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How to Select the Right Makeup College near Birmingham Alabama

Birmingham Alabama makeup artist school student putting makeup on volunteerOnce you have decided to become a cosmetologist and attend a makeup artist school near Birmingham AL, the task starts to find and enroll in the best school. It's important that the program you choose not only furnishes the appropriate training for the specialty you have selected, but also preps you for passing the licensing examination. When you start your initial search, you may be rather confused about the contrast between beauty schools and cosmetology schools. Well don't be, because the names are basically interchangeable and both pertain to the same kind of school. We'll speak a bit more about that in the following section. If you intend on commuting to classes you will need to choose a school that is within driving distance of your Birmingham home. Tuition will additionally be a critical consideration when assessing possible schools. Just keep in mind that because a school is the nearest or the lowest cost it's not automatically the ideal choice. There are several other qualifications that you should weigh when analyzing schools, for example their reputation and accreditation. We will review what questions you should ask about the cosmetology schools you are looking at later within this article. Before we do, let's discuss a bit about what cosmetology is, and what types of programs are offered.

What is Cosmetology

Birmingham Alabama makeup artist viewing new bride's makeupCosmetology is an occupation that is everything about making the human anatomy look more beautiful with the use of cosmetics. So naturally it makes sense that many cosmetology schools are referred to as beauty schools. Many of us think of makeup when we hear the term cosmetics, but actually a cosmetic can be anything that improves the look of a person's skin, hair or nails. If you want to work as a cosmetologist, most states mandate that you undergo some form of specialized training and then become licensed. Once you are licensed, the work settings include not only Birmingham AL beauty salons and barber shops, but also such venues as spas, hotels and resorts. Many cosmetologists, after they have gained experience and a customer base, establish their own shops or salons. Others will start seeing clients either in their own residences or will travel to the client's residence, or both. Cosmetology college graduates go by many names and work in a wide variety of specializations including:

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


As earlier stated, in most states practicing cosmetologists have to be licensed. In a few states there is an exemption. Only those performing more skilled services, for instance hairstylists, are required to be licensed. Other people employed in cosmetology and less skilled, including shampooers, are not required to become licensed in those states.

Makeup Artist Education Options

Birmingham Alabama makeup artist using lip liner on clientThere are primarily two options available to get makeup artist 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 generally require 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 each of the main areas of cosmetology. Shorter programs are offered if you want to specialize in just one area, such as makeup. A degree program will also most likely incorporate management and marketing training in order that graduates are better prepared to operate a salon or other Birmingham AL business. More advanced degrees are not common, but Bachelor and Master's degree programs are offered in such specialties as salon or spa management. Whichever type of training program you opt for, it's important to make certain that it's approved by the Alabama Board of Cosmetology. A number of states only certify schools that are accredited by certain highly regarded organizations, including the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS). We will cover the advantages of accreditation for the school you select in the upcoming segment.

Online Makeup Programs

Online makeup artist schools are accommodating for students who are working full time and have family commitments that make it challenging to attend a more traditional school. There are many online cosmetology school programs offered that can be accessed via a home computer or laptop at the student's convenience. More traditional beauty programs are frequently fast paced due to the fact that many programs are as short as 6 or 8 months. This means that a large amount of time is spent in the classroom. With online programs, you are covering the same volume of material, but you're not spending numerous hours away from your home or driving to and from classes. However, it's important that the program you select can provide internship training in area Birmingham AL salons and parlors in order that you also get the hands-on training required for a complete education. Without the internship part of the training, it's impossible to obtain the skills needed to work in any facet of the cosmetology industry. So don't forget if you choose to enroll in an online school to confirm that internship training is available in your area.

Questions to Ask Makeup Artist Cosmetology Programs

makeup artist applying makeup on woman in Birmingham Alabama beauty salonFollowing is a series of questions that you need to look into for any makeup artist training school you are considering. As we have already discussed, the location of the school relative to your Birmingham home, together with the expense of tuition, will probably be your initial qualifiers. Whether you want to earn a certificate, diploma or a degree will no doubt be next on your list. But once you have reduced your school choices based on those initial qualifications, there are even more factors that you must research and consider before enrolling in a makeup school. Following we have put together some of those additional questions that you should ask every school before making a final decision.

Is the Program Accredited? It's important to make certain that the makeup training program you enroll in is accredited. The accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized local or national agency, such as the National Accrediting Commission for Cosmetology Arts & Sciences (NACCAS). Programs accredited by the NACCAS must measure up to their high standards ensuring a quality curriculum and education. Accreditation can also be important for acquiring student loans or financial aid, which often are not obtainable for non- accredited schools. It's also a criteria for licensing in several states that the training be accredited. And as a concluding benefit, many Birmingham AL employers will not hire recent graduates of non-accredited schools, or may look more favorably upon individuals with accredited training.

Does the School have an Excellent Reputation?  Each makeup artist college that you are seriously considering should have a good to outstanding reputation within the profession. Being accredited is an excellent starting point. Next, ask the schools for references from their network of Birmingham AL employers where they have referred their students. Verify that the schools have high job placement rates, indicating that their students are highly demanded. Visit rating companies for reviews along with the school's accrediting agencies. If you have any connections with area salon owners or managers, or someone working in the trade, ask them if they are familiar with the schools you are considering. They might even be able to propose others that you had not considered. And last, consult the Alabama school licensing authority to see if there have been any complaints submitted or if the schools are in complete compliance.

What’s the School’s Specialty?  A number of beauty schools offer programs that are comprehensive in nature, focusing on all areas of cosmetology. Others are more focused, offering training in a specific specialty, for example hairstyling, manicuring or electrolysis. Schools that offer degree programs commonly broaden into a management and marketing curriculum. So it's imperative that you pick a school that specializes in your area of interest. If your goal is to be trained as a makeup artist, make certain that the school you enroll in is accredited and respected for that program. If your desire is to start a beauty salon in Birmingham AL, then you want to enroll in a degree program that will teach you how to be an owner/operator. Choosing a highly regarded school with a poor program in the specialty you are seeking will not provide the training you require.

Is Any Live Training Provided?  Practicing and refining makeup techniques and abilities demands lots of practice on volunteers. Check how much live, hands-on training is included in the Birmingham AL cosmetology courses you will be attending. Some schools have salons on campus that make it possible for students to practice their growing skills on real people. If a makeup program offers minimal or no scheduled live training, but instead depends mainly on utilizing mannequins, it may not be the best option for cultivating your skills. So look for other schools that offer this kind of training.

Does the School Provide Job Assistace?  Once a student graduates from a makeup artist academy, it's imperative that he or she gets support in finding that very first job. Job placement programs are an important part of that process. Schools that provide help maintain relationships with local employers that are searching for qualified graduates available for hiring. Check that the schools you are considering have job placement programs and ask which Birmingham AL salons and establishments they refer students to. Additionally, find out what their job placement rates are. Higher rates not only verify that they have broad networks of employers, but that their programs are highly regarded as well.

Is Financial Aid Offered?  Many beauty schools provide financial aid or student loan assistance for their students. Find out if the Birmingham AL makeup schools you are considering have a financial aid office. Consult with a counselor and find out what student loans or grants you may 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 meets all of your other qualifications with the exception of cost, do not omit it as an option before you find out what financial help may be provided.

Find Out More About Birmingham Makeup Artist Cosmetology Schools

Choose the Right Birmingham Makeup Artist Beauty School

Choosing and enrolling in the ideal makep program is essential to obtain the proper training to become a licensed cosmetology professional. Make sure to ask all the questions that you need to in order to feel positive about your decision. Make sure to collect all of the information you get from the makeup school admissions departments, focus on what matters the most to you, and then use that data to compare schools. A good beginning in your due diligence process is to make sure that the academy and program you select are accredited and have excellent reputations within the profession. If you start with that base, and address the additional questions supplied in this post, you will be able to filter your list of schools so that you can make the ideal choice. And when you graduate and pass your licensing examination, you will be confident that you are prepared to start your new career as a professional makeup artist in Birmingham Alabama.


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