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How to Select the Best Makeup Artist School near Helena Alabama

Helena Alabama makeup artist school student applying makeup on womanOnce you have made a decision to train as a cosmetologist and attend a makeup artist school near Helena AL, the process begins to search for and enroll in the ideal school. It's important that the program you select not only provides the appropriate training for the specialty you have decided on, but also prepares you for passing the licensing exam. When you begin your initial search, you might be rather unclear about the distinction between beauty schools and cosmetology schools. Well don't be, because the names are pretty much interchangeable and both relate to the same kind of school. We'll discuss a little bit more concerning that in the upcoming segment. If you intend on commuting to classes you will want to locate a school that is within driving distance of your Helena home. Tuition will likewise be an important aspect when evaluating possible schools. Just keep in mind that because a school is the closest or the lowest cost it's not necessarily the best option. There are a number of other considerations that you should weigh when reviewing schools, such as their reputation and accreditation. We will go over what questions you should ask about the cosmetology schools you are considering later in this article. Before we do, let's discuss a little bit about what cosmetology is, and what kinds of programs are offered.

Defining Cosmetology

Helena Alabama makeup artist viewing bride's wedding makeupCosmetology is a profession that is everything about making the human anatomy look more attractive through the use of cosmetics. So naturally it makes sense that a number of cosmetology schools are described as beauty schools. Most of us think of makeup when we hear the word cosmetics, but actually a cosmetic can be almost anything that enhances the look of a person's skin, hair or nails. If you want to work as a cosmetologist, almost all states require that you take some kind of specialized training and then become licensed. Once licensed, the work environments include not only Helena 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, open their own shops or salons. Others will start seeing customers either in their own homes or will travel to the client's house, or both. Cosmetology college graduates go by many professional 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 the majority of states practicing cosmetologists must be licensed. In some states there is an exemption. Only those offering 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 get licensed in those states.

Makeup Artist Degree Options

Helena Alabama makeup artist using lip gloss on modelThere are essentially two options offered to obtain makeup artist training and a credential after completion. You can enroll in a certificate (or diploma) course, or you can pursue an Associate's degree. Certificate programs usually 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 trained in all of the main areas of cosmetology. Briefer programs are offered if you prefer to concentrate on just one area, for example makeup. A degree program will also likely feature management and marketing training so that graduates are better prepared to operate a salon or other Helena AL business. Higher degrees are not typical, but Bachelor and Master's degree programs are available in such specializations as salon or spa management. Whatever type of program you decide on, it's imperative to make sure that it's recognized by the Alabama Board of Cosmetology. Many states only certify schools that are accredited by certain respected organizations, for instance the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS). We will cover the benefits of accreditation for the school you choose in the following section.

Online Makeup Schools

Online makeup artist classes are convenient for students who are employed full time and have family commitments that make it difficult to enroll in a more traditional school. There are many web-based beauty school programs offered that can be accessed through a home computer or laptop at the student's convenience. More conventional cosmetology schools are typically fast paced because many courses are as brief as six or eight months. This means that a considerable portion of time is spent in the classroom. With internet courses, you are dealing with the same volume of material, but you are not devoting many hours outside of your home or commuting to and from classes. However, it's imperative that the school you choose can provide internship training in area Helena AL salons and parlors so that you also get the hands-on training needed for a complete education. Without the internship portion of the training, it's impossible to obtain the skills required to work in any facet of the cosmetology industry. So don't forget if you choose to enroll in an online program to verify that internship training is provided in your area.

Questions to Ask Makeup Artist Beauty Programs

makeup artist applying makeup on woman in Helena Alabama salonFollowing is a series of questions that you should investigate for any makeup artist training school you are contemplating. As we have previously discussed, the location of the school in relation to your Helena residence, in addition to the cost of tuition, will undoubtedly be your primary qualifiers. Whether you wish to earn a certificate, diploma or a degree will undoubtedly be next on your list. But once you have narrowed your school choices based on those preliminary qualifications, there are even more factors that you need to research and take into consideration before enrolling in a makeup school. Below we have put together several of those additional questions that you need to ask every school before making a final decision.

Is the Program Accredited? It's essential to make sure that the makeup training program you choose 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 measure up to their high standards guaranteeing a superior curriculum and education. Accreditation may also be essential for securing student loans or financial aid, which frequently are not available for non- accredited schools. It's also a criteria for licensing in many states that the training be accredited. And as a final benefit, a number of Helena AL businesses will not hire 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 school that you are seriously considering should have a good to exceptional reputation within the profession. Being accredited is a good starting point. Next, ask the schools for endorsements from their network of Helena AL businesses where they have referred their students. Confirm 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 organizations. If you have any connections with area salon owners or managers, or any person working in the industry, ask them if they are acquainted with the schools you are reviewing. They may even be able to suggest others that you had not looked into. And finally, consult 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 cosmetology schools offer programs that are comprehensive in nature, focusing on all facets of cosmetology. Others are more focused, providing training in a specific specialty, for instance hairstyling, manicuring or electrolysis. Schools that offer degree programs often expand into a management and marketing curriculum. So it's important that you select a school that specializes in your area of interest. If your intention 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 Helena AL, then you need to enroll in a degree program that will teach you how to be an owner/operator. Choosing a highly rated school with a poor program in the specialty you are pursuing will not provide the training you require.

Is Enough Live Training Provided?  Learning and mastering makeup skills and techniques demands lots of practice on people. Check how much live, hands-on training is included in the Helena AL beauty classes you will be attending. Some schools have salons on campus that make it possible for students to practice their growing talents on volunteers. If a makeup program provides limited or no scheduled live training, but instead relies heavily on using mannequins, it might not be the most effective option for acquiring your skills. So search for other schools that offer this type of training.

Does the School Provide Job Assistace?  Once a student graduates from a makeup academy, it's imperative that he or she receives assistance in landing that very first job. Job placement programs are an integral part of that process. Schools that furnish help maintain relationships with local businesses that are searching for trained graduates available for hiring. Check that the programs you are looking at have job placement programs and find out which Helena AL salons and businesses they refer students to. Also, ask what their job placement rates are. High rates not only verify that they have broad networks of employers, but that their programs are highly respected as well.

Is Financial Assistance Available?  Almost all beauty schools offer financial aid or student loan assistance for their students. Find out if the Helena AL makeup schools you are investigating have a financial aid office. Consult 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 accessible to students as well. If a school fulfills all of your other qualifications except for cost, do not discard it as an option before you find out what financial help may be available.

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Select the Right Helena Makeup Cosmetology Program

Finding and enrolling in the right makeup artist program is important to obtain the appropriate training to become a licensed cosmetology specialist. Be sure to ask all the questions that you require so as to feel certain about your decision. Make certain to collect all of the responses you get from the makeup school admissions departments, prioritize what matters the most to you, and then employ that data to compare schools. A good beginning in your due diligence process is to make sure that the academy and program you decide on are accredited and have impressive reputations within the profession. If you start with that base, and answer the additional questions supplied in this article, you will be able to narrow down your list of schools so that you can make the ideal selection. And when you graduate and pass your licensing test, you will be self-assured that you are qualified to start your new career as a professional makeup artist in Helena Alabama.


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