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How to Find the Best Makeup Artist School near Birmingham Alabama

Birmingham Alabama makeup school student applying makeup on womanSince you have made a decision to train as a cosmetologist and enroll in a makeup artist school near Birmingham AL, the process begins to locate and enroll in the best school. It's important that the program you choose not only provides the necessary education for the specialty you have chosen, but also preps you for passing the licensing examination. When you begin your initial search, you might be a little bit confused about the contrast between beauty schools and cosmetology schools. Well don't be, because the titles are pretty much interchangeable and both refer to the same kind of school. We'll talk a little bit further concerning that in the next section. If you plan on commuting to classes you will need to find a school that is within driving distance of your Birmingham residence. Tuition will also be an important consideration when evaluating prospective schools. Just bear in mind that because a school is the closest or the least expensive it's not automatically the right option. There are several other qualifications that you should evaluate when reviewing schools, for instance their reputation and accreditation. We will review what questions you should ask regarding 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

Birmingham Alabama makeup artist showcasing new bride's wedding makeupCosmetology is an occupation that is everything about making the human anatomy look more attractive through the application of cosmetics. So naturally it makes sense that a number of cosmetology schools are regarded as beauty schools. Many of us think of makeup when we hear the word cosmetics, but actually a cosmetic may be anything that improves the appearance of a person's skin, hair or nails. In order to work as a cosmetologist, most states require that you take some kind of specialized training and then be licensed. Once you are licensed, the work settings include not only Birmingham AL beauty salons and barber shops, but also such places as spas, hotels and resorts. Many cosmetologists, after they have acquired experience and a client base, establish their own shops or salons. Others will start servicing clients either in their own homes or will travel to the client's residence, or both. Cosmetology college graduates go by many names and are employed in a wide variety of specializations including:

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


As previously mentioned, in the majority of states practicing cosmetologists must be licensed. In a few states there is an exemption. Only those performing 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.

Makeup Artist Degrees

Birmingham Alabama makeup artist applying lip liner on young womanThere are basically two pathways offered to receive makeup artist training and a credential after completion. You can enroll in a certificate (or diploma) program, or you can work toward an Associate's degree. Certificate programs usually require 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 prefer to concentrate on just one area, for instance makeup. A degree program will also most likely incorporate management and marketing training so that graduates are better prepared to manage a salon or other Birmingham AL business. Higher degrees are not common, but Bachelor and Master's degree programs are available in such specialties as salon or spa management. Whichever type of course you choose, it's important to make sure that it's certified by the Alabama Board of Cosmetology. Many states only recognize schools that are accredited by certain respected organizations, for example the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS). We will cover the benefits of accreditation for the school you choose in the upcoming segment.

Makeup Online Courses

Online makeup classes are advantageous for students who are employed full time and have family commitments that make it challenging to enroll in a more traditional school. There are numerous web-based cosmetology school programs offered that can be accessed through a desktop computer or laptop at the student's convenience. More conventional beauty schools are frequently fast paced due to the fact that many programs are as short as 6 or 8 months. This means that a significant portion of time is spent in the classroom. With internet programs, you are dealing with the same amount of material, but you're not devoting numerous hours outside of your home or commuting to and from classes. On the other hand, it's imperative that the program you select can provide internship training in nearby Birmingham AL salons and parlors to ensure that you also receive the hands-on training required for a comprehensive education. Without the internship part of the training, it's difficult to acquire the skills required to work in any facet of the cosmetology field. So make sure if you choose to enroll in an online program to verify that internship training is available in your area.

What to Ask Makeup Cosmetology Schools

makeup artist applying makeup on woman in Birmingham Alabama beauty salonFollowing is a list of questions that you need to look into for any makeup artist training school you are contemplating. As we have already discussed, the location of the school relative to your Birmingham residence, together with the price of tuition, will probably be your primary qualifiers. Whether you would like to pursue a certificate, diploma or a degree will no doubt be next on your list. But once you have reduced your school options based on those initial qualifications, there are even more factors that you need to research and consider before enrolling in a makeup school. Below we have put together several of those supplemental questions that you need to ask every school before making a final selection.

Is the School Accredited? It's important to make certain that the makeup school you pick is accredited. The accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education certified local or national agency, such as the National Accrediting Commission for Cosmetology Arts & Sciences (NACCAS). Schools accredited by the NACCAS must measure up to their high standards ensuring a superior curriculum and education. Accreditation may also be essential for securing student loans or financial aid, which typically are not offered for non- accredited schools. It's also a prerequisite for licensing in some states that the training be accredited. And as a final benefit, many Birmingham AL employers will not employ recent graduates of non-accredited schools, or might look more favorably upon those with accredited training.

Does the School have an Excellent Reputation?  Any makeup artist institute that you are seriously evaluating should have a good to excellent reputation within the industry. Being accredited is an excellent beginning. Next, ask the schools for references from their network of Birmingham AL employers where they have placed their students. Verify that the schools have high job placement rates, attesting that their students are highly sought after. Check rating companies for reviews as well as the school's accrediting agencies. If you have any relationships with local salon owners or managers, or any person working in the trade, ask them if they are acquainted with the schools you are looking at. They may even be able to propose others that you had not thought of. And last, contact 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 Focus?  Some beauty schools offer programs that are expansive in nature, concentrating on all areas of cosmetology. Others are more focused, providing training in a specific specialty, for instance hairstyling, manicuring or electrolysis. Schools that offer degree programs often broaden into a management and marketing curriculum. So it's essential that you pick a school that specializes in your area of interest. If your objective is to be trained as a makeup artist, make certain that the school you enroll in is accredited and well regarded for that program. If your dream is to open a beauty salon in Birmingham AL, then you want to enroll in a degree program that will instruct you how to be an owner/operator. Selecting a highly rated school with a poor program in the specialty you are pursuing will not provide the training you need.

Is Plenty of Hands-On Training Provided?  Studying and refining makeup skills and techniques involves plenty of practice on volunteers. Ask how much live, hands-on training is furnished in the Birmingham AL beauty classes you will be attending. Some schools have salons on campus that enable students to practice their growing talents on real people. If a makeup academy provides minimal or no scheduled live training, but instead depends predominantly on the use of mannequins, it might not be the most effective alternative for cultivating your skills. So look for other schools that provide this type of training.

Does the School Provide Job Assistace?  As soon as a student graduates from a makeup artist school, it's crucial that she or he receives assistance in landing that initial job. Job placement programs are an important part of that process. Schools that furnish assistance develope relationships with local businesses that are searching for qualified graduates available for hiring. Verify that the schools you are contemplating have job placement programs and find out which Birmingham AL salons and businesses they refer students to. In addition, ask what their job placement rates are. Higher rates not only verify that they have wide networks of employers, but that their programs are highly regarded as well.

Is Financial Aid Available?  Many beauty schools offer financial aid or student loan assistance for their students. Ask if the Birmingham AL makeup schools you are looking at have a financial aid office. Talk to a counselor and find out what student loans or grants you may get approved for. If the school is a member of the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS), it will have scholarships available to students as well. If a school meets each of your other qualifications except for cost, do not eliminate it as an option until you determine what financial help may be available.

Learn More About Birmingham Makeup Beauty Classes

Choose the Right Birmingham Makeup Cosmetology School

Choosing and enrolling in the ideal makeup artist program is important to get the necessary training to become a licensed cosmetology professional. Make sure to ask all the questions that you need to in order to feel confident about your decision. Make sure to organize all of the responses you receive from the makeup school admissions departments, focus on what matters the most to you, and then employ that information to contrast schools. A reasonable start in your due diligence procedure is to make sure that the college and program you choose are accredited and have excellent reputations within the field. If you begin with that foundation, and answer the additional questions supplied in this article, you will be able to filter your list of schools so that you can make the proper selection. 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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