How to Select the Right Cosmetology College near Northport Alabama
Once you have made a decision to become a cosmetologist and attend a beauty school near Northport AL, the process begins to find and enroll in the ideal school. It’s imperative that the program you pick not only furnishes the appropriate education for the specialty you have chosen, but also preps you for passing the licensing exam. When you begin your initial search, you may be rather unclear about the difference between beauty schools and cosmetology schools. Well don’t be, because the names are essentially interchangeable and both pertain to the same kind of school. We’ll speak a bit further about that in the following segment. If you anticipate commuting to classes you will want to choose a school that is within driving distance of your Northport home. Tuition will also be an important consideration when evaluating potential schools. Just keep in mind that because a school is the closest or the cheapest it’s not automatically the best option. There are many other factors that you should weigh when reviewing schools, for example 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 little bit about what cosmetology is, and what types of courses are offered.
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What is Cosmetology
Cosmetology is a profession that is everything about making the human body look more attractive through the application 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 term cosmetics, but actually 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, almost all states require that you go through some kind of specialized training and then be licensed. Once you are licensed, the work settings include not only Northport AL beauty salons and barber shops, but also such venues as spas, hotels and resorts. Many cosmetologists, once they have gotten experience and a clientele, open their own shops or salons. Others will start servicing clients either in their own homes or will travel to the client’s home, or both. Cosmetology college graduates go by many professional names and work in a wide range of specializations including:
- Nail Technicians
- Makeup Artists
- Hair Coloring Specialists
- Electrolysis Technicians
As earlier stated, in most states practicing cosmetologists must be licensed. In a few states there is an exception. Only those performing more skilled services, such as hairstylists, are required to be licensed. Others working in cosmetology and less skilled, including shampooers, are not required to become licensed in those states.
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Cosmetologist Degrees and Certificates
There are essentially two pathways available 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 typically 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 each of the major areas of cosmetology. Shorter programs are available if you want to concentrate on just one area, for instance hair coloring. A degree program will also most likely incorporate management and marketing training in order that graduates are better prepared to run a parlor or other Northport AL business. More advanced degrees are not prevalent, but Bachelor and Master’s degree programs are offered in such areas as salon or spa management. Whatever type of program you opt for, it’s important to make sure that it’s recognized by the Alabama Board of Cosmetology. A number of states only recognize schools that are accredited by certain respected organizations, such as the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS). We will discuss the benefits of accreditation for the school you choose in the next section.
Online Cosmetology Programs
Online beauty programs are accommodating for Northport AL students who are employed full time and have family obligations 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 desktop computer or laptop at the student’s convenience. More traditional cosmetology programs are often fast paced because many programs are as brief as 6 or 8 months. This means that a considerable portion of time is spent in the classroom. With internet programs, you are covering the same amount of material, but you are not spending many hours outside of your home or travelling to and from classes. However, it’s essential that the school you choose can provide internship training in area salons and parlors in order that you also get the hands-on training needed for a comprehensive education. Without the internship portion of the training, it’s difficult to obtain the skills needed to work in any facet of the cosmetology industry. So be sure if you choose to enroll in an online program to verify that internship training is provided in your area.
Questions to Ask Cosmetologist Schools
Following is a series of questions that you will want to look into for any beauty training school you are contemplating. As we have already discussed, the location of the school relative to your Northport AL residence, in addition to the price of tuition, will undoubtedly be your first 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 preliminary qualifications, there are even more factors that you must research and take into consideration before enrolling in a cosmetology program. Below we have collected some of those supplemental questions that you need to ask every school before making a final decision.
Is the Program Accredited? It’s important to make sure that the cosmetology school you enroll in is accredited. The accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education certified local or national organization, such as the National Accrediting Commission for Cosmetology Arts & Sciences (NACCAS). Programs accredited by the NACCAS must measure up to their high standards assuring a superior curriculum and education. Accreditation can also be essential for securing student loans or financial aid, which frequently are not obtainable in 35473 for non- accredited schools. It’s also a prerequisite for licensing in some states that the training be accredited. And as a concluding benefit, a number of Northport AL employers will not recruit recent graduates of non-accredited schools, or may look more favorably upon individuals with accredited training.
Does the School have a Good Reputation? Every cosmetologist institute 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 testimonials from their network of employers where they have referred their students. Confirm that the schools have high job placement rates, attesting that their students are highly demanded. Check rating services for reviews together with the school’s accrediting agencies. If you have any relationships with Northport AL salon owners or managers, or someone working in the industry, ask them if they are acquainted with the schools you are reviewing. They may even be able to suggest others that you had not considered. And last, consult the Alabama school licensing authority to see if there have been any grievances submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
What’s the School’s Specialty? A number of cosmetology schools offer programs that are comprehensive in nature, focusing on all facets of cosmetology. Others are more focused, providing training in a particular specialty, such as hairstyling, manicuring or electrolysis. Schools that offer degree programs typically broaden into a management and marketing curriculum. So it’s imperative that you select 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 respected for that program. If your vision is to start a hair salon in Northport AL, then you want to enroll in a degree program that will instruct you how to be an owner/operator. Picking a highly regarded school with a weak program in the specialty you are pursuing will not deliver the training you require.
Is Plenty of Live Training Provided? Learning and mastering cosmetology techniques and abilities involves plenty of practice on people. Check how much live, hands-on training is furnished in the beauty lessons you will be attending. A number of schools have salons on campus that enable students to practice their growing skills on volunteers. If a beauty school provides limited or no scheduled live training, but rather relies mainly on utilizing mannequins, it might not be the most effective option for developing your skills. Therefore try to find alternate schools that offer this kind of training.
Does the School have a Job Placement Program? As soon as a student graduates from a beauty school, it’s crucial that she or he receives aid in securing that very first job. Job placement programs are an integral part of that process. Schools that furnish help maintain relationships with Northport AL employers that are looking for trained graduates available for hiring. Check that the schools you are considering have job placement programs and ask which salons and organizations they refer students to. Additionally, ask what their job placement rates are. High rates not only verify that they have extensive 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 looking at have a financial aid department. Talk to a counselor and identify 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 available to students also. If a school meets all of your other qualifications with the exception of expense, do not omit it as an alternative before you find out what financial help may be provided.
Beauty Colleges Northport Alabama
Picking and enrolling in the ideal cosmetology school is important to obtain the appropriate training to become a licensed cosmetology specialist. You originally came to this website because you have an interest in Beauty Colleges and learning more about the topic Universities That Offer Cosmetology. So make sure to ask all the questions that you require in order to feel positive about your decision. Don’t forget to compile all of the responses you get from the beauty school admissions departments, focus on what matters the most to you, and then use that information to compare schools. A good beginning in your due diligence procedure is to make sure that the academy and program you choose are accredited and have outstanding reputations within the profession. If you start with that foundation, and address the additional questions presented in this post, you will be able to filter your list of schools so that you can make the right selection. Once you graduate and pass your licensing test, you will be self-assured that you are ready to begin your new career as a professional cosmetologist in Northport AL.
Other Beautiful Alabama Locations
Northport is a city in Tuscaloosa County in the west central part of the State of Alabama. Located on the Black Warrior River across from downtown Tuscaloosa, it is currently the 21st largest city in Alabama with an estimated population of 24,497 in 2013. It incorporated in 1871. It is part of the Tuscaloosa Metropolitan Statistical Area.
As Northport is adjacent to the larger city of Tuscaloosa, many residents work in Tuscaloosa or other parts of Tuscaloosa County. Although the two cities share a land boundary, much of their boundary (and historically all of the boundary) is the Black Warrior River.
As of the census of 2000, there were 19,435 people, 7,844 households, and 5,255 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,328.3 people per square mile (512.9/km²). There were 8,509 housing units at an average density of 581.6 per square mile (224.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 71.11% White, 26.03% Black or African American, 0.19% Native American, 0.80% Asian, 0.15% Pacific Islander, 1.02% from other races, and 0.70% from two or more races. 1.92% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
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