Become a Cosmetologist | Cosmetology Schools Oak Park IL

How to Select a Cosmetology School near Oak Park Illinois

nail technicians training at Oak Park IL beauty schoolSince you have made a decision to train as a cosmetologist and attend a beauty school near Oak Park IL, the process starts to find and enroll in the best school. It’s important that the program you select not only furnishes the proper education for the specialty you have selected, but also preps you for passing the licensing examination. When you start your initial search, you may be somewhat puzzled about the difference between beauty schools and cosmetology schools. Well don’t be, because the names are pretty much 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 choose a school that is within driving distance of your Oak Park residence. Tuition will additionally be an important aspect when reviewing potential schools. Just keep in mind that because a school is the closest or the least expensive it’s not automatically the right choice. There are several other qualifications that you should evaluate when reviewing schools, for instance their reputation and accreditation. We will go over 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 programs are offered.

What is Cosmetology

Oak Park IL 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 numerous cosmetology schools are described as beauty schools. Most of us think of makeup when we hear the word cosmetics, but actually a cosmetic can be anything that enhances the appearance of a person’s skin, hair or nails. In order to work as a cosmetologist, most states mandate that you take some form of specialized training and then become licensed. Once licensed, the work environments include not only Oak Park IL beauty salons and barber shops, but also such businesses as spas, hotels and resorts. Many cosmetologists, after they have acquired experience and a customer base, launch their own shops or salons. Others will begin seeing customers either in their own residences or will travel to the client’s house, or both. Cosmetology college graduates have many 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 earlier mentioned, in most states working cosmetologists have to be licensed. In certain states there is an exception. Only those conducting more skilled services, such as hairstylists, are required to be licensed. Others working in cosmetology and less skilled, which include shampooers, are not required to get licensed in those states.

Cosmetologist Certificates and Degrees

Oak Park IL hairdresser cutting hairThere are primarily two options offered to receive cosmetology training and a credential upon completion. You can enroll in a certificate (or diploma) course, or you can work toward an Associate’s degree. Certificate programs usually take 12 to 18 months to finish, while an Associate’s degree ordinarily takes about 2 years. If you enroll in a certificate program you will be trained in each of the major areas of cosmetology. Shorter programs are available if you wish to concentrate on just one area, for example hair coloring. A degree program will also most likely incorporate management and marketing training to ensure that graduates are better prepared to operate a salon or other Oak Park IL business. More advanced degrees are not prevalent, but Bachelor and Master’s degree programs are available in such specializations as salon or spa management. Whichever type of training program you choose, it’s important to make certain that it’s recognized by the Illinois Board of Cosmetology. Many states only certify schools that are accredited by certain respected organizations, for example the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS). We will examine the advantages of accreditation for the school you choose in the next segment.

Online Cosmetologist Schools

student attending cosmetology school online in Oak Park ILOnline beauty classes are accommodating for Oak Park IL students who are employed full-time and have family commitments that make it hard to attend a more traditional school. There are a large number of web-based beauty school programs offered that can be attended via a desktop computer or laptop at the student’s convenience. More traditional beauty programs are typically fast paced since many programs are as short as 6 or 8 months. This means that a significant portion of time is spent in the classroom. With internet courses, you are covering the same volume of material, but you are not devoting many hours away from your home or driving to and from classes. However, it’s vital that the training program you choose can provide internship training in nearby salons and parlors to ensure 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 profession. So don’t forget if you choose to enroll in an online program to confirm that internship training is available in your area.

What to Ask Cosmetology Trade Schools

Questions to ask Oak Park IL beauty schoolsFollowing is a list of questions that you need to research for any cosmetologist training program you are contemplating. As we have already covered, the location of the school in relation to your Oak Park IL residence, together with the cost of tuition, will probably be your primary qualifiers. Whether you would like to pursue a certificate, diploma or a degree will probably be next on your list. But once you have reduced your school options based on those preliminary qualifications, there are even more factors that you need to research and take into consideration before enrolling in a cosmetology school. Following we have collected some of those additional questions that you need to ask every school before making a final decision.

Is the Program Accredited? It’s essential to make sure that the cosmetology college you select 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 measure up to their high standards ensuring a quality curriculum and education. Accreditation may also be important for securing student loans or financial aid, which typically are not available in 60301 for non- accredited schools. It’s also a prerequisite for licensing in several states that the training be accredited. And as a concluding benefit, numerous Oak Park IL businesses will not employ recent graduates of non-accredited schools, or might look more positively upon individuals with accredited training.

Does the School have an Excellent Reputation?  Each cosmetology school that you are seriously evaluating should have a good to exceptional reputation within the field. Being accredited is a good starting point. Next, ask the schools for endorsements from their network of businesses where they have placed their students. Check that the schools have high job placement rates, signifying that their students are highly regarded. Check rating companies for reviews together with the school’s accrediting organizations. If you have any contacts with Oak Park IL salon owners or managers, or anyone working in the trade, ask them if they are acquainted with the schools you are reviewing. They may even be able to propose others that you had not considered. And finally, check with the Illinois school licensing authority to see if there have been any grievances filed or if the schools are in complete compliance.

What’s the School’s Specialty?  Many beauty schools offer programs that are broad in nature, concentrating on all areas 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 decide on a school that specializes in your area of interest. If your ambition 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 aspiration is to launch a hair salon in Oak Park IL, then you want to enroll in a degree program that will teach you how to be an owner/operator. Choosing a highly rated school with a weak program in the specialty you are seeking will not provide the training you require.

Is Any Hands-On Training Provided?  Studying and refining cosmetology techniques and abilities requires plenty of practice on volunteers. Ask how much live, hands-on training is provided in the beauty lessons you will be attending. Some schools have salons on campus that make it possible for students to practice their growing skills on real people. If a beauty program provides minimal or no scheduled live training, but instead relies predominantly on using mannequins, it might not be the most effective alternative for acquiring your skills. Therefore search for other schools that provide this kind of training.

Does the School Provide Job Assistance?  When a student graduates from a cosmetology school, it’s imperative that she or he receives help in finding that first job. Job placement programs are an important part of that process. Schools that furnish assistance maintain relationships with Oak Park IL businesses that are looking for qualified graduates available for hiring. Verify that the schools you are looking at have job placement programs and inquire which salons and establishments they refer students to. Also, ask what their job placement rates are. Higher rates not only confirm that they have wide networks of employers, but that their programs are highly respected as well.

Is Financial Assistance Available?  Almost all cosmetology schools provide financial aid or student loan assistance for their students. Check if the schools you are investigating have a financial aid department. Speak with a counselor and learn what student loans or grants you may qualify for. If the school is a member of the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS), it will have scholarships available to students also. If a school satisfies each of your other qualifications with the exception of cost, do not discard it as an alternative until you determine what financial aid may be available.

Enrolled in Cosmetology School near Oak Park IL?

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

Oak Park, Illinois

Oak Park is a village adjacent to the West Side of Chicago, Illinois. It is the 29th largest municipality in Illinois as measured by population in the 2010 U.S. census.[3] As of the 2010 United States Census the village had a population of 51,878.[4]

Oak Park was settled beginning in the 1830s, with rapid growth later in the 19th century and early 20th century. It incorporated in 1902, breaking off from Cicero. Development was spurred by railroads and street cars connecting the village to jobs in Chicago. Architect Frank Lloyd Wright and his wife settled here in 1889. Population peaked at 66,015 in 1940. Smaller families led to falling population in the same number of homes and apartments. In the 1960s, Oak Park faced the challenge of racial integration, devising many strategies to integrate rather than resegregate the village. Oak Park includes three historic districts for the historic homes: Ridgeland, Frank Lloyd Wright and Seward Gunderson, reflecting the focus on historic preservation.

In 1835, Joseph Kettlestrings, an immigrant from England, purchased 172 acres (70 ha)[5] of land just west of Chicago for a farm and their home. Once their children were born, they moved to Chicago for the schools in 1843, and moved back again in 1855 to build a more substantial home a bit east on their quarter section of land. More farmers and settlers had entered the area. Their land was called by several names locally, including Oak Ridge. When the first post office was set up, it could not use the name Oak Ridge as another post office was using that name in Illinois, so the post office chose Oak Park, and that name became the name for the settlement as it grew, and for the town when it incorporated in 1902.[5]

Enroll in the Right Cosmetologist Vocational School near Oak Park IL

Oak Park IL barber blow drying client's hairFinding and enrolling in the right beauty college is imperative to get the proper training to become a licensed cosmetology specialist. Make sure to ask all the questions that you require so as to feel positive about your decision. Make certain to organize all of the information you receive from the cosmetology school admissions departments, prioritize what matters the most to you, and then use that data to contrast schools. A sensible start in your due diligence process is to make certain that the institution 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 article, you will be able to filter your list of schools so that you can make the ideal selection. Once you graduate and pass your licensing exam, you will be self-assured that you are ready to begin your new career as a professional cosmetologist in Oak Park IL.

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