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How to Find the Right Makeup Course near Birmingham Alabama

Birmingham Alabama makeup school student putting makeup on volunteerSince you have decided to train as a cosmetologist and attend a makeup artist school near Birmingham AL, the process starts to locate and enroll in the ideal school. It's imperative that the school you choose not only provides the necessary instruction for the specialty you have decided on, but also prepares you for passing the licensing examination. When you start your preliminary search, you might be rather puzzled about the contrast between beauty schools and cosmetology schools. Well don't be, because the titles are essentially interchangeable and both pertain to the same kind of school. We'll speak a little bit further regarding that in the upcoming segment. If you anticipate commuting to classes you will need to locate a school that is within driving distance of your Birmingham home. Tuition will likewise be an important consideration when reviewing possible schools. Just bear in mind that because a school is the closest or the least expensive it's not always the ideal option. There are many other factors that you should weigh when reviewing schools, for example their reputation and accreditation. We will go over what questions you should ask about the cosmetology schools you are thinking about later within this article. Before we do, let's discuss a bit about what cosmetology is, and what kinds of courses are available.

Defining Cosmetology

Birmingham Alabama makeup artist finishing new bride's wedding makeupCosmetology is a profession that is everything about making the human anatomy look more beautiful with the application of cosmetics. So of course it makes sense that many cosmetology schools are regarded as beauty schools. Many of us think of makeup when we hear the term cosmetics, but basically a cosmetic may be almost anything that enhances the appearance of a person's skin, hair or nails. In order to work as a cosmetologist, most states mandate that you undergo some form of specialized training and then be licensed. Once licensed, the work environments include not only Birmingham AL beauty salons and barber shops, but also such businesses as spas, hotels and resorts. Many cosmetologists, after they have acquired experience and a customer base, establish their own shops or salons. Others will begin servicing clients either in their own residences or will travel to the client's residence, or both. Cosmetology college graduates are known 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 already stated, in the majority of states practicing cosmetologists have to be licensed. In a few states there is an exception. Only those offering more skilled services, for instance hairstylists, are required to be licensed. Other people working in cosmetology and less skilled, which include shampooers, are not required to get licensed in those states.

Makeup Artist Degrees

Birmingham Alabama makeup artist using lip gloss on young womanThere are basically two pathways offered to get makeup artist 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 normally call for 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 trained in all of the major areas of cosmetology. Shorter programs are offered if you wish to specialize in just one area, for instance makeup. A degree program will also probably incorporate management and marketing training to ensure that graduates are better prepared to run a salon or other Birmingham AL business. Higher degrees are not typical, but Bachelor and Master's degree programs are offered in such areas as salon or spa management. Whichever type of course you decide on, it's essential to make certain that it's certified by the Alabama Board of Cosmetology. Numerous states only recognize schools that are accredited by certain reputable organizations, for instance the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS). We will review the benefits of accreditation for the school you decide on in the next section.

Makeup Online Classes

Online makeup artist courses are advantageous for students who are employed full-time and have family responsibilities that make it challenging to enroll in a more traditional school. There are numerous web-based beauty school programs offered that can be attended via a desktop computer or laptop at the student's convenience. More traditional cosmetology schools are typically fast paced given that many courses are as short as 6 or 8 months. This means that a considerable amount of time is spent in the classroom. With internet courses, you are covering the same volume of material, but you are not spending numerous hours away from your home or travelling back and forth from classes. However, it's vital that the training program you choose can provide internship training in local Birmingham AL salons and parlors to ensure that you also obtain the hands-on training required for a complete education. Without the internship part of the training, it's difficult to acquire the skills necessary to work in any area of the cosmetology industry. So be sure if you choose to enroll in an online school to verify that internship training is provided in your area.

Questions to Ask Makeup Artist Cosmetology Courses

makeup artist applying makeup on woman in Birmingham Alabama salonBelow is a series of questions that you will want to research for any makeup artist training school you are contemplating. As we have already covered, the location of the school in relation to your Birmingham home, as well as the cost of tuition, will probably be your primary qualifiers. Whether you want to pursue a certificate, diploma or a degree will no doubt be next on your list. But once you have narrowed your school options based on those initial qualifications, there are additional factors that you should research and consider before enrolling in a makeup program. Following we have compiled several of those additional questions that you need to ask each school before making a final decision.

Is the Program Accredited? It's important to make sure that the makeup training program you select is accredited. The accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized local or national organization, such as the National Accrediting Commission for Cosmetology Arts & Sciences (NACCAS). Programs accredited by the NACCAS must comply with their high standards assuring a superior curriculum and education. Accreditation may also be important for obtaining student loans or financial aid, which typically are not obtainable for non- accredited schools. It's also a criteria for licensing in many states that the training be accredited. And as a concluding benefit, many Birmingham AL businesses will not recruit recent graduates of non-accredited schools, or may look more favorably upon individuals with accredited training.

Does the School have a Great Reputation?  Each makeup artist college that you are seriously evaluating should have a good to exceptional reputation within the industry. Being accredited is a good beginning. Next, ask the schools for testimonials from their network of Birmingham AL businesses 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 together with the school's accrediting organizations. If you have any relationships with local salon owners or managers, or anyone working in the business, ask them if they are acquainted with the schools you are looking at. 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 grievances submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.

What’s the School’s Specialty?  A number of beauty schools offer programs that are broad in nature, focusing on all areas of cosmetology. Others are more focused, offering training in a particular specialty, for example hairstyling, manicuring or electrolysis. Schools that offer degree programs typically broaden into a management and marketing curriculum. So it's essential that you enroll in a school that specializes in your area of interest. If your intention is to be trained as a makeup artist, make sure that the school you enroll in is accredited and well regarded for that program. If your dream is to start a beauty salon in Birmingham AL, then you need 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 deliver the training you require.

Is Enough Live Training Provided?  Learning and mastering makeup techniques and abilities involves lots of practice on people. Find out 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 enable students to practice their developing talents on real people. If a makeup academy offers little or no scheduled live training, but instead depends heavily on the use of mannequins, it may not be the most effective option for developing your skills. So look for alternate schools that offer this kind of training.

Does the School Provide Job Assistace?  Once a student graduates from a makeup program, it's imperative that he or she gets help in landing that initial job. Job placement programs are an important part of that process. Schools that provide aid maintain relationships with area businesses that are seeking trained graduates available for hiring. Verify that the schools you are contemplating have job placement programs and ask which Birmingham AL salons and organizations they refer students to. Also, find out 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 Available?  Most beauty schools offer financial aid or student loan assistance for their students. Check if the Birmingham AL makeup schools you are investigating have a financial aid department. Speak with a counselor and learn what student loans or grants you might get approved for. If the school is a member of the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS), it will have scholarships available to students also. If a school fulfills each of your other qualifications except for cost, do not omit it as an option before you determine what financial help may be available.

Find Out More About Birmingham Makeup Artist Beauty Classes

Select the Right Birmingham Makeup Beauty Program

Picking and enrolling in the right makep school is important to obtain the appropriate training to become a licensed cosmetology practitioner. Be sure to ask all the questions that you need to so as to feel certain about your decision. Make sure to consolidate all of the responses you get from the makeup school admissions departments, focus on what matters the most to you, and then use that information to contrast schools. A sensible start in your due diligence procedure is to make certain that the school and program you select are accredited and have impressive reputations within the profession. If you begin with that foundation, and address the additional questions presented in this article, you will be able to filter your list of schools so that you can make the right choice. And when you graduate and pass your licensing test, you will be confident that you are prepared to begin your new career as a professional makeup artist in Birmingham Alabama.


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