Become a Cosmetologist | Cosmetology Schools Florence AL

How to Select a Cosmetologist School near Florence Alabama

nail technicians training at Florence AL beauty schoolSince you have decided to train as a cosmetologist and enroll in a beauty school near Florence AL, the process starts to locate and enroll in the best school. It’s important that the school you pick not only provides the proper education for the specialty you have selected, but also prepares you for passing the licensing examination. When you start your initial search, you may be somewhat confused about the difference 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 more concerning that in the following section. If you plan on commuting to classes you will need to find a school that is within driving distance of your Florence residence. Tuition will additionally be an important consideration when reviewing potential schools. Just remember that because a school is the nearest or the lowest cost it’s not automatically the ideal choice. There are several other qualifications that you should weigh when analyzing schools, such as their reputation and accreditation. We will examine what questions you should ask about the cosmetology schools you are looking at later within this article. Before we do, let’s discuss a little bit about what cosmetology is, and what types of courses are offered.

What is Cosmetology

Florence AL makeup ar4tist applying makeupCosmetology is an occupation that is everything about making the human body look more attractive with the use of cosmetics. So of course it makes sense that many 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 appearance of a person’s skin, hair or nails. In order to work as a cosmetologist, most states mandate that you undergo some form of specialized training and then become licensed. Once licensed, the work environments include not only Florence AL beauty salons and barber shops, but also such venues as spas, hotels and resorts. Many cosmetologists, after they have gained experience and a customer base, open their own shops or salons. Others will start servicing clients either in their own homes or will travel to the client’s home, or both. Cosmetology college graduates go by many names and work in a wide variety of specialties including:

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

As already stated, in the majority of states working cosmetologists must be licensed. In a few states there is an exception. Only those performing 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 be licensed in those states.

Cosmetologist Degrees

Florence AL hairdresser cutting hairThere are basically two options available to get cosmetology training and a credential upon completion. You can enroll in a certificate (or diploma) program, or you can pursue an Associate’s degree. Certificate programs normally call for 12 to 18 months to complete, while an Associate’s degree ordinarily takes about 2 years. If you enroll in a certificate program you will be instructed in each of the main areas of cosmetology. Shorter programs are offered if you want to concentrate on just one area, for example hair coloring. A degree program will also probably feature management and marketing training so that graduates are better prepared to operate a salon or other Florence 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 program you choose, it’s essential to make certain that it’s recognized by the Alabama Board of Cosmetology. A number of states only recognize schools that are accredited by certain highly regarded agencies, for instance the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS). We will examine the advantages of accreditation for the school you select in the next section.

Online Cosmetology Training

student attending cosmetology school online in Florence ALOnline cosmetology classes are advantageous for Florence AL students who are employed full time and have family commitments that make it challenging to attend a more traditional school. There are numerous online beauty school programs available that can be accessed via a home computer or laptop at the student’s convenience. More conventional cosmetology programs are frequently fast paced because many programs are as short as six or eight months. This means that a substantial 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 outside of your home or travelling back and forth from classes. However, it’s important that the program you select can provide internship training in local salons and parlors so that you also get the hands-on training required for a comprehensive education. Without the internship portion of the training, it’s impossible to acquire the skills needed to work in any area of the cosmetology industry. So don’t forget if you decide to enroll in an online school to verify that internship training is provided in your area.

Questions to Ask Cosmetology Trade Schools

Questions to ask Florence AL beauty schoolsFollowing is a list of questions that you will want to investigate for any cosmetologist training school you are contemplating. As we have previously covered, the location of the school in relation to your Florence AL residence, as well as the cost of tuition, will most likely 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 choices based on those initial qualifications, there are additional factors that you must research and take into consideration before enrolling in a cosmetology school. Below we have collected some of those additional questions that you need to ask every school before making a final selection.

Is the Program Accredited? It’s essential to make certain that the cosmetology school 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). Schools accredited by the NACCAS must comply with their high standards guaranteeing a quality curriculum and education. Accreditation can also be necessary for securing student loans or financial aid, which typically are not obtainable in 35630 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 Florence AL businesses will not hire recent graduates of non-accredited schools, or may look more favorably upon individuals with accredited training.

Does the School have a Good Reputation?  Each cosmetologist school that you are seriously considering should have a good to excellent reputation within the field. Being accredited is a good beginning. Next, ask the schools for testimonials from their network of businesses where they have referred their students. Confirm that the schools have high job placement rates, signifying that their students are highly demanded. Visit rating companies for reviews together with the school’s accrediting agencies. If you have any connections with Florence AL salon owners or managers, or any person working in the trade, ask them if they are acquainted with the schools you are looking at. They might even be able to propose others that you had not looked into. And finally, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to see if there have been any grievances filed or if the schools are in total compliance.

What’s the School’s Focus?  Some beauty schools offer programs that are broad in nature, focusing on all facets of cosmetology. Others are more focused, offering training in a particular 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 choose a school that specializes in 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 dream is to start a hair salon in Florence AL, then you need to enroll in a degree program that will teach you how to be an owner/operator. Choosing a highly regarded school with a weak program in the specialty you are seeking will not provide the training you require.

Is Any Live Training Provided?  Studying and mastering cosmetology skills and techniques demands lots of practice on people. Ask how much live, hands-on training is included in the beauty classes you will be attending. Some schools have salons on site that enable students to practice their growing talents on volunteers. If a beauty program furnishes limited or no scheduled live training, but instead relies mainly on the use of mannequins, it may not be the most effective alternative for cultivating your skills. Therefore look for 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 important that he or she gets help in securing that initial job. Job placement programs are an integral part of that process. Schools that provide aid maintain relationships with Florence AL employers that are seeking trained 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. In addition, ask what their job placement rates are. Higher rates not only affirm that they have wide networks of employers, but that their programs are highly respected as well.

Is Financial Assistance Offered?  Almost all beauty schools provide financial aid or student loan assistance for their students. Find out if the schools you are investigating have a financial aid office. Speak with a counselor and learn what student loans or grants you might qualify for. If the school belongs to the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS), it will have scholarships offered to students as well. If a school satisfies each of your other qualifications with the exception of cost, do not eliminate it as an alternative until you learn what financial help may be provided.

Enrolled in Cosmetology School near Florence AL?

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

Florence, Alabama

Florence is the largest and principal city of the Florence-Muscle Shoals Metropolitan Statistical Area (which includes Muscle Shoals, Sheffield, and Tuscumbia metropolitan areas in Colbert and Lauderdale counties). Florence is considered northwestern Alabama's primary economic hub.

Annual tourism events include the W. C. Handy Music Festival in the summer and the Renaissance Faire in the fall. Landmarks in Florence include the Rosenbaum House, the only Frank Lloyd Wright-designed home located in Alabama.

Florence and Lauderdale County have one hospital, Eliza Coffee Memorial Hospital. ECM is a 358 bed facility owned by RCCH HealthCare Partners in Brentwood, Tennessee. In 2010 RCCH HealthCare Partners announced that they would build a new hospital in Florence. The hospital is due to be completed in December 2018.

Find the Right Beauty Program near Florence AL

Florence AL barber blow drying client's hairLocating and enrolling in the ideal cosmetologist college is important to obtain the appropriate training to become a licensed cosmetology professional. Make sure to ask all the questions that you require so as to feel certain about your decision. Make sure to collect all of the information you receive from the cosmetology school admissions departments, prioritize what matters the most to you, and then utilize that information to compare schools. A sensible start in your due diligence process is to make sure that the academy and program you choose are accredited and have impressive reputations within the profession. If you start with that foundation, and answer the additional questions provided in this post, you will be able to narrow down your list of schools so that you can make the ideal choice. And when you graduate and pass your licensing examination, you will be confident that you are ready to launch your new career as a professional cosmetologist in Florence AL.

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