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How to Become an Esthetician | Esthetician Schools Florence AL

How to Pick an Esthetics College near Florence Alabama

Florence AL esthetician client with cucumber facialOnce you have made a decision to enter the field of cosmetology and attend an esthetician school near Florence AL, the process starts to search for and enroll in the ideal program. It’s imperative that the school you choose not only provides the necessary training for the specialty you have chosen, but also preps you for passing the licensing exam. When you start your preliminary search, you may be rather unclear about the difference between beauty schools and cosmetology schools. Well don’t be, because the names are pretty much interchangeable and both pertain to the same kind of school. We’ll discuss a bit more 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 Florence residence. Tuition will likewise be an important factor when reviewing potential schools. Just bear in mind that because a school is the nearest or the lowest cost it’s not automatically the right option. There are several other factors that you should weigh when comparing schools, such as their reputation and accreditation. We will examine what questions you should ask about the cosmetology schools you are looking at later within this article. Before we do, let’s talk a little bit about what cosmetology is, and what types of programs are offered.

Definition of Cosmetology

esthetics facial toners Florence ALCosmetology is a profession that is everything about making the human anatomy look more attractive through the application of cosmetics. So of course it makes sense that a number of cosmetology schools are regarded 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, the majority of states mandate that you go through some kind of specialized training and then be licensed. Once you are licensed, the work settings include not only Florence AL beauty salons and barber shops, but also such places as spas, hotels and resorts. Many cosmetologists, after they have gained experience and a clientele, establish their own shops or salons. Others will start servicing customers either in their own residences or will travel to the client’s home, or both. Cosmetology college graduates are known by many names and are employed in a wide variety of specialties including:

  • Estheticians
  • Hairdressers
  • Hairstylists
  • Beauticians
  • Barbers
  • Manicurists
  • Nail Technicians
  • Makeup Artists
  • Hair Coloring Specialists
  • Electrolysis Technicians

As already mentioned, in the majority of states working cosmetologists have to be licensed. In a few states there is an exception. Only those conducting more skilled services, such as hairstylists, are required to be licensed. Other people employed in cosmetology and less skilled, including shampooers, are not required to be licensed in those states.

Esthetics Degrees and Certificates

Florence AL esthetician client with face maskThere are primarily two avenues available to obtain esthetician training and a credential upon 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 commonly takes about 2 years. If you enroll in a certificate program you will be instructed in all of the major areas of cosmetology. Briefer programs are available if you wish to concentrate on just one area, for instance esthetics. A degree program will also likely include management and marketing training to ensure that graduates are better prepared to operate a salon or other Florence AL business. Higher degrees are not common, but Bachelor and Master’s degree programs are available in such areas as salon or spa management. Whatever type of course you opt for, it’s imperative to make sure that it’s certified by the Alabama Board of Cosmetology. A number of states only approve schools that are accredited by certain respected agencies, including the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS). We will review the advantages of accreditation for the school you decide on in the following segment.

Online Esthetics Programs

woman attending esthetician school online in Florence ALOnline esthetician schools are advantageous for Florence AL students who are working full time and have family responsibilities that make it difficult to enroll in a more traditional school. There are many web-based cosmetology school programs available that can be accessed via a home computer or laptop at the student’s convenience. More traditional cosmetology schools are often fast paced since many programs are as short as six or eight months. This means that a substantial portion of time is spent in the classroom. With internet programs, you are covering the same volume of material, but you’re 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 area salons and parlors to ensure that you also receive the hands-on training needed for a comprehensive education. Without the internship part of the training, it’s impossible to acquire the skills required to work in any facet of the cosmetology industry. So don’t forget if you decide to enroll in an online school to confirm that internship training is available in your area.

What to Ask Esthetics Training Programs

Florence AL models benefit from esthetic treatmentsFollowing is a list of questions that you should look into for any esthetician training school you are considering. As we have previously discussed, the location of the school in relation to your Florence home, together with the cost of tuition, will probably be your first qualifiers. Whether you want 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 additional factors that you should research and take into consideration before enrolling in a cosmetology program. Following we have put together some of those supplemental questions that you should ask each school before making a final selection.

Is the School Accredited? It’s necessary to make certain that the esthetician school you enroll in 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 meet their high standards guaranteeing a superior curriculum and education. Accreditation can also be necessary for obtaining student loans or financial aid, which often are not available in 35630 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 Florence AL employers will not recruit recent graduates of non-accredited schools, or may look more favorably upon those with accredited training.

Does the School have a Great Reputation?  Each esthetician school that you are seriously evaluating should have a good to exceptional reputation within the field. Being accredited is an excellent starting point. Next, ask the schools for endorsements 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 regarded. Check rating services for reviews as well as the school’s accrediting organizations. If you have any connections with Florence AL salon owners or managers, or someone working in the business, ask them if they are acquainted with the schools you are considering. They may even be able to propose others that you had not looked into. And last, consult the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there have been any grievances submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.

What’s the School’s Focus?  Some esthetician schools offer programs that are comprehensive in nature, concentrating on all areas 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 enroll in a school that specializes in your area of interest. If your intention is to be trained as an esthetician, make sure that the school you enroll in is accredited and respected for that program. If your vision is to open a Florence AL beauty salon, then you want to enroll in a degree program that will teach you how to be an owner/operator. Picking a highly ranked school with a poor program in the specialty you are seeking will not provide the training you need.

Is Any Hands-On Training Provided?  Studying and perfecting esthetician skills and techniques demands plenty of practice on volunteers. Ask how much live, hands-on training is provided in the beauty classes you will be attending. A number of schools have salons on campus that allow students to practice their growing talents on real people. If a beauty program offers minimal or no scheduled live training, but rather relies mainly on utilizing mannequins, it might not be the most effective option for cultivating your skills. Therefore try to find alternate schools that offer this kind of training.

Does the School Provide Job Assistance?  Once a student graduates from an esthetician academy, it’s crucial that he or she receives assistance in finding that very first job. Job placement programs are an important part of that process. Schools that furnish assistance develop relationships with Florence AL employers that are searching for trained graduates available for hiring. Confirm that the schools you are looking at have job placement programs and find out which salons and establishments they refer students to. Additionally, ask what their job placement rates are. High rates not only verify that they have wide networks of employers, but that their programs are highly respected as well.

Is Financial Assistance Available?  The majority of esthetician schools offer financial aid or student loan assistance for their students. Find out if the schools you are looking at have a financial aid department. Talk to a counselor and learn what student loans or grants you may qualify for. If the school belongs to the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS), it will have scholarships available to students too. If a school fulfills all of your other qualifications except for expense, do not drop it as an alternative before you find out what financial assistance may be available.

Attending Esthetician School Near Florence AL?

Perhaps you live in the Florence Alabama 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.

Florence, Alabama

Florence is the largest and principal city of the Florence-Muscle Shoals Metropolitan Statistical Area (which includes Muscle Shoals, Sheffield, and Tuscumbia metropolitan areas in Colbert and Lauderdale counties). Florence is considered northwestern Alabama's primary economic hub.

Annual tourism events include the W. C. Handy Music Festival in the summer and the Renaissance Faire in the fall. Landmarks in Florence include the Rosenbaum House, the only Frank Lloyd Wright-designed home located in Alabama.

Florence and Lauderdale County have one hospital, Eliza Coffee Memorial Hospital. ECM is a 358 bed facility owned by RCCH HealthCare Partners in Brentwood, Tennessee. In 2010 RCCH HealthCare Partners announced that they would build a new hospital in Florence. The hospital is due to be completed in December 2018.

Find the Right Esthetician College near Florence AL

Choosing and enrolling in the right esthetician program is essential to get the proper training to become a licensed cosmetology specialist. Make sure to ask all the questions that you need to so as to feel certain about your decision. Don’t forget to compile all of the information you receive from the cosmetology school admissions departments, focus on what matters the most to you, and then utilize that data to compare schools. A reasonable beginning in your due diligence process is to make certain that the institution and program you choose are accredited and have outstanding reputations within the profession. If you start with that base, and address the additional questions provided in this article, you will be able to reduce your list of schools so that you can make the proper selection. Once you graduate and pass your licensing exam, you will be self-assured that you are ready to launch your career as a professional esthetician in Florence AL.

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