How to Pick a Cosmetology College near Fultondale Alabama
Now that you have made a decision to train as a cosmetologist and attend a beauty school near Fultondale AL, the process begins to find and enroll in the best school. It’s important that the program you pick not only provides the proper instruction for the specialty you have selected, but also preps you for passing the licensing exam. When you begin your initial search, you might be a little bit unclear about the difference between beauty schools and cosmetology schools. Well don’t be, because the names are pretty much interchangeable and both pertain to the same kind of school. We’ll speak a little bit more about that in the upcoming segment. If you plan on commuting to classes you will need to find a school that is within driving distance of your Fultondale home. Tuition will additionally be a critical consideration when reviewing potential schools. Just keep in mind that because a school is the nearest or the lowest cost it’s not necessarily the best choice. There are several other factors that you should evaluate when analyzing schools, such as their reputation and accreditation. We will review what questions you should ask regarding the cosmetology schools you are looking at later within this article. Before we do, let’s discuss a bit about what cosmetology is, and what kinds of courses are available.
Cosmetology is a profession that is everything about making the human body look more beautiful through the use of cosmetics. So of course it makes sense that a number of cosmetology schools are regarded as beauty schools. Many of us think of makeup when we hear the term cosmetics, but really a cosmetic may be almost anything that enhances the look of a person’s skin, hair or nails. In order to work as a cosmetologist, the majority of states mandate that you take some form of specialized training and then become licensed. Once licensed, the work environments include not only Fultondale 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, establish their own shops or salons. Others will begin seeing clients either in their own residences or will go to the client’s home, 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 most states working cosmetologists must be licensed. In certain states there is an exception. Only those conducting more skilled services, such as hairstylists, are required to be licensed. Others employed in cosmetology and less skilled, such as shampooers, are not required to become licensed in those states.
Cosmetology Certificates and Degrees
There are basically two options offered to receive 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 usually take 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 trained in all of the major areas of cosmetology. Shorter programs are available if you prefer to focus on just one area, such as hair coloring. A degree program will also most likely include management and marketing training to ensure that graduates are better prepared to operate a parlor or other Fultondale AL business. Higher degrees are not common, but Bachelor and Master’s degree programs are offered in such specializations as salon or spa management. Whichever type of course you go with, it’s important to make sure that it’s certified by the Alabama Board of Cosmetology. A number of states only recognize schools that are accredited by certain highly regarded agencies, such as the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS). We will cover the advantages of accreditation for the school you choose in the next segment.
Online Cosmetology Training
Online beauty classes are convenient for Fultondale AL students who are employed full-time and have family obligations that make it difficult to enroll in a more traditional school. There are many online cosmetology school programs available that can be attended by means of a personal computer or laptop at the student’s convenience. More conventional cosmetology programs are typically fast paced because many programs are as brief as 6 or 8 months. This means that a considerable amount of time is spent in the classroom. With online programs, you are dealing with the same amount of material, but you are not spending many hours away from your home or driving back and forth from classes. On the other hand, it’s essential that the program you choose can provide internship training in local salons and parlors so that you also receive the hands-on training necessary for a comprehensive education. Without the internship part of the training, it’s impossible 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 provided in your area.
Questions to Ask Cosmetology Training Courses
Below is a series of questions that you should investigate for any cosmetologist training program you are contemplating. As we have already discussed, the location of the school in relation to your Fultondale AL home, as well as the cost of tuition, will probably be your initial qualifiers. Whether you wish to earn a certificate, diploma or a degree will no doubt 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 put together some of those supplemental questions that you should ask each school before making a final decision.
Is the Program Accredited? It’s important to make certain that the cosmetology college you pick 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 comply with their high standards ensuring a quality curriculum and education. Accreditation may also be essential for securing student loans or financial aid, which typically are not obtainable in 35068 for non- accredited schools. It’s also a criteria for licensing in several states that the training be accredited. And as a final benefit, numerous Fultondale AL businesses will not employ recent graduates of non-accredited schools, or may look more positively upon those with accredited training.
Does the School have a Good Reputation? Any cosmetologist school that you are seriously evaluating 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 businesses where they have referred their students. Check that the schools have high job placement rates, attesting that their students are highly sought after. Visit rating services for reviews together with the school’s accrediting agencies. If you have any connections with Fultondale AL salon owners or managers, or someone working in the field, ask them if they are familiar with the schools you are looking at. They might even be able to propose others that you had not looked into. And last, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to see if there have been any complaints submitted or if the schools are in complete compliance.
What’s the School’s Specialty? A number of cosmetology schools offer programs that are broad 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 choose a school that focuses on 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 well regarded for that program. If your aspiration is to launch a hair salon in Fultondale AL, then you want to enroll in a degree program that will teach you how to be an owner/operator. Selecting a highly rated school with a poor program in the specialty you are pursuing will not provide the training you need.
Is Plenty of Hands-On Training Provided? Practicing and mastering cosmetology skills and techniques requires lots of practice on people. Find out how much live, hands-on training is furnished in the beauty lessons you will be attending. Some schools have salons on campus that allow students to practice their growing skills on volunteers. If a beauty program provides minimal or no scheduled live training, but rather depends predominantly on using mannequins, it may not be the best option for cultivating your skills. Therefore try to find alternate schools that furnish this kind of training.
Does the School Provide Job Assistance? As soon as a student graduates from a beauty academy, it’s important that she or he gets aid in landing that very first job. Job placement programs are an integral part of that process. Schools that furnish aid develope relationships with Fultondale AL businesses that are searching for skilled graduates available for hiring. Check 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 affirm that they have extensive networks of employers, but that their programs are highly respected as well.
Is Financial Aid Available? Many beauty schools provide financial aid or student loan assistance for their students. Check if the schools you are reviewing have a financial aid department. Consult with a counselor and identify 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 available to students as well. If a school meets all of your other qualifications except for cost, do not drop it as an alternative until you learn what financial aid may be provided.
Enrolled in Cosmetology School near Fultondale AL?
If you have decided to attend Beauty School in the greater Fultondale AL area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.
This area was once known as Fulton Springs. Prior to the building of Interstate 65, US 31 was the main route for travelers northbound from Birmingham towards Nashville, Tennessee. As a result, hotels such as the Keystone Lodge and Buchmann Motor Inn prospered. On the city's southern edge was located one of the few drive-in theatres in the Birmingham area (the "Skyview"). This was torn down when I-65 was built in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The Pine Bowl bowling alley is still a long time fixture in the city.Traces of the old routing of US 31 are still noticeable in the city. From just south of the city hall to an old bridge on this city's northern side, most of this old routing is known as Stouts Road or in some cases simply "old US 31."
Fultondale was a relatively stagnant community until the last decade. Growth has occurred in residential areas mainly west of Interstate 65, while retail development has focused along and near the I-65/Walkers Chapel Road exit.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 12.2 square miles (32 km2), all land. Fultondale is located along one of the many ridgelines that comprise the southern end of the Appalachian Mountain chain. The area has been thoroughly mined for coal and other minerals in the past 100 years. The city is served by two major north/south highways, Interstate 65 and US Highway 31. The new Interstate 22 encroaches on the city's western edge and on June 20, 2016, the interchange with I-65 just south of Fultondale opened. I-22 will provide direct interstate access to Memphis, Tennessee. Upon completion of Interstate 22, Fultondale will become the fourth Alabama city (after Birmingham, Montgomery, and Mobile) to be directly served by more than one two-digit interstate highway (I-65 & I-22). The only east/west thoroughfare of note is Walkers Chapel Road (west of US 31) and New Castle Road (east of US 31). Rail lines run north/south along the city's eastern edge from Boyles Yard in Tarrant to points north and east. Air travel is available from nearby Birmingham International Airport.
Find the Right Cosmetologist Vocational School near Fultondale AL
Locating and enrolling in the ideal beauty program is imperative to obtain the necessary training to become a licensed cosmetology specialist. Be sure to ask all the questions that you require in order to feel confident about your decision. Make sure to collect all of the responses you receive from the beauty school admissions departments, prioritize what matters the most to you, and then employ that data to contrast schools. A reasonable start in your due diligence procedure is to make sure that the academy and program you choose are accredited and have impressive reputations within the field. If you begin with that foundation, and answer the additional questions provided in this article, you will be able to narrow down your list of schools so that you can make the proper choice. And when you graduate and pass your licensing exam, you will be confident that you are qualified to start your career as a professional cosmetologist in Fultondale AL.
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