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How to Choose the Right Makeup College near Irondale Alabama

Irondale Alabama makeup artist school student putting makeup on volunteerOnce you have decided to become a cosmetologist and attend a makeup artist school near Irondale AL, the process starts to find and enroll in the ideal school. It's essential that the school you select not only furnishes the necessary education for the specialty you have decided on, but also preps you for passing the licensing exam. When you begin your preliminary search, you might be a little bit confused about the difference between beauty schools and cosmetology schools. Well don't be, because the titles are pretty much interchangeable and both relate to the same kind of school. We'll talk a little bit more about that in the upcoming section. If you intend on commuting to classes you will want to find a school that is within driving distance of your Irondale residence. Tuition will additionally be a critical aspect when assessing potential schools. Just bear in mind that because a school is the closest or the least expensive it's not necessarily the ideal option. There are a number of other factors that you should evaluate when reviewing schools, for instance their reputation and accreditation. We will review what questions you should ask concerning the cosmetology schools you are thinking about later in this article. Before we do, let's talk a bit about what cosmetology is, and what types of training programs are available.

Defining Cosmetology

Irondale Alabama makeup artist finishing young bride's wedding makeupCosmetology is a profession that is everything about making the human anatomy look more beautiful with the use of cosmetics. So of course it makes sense that a number of cosmetology schools are described as beauty schools. Most of us think of makeup when we hear the term cosmetics, but basically a cosmetic can be almost anything that enhances the appearance of a person's skin, hair or nails. If you want to work as a cosmetologist, almost all states require that you undergo some type of specialized training and then be licensed. Once you are licensed, the work settings include not only Irondale AL beauty salons and barber shops, but also such venues as spas, hotels and resorts. Many cosmetologists, once they have acquired experience and a client base, establish their own shops or salons. Others will begin seeing customers either in their own homes or will travel to the client's home, or both. Cosmetology college graduates go by many titles and work in a wide variety of specialties including:

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


As formerly mentioned, in most states working cosmetologists must be licensed. In certain 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, which include shampooers, are not required to get licensed in those states.

Makeup Artist Certificates and Degrees

Irondale Alabama makeup artist applying lip gloss on clientThere are essentially two avenues available to obtain makeup artist training and a credential upon completion. You can enroll in a certificate (or diploma) course, or you can pursue an Associate's degree. Certificate programs usually 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 each of the major areas of cosmetology. Briefer programs are available if you prefer to focus on just one area, such as makeup. A degree program will also likely incorporate management and marketing training so that graduates are better prepared to manage a salon or other Irondale AL business. Higher degrees are not typical, but Bachelor and Master's degree programs are offered in such specializations as salon or spa management. Whichever type of training program you go with, it's imperative to make certain that it's certified by the Alabama Board of Cosmetology. Many states only recognize schools that are accredited by certain reputable agencies, for instance the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS). We will cover the benefits of accreditation for the school you select in the following section.

Online Makeup Training

Online makeup artist schools are accommodating for students who are working full time and have family responsibilities that make it challenging to attend a more traditional school. There are numerous online cosmetology school programs available that can be accessed by means of a desktop computer or laptop at the student's convenience. More traditional cosmetology schools are often fast paced since many courses are as brief as 6 or 8 months. This means that a substantial portion of time is spent in the classroom. With internet courses, you are dealing with the same volume of material, but you're not spending many hours away from your home or driving to and from classes. However, it's important that the program you pick can provide internship training in area Irondale AL salons and parlors so that you also get the hands-on training required for a comprehensive education. Without the internship part of the training, it's difficult to gain the skills needed to work in any area of the cosmetology profession. 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 Beauty Programs

makeup artist applying makeup on client in Irondale Alabama beauty salonFollowing is a series of questions that you should research for any makeup artist training school you are contemplating. As we have already covered, the location of the school in relation to your Irondale residence, as well as the price of tuition, will undoubtedly be your initial qualifiers. Whether you want 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 take into consideration before enrolling in a makeup program. Following we have compiled some of those additional questions that you should ask each school before making a final determination.

Is the Program Accredited? It's necessary 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). Schools accredited by the NACCAS must comply with their high standards guaranteeing a quality curriculum and education. Accreditation may also be necessary for securing student loans or financial aid, which frequently are not available for non- accredited schools. It's also a requirement for licensing in several states that the training be accredited. And as a concluding benefit, numerous Irondale AL businesses will not recruit recent graduates of non-accredited schools, or might look more positively upon those with accredited training.

Does the School have a Great Reputation?  Any makeup artist college that you are seriously considering should have a good to exceptional reputation within the profession. Being accredited is a good beginning. Next, ask the schools for endorsements from their network of Irondale AL businesses where they have placed their students. Confirm that the schools have high job placement rates, attesting that their students are highly sought after. Visit rating services for reviews as well as the school's accrediting agencies. If you have any contacts with area salon owners or managers, or anyone working in the business, ask them if they are familiar with the schools you are looking at. They might even be able to suggest others that you had not considered. Finally, consult the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there have been any grievances submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.

What’s the School’s Focus?  A number of beauty schools offer programs that are expansive in nature, concentrating on all areas of cosmetology. Others are more focused, offering training in a specific specialty, for example hairstyling, manicuring or electrolysis. Schools that offer degree programs often expand into a management and marketing curriculum. So it's imperative that you pick a school that specializes in your area of interest. If your ambition 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 launch a beauty salon in Irondale AL, then you need to enroll in a degree program that will instruct you how to be an owner/operator. Picking a highly regarded school with a poor program in the specialty you are pursuing will not deliver the training you need.

Is Plenty of Hands-On Training Provided?  Practicing and mastering makeup techniques and abilities demands lots of practice on volunteers. Find out how much live, hands-on training is furnished in the Irondale AL beauty courses you will be attending. A number of schools have salons on campus that allow students to practice their developing talents on real people. If a makeup school offers little or no scheduled live training, but instead depends mainly on the use of mannequins, it might not be the most effective alternative for developing your skills. Therefore search for alternate schools that furnish this kind of training.

Does the School Provide Job Assistace?  Once a student graduates from a makeup artist program, it's important that she or he receives support in landing that initial job. Job placement programs are an integral part of that process. Schools that furnish assistance maintain relationships with local employers that are looking for skilled graduates available for hiring. Confirm that the programs you are contemplating have job placement programs and find out which Irondale AL salons and businesses they refer students to. Additionally, 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 Aid Available?  The majority of cosmetology schools provide financial aid or student loan assistance for their students. Find out if the Irondale AL makeup schools you are considering have a financial aid office. Consult with a counselor and find out what student loans or grants you might qualify for. If the school belongs to 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 omit it as an alternative until you learn what financial assistance may be available.

Learn More About Irondale Makeup Artist Beauty Schools

Select the Right Irondale Makeup Artist Beauty Program

Locating and enrolling in the right makeup artist college is imperative to obtain the appropriate training to become a licensed cosmetology technician. Make sure to ask all the questions that you need to so as to feel positive about your decision. Make sure to organize all of the information you get from the makeup school admissions departments, prioritize what matters the most to you, and then employ that data to compare schools. A reasonable start in your due diligence process is to make certain that the institution and program you decide on are accredited and have excellent reputations within the field. If you begin with that base, and address the additional questions provided 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 exam, you will be self-assured that you are prepared to start your new career as a professional makeup artist in Irondale Alabama.


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