How to Choose the Best Cosmetology College near Montgomery Alabama
Now that you have decided to become a cosmetologist and attend a beauty school near Montgomery AL, the task begins to find and enroll in the best school. It’s essential that the program you choose not only provides the proper education for the specialty you have chosen, but also prepares you for passing the licensing exam. When you begin your preliminary search, you might be somewhat unclear about the contrast between beauty schools and cosmetology schools. Well don’t be, because the names are basically interchangeable and both relate to the same kind of school. We’ll talk a bit further regarding that in the following section. If you intend on commuting to classes you will need to find a school that is within driving distance of your Montgomery home. Tuition will also be an important factor when assessing possible schools. Just bear in mind that because a school is the closest or the lowest cost it’s not automatically the right option. There are a number of 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 considering later within this article. Before we do, let’s discuss a little bit about what cosmetology is, and what kinds of courses are offered.
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Definition of Cosmetology
Cosmetology is an occupation that is everything about making the human body look more attractive through the use of cosmetics. So of course it makes sense that a number of cosmetology schools are regarded as beauty schools. Most of us think of makeup when we hear the term 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, the majority of states mandate that you take some kind of specialized training and then become licensed. Once licensed, the work environments include not only Montgomery AL beauty salons and barber shops, but also such venues as spas, hotels and resorts. Many cosmetologists, once they have acquired experience and a client base, establish their own shops or salons. Others will start seeing customers either in their own homes or will travel to the client’s house, or both. Cosmetology college graduates are known by many names and work in a wide range 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 some states there is an exemption. Only those offering more skilled services, for instance hairstylists, are required to be licensed. Others employed in cosmetology and less skilled, such as shampooers, are not required to get licensed in those states.
Cosmetologist Certificates and Degrees
There are essentially two pathways offered to obtain cosmetology training and a credential after completion. You can enroll in a certificate (or diploma) course, or you can pursue an Associate’s degree. Certificate programs typically require 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 instructed in all of the main areas of cosmetology. Shorter programs are offered if you wish to specialize in 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 run a parlor or other Montgomery AL business. More advanced degrees are not prevalent, but Bachelor and Master’s degree programs are offered in such specializations as salon or spa management. Whatever type of program you decide on, it’s important to make sure that it’s approved by the Alabama Board of Cosmetology. Numerous states only approve schools that are accredited by certain highly regarded organizations, such as the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS). We will review the advantages of accreditation for the school you decide on in the next section.
Online Cosmetology Classes
Online cosmetology schools are accommodating for Montgomery AL students who are employed full-time and have family obligations that make it difficult to enroll in a more traditional school. There are many online beauty school programs offered that can be accessed by means of a desktop computer or laptop at the student’s convenience. More traditional beauty programs are often fast paced because many courses are as brief as six or eight months. This means that a large portion of time is spent in the classroom. With online programs, you are covering the same volume of material, but you are not spending numerous hours outside of your home or driving back and forth from classes. However, it’s important that the program you select can provide internship training in local 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 difficult to acquire the skills required to work in any area 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 Cosmetology Training Classes
Below is a series of questions that you should research for any cosmetologist training program you are contemplating. As we have previously discussed, the location of the school in relation to your Montgomery AL home, together with the price of tuition, will probably 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 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 some of those additional questions that you need to ask every school before making a final selection.
Is the Program Accredited? It’s essential to make certain that the cosmetology college 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). Schools accredited by the NACCAS must meet their high standards assuring a superior curriculum and education. Accreditation may also be necessary for obtaining student loans or financial aid, which often are not obtainable in 36101 for non- accredited schools. It’s also a criteria for licensing in many states that the training be accredited. And as a final benefit, many Montgomery AL businesses will not employ recent graduates of non-accredited schools, or might look more positively upon those with accredited training.
Does the School have an Excellent Reputation? Any cosmetologist institute that you are seriously evaluating should have a good to excellent reputation within the industry. Being accredited is a good starting point. Next, ask the schools for endorsements from their network of businesses where they have referred their students. Verify that the schools have high job placement rates, attesting that their students are highly demanded. Check rating companies for reviews together with the school’s accrediting agencies. If you have any contacts with Montgomery AL salon owners or managers, or anyone working in the field, ask them if they are familiar with the schools you are considering. They might even be able to suggest others that you had not thought of. Finally, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to see if there have been any grievances filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
What’s the School’s Focus? A number of cosmetology schools offer programs that are expansive in nature, concentrating on all areas of cosmetology. Others are more focused, offering training in a specific specialty, such as hairstyling, manicuring or electrolysis. Schools that offer degree programs often broaden into a management and marketing curriculum. So it’s important that you enroll in 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 vision is to open 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 regarded school with a poor program in the specialty you are pursuing will not deliver the training you require.
Is Enough Hands-On Training Provided? Practicing and refining cosmetology skills and techniques demands lots of practice on volunteers. Check how much live, hands-on training is provided in the cosmetology courses you will be attending. A number of schools have salons on site that allow students to practice their developing skills on volunteers. If a beauty academy provides little or no scheduled live training, but instead relies mainly on the use of mannequins, it may not be the best option for developing your skills. So try to find other schools that provide this kind of training.
Does the School Provide Job Assistance? Once a student graduates from a beauty school, it’s imperative that she or he receives help in securing that initial job. Job placement programs are an integral part of that process. Schools that furnish assistance develope relationships with Montgomery AL employers that are looking for skilled graduates available for hiring. Check that the schools you are contemplating have job placement programs and ask which salons and organizations they refer students to. In addition, ask what their job placement rates are. High rates not only confirm that they have wide networks of employers, but that their programs are highly respected as well.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Many cosmetology schools offer financial aid or student loan assistance for their students. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have a financial aid office. Speak with a counselor and find out what student loans or grants you may get approved for. If the school is a member of the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS), it will have scholarships accessible to students also. If a school meets each of your other qualifications except for expense, do not discard it as an option until you learn what financial assistance may be available.
Cosmetology Schools Near Me Montgomery Alabama
Finding and enrolling in the ideal cosmetologist college is imperative to get the necessary training to become a licensed cosmetology practitioner. You originally came to this website because you have an interest in Cosmetology Schools Near Me and learning more about the topic Cosmetology Degrees. So make sure to ask all the questions that you need to in order to feel certain about your decision. Make certain to consolidate all of the responses you receive from the cosmetology school admissions departments, prioritize what matters the most to you, and then utilize that information to contrast schools. A sensible start in your due diligence process is to make sure that the school and program you select are accredited and have impressive reputations within the field. If you begin with that foundation, and answer the additional questions supplied in this article, you will be able to narrow down your list of schools so that you can make the right selection. And when 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.
Other Beautiful Alabama Locations
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 of Mexico. In the 2010 Census, Montgomery's population was 205,764. It is the second most populous city in Alabama, after Birmingham, and is the 118th 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.
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