How to Pick a Cosmetology College near Birmingham Alabama
Now that you have made a decision to train as a cosmetologist and attend a beauty school near Birmingham AL, the process starts to find and enroll in the best school. It’s imperative that the school you choose not only furnishes the appropriate training for the specialty you have decided on, but also prepares you for passing the licensing examination. When you start your preliminary search, you may be somewhat unclear 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 discuss a bit more concerning that in the following segment. If you plan on commuting to classes you will need to choose a school that is within driving distance of your Birmingham home. 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 always the ideal option. There are various other qualifications that you should weigh when reviewing schools, for instance their reputation and accreditation. We will go over what questions you should ask regarding 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.
What is Cosmetology
Cosmetology is a profession that is everything about making the human body look more attractive through the use of cosmetics. So of course it makes sense that many cosmetology schools are described 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 appearance of a person’s skin, hair or nails. If you want to work as a cosmetologist, most states require that you undergo some form of specialized training and then be licensed. Once licensed, the work settings include not only Birmingham AL beauty salons and barber shops, but also such places as spas, hotels and resorts. Many cosmetologists, after they have gained experience and a customer base, open their own shops or salons. Others will begin servicing customers either in their own homes or will go to the client’s residence, or both. Cosmetology college graduates go by many professional names and work in a wide variety of specializations including:
- Nail Technicians
- Makeup Artists
- Hair Coloring Specialists
- Electrolysis Technicians
As formerly stated, in the majority of states working cosmetologists have to be licensed. In some states there is an exception. Only those offering more skilled services, for example hairstylists, are required to be licensed. Other people employed in cosmetology and less skilled, such as shampooers, are not required to get licensed in those states.
Cosmetology Degrees and Certificates
There are basically two options available to get cosmetology training and a credential upon completion. You can enroll in a certificate (or diploma) course, or you can pursue an Associate’s degree. Certificate programs typically call for 12 to 18 months to finish, while an Associate’s degree ordinarily takes about 2 years. If you enroll in a certificate program you will be trained in each of the main areas of cosmetology. Shorter programs are available if you prefer to focus on just one area, for example hair coloring. A degree program will also most likely incorporate management and marketing training so that graduates are better prepared to run a parlor or other Birmingham AL business. Higher degrees are not typical, but Bachelor and Master’s degree programs are available in such specialties as salon or spa management. Whatever type of training program you go with, it’s imperative to make sure that it’s certified by the Alabama Board of Cosmetology. Numerous states only certify schools that are accredited by certain highly regarded organizations, for example the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS). We will review the advantages of accreditation for the school you choose in the following segment.
Online Beauty Classes
Online beauty schools are convenient for Birmingham AL students who are employed full time and have family responsibilities that make it challenging to attend a more traditional school. There are many online cosmetology school programs available that can be attended via a desktop computer or laptop at the student’s convenience. More conventional beauty programs are frequently fast paced due to the fact that many programs are as short as 6 or 8 months. This means that a substantial amount of time is spent in the classroom. With online programs, you are covering the same amount of material, but you’re not devoting many hours away from your home or driving to and from classes. However, it’s vital that the program you choose can provide internship training in area salons and parlors so that you also receive the hands-on training required for a complete education. Without the internship part of the training, it’s difficult to obtain the skills needed to work in any facet of the cosmetology field. So make sure if you choose to enroll in an online school to verify that internship training is available in your area.
Questions to Ask Cosmetologist Training Programs
Below is a list of questions that you will want to investigate for any cosmetologist training school you are considering. As we have previously covered, the location of the school in relation to your Birmingham AL residence, as well as the price of tuition, will undoubtedly be your initial qualifiers. Whether you want to earn a certificate, diploma or a degree will undoubtedly 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 take into consideration before enrolling in a cosmetology school. Below we have compiled several of those additional questions that you should ask every school before making a final decision.
Is the School Accredited? It’s essential to make sure that the cosmetology college you select is accredited. The accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged local or national organization, such as the National Accrediting Commission for Cosmetology Arts & Sciences (NACCAS). Programs accredited by the NACCAS must meet their high standards guaranteeing a quality curriculum and education. Accreditation can also be necessary for acquiring student loans or financial aid, which typically are not offered in 35201 for non- accredited schools. It’s also a requirement for licensing in several states that the training be accredited. And as a final benefit, many Birmingham AL businesses will not recruit recent graduates of non-accredited schools, or may look more favorably upon those with accredited training.
Does the School have a Good Reputation? Each cosmetology institute that you are seriously considering should have a good to excellent reputation within the profession. Being accredited is a good beginning. Next, ask the schools for endorsements from their network of employers where they have placed their students. Check that the schools have high job placement rates, showing that their students are highly sought after. Visit rating companies for reviews together with the school’s accrediting agencies. If you have any relationships with Birmingham AL salon owners or managers, or any person working in the field, ask them if they are familiar with the schools you are considering. They might even be able to suggest others that you had not thought of. And last, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there have been any grievances filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
What’s the School’s Focus? A number of cosmetology schools offer programs that are broad in nature, concentrating on all facets of cosmetology. Others are more focused, offering training in a specific specialty, such as hairstyling, manicuring or electrolysis. Schools that offer degree programs often expand into a management and marketing curriculum. So it’s important that you decide on a school that specializes in your area of interest. If your ambition is to be trained as an esthetician, make sure that the school you enroll in is accredited and respected for that program. If your dream is to open a hair salon in Birmingham AL, then you want to enroll in a degree program that will instruct you how to be an owner/operator. Picking a highly ranked school with a poor program in the specialty you are pursuing will not provide the training you require.
Is Plenty of Live Training Provided? Learning and refining cosmetology techniques and abilities requires lots of practice on volunteers. Find out how much live, hands-on training is furnished in the beauty classes you will be attending. Some schools have salons on site that enable students to practice their growing skills on real people. If a beauty academy furnishes little or no scheduled live training, but instead depends mainly on the use of mannequins, it might not be the best alternative for cultivating your skills. Therefore search for other schools that provide this kind of training.
Does the School Provide Job Assistance? When a student graduates from a beauty school, it’s imperative that she or he receives assistance in finding that initial job. Job placement programs are an integral part of that process. Schools that provide assistance develope relationships with Birmingham AL employers that are looking for qualified graduates available for hiring. Verify that the schools you are considering have job placement programs and find out which salons and establishments they refer students to. Also, 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 Available? The majority of beauty schools offer financial aid or student loan assistance for their students. Check if the schools you are looking at have a financial aid department. Speak with 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 fulfills all of your other qualifications except for expense, do not drop it as an alternative until you learn what financial aid may be offered.
Enrolled in Cosmetology School near Birmingham AL?
If you have decided to attend Beauty School in the greater Birmingham AL area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.
Birmingham (/ˈbɜːrmɪŋhæm/ BUR-ming-ham) is a city in the north central region of the U.S. state of Alabama. With an estimated 2018 population of 209,880, it is the most populous city in Alabama. Birmingham is the seat of Jefferson County, Alabama's most populous and fifth largest county. As of 2018, the Birmingham-Hoover Metropolitan Statistical Area had a population of 1,151,801, making it the most populous in Alabama and 49th-most populous in the United States. Birmingham serves as an important regional hub and is associated with the Deep South, Piedmont, and Appalachian regions of the nation.
Birmingham was founded in 1871, during the post-Civil War Reconstruction era, through the merger of three farm towns, most notably Elyton. The new city was named for Birmingham, England, the UK's second largest city and, at the time, a major industrial center. The Alabama city annexed smaller neighbors and developed as an industrial center, based on mining, the new iron and steel industry, and rail transport. Most of the original settlers who founded Birmingham were of English ancestry. The city was developed as a place where cheap, non-unionized immigrant labor (primarily Irish and Italian), along with African-American labor from rural Alabama, could work in the city's steel mills and blast furnaces, giving it a competitive advantage over unionized industrial cities in the Midwest and Northeast.:14
From its founding through the end of the 1960s, Birmingham was a primary industrial center of the southern United States. Its rapid growth from 1881 through 1920 earned it the nicknames "The Magic City" and "The Pittsburgh of the South". Its major industries were iron and steel production. Major components of the railroad industry, rails and railroad cars, were manufactured in Birmingham. Since the 1860s, the two primary hubs of railroading in the "Deep South" have been Birmingham and Atlanta. The economy diversified in the latter half of the 20th century. Banking, telecommunications, transportation, electrical power transmission, medical care, college education, and insurance have become major economic activities. Birmingham ranks as one of the largest banking centers in the U.S. Also, it is among the most important business centers in the Southeast.
Find the Right Cosmetology Program near Birmingham AL
Finding and enrolling in the ideal beauty college is essential to get the necessary training to become a licensed cosmetology practitioner. Be sure to ask all the questions that you need to in order to feel confident about your decision. Make certain to consolidate all of the responses you receive from the cosmetology school admissions departments, focus on what matters the most to you, and then use that information to compare schools. A sensible start in your due diligence procedure is to make certain that the institution and program you pick are accredited and have outstanding reputations within the field. If you start with that base, and address the additional questions presented in this post, you will be able to reduce your list of schools so that you can make the right choice. Once you graduate and pass your licensing examination, you will be self-assured that you are prepared to start your career as a professional cosmetologist in Birmingham AL.
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