Become a Cosmetologist | Cosmetology Schools Girdwood AK

How to Select a Beauty College near Girdwood Alaska

nail technicians training at Girdwood AK beauty schoolSince you have decided to train as a cosmetologist and attend a beauty school near Girdwood AK, the task begins to find and enroll in the right school. It’s imperative that the school you pick not only provides the proper training for the specialty you have chosen, but also readies you for passing the licensing examination. When you start your preliminary search, you may be a little bit confused about the contrast between beauty schools and cosmetology schools. Well don’t be, because the titles are basically interchangeable and both refer to the same kind of school. We’ll talk a little bit more about that in the following section. If you anticipate commuting to classes you will need to choose a school that is within driving distance of your Girdwood residence. Tuition will also be a critical factor when evaluating potential schools. Just bear in mind that because a school is the closest or the lowest cost it’s not necessarily the right option. There are a number of other qualifications that you should evaluate when comparing schools, for example their reputation and accreditation. We will examine what questions you should ask concerning 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 programs are available.

Defining Cosmetology

Girdwood AK makeup ar4tist applying makeupCosmetology is a profession that is all 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 basically a cosmetic can be anything that enhances the look of a person’s skin, hair or nails. If you want to work as a cosmetologist, almost all states require that you take some type of specialized training and then be licensed. Once you are licensed, the work environments include not only Girdwood AK beauty salons and barber shops, but also such venues as spas, hotels and resorts. Many cosmetologists, after they have gotten experience and a clientele, establish their own shops or salons. Others will start seeing clients either in their own residences or will travel to the client’s residence, or both. Cosmetology college graduates go by many professional names and are employed in a wide variety of specialties including:

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

As previously stated, in the majority of states working cosmetologists have to be licensed. In certain states there is an exemption. Only those offering more skilled services, for instance hairstylists, are required to be licensed. Other people working in cosmetology and less skilled, including shampooers, are not required to be licensed in those states.

Cosmetology Certificates and Degrees

Girdwood AK hairdresser cutting hairThere are basically two options offered to get cosmetology training and a credential after completion. You can enroll in a certificate (or diploma) program, or you can work toward an Associate’s degree. Certificate programs generally take 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. Briefer programs are available if you want to concentrate on just one area, for example hair coloring. A degree program will also likely incorporate management and marketing training to ensure that graduates are better prepared to operate a parlor or other Girdwood AK business. Higher degrees are not common, but Bachelor and Master’s degree programs are available in such areas as salon or spa management. Whichever type of course you go with, it’s imperative to make sure that it’s approved by the Alaska Board of Cosmetology. A number of states only recognize schools that are accredited by certain reputable agencies, such as the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS). We will discuss the advantages of accreditation for the school you select in the next section.

Online Cosmetology Programs

student attending cosmetology school online in Girdwood AKOnline beauty programs are accommodating for Girdwood AK students who are working full-time and have family responsibilities that make it challenging to attend a more traditional school. There are many online cosmetology school programs offered that can be attended via a home computer or laptop at the student’s convenience. More traditional beauty schools are typically fast paced since many courses are as short as six or eight months. This means that a substantial portion of time is spent in the classroom. With internet programs, you are covering the same volume of material, but you are not spending many hours away from your home or driving back and forth 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 comprehensive education. Without the internship part of the training, it’s difficult to gain the skills needed to work in any facet of the cosmetology field. So make sure if you decide to enroll in an online school to confirm that internship training is provided in your area.

Questions to Ask Cosmetologist Training Courses

Questions to ask Girdwood AK beauty schoolsBelow is a list of questions that you should research for any cosmetologist training school you are considering. As we have previously covered, the location of the school relative to your Girdwood AK home, as well as the price of tuition, will most likely be your primary 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 choices based on those initial qualifications, there are additional factors that you must research and take into consideration before enrolling in a cosmetology program. Following we have collected several of those supplemental questions that you should ask every school before making a final decision.

Is the Program Accredited? It’s important to make certain that the cosmetology school you choose is accredited. The accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education certified local or national agency, 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 obtaining student loans or financial aid, which frequently are not available in 99587 for non- accredited schools. It’s also a criteria for licensing in several states that the training be accredited. And as a final benefit, a number of Girdwood AK businesses will not employ recent graduates of non-accredited schools, or may look more positively upon individuals with accredited training.

Does the School have an Excellent Reputation?  Each cosmetology college that you are seriously evaluating should have a good to outstanding reputation within the profession. Being accredited is a good beginning. Next, ask the schools for references from their network of businesses where they have referred their students. Confirm that the schools have high job placement rates, attesting that their students are highly sought after. Check rating companies for reviews together with the school’s accrediting organizations. If you have any contacts with Girdwood AK salon owners or managers, or anyone working in the business, ask them if they are acquainted with the schools you are considering. They might even be able to recommend others that you had not thought of. Finally, check with the Alaska school licensing authority to see if there have been any complaints submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.

What’s the School’s Specialty?  A number of beauty schools offer programs that are broad in nature, focusing on all areas of cosmetology. Others are more focused, offering training in a specific specialty, for example hairstyling, manicuring or electrolysis. Schools that offer degree programs commonly broaden into a management and marketing curriculum. So it’s imperative 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 well regarded for that program. If your dream is to start a hair salon in Girdwood AK, then you need to enroll in a degree program that will instruct you how to be an owner/operator. Selecting a highly regarded school with a poor program in the specialty you are seeking will not provide the training you need.

Is Enough Live Training Provided?  Learning and refining cosmetology skills and techniques requires plenty of practice on people. Check how much live, hands-on training is included in the cosmetology courses you will be attending. A number of schools have salons on site that allow students to practice their developing talents on volunteers. If a beauty academy provides limited or no scheduled live training, but instead depends predominantly on utilizing mannequins, it may not be the most effective option for developing your skills. Therefore search for other schools that furnish this type of training.

Does the School have a Job Placement Program?  When a student graduates from a cosmetology school, it’s essential that she or he receives aid in finding that first job. Job placement programs are an integral part of that process. Schools that furnish help maintain relationships with Girdwood AK employers that are seeking trained graduates available for hiring. Check that the programs you are looking at have job placement programs and inquire which salons and businesses they refer students to. Additionally, ask 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 Aid Available?  Almost all cosmetology schools offer financial aid or student loan assistance for their students. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have a financial aid office. Consult with 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 offered to students as well. If a school fulfills each of your other qualifications with the exception of cost, do not omit it as an alternative before you find out what financial assistance may be provided.

Enrolled in Cosmetology School near Girdwood AK?

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

Girdwood, Anchorage

Girdwood is a resort town within the southern extent of the Municipality of Anchorage in the state of Alaska. Located near the end of the Turnagain Arm of Cook Inlet, Girdwood lies in a valley in the southwestern Chugach Mountains, surrounded by seven glaciers feeding into a number of creeks, which either converge within the valley or empty directly into the arm. Girdwood is typically accessed by the Seward Highway (Milepost 90), with the main line of the Alaska Railroad paralleling the highway. By road distance, most of the community lies within 35 to 40 miles (56 to 64 km) of downtown Anchorage. According to 2014 estimates, a little under 2,000 people live in the valley.

Founded as a community to supply miners during the Turnagain Arm gold rushes of the 1890s, Girdwood was mostly a small, quiet place until the middle of the 20th century. Two events drastically altered that. The first was the establishment of Alyeska Resort along the slopes of Mount Alyeska, which became an international destination coincidental with Anchorage's civic promotion of itself as "The Air Crossroads of the World". The second was the 1964 earthquake, which devastated the original townsite located directly along the arm. Following the earthquake, most of the town moved further up the valley to a new townsite, though a few homes remained and a strip mall was later constructed along the Seward Highway. Historically dominated in the years since the resort's opening by seasonally-occupied vacation homes and seasonal activity at the resort, the opening of the Alyeska Prince Hotel during the 1990s has shifted the resort, and hence Girdwood as a whole, more towards year-round activity and a year-round economy. This has led to periodic debates about community growth and affordability of housing for resort workers, many of whom over the years have resorted to camping illegally on public lands.

Girdwood still revolves heavily around seasonal activity, with skiing and snowboarding at Alyeska Resort bringing visitors and their money into the community. Summer activities are also popular, which include hiking, fishing and rafting. The Girdwood Forest Fair, held every July, is the community's most significant visitor attraction apart from resort-related activities. Girdwood is located within the northernmost extent of rain forest on Earth, and also serves as the closest point of access to Chugach National Forest from Anchorage proper.

Pick the Right Cosmetology Training Program near Girdwood AK

Girdwood AK barber blow drying client's hairSelecting and enrolling in the right cosmetology school is imperative to receive the proper training to become a licensed cosmetology professional. Be sure to ask all the questions that you require in order to feel certain about your decision. Make sure to organize all of the responses you get from the cosmetology school admissions departments, prioritize what matters the most to you, and then use that information to contrast schools. A sensible beginning in your due diligence process is to make sure that the academy and program you decide on are accredited and have excellent reputations within the field. If you start with that base, and answer the additional questions supplied in this article, you will be able to reduce your list of schools so that you can make the right selection. And when you graduate and pass your licensing exam, you will be confident that you are prepared to start your new career as a professional cosmetologist in Girdwood AK.

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