How to Find the Right Beauty College near Westover Alabama
Since you have decided to become a cosmetologist and enroll in a beauty school near Westover AL, the process starts to search for and enroll in the ideal school. It’s essential that the school you choose not only provides the proper training for the specialty you have decided on, but also readies you for passing the licensing exam. When you begin your preliminary search, you might be somewhat unclear about the difference between beauty schools and cosmetology schools. Well don’t be, because the titles are essentially interchangeable and both refer to the same kind of school. We’ll speak a bit more regarding that in the upcoming segment. If you intend on commuting to classes you will want to find a school that is within driving distance of your Westover home. Tuition will also be an important factor when evaluating possible schools. Just remember that because a school is the nearest or the cheapest it’s not automatically the right choice. There are various other qualifications that you should weigh when analyzing schools, for instance their reputation and accreditation. We will examine what questions you should ask regarding the cosmetology schools you are looking at later in this article. Before we do, let’s talk a bit about what cosmetology is, and what kinds of courses are offered.
What is Cosmetology
Cosmetology is an occupation that is everything about making the human body look more beautiful with the use of cosmetics. So of course it makes sense that a number of cosmetology schools are described as beauty schools. Many of us think of makeup when we hear the word cosmetics, but actually a cosmetic may be anything that improves the look of a person’s skin, hair or nails. In order to work as a cosmetologist, almost all states mandate that you take some type of specialized training and then become licensed. Once you are licensed, the work environments include not only Westover AL beauty salons and barber shops, but also such venues as spas, hotels and resorts. Many cosmetologists, once they have gained experience and a clientele, 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 professional names and work in a wide variety of specializations including:
- Nail Technicians
- Makeup Artists
- Hair Coloring Specialists
- Electrolysis Technicians
As already stated, in most states practicing cosmetologists have to be licensed. In some states there is an exception. Only those conducting more skilled services, for example hairstylists, are required to be licensed. Other people working in cosmetology and less skilled, which include shampooers, are not required to get licensed in those states.
Cosmetologist Degrees and Certificates
There are basically two options offered to get 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 typically 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 main areas of cosmetology. Shorter programs are offered if you want to specialize in just one area, such as hair coloring. A degree program will also likely feature management and marketing training so that graduates are better prepared to manage a parlor or other Westover AL business. More advanced degrees are not common, but Bachelor and Master’s degree programs are available in such areas as salon or spa management. Whatever type of program you opt for, it’s essential to make certain that it’s approved by the Alabama Board of Cosmetology. Many states only certify schools that are accredited by certain highly regarded agencies, including the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS). We will discuss the advantages of accreditation for the school you decide on in the upcoming section.
Online Cosmetology Courses
Online cosmetology programs are convenient for Westover AL students who are employed full time and have family commitments that make it difficult to enroll in a more traditional school. There are a large number of web-based cosmetology school programs offered that can be accessed through a personal computer or laptop at the student’s convenience. More traditional cosmetology schools are often fast paced since many courses are as short as 6 or 8 months. This means that a substantial portion of time is spent in the classroom. With online programs, you are covering the same amount of material, but you’re not devoting numerous hours away from your home or driving to and from classes. On the other hand, it’s imperative that the training program you choose can provide internship training in area salons and parlors to ensure that you also receive the hands-on training required 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 field. So be sure if you decide to enroll in an online program to verify that internship training is available in your area.
What to Ask Beauty Training Classes
Below is a series of questions that you will want to look into for any cosmetologist training school you are considering. As we have already covered, the location of the school relative to your Westover AL residence, as well as the price of tuition, will probably be your first qualifiers. Whether you want to earn a certificate, diploma or a degree will undoubtedly be next on your list. But once you have narrowed 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 collected some of those additional questions that you should ask each school before making a final determination.
Is the Program Accredited? It’s necessary to make certain that the cosmetology college you enroll in 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). Programs accredited by the NACCAS must meet their high standards guaranteeing a superior curriculum and education. Accreditation may also be essential for acquiring student loans or financial aid, which frequently are not available in 35185 for non- accredited schools. It’s also a prerequisite for licensing in many states that the training be accredited. And as a final benefit, numerous Westover 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 Great Reputation? Any cosmetologist school that you are seriously evaluating should have a good to exceptional reputation within the field. Being accredited is an excellent beginning. Next, ask the schools for references from their network of employers where they have placed their students. Confirm that the schools have high job placement rates, indicating that their students are highly demanded. Check rating services for reviews as well as the school’s accrediting agencies. If you have any contacts with Westover AL salon owners or managers, or any person working in the industry, ask them if they are familiar with the schools you are reviewing. They might even be able to recommend others that you had not considered. And finally, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to see if there have been any grievances submitted or if the schools are in complete compliance.
What’s the School’s Focus? A number of beauty schools offer programs that are expansive in nature, concentrating on all areas of cosmetology. Others are more focused, providing training in a particular specialty, such as hairstyling, manicuring or electrolysis. Schools that offer degree programs commonly expand into a management and marketing curriculum. So it’s essential that you select a school that specializes in 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 respected for that program. If your vision is to open a hair salon in Westover AL, then you want to enroll in a degree program that will teach you how to be an owner/operator. Choosing a highly ranked school with a poor program in the specialty you are pursuing will not deliver the training you require.
Is Enough Hands-On Training Provided? Learning and mastering cosmetology skills and techniques involves lots of practice on people. Ask how much live, hands-on training is furnished in the cosmetology courses you will be attending. A number of schools have salons on site that enable students to practice their developing talents on real people. If a beauty academy provides minimal or no scheduled live training, but instead depends predominantly on using mannequins, it may not be the best option for developing your skills. Therefore try to find other schools that provide this type of training.
Does the School have a Job Placement Program? As soon as a student graduates from a cosmetology program, it’s imperative that he or she gets aid in landing that very first job. Job placement programs are an integral part of that process. Schools that provide aid maintain relationships with Westover AL employers that are looking for trained graduates available for hiring. Verify that the programs you are contemplating have job placement programs and find out which salons and establishments they refer students to. Additionally, ask what their job placement rates are. Higher rates not only verify that they have broad networks of employers, but that their programs are highly regarded as well.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Many cosmetology schools provide financial aid or student loan assistance for their students. Ask 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 also. If a school meets each of your other qualifications except for cost, do not eliminate it as an option until you find out what financial aid may be available.
Enrolled in Cosmetology School near Westover AL?
If you have decided to attend Beauty School in the greater Westover AL area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.
Westover Air Reserve Base
Westover Air Reserve Base (IATA: CEF, ICAO: KCEF, FAA LID: CEF) is an Air Force Reserve Command (AFRC) installation located in the Massachusetts communities of Chicopee and Ludlow, near the city of Springfield, Massachusetts. Westover hosts the largest Air Reserve Base in the world in terms of area. Until 2011, it was a backup landing site for the NASA Space Shuttle and in the past few years has expanded to include a growing civilian access airport (Westover Metropolitan Airport) sharing Westover's military-maintained runways. The installation was named for Major General Oscar Westover who was commanding officer of the Army Air Corps in the 1930s.
The host unit is the 439th Airlift Wing (439 AW) of the Fourth Air Force (4 AF), Air Force Reserve Command. Outside of the AFRC command structure, the 439 AW and Westover are operationally gained by the Air Mobility Command (AMC).
In 1951, Air Defense Command arrived, but then turned over the base in 1955 to Strategic Air Command, which sent the 4050th, later 499th Air Refueling Wing, to operate from the base. The 99th Bombardment Wing arrived in 1956. In case of nuclear war, an alternate SAC command bunker, called The Notch, was constructed deep within nearby Bare Mountain.
Find the Right Cosmetology College near Westover AL
Choosing and enrolling in the ideal cosmetology school is imperative to receive the proper training to become a licensed cosmetology practitioner. Be sure to ask all the questions that you require in order to feel positive about your decision. Be sure to consolidate all of the information you get from the beauty school admissions departments, prioritize what matters the most to you, and then utilize that data to compare schools. A sensible beginning in your due diligence process is to make sure that the college and program you choose are accredited and have impressive reputations within the field. If you begin with that foundation, and answer the additional questions supplied in this post, you will be able to reduce your list of schools so that you can make the ideal choice. Once you graduate and pass your licensing test, you will be confident that you are ready to start your career as a professional cosmetologist in Westover AL.
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