How to Select a Cosmetology College near Montgomery Alabama
Since you have decided to train as a cosmetologist and enroll in a beauty school near Montgomery AL, the task starts to search for and enroll in the ideal school. It’s imperative that the school you choose not only provides the proper instruction for the specialty you have chosen, but also prepares you for passing the licensing exam. When you start your preliminary search, you might be rather 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 type of school. We’ll speak a bit further regarding that in the next section. If you intend on commuting to classes you will want to find a school that is within driving distance of your Montgomery home. Tuition will likewise be a critical aspect when evaluating prospective schools. Just remember that because a school is the nearest or the cheapest it’s not necessarily the ideal choice. There are a number of other considerations that you should weigh when comparing schools, for example their reputation and accreditation. We will examine 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 types of programs are offered.
Cosmetology is a profession that is everything about making the human anatomy look more beautiful with the application of cosmetics. So naturally it makes sense that many cosmetology schools are regarded as beauty schools. Most of us think of makeup when we hear the term cosmetics, but actually a cosmetic can be anything that enhances the look of a person’s skin, hair or nails. In order to work as a cosmetologist, most states mandate that you go through some kind of specialized training and then be licensed. Once licensed, the work settings include not only Montgomery AL beauty salons and barber shops, but also such venues as spas, hotels and resorts. Many cosmetologists, once they have gotten experience and a customer base, establish their own shops or salons. Others will start servicing customers either in their own residences or will travel to the client’s residence, or both. Cosmetology college graduates are known by many names and work in a wide variety of specializations including:
- Nail Technicians
- Makeup Artists
- Hair Coloring Specialists
- Electrolysis Technicians
As earlier mentioned, in the majority of states working cosmetologists must be licensed. In a few states there is an exemption. Only those conducting more skilled services, for instance hairstylists, are required to be licensed. Other people employed in cosmetology and less skilled, including shampooers, are not required to be licensed in those states.
Cosmetologist Degrees and Certificates
There are primarily two pathways available to receive cosmetology training and a credential upon completion. You can enroll in a certificate (or diploma) program, or you can work toward an Associate’s degree. Certificate programs generally 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 all of the major 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 most likely incorporate management and marketing training so that graduates are better prepared to manage a salon or other Montgomery AL business. Higher degrees are not typical, but Bachelor and Master’s degree programs are offered in such areas as salon or spa management. Whatever type of course you choose, it’s essential to make certain that it’s approved by the Alabama Board of Cosmetology. Many states only approve schools that are accredited by certain respected organizations, such as the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS). We will examine the advantages of accreditation for the school you choose in the upcoming segment.
Online Cosmetologist Courses
Online beauty classes are advantageous for Montgomery AL students who are working full-time and have family responsibilities that make it challenging to attend a more traditional school. There are numerous online beauty school programs available that can be attended via a personal computer or laptop at the student’s convenience. More conventional cosmetology schools are frequently fast paced since many programs 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 covering the same amount of material, but you are not spending numerous hours away from your home or travelling to and from classes. On the other hand, it’s important that the school you select can provide internship training in area salons and parlors in order that you also receive the hands-on training necessary for a complete education. Without the internship part of the training, it’s impossible to gain the skills needed to work in any facet of the cosmetology profession. So be sure if you decide to enroll in an online program to verify that internship training is provided in your area.
What to Ask Cosmetology Training Courses
Below is a series of questions that you should look into for any beauty training school you are contemplating. As we have already discussed, the location of the school relative to your Montgomery AL residence, in addition to the expense of tuition, will most likely be your initial qualifiers. Whether you would like to pursue a certificate, diploma or a degree will undoubtedly be next on your list. But once you have reduced your school options based on those preliminary qualifications, there are additional factors that you must research and take into consideration before enrolling in a cosmetology school. Following we have put together several of those additional questions that you need to ask each school before making a final decision.
Is the School Accredited? It’s essential to make certain that the cosmetology school you pick 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 can also be necessary for acquiring student loans or financial aid, which often are not available in 36101 for non- accredited schools. It’s also a prerequisite for licensing in several states that the training be accredited. And as a final benefit, a number of Montgomery AL businesses will not employ recent graduates of non-accredited schools, or may look more favorably upon individuals with accredited training.
Does the School have a Great Reputation? Any cosmetology college that you are seriously evaluating should have a good to outstanding reputation within the field. Being accredited is an excellent starting point. Next, ask the schools for testimonials from their network of employers where they have placed their students. Verify that the schools have high job placement rates, showing that their students are highly regarded. Visit rating services for reviews in addition to the school’s accrediting organizations. If you have any connections with Montgomery AL salon owners or managers, or anyone working in the industry, ask them if they are acquainted with the schools you are reviewing. They may even be able to suggest others that you had not thought of. Finally, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to see if there have been any grievances submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
What’s the School’s Specialty? 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, for instance hairstyling, manicuring or electrolysis. Schools that offer degree programs typically broaden into a management and marketing curriculum. So it’s imperative that you pick a school that focuses on your area of interest. If your goal 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 start a hair salon in Montgomery AL, then you want to enroll in a degree program that will instruct you how to be an owner/operator. Choosing a highly ranked school with a weak program in the specialty you are pursuing will not deliver the training you require.
Is Any Live Training Provided? Practicing and perfecting cosmetology skills and techniques demands plenty of practice on people. Ask how much live, hands-on training is included in the cosmetology courses you will be attending. A number of schools have salons on campus that allow students to practice their growing talents on real people. If a beauty academy provides little or no scheduled live training, but instead relies mainly on utilizing mannequins, it may not be the most effective alternative for cultivating your skills. Therefore try to find alternate schools that offer this type of training.
Does the School Provide Job Assistance? Once a student graduates from a cosmetology academy, it’s essential that she or he gets help in securing that very first job. Job placement programs are an important part of that process. Schools that provide assistance maintain relationships with Montgomery AL employers that are looking for trained graduates available for hiring. Confirm that the programs you are considering have job placement programs and inquire which salons and establishments they refer students to. In addition, find out what their job placement rates are. High rates not only confirm 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. Check if the schools you are looking at have a financial aid office. Talk to a counselor and identify what student loans or grants you may 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 except for cost, do not drop it as an option until you learn what financial assistance may be offered.
Enrolled in Cosmetology School near Montgomery AL?
If you have decided to attend Beauty School in the greater Montgomery AL area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.
Montgomery is the capital city of the U.S. state of Alabama and the county seat of Montgomery County. Named for Richard Montgomery, it stands beside the Alabama River, on the coastal Plain of the Gulf is Mexico. In the 2010 Census, Montgomery's population was 212,237. It is the second most populous city in Alabama, after Birmingham, and is the 115th most populous in the United States. The Montgomery Metropolitan Statistical Area's population in 2010 was estimated at 374,536; it is the fourth largest in the state and 136th among United States metropolitan areas.
The city was incorporated in 1819 as a merger of two towns situated along the Alabama River. It became the state capital in 1846, representing the shift of power to the south-central area of Alabama with the growth of cotton as a commodity crop of the Black Belt and the rise of Mobile as a mercantile port on the Gulf Coast. In February 1861, Montgomery was chosen the first capital of the Confederate States of America, which it remained until the Confederate seat of government moved to Richmond, Virginia, in May of that year. In the middle of the 20th century, Montgomery was a major center of events and protests in the Civil Rights Movement, including the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the Selma to Montgomery marches.
In addition to housing many Alabama government agencies, Montgomery has a large military presence, due to Maxwell Air Force Base; public universities Alabama State University, Troy University (Montgomery campus), and Auburn University at Montgomery; two private post-secondary institutions, Faulkner University and Huntingdon College; high-tech manufacturing, including Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama; and many cultural attractions, such as the Alabama Shakespeare Festival and the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts.
Choose the Right Beauty Program near Montgomery AL
Finding and enrolling in the right beauty school is important to receive the appropriate training to become a licensed cosmetology professional. Make sure to ask all the questions that you need to in order to feel certain about your decision. Be sure to compile all of the information you get from the beauty school admissions departments, focus on what matters the most to you, and then employ that data to compare schools. A sensible beginning in your due diligence procedure is to make sure that the school and program you select are accredited and have exceptional reputations within the field. If you begin with that base, 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 selection. Once you graduate and pass your licensing exam, you will be self-assured that you are prepared to begin your new career as a professional cosmetologist in Montgomery AL.
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