How to Pick an Esthetician School near West Helena Arkansas
Since you have made a decision to enter the field of cosmetology and enroll in an esthetician school near West Helena AR, the task begins to locate and enroll in the right program. It’s imperative that the program you pick not only provides the proper training for the specialty you have chosen, but also preps you for passing the licensing examination. When you start your preliminary search, you may be a little bit puzzled about the difference between beauty schools and cosmetology schools. Well don’t be, because the titles are pretty much interchangeable and both pertain to the same kind of school. We’ll talk a bit further 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 West Helena home. Tuition will also be a critical factor when reviewing prospective schools. Just bear in mind that because a school is the nearest or the least expensive it’s not necessarily the right option. There are various other factors that you should weigh when comparing schools, for instance their reputation and accreditation. We will go over what questions you should ask regarding the cosmetology schools you are thinking about later in this article. Before we do, let’s discuss a little bit about what cosmetology is, and what types of programs are offered.
Cosmetology is a profession that is all about making the human body look more beautiful with the application of cosmetics. So naturally 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 improves the look of a person’s skin, hair or nails. In order to work as a cosmetologist, almost all states require that you undergo some form of specialized training and then become licensed. Once licensed, the work environments include not only West Helena AR 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, launch their own shops or salons. Others will begin seeing customers either in their own homes or will travel to the client’s home, or both. Cosmetology college graduates are known by many titles and work in a wide range of specializations including:
- Nail Technicians
- Makeup Artists
- Hair Coloring Specialists
- Electrolysis Technicians
As already stated, 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. Other people working in cosmetology and less skilled, including shampooers, are not required to be licensed in those states.
Esthetics Degrees and Certificates
There are basically two options available to receive esthetician training and a credential upon completion. You can enroll in a certificate (or diploma) program, or you can work toward an Associate’s degree. Certificate programs typically take 12 to 18 months to complete, while an Associate’s degree commonly 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 offered if you want to concentrate on just one area, such as esthetics. A degree program will also probably feature management and marketing training so that graduates are better prepared to operate a parlor or other West Helena AR 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 program you choose, it’s important to make certain that it’s certified by the Arkansas Board of Cosmetology. Many states only recognize schools that are accredited by certain reputable agencies, for example the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS). We will discuss the advantages of accreditation for the school you select in the next section.
Online Esthetics Schools
Online esthetician classes are advantageous for West Helena AR students who are working full-time and have family responsibilities that make it difficult to attend a more traditional school. There are many online beauty school programs available that can be attended through a desktop computer or laptop at the student’s convenience. More conventional beauty schools are often fast paced because many courses are as short as six or eight months. This means that a large amount of time is spent in the classroom. With online programs, you are dealing with the same amount of material, but you’re not devoting many hours outside of your home or travelling to and from classes. However, it’s essential 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 complete education. Without the internship portion of the training, it’s impossible to gain the skills necessary to work in any area of the cosmetology field. So be sure if you choose to enroll in an online school to verify that internship training is available in your area.
What to Ask Esthetics Training Programs
Below is a list of questions that you should research for any esthetician training school you are contemplating. As we have previously discussed, the location of the school relative to your West Helena residence, as well as the cost of tuition, will undoubtedly be your first 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 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 put together several of those additional questions that you need to ask every school before making a final determination.
Is the Program Accredited? It’s necessary to make certain that the esthetician school 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). Schools 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 available in 72390 for non- accredited schools. It’s also a criteria for licensing in some states that the training be accredited. And as a concluding benefit, many West Helena AR employers will not employ recent graduates of non-accredited schools, or may look more positively upon individuals with accredited training.
Does the School have a Good Reputation? Any esthetician school that you are seriously considering should have a good to exceptional reputation within the industry. Being accredited is a good beginning. 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 services for reviews along with the school’s accrediting agencies. If you have any relationships with West Helena AR salon owners or managers, or someone working in the industry, ask them if they are acquainted with the schools you are looking at. They may even be able to suggest others that you had not considered. And finally, consult the Arkansas 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 Focus? A number of esthetician schools offer programs that are expansive in nature, focusing on all areas of cosmetology. Others are more focused, providing training in a specific specialty, such as hairstyling, manicuring or electrolysis. Schools that offer degree programs frequently broaden into a management and marketing curriculum. So it’s imperative that you enroll in a school that specializes in your area of interest. If your goal 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 West Helena AR beauty salon, then you need to enroll in a degree program that will teach you how to be an owner/operator. Picking a highly regarded school with a poor program in the specialty you are pursuing will not provide the training you need.
Is Plenty of Live Training Provided? Learning and refining esthetician skills and techniques demands lots of practice on volunteers. Check how much live, hands-on training is included in the cosmetology classes you will be attending. Some schools have salons on site that allow students to practice their growing skills on real people. If a beauty school provides limited or no scheduled live training, but rather relies mainly on utilizing mannequins, it may not be the most effective alternative for cultivating your skills. So search for alternate schools that provide this kind of training.
Does the School have a Job Placement Program? When a student graduates from an esthetician academy, it’s crucial that he or she gets help in landing that very first job. Job placement programs are an integral part of that process. Schools that offer help develop relationships with West Helena AR businesses that are seeking qualified graduates available for hiring. Confirm that the programs you are contemplating have job placement programs and ask which salons and establishments they refer students to. Additionally, ask what their job placement rates are. High rates not only affirm that they have broad networks of employers, but that their programs are highly respected as well.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Almost all esthetician schools offer financial aid or student loan assistance for their students. Check if the schools you are considering have a financial aid office. Speak with a counselor and identify what student loans or grants you might get approved for. If the school belongs to the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS), it will have scholarships available to students as well. If a school satisfies all of your other qualifications with the exception of expense, do not omit it as an alternative until you find out what financial assistance may be available.
Attending Esthetician School Near West Helena AR?
Perhaps you live in the West Helena Arkansas area, or have found a school that you will commute to or even relocate to attend. Either way, following is some interesting background information about the location of your new esthetician program.
Helena–West Helena, Arkansas
Helena–West Helena is the county seat of and the largest city within Phillips County, Arkansas, United States. The current city was consolidated, effective January 1, 2006, from the two Arkansas cities of Helena and West Helena. Helena is sited on lowlands between the Mississippi River and the eastern side of Crowley's Ridge. West Helena is located on the western side of Crowley's Ridge, a geographic anomaly in the typically flat Arkansas Delta. The Helena Bridge, one of Arkansas' four Mississippi River bridges, carries U.S. Route 49 across to Mississippi. The combined population of the two cities was 15,012 at the 2000 census and at the 2010 census, the official population was 12,282.
The municipality traces its historical roots to the founding of the port town of Helena on the Mississippi River by European Americans in 1833. As the county seat, Helena was the center of a prosperous cotton plantation region in the antebellum years. Helena was occupied by the Union Army early in the American Civil War. The city was the site of the Battle of Helena fought in 1863. Confederate forces unsuccessfully tried to expel Union forces from Helena in order to help relieve pressure on the strategic river town of Vicksburg, Mississippi. Later in the year, Helena served as the launching point for the Union Army in the capture of Little Rock, the state capital.
A thriving blues community developed here in the 1940s and 1950s as rural musicians relocated for city jobs. Mechanization had reduced the need for farm workers. The city continued to grow until the closing of the Mohawk Rubber Company, a subsidiary of Yokohama Rubber Company, in the 1970s. Unemployment surged shortly after.
Choose the Right Esthetician Program near West Helena AR
Choosing and enrolling in the ideal esthetician program is important to receive the necessary training to become a licensed cosmetology professional. Make sure to ask all the questions that you require in order to feel certain about your decision. Don’t forget to compile 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 reasonable beginning in your due diligence process is to make certain that the school and program you select are accredited and have outstanding reputations within the profession. If you start with that base, and answer the additional questions provided in this post, you will be able to narrow down your list of schools so that you can make the right choice. And when you graduate and pass your licensing test, you will be self-assured that you are prepared to begin your new career as a professional esthetician in West Helena AR.
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