How to Select the Right Beauty Academy near Helena Alabama
Since you have decided to become a cosmetologist and enroll in a beauty school near Helena AL, the task begins to search for and enroll in the right school. It’s essential that the school you select not only furnishes the necessary instruction for the specialty you have selected, but also preps you for passing the licensing examination. When you begin your initial search, you may be rather unclear about the distinction between beauty schools and cosmetology schools. Well don’t be, because the names are essentially interchangeable and both pertain to the same type of school. We’ll discuss a little bit more regarding that in the following section. If you intend on commuting to classes you will want to choose a school that is within driving distance of your Helena home. Tuition will additionally be an important aspect when reviewing possible schools. Just remember that because a school is the closest or the lowest cost it’s not necessarily the best choice. There are many other considerations that you should evaluate when comparing schools, for instance their reputation and accreditation. We will review what questions you should ask about the cosmetology schools you are considering later within this article. Before we do, let’s talk a bit about what cosmetology is, and what kinds of programs are available.
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What is Cosmetology
Cosmetology is an occupation that is all about making the human anatomy look more beautiful through the application of cosmetics. So of course 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 really a cosmetic may be anything that enhances the appearance of a person’s skin, hair or nails. If you want to work as a cosmetologist, most states mandate that you go through some type of specialized training and then become licensed. Once licensed, the work environments include not only Helena AL beauty salons and barber shops, but also such venues as spas, hotels and resorts. Many cosmetologists, after they have gained experience and a client base, open their own shops or salons. Others will start seeing customers either in their own residences or will go to the client’s home, or both. Cosmetology college graduates have many titles and are employed in a wide variety of specializations including:
- Nail Technicians
- Makeup Artists
- Hair Coloring Specialists
- Electrolysis Technicians
As previously stated, in the majority of states practicing cosmetologists must be licensed. In certain states there is an exception. Only those offering 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 become licensed in those states.
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Cosmetology Degrees and Certificates
There are essentially two avenues available to obtain 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 usually 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 offered if you want to concentrate on just one area, for instance hair coloring. A degree program will also probably include management and marketing training so that graduates are better prepared to run a salon or other Helena AL business. Higher degrees are not common, but Bachelor and Master’s degree programs are offered in such specialties as salon or spa management. Whichever type of course you opt for, it’s important to make sure that it’s recognized by the Alabama Board of Cosmetology. Numerous states only approve schools that are accredited by certain highly regarded organizations, including the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS). We will discuss the advantages of accreditation for the school you choose in the next section.
Online Cosmetology Training
Online cosmetology classes are accommodating for Helena AL students who are working full time and have family commitments that make it hard to enroll in a more traditional school. There are many web-based beauty school programs available that can be attended by means of a desktop computer or laptop at the student’s convenience. More conventional beauty programs are typically fast paced because many courses are as brief as six or eight months. This means that a significant portion of time is spent in the classroom. With internet programs, you are covering the same amount of material, but you are not devoting many hours away from your home or driving back and forth from classes. On the other hand, it’s imperative that the program you choose can provide internship training in nearby salons and parlors in order that you also receive the hands-on training needed for a complete 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 school to verify that internship training is provided in your area.
Questions to Ask Cosmetology Schools
Following is a list of questions that you should investigate for any cosmetology training school you are considering. As we have already covered, the location of the school in relation to your Helena AL home, in addition to the cost of tuition, will probably be your initial qualifiers. Whether you want to pursue a certificate, diploma or a degree will probably be next on your list. But once you have narrowed your school choices based on those initial qualifications, there are additional factors that you should research and take into consideration before enrolling in a cosmetology program. Following we have collected several of those supplemental questions that you need to ask each school before making a final decision.
Is the Program Accredited? It’s essential to make certain that the cosmetology training program you select is accredited. The accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged local or national agency, such as the National Accrediting Commission for Cosmetology Arts & Sciences (NACCAS). Programs accredited by the NACCAS must comply with their high standards ensuring a superior curriculum and education. Accreditation can also be necessary for obtaining student loans or financial aid, which typically are not obtainable in 35080 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 Helena 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 an Excellent Reputation? Every cosmetology school that you are seriously evaluating should have a good to outstanding reputation within the field. Being accredited is a good starting point. Next, ask the schools for testimonials from their network of employers where they have referred their students. Check that the schools have high job placement rates, signifying that their students are highly regarded. Visit rating services for reviews as well as the school’s accrediting organizations. If you have any relationships with Helena AL salon owners or managers, or someone working in the trade, ask them if they are familiar with the schools you are reviewing. They may even be able to propose others that you had not looked into. And finally, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there have been any grievances filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
What’s the School’s Focus? Many beauty schools offer programs that are broad in nature, focusing on all facets of cosmetology. Others are more focused, offering training in a specific specialty, for example hairstyling, manicuring or electrolysis. Schools that offer degree programs typically broaden into a management and marketing curriculum. So it’s essential that you select a school that specializes in your area of interest. If your objective 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 open a hair salon in Helena AL, then you need to enroll in a degree program that will instruct you how to be an owner/operator. Selecting a highly ranked school with a poor program in the specialty you are seeking will not provide the training you need.
Is Any Live Training Provided? Practicing and refining cosmetology skills and techniques demands plenty of practice on volunteers. Ask how much live, hands-on training is provided in the beauty courses you will be attending. A number of schools have salons on site that enable students to practice their growing talents on real people. If a beauty program furnishes limited or no scheduled live training, but instead relies mainly on the use of mannequins, it may not be the best alternative for cultivating your skills. So look for other schools that furnish this kind of training.
Does the School have a Job Placement Program? As soon as a student graduates from a beauty program, it’s imperative that she or he receives aid in securing that very first job. Job placement programs are an important part of that process. Schools that provide help develope relationships with Helena AL businesses that are seeking trained graduates available for hiring. Confirm that the programs you are looking at have job placement programs and find out which salons and organizations they refer students to. In addition, find out what their job placement rates are. High rates not only verify that they have wide networks of employers, but that their programs are highly regarded as well.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Most beauty schools provide financial aid or student loan assistance for their students. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have a financial aid office. Talk to a counselor and identify what student loans or grants you might 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 meets each of your other qualifications except for cost, do not omit it as an option until you find out what financial assistance may be available.
Colleges For Cosmetology Helena Alabama
Picking and enrolling in the right cosmetology program is important to get the necessary training to become a licensed cosmetology professional. You originally came to this website because you have an interest in Colleges For Cosmetology and learning more about the topic Beauty Academies. So make sure to ask all the questions that you need to in order to feel confident about your decision. Be sure to consolidate all of the information you receive from the beauty school admissions departments, prioritize what matters the most to you, and then use that data to compare schools. A reasonable beginning in your due diligence procedure is to make sure that the academy and program you choose 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 reduce your list of schools so that you can make the ideal selection. And when you graduate and pass your licensing exam, you will be confident that you are qualified to start your new career as a professional cosmetologist in Helena AL.
Other Beautiful Alabama Locations
Helena (pronunciation hel-LE-nah) is a city in Jefferson and Shelby Counties in the state of Alabama. Helena is considered a suburb of Birmingham and part of the Birmingham-Hoover Metropolitan Area. As of the 2010 census, the population was 16,793. Helena is highly regarded as a place to live and raise children; Business Week named Helena the 13th "Best Place to Raise Your Kids" in 2007. It has the eighth-lowest crime rate per population in the U.S., and the city was ranked in Money magazine's 2007 list of "Best Places to Live: Top 100" in the U.S., placing at number 91. The Alabama League of Municipalities awarded Helena the 2008 Municipal Achievement Award (population 10,001 to 20,000).
Helena initially incorporated in 1877, but reincorporated in 1917 after errors were discovered in the initial incorporation papers. It did not first appear on the U.S. Census until 1920, giving credence to the later date of incorporation.
The initial settlers to Helena, initially named Cove, were veterans of the final campaigns of the War of 1812. Members of Andrew Jackson's army who cut through the brush were attracted to the quiet, peaceful valleys and streams after the Battle of Horseshoe Bend. These first settlers were reported to arrive in 1849 and were predated by the Creek Indian tribes who these settlers had battled. By 1856, the Cove post office opened. Shortly thereafter, the settlers changed the name of the town to Hillsboro.
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