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How to Choose the Right Makeup College near Florence Alabama

Florence Alabama makeup school student putting makeup on womanOnce you have decided to train as a cosmetologist and enroll in a makeup artist school near Florence AL, the process starts to locate and enroll in the best school. It's important that the school you choose not only provides the proper training for the specialty you have chosen, but also preps you for passing the licensing examination. When you begin your initial search, you may be rather puzzled about the contrast between beauty schools and cosmetology schools. Well don't be, because the titles are basically interchangeable and both relate to the same kind of school. We'll speak a bit further about that in the following segment. If you plan on commuting to classes you will need to find a school that is within driving distance of your Florence home. Tuition will likewise be a critical factor when reviewing potential schools. Just remember that because a school is the nearest or the cheapest it's not necessarily the best choice. There are many 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 thinking about later within this article. Before we do, let's discuss a bit about what cosmetology is, and what kinds of programs are available.

Definition of Cosmetology

Florence Alabama makeup artist viewing young bride's wedding makeupCosmetology is a profession that is all 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 referred to as beauty schools. Many of us think of makeup when we hear the word cosmetics, but actually 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, almost all states mandate that you take some type of specialized training and then become licensed. Once you are licensed, the work environments 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 client base, open their own shops or salons. Others will start seeing clients either in their own residences or will go to the client's house, or both. Cosmetology college graduates go by many names and work in a wide range of specializations including:

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


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

Makeup Artist Education Options

Florence Alabama makeup artist applying lip gloss on clientThere are basically two options offered to obtain makeup artist training and a credential upon completion. You can enroll in a certificate (or diploma) program, or you can work toward an Associate's degree. Certificate programs usually call for 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 offered if you prefer to concentrate on 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 Florence AL business. Higher degrees are not prevalent, but Bachelor and Master's degree programs are offered in such specialties as salon or spa management. Whichever type of program you decide on, it's essential to make sure that it's recognized by the Alabama Board of Cosmetology. Numerous states only certify schools that are accredited by certain reputable agencies, for instance the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS). We will examine the advantages of accreditation for the school you decide on in the next section.

Makeup Online Training

Online makeup artist courses are accommodating for students who are working full time and have family responsibilities that make it hard to attend a more traditional school. There are a large number of online cosmetology school programs offered that can be accessed via a desktop computer or laptop at the student's convenience. More traditional cosmetology programs are often fast paced due to the fact that many courses are as short as six or eight months. This means that a significant amount of time is spent in the classroom. With internet programs, you are covering the same amount of material, but you are not spending numerous hours away from your home or commuting to and from classes. On the other hand, it's important that the program you pick can provide internship training in local Florence AL salons and parlors in order that you also obtain the hands-on training necessary for a complete education. Without the internship portion of the training, it's impossible to acquire the skills necessary to work in any facet of the cosmetology profession. So be sure if you choose to enroll in an online program to verify that internship training is provided in your area.

What to Ask Makeup Beauty Schools

makeup artist applying makeup on woman in Florence Alabama beauty salonBelow is a list of questions that you should investigate for any makeup artist training school you are considering. As we have already discussed, the location of the school relative to your Florence residence, in addition to the expense of tuition, will undoubtedly be your primary qualifiers. Whether you want to earn a certificate, diploma or a degree will no doubt be next on your list. But once you have narrowed your school choices based on those initial qualifications, there are additional factors that you need to research and take into consideration before enrolling in a makeup school. Following we have compiled several of those supplemental questions that you need to ask every school before making a final determination.

Is the School Accredited? It's important to make certain that the makeup school you choose 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). Schools accredited by the NACCAS must comply with their high standards assuring a superior curriculum and education. Accreditation can also be essential for getting student loans or financial aid, which frequently are not offered 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 Florence AL businesses will not employ recent graduates of non-accredited schools, or may look more favorably upon those with accredited training.

Does the School have an Excellent Reputation?  Every makeup artist college that you are seriously evaluating should have a good to excellent reputation within the profession. Being accredited is an excellent beginning. Next, ask the schools for testimonials from their network of Florence AL businesses where they have referred their students. Verify that the schools have high job placement rates, attesting that their students are highly demanded. Check rating services for reviews along with the school's accrediting organizations. If you have any relationships with local salon owners or managers, or someone working in the business, ask them if they are acquainted with the schools you are reviewing. They may even be able to propose others that you had not considered. And last, check with 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 Specialty?  Many beauty schools offer programs that are broad in nature, focusing on all facets of cosmetology. Others are more focused, offering training in a particular specialty, such as hairstyling, manicuring or electrolysis. Schools that offer degree programs typically expand into a management and marketing curriculum. So it's essential that you pick a school that focuses on your area of interest. If your goal 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 aspiration is to start a beauty salon in Florence AL, then you want to enroll in a degree program that will instruct you how to be an owner/operator. Choosing a highly ranked school with a weak program in the specialty you are seeking will not provide the training you need.

Is Plenty of Live Training Provided?  Learning and refining makeup techniques and abilities demands lots of practice on volunteers. Ask how much live, hands-on training is provided in the Florence AL cosmetology courses you will be attending. A number of schools have salons on site that allow students to practice their growing skills on real people. If a makeup school offers minimal or no scheduled live training, but rather depends mainly on using mannequins, it may not be the most effective option for cultivating your skills. So try to find other schools that provide this type of training.

Does the School have a Job Placement Program?  Once a student graduates from a makeup school, it's important that he or she receives aid in securing that initial job. Job placement programs are an integral part of that process. Schools that offer assistance develope relationships with local employers that are seeking trained graduates available for hiring. Verify that the programs you are looking at have job placement programs and inquire which Florence AL salons and organizations they refer students to. In addition, ask what their job placement rates are. Higher rates not only affirm that they have extensive networks of employers, but that their programs are highly regarded as well.

Is Financial Assistance Available?  Most cosmetology schools provide financial aid or student loan assistance for their students. Check if the Florence AL makeup schools you are investigating have a financial aid department. Talk to a counselor and find out what student loans or grants you may 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 except for expense, do not discard it as an option until you find out what financial assistance may be provided.

Learn More About Florence Makeup Artist Cosmetology Schools

Pick the Right Florence Makeup Beauty Program

Locating and enrolling in the right makep program is imperative to obtain the proper training to become a licensed cosmetology professional. Be sure to ask all the questions that you require in order to feel confident about your decision. Make sure to compile all of the information you receive from the makeup school admissions departments, prioritize what matters the most to you, and then utilize that data to contrast schools. A good start in your due diligence procedure is to make certain that the school and program you choose are accredited and have excellent reputations within the profession. If you begin with that base, 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 choice. Once you graduate and pass your licensing examination, you will be confident that you are prepared to begin your new career as a professional makeup artist in Florence Alabama.


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