, for instance hairstylists, are required to be licensed. Other people employed in cosmetology and less skilled, such as shampooers, are not required to become licensed in those states.

Cosmetology Certificates and Degrees

Alabaster AL hairdresser cutting hairThere are basically two avenues offered 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 typically call for 12 to 18 months to finish, 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 main areas of cosmetology. Shorter programs are available if you prefer to specialize in just one area, such as 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 Alabaster AL business. More advanced degrees are not common, but Bachelor and Master’s degree programs are offered in such specializations as salon or spa management. Whichever type of training program you opt for, it’s imperative to make sure that it’s recognized by the Alabama Board of Cosmetology. Many states only certify schools that are accredited by certain highly regarded organizations, for example the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS). We will cover the benefits of accreditation for the school you select in the upcoming section.

Online Beauty Courses

student attending cosmetology school online in Alabaster ALOnline beauty classes are advantageous for Alabaster AL students who are working full time and have family obligations that make it challenging to enroll in a more traditional school. There are numerous online cosmetology school programs available that can be attended by means of a home computer or laptop at the student’s convenience. More conventional cosmetology programs are frequently fast paced because many courses are as short as 6 or 8 months. This means that a large portion of time is spent in the classroom. With online courses, you are dealing with the same volume of material, but you’re not devoting many hours outside of your home or commuting to and from classes. However, it’s important that the school you pick can provide internship training in nearby salons and parlors so that you also get the hands-on training necessary for a complete education. Without the internship part of the training, it’s impossible to acquire the skills necessary to work in any area of the cosmetology industry. So be sure if you decide to enroll in an online school to verify that internship training is provided in your area.

What to Ask Cosmetologist Training Programs

Questions to ask Alabaster AL beauty schoolsFollowing is a list of questions that you need to investigate for any beauty training school you are considering. As we have previously discussed, the location of the school in relation to your Alabaster AL residence, as well as the expense of tuition, will most likely be your initial qualifiers. Whether you wish to pursue a certificate, diploma or a degree will no doubt be next on your list. But once you have reduced your school options based on those initial qualifications, there are even more factors that you must research and consider before enrolling in a cosmetology program. Below we have compiled some of those supplemental questions that you should ask every school before making a final selection.

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 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 acquiring student loans or financial aid, which typically are not available in 35007 for non- accredited schools. It’s also a requirement for licensing in many states that the training be accredited. And as a concluding benefit, numerous Alabaster AL employers will not employ recent graduates of non-accredited schools, or might look more favorably upon those with accredited training.

Does the School have a Good Reputation?  Any cosmetology college that you are seriously considering 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. Check that the schools have high job placement rates, attesting that their students are highly demanded. Check rating companies for reviews together with the school’s accrediting organizations. If you have any contacts with Alabaster 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 thought of. And finally, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there have been any grievances filed or if the schools are in total compliance.

What’s the School’s Specialty?  Many cosmetology schools offer programs that are expansive in nature, concentrating on all facets of cosmetology. Others are more focused, offering training in a specific specialty, for instance 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 focuses on your area of interest. If your ambition 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 dream is to launch a hair salon in Alabaster AL, then you want to enroll in a degree program that will teach you how to be an owner/operator. Picking a highly regarded school with a poor program in the specialty you are pursuing will not deliver the training you need.

Is Any Live Training Provided?  Learning and mastering cosmetology techniques and abilities demands lots of practice on volunteers. Ask how much live, hands-on training is provided in the beauty classes you will be attending. Some schools have salons on campus that enable students to practice their developing talents on real people. If a beauty school furnishes minimal or no scheduled live training, but rather relies predominantly on the use of mannequins, it may not be the best option for acquiring your skills. So try to find alternate schools that provide this kind of training.

Does the School have a Job Placement Program?  As soon as a student graduates from a beauty academy, it’s essential that she or he receives aid in landing that first job. Job placement programs are an integral part of that process. Schools that provide aid develope relationships with Alabaster AL businesses that are looking for qualified graduates available for hiring. Verify that the schools you are contemplating have job placement programs and ask which salons and businesses they refer students to. Additionally, find out what their job placement rates are. High rates not only verify that they have broad networks of employers, but that their programs are highly respected as well.

Is Financial Assistance Offered?  The majority of beauty schools offer financial aid or student loan assistance for their students. Find out if the schools you are considering have a financial aid department. Speak with a counselor and learn what student loans or grants you might get approved for. If the school belongs to the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS), it will have scholarships available to students as well. If a school meets all of your other qualifications with the exception of expense, do not drop it as an option until you learn what financial assistance may be available.

Enrolled in Cosmetology School near Alabaster AL?

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

Alabaster, Alabama

Alabaster is a city and southern suburb of Birmingham in Shelby County, Alabama, United States. At the 2010 census, the population was 30,352. According to the 2013 Census Estimates, the city had a population of 31,342. Alabaster is the 16th largest city in Alabama by number of residents.[2]

Alabaster mostly occupies the Cahaba and Opossum Valleys, which are divided by the Pine Ridge that runs north to south. To the east and west, both valleys are flanked by parallel mountain ridges that locally run north to south, but are a part of a larger system of ridges that generally runs north-east to south-west (the tailing ends of the Appalachian foothills). The valleys are drained by small creeks (Buck Creek, Beaverdam Creek) which flow into the Cahaba River.[5]

George L. Scott, Sr., an Alabaster pioneer, owned and operated Alabaster Lime Co. His shipping point was known as “Scott Rock.” Later, housing was built to accommodate some of the employees, and the community acquired its name Alabaster from the "white calcium carbonate mineral." The First Bank of Alabaster opened in 1952, and its president was George L. Scott, Jr., who later became the first mayor of Alabaster. The first attempt in 1952 to incorporate Alabaster failed. In January 1953, the petition was again filed, and on February 23, 1953, Alabaster was officially incorporated with a favorable vote of 79 to 23, and 427 residing inhabitants. In 1955, the Alabaster Water and Gas Board was formed.[6]

Select the Right Cosmetologist Vocational School near Alabaster AL

Alabaster AL barber blow drying client's hairPicking and enrolling in the right cosmetology program is imperative to get the necessary training to become a licensed cosmetology technician. Make sure to ask all the questions that you require so as to feel positive about your decision. Make certain to compile all of the information you receive from the cosmetology school admissions departments, prioritize what matters the most to you, and then utilize that data to contrast schools. A sensible beginning in your due diligence process is to make sure that the school and program you select are accredited and have impressive reputations within the profession. If you begin with that foundation, and answer the additional questions presented in this post, 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 test, you will be confident that you are ready to start your new career as a professional cosmetologist in Alabaster AL.

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