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How to Choose the Best Makeup Artist College near Clay Alabama

Clay Alabama makeup artist school student putting makeup on volunteerNow that you have decided to train as a cosmetologist and enroll in a makeup artist school near Clay AL, the process starts to find and enroll in the ideal school. It's essential that the program you choose not only provides the proper instruction for the specialty you have selected, but also preps you for passing the licensing exam. When you begin your initial search, you might be a little bit unclear about the contrast between beauty schools and cosmetology schools. Well don't be, because the titles are essentially interchangeable and both refer to the same kind of school. We'll discuss a little bit further regarding that in the upcoming section. If you anticipate commuting to classes you will need to choose a school that is within driving distance of your Clay home. Tuition will also be a critical aspect when assessing potential schools. Just remember that because a school is the nearest or the least expensive it's not automatically the right choice. There are a number of other qualifications that you should weigh when reviewing schools, for example their reputation and accreditation. We will examine what questions you should ask concerning the cosmetology schools you are thinking about later within this article. Before we do, let's talk a little bit about what cosmetology is, and what kinds of programs are available.

Defining Cosmetology

Clay Alabama makeup artist viewing young bride's makeupCosmetology is an occupation that is everything about making the human body look more attractive with the use of cosmetics. So naturally it makes sense that numerous 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 almost anything that enhances the look of a person's skin, hair or nails. In order to work as a cosmetologist, most states require that you undergo some kind of specialized training and then become licensed. Once licensed, the work environments include not only Clay AL beauty salons and barber shops, but also such businesses as spas, hotels and resorts. Many cosmetologists, after they have gotten experience and a client base, establish their own shops or salons. Others will begin servicing clients either in their own residences or will go to the client's house, or both. Cosmetology college graduates are known by many titles and are employed in a wide range of specialties including:

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


As earlier stated, in most states working cosmetologists must be licensed. In some states there is an exception. Only those performing more skilled services, such as hairstylists, are required to be licensed. Others employed in cosmetology and less skilled, including shampooers, are not required to become licensed in those states.

Makeup Artist Degree Options

Clay Alabama makeup artist using lip liner on young womanThere are basically two pathways available to obtain 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 generally take 12 to 18 months to finish, while an Associate's degree ordinarily takes about 2 years. If you enroll in a certificate program you will be trained in all of the main areas of cosmetology. Shorter programs are available if you wish to focus on just one area, for example makeup. A degree program will also likely include management and marketing training so that graduates are better prepared to operate a parlor or other Clay AL business. More advanced degrees are not prevalent, but Bachelor and Master's degree programs are available in such specialties as salon or spa management. Whatever type of training program you choose, it's important to make sure that it's recognized by the Alabama Board of Cosmetology. A number of states only recognize schools that are accredited by certain highly regarded organizations, including the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS). We will cover the benefits of accreditation for the school you choose in the upcoming segment.

Online Makeup Classes

Online makeup schools are accommodating for students who are working full-time and have family obligations that make it hard to attend a more traditional school. There are numerous web-based cosmetology school programs available that can be accessed through a personal computer or laptop at the student's convenience. More traditional beauty programs are often fast paced due to the fact that many programs are as short as six or eight months. This means that a significant amount of time is spent in the classroom. With online programs, you are covering the same volume of material, but you are not devoting numerous hours away from your home or travelling to and from classes. On the other hand, it's important that the school you choose can provide internship training in area Clay AL salons and parlors so that you also receive the hands-on training needed for a complete education. Without the internship portion of the training, it's impossible to acquire the skills necessary to work in any area of the cosmetology field. So don't forget if you choose to enroll in an online program to confirm that internship training is available in your area.

What to Ask Makeup Cosmetology Classes

makeup artist applying makeup on woman in Clay Alabama beauty salonBelow is a list of questions that you need to research for any makeup artist training program you are contemplating. As we have already covered, the location of the school in relation to your Clay home, in addition to the cost of tuition, will most likely be your primary qualifiers. Whether you would like to pursue a certificate, diploma or a degree will undoubtedly be next on your list. But once you have narrowed your school options based on those initial qualifications, there are additional factors that you need to research and consider before enrolling in a makeup program. Following we have put together some of those additional questions that you should ask every school before making a final determination.

Is the Program Accredited? It's essential to make sure that the makeup school you select is accredited. The accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education certified local or national organization, such as the National Accrediting Commission for Cosmetology Arts & Sciences (NACCAS). Programs accredited by the NACCAS must measure up to their high standards assuring a superior curriculum and education. Accreditation may also be necessary for acquiring student loans or financial aid, which frequently are not obtainable for non- accredited schools. It's also a prerequisite for licensing in several states that the training be accredited. And as a concluding benefit, a number of Clay AL businesses will not employ recent graduates of non-accredited schools, or might look more positively upon individuals with accredited training.

Does the School have an Excellent Reputation?  Each makeup artist school that you are seriously evaluating should have a good to outstanding reputation within the profession. Being accredited is a good beginning. Next, ask the schools for testimonials from their network of Clay AL employers where they have referred their students. Confirm that the schools have high job placement rates, showing that their students are highly demanded. Visit rating companies for reviews as well as the school's accrediting organizations. If you have any relationships with local salon owners or managers, or anyone working in the field, ask them if they are familiar with the schools you are reviewing. They might even be able to suggest others that you had not considered. And finally, consult the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there have been any complaints filed or if the schools are in full compliance.

What’s the School’s Specialty?  Some beauty schools offer programs that are broad in nature, focusing on all areas of cosmetology. Others are more focused, providing training in a particular specialty, for example hairstyling, manicuring or electrolysis. Schools that offer degree programs frequently broaden into a management and marketing curriculum. So it's important that you decide on 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 respected for that program. If your aspiration is to start a beauty salon in Clay 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 pursuing will not deliver the training you require.

Is Enough Hands-On Training Provided?  Studying and perfecting makeup techniques and abilities involves plenty of practice on volunteers. Check how much live, hands-on training is included in the Clay AL cosmetology lessons you will be attending. A number of schools have salons on campus that allow students to practice their growing talents on volunteers. If a makeup school offers limited or no scheduled live training, but rather depends predominantly on using mannequins, it may not be the most effective alternative for acquiring your skills. So look for other schools that furnish this kind of training.

Does the School Provide Job Assistace?  When a student graduates from a makeup artist academy, it's imperative that he or she gets aid in securing that first job. Job placement programs are an integral part of that process. Schools that furnish assistance maintain relationships with area businesses that are seeking skilled graduates available for hiring. Check that the programs you are looking at have job placement programs and inquire which Clay AL salons and organizations they refer students to. Also, find out what their job placement rates are. Higher rates not only verify that they have extensive networks of employers, but that their programs are highly respected as well.

Is Financial Aid Available?  Most cosmetology schools offer financial aid or student loan assistance for their students. Find out if the Clay AL makeup schools you are reviewing have a financial aid department. Speak with a counselor and identify what student loans or grants you might qualify for. If the school is a member of the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS), it will have scholarships offered to students also. If a school meets all of your other qualifications with the exception of expense, do not discard it as an option until you find out what financial help may be provided.

Learn More About Clay Makeup Artist Cosmetology Classes

Enroll in the Right Clay Makeup Cosmetology Training Program

Choosing and enrolling in the right makeup artist school is important to receive the proper training to become a licensed cosmetology technician. Be sure to ask all the questions that you require so as to feel certain about your decision. Make sure to consolidate 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 contrast schools. A sensible start in your due diligence process is to make sure that the academy and program you select are accredited and have outstanding reputations within the profession. If you begin with that base, 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 ideal selection. And when you graduate and pass your licensing exam, you will be self-assured that you are qualified to start your career as a professional makeup artist in Clay Alabama.


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