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How to Choose the Right Makeup Training Program near Muscle Shoals Alabama

Muscle Shoals Alabama makeup school student applying makeup on womanOnce you have decided to become a cosmetologist and attend a makeup artist school near Muscle Shoals AL, the task starts to search for and enroll in the ideal school. It's important that the school you pick not only provides the necessary education for the specialty you have decided on, 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 names are basically interchangeable and both relate to the same type of school. We'll speak a bit more about that in the following section. If you plan on commuting to classes you will want to locate a school that is within driving distance of your Muscle Shoals home. Tuition will likewise be a critical aspect when reviewing possible schools. Just keep in mind that because a school is the nearest or the lowest cost it's not always the right option. There are many other factors that you should weigh when comparing schools, for instance their reputation and accreditation. We will go over what questions you should ask regarding the cosmetology schools you are considering later within this article. Before we do, let's talk a bit about what cosmetology is, and what types of courses are offered.

Defining Cosmetology

Muscle Shoals Alabama makeup artist finishing young bride's makeupCosmetology is a profession that is everything about making the human body look more attractive with the use of cosmetics. So of course it makes sense that numerous cosmetology schools are described as beauty schools. Many of us think of makeup when we hear the word cosmetics, but really a cosmetic may be anything that improves the appearance of a person's skin, hair or nails. If you want to work as a cosmetologist, almost all states mandate that you undergo some kind of specialized training and then become licensed. Once you are licensed, the work environments include not only Muscle Shoals AL beauty salons and barber shops, but also such businesses as spas, hotels and resorts. Many cosmetologists, once they have gained experience and a client base, open their own shops or salons. Others will start servicing customers either in their own residences or will travel to the client's residence, or both. Cosmetology college graduates have 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 already mentioned, in the majority of states practicing cosmetologists must be licensed. In certain states there is an exemption. Only those offering more skilled services, such as hairstylists, are required to be licensed. Others employed in cosmetology and less skilled, such as shampooers, are not required to be licensed in those states.

Makeup Artist Degree Options

Muscle Shoals Alabama makeup artist using lip gloss on clientThere are basically two options available to receive makeup artist training and a credential upon completion. You can enroll in a certificate (or diploma) course, or you can work toward an Associate's degree. Certificate programs normally require 12 to 18 months to finish, 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 available if you prefer to specialize in just one area, for instance makeup. A degree program will also likely feature management and marketing training to ensure that graduates are better prepared to operate a parlor or other Muscle Shoals AL business. Higher degrees are not typical, but Bachelor and Master's degree programs are available in such areas as salon or spa management. Whichever type of training program you decide on, it's important to make sure that it's certified by the Alabama Board of Cosmetology. A number of states only recognize schools that are accredited by certain reputable organizations, for example the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS). We will review the advantages of accreditation for the school you select in the following section.

Makeup Artist Online Training

Online makeup courses are accommodating for students who are employed full time and have family responsibilities that make it challenging to attend a more traditional school. There are many online beauty school programs available that can be attended via a home computer or laptop at the student's convenience. More traditional beauty programs are frequently fast paced because many programs are as brief as 6 or 8 months. This means that a substantial portion of time is spent in the classroom. With online courses, you are covering the same volume of material, but you're not devoting many hours outside of your home or commuting back and forth from classes. On the other hand, it's important that the school you pick can provide internship training in local Muscle Shoals AL salons and parlors in order that you also receive the hands-on training needed for a complete education. Without the internship part of the training, it's difficult to obtain the skills required to work in any facet of the cosmetology field. So be sure if you choose to enroll in an online program to confirm that internship training is provided in your area.

Questions to Ask Makeup Artist Cosmetology Classes

makeup artist applying makeup on client in Muscle Shoals Alabama salonBelow is a list of questions that you need to research for any makeup artist training school you are contemplating. As we have previously discussed, the location of the school relative to your Muscle Shoals residence, together with the cost of tuition, will most likely be your initial qualifiers. Whether you wish 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 even more factors that you must research and consider before enrolling in a makeup program. Below we have compiled some of those additional questions that you should ask each school before making a final decision.

Is the School Accredited? It's important to make sure that the makeup training program you select 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 assuring a quality curriculum and education. Accreditation can also be essential for acquiring student loans or financial aid, which often are not obtainable for non- accredited schools. It's also a prerequisite for licensing in many states that the training be accredited. And as a final benefit, many Muscle Shoals AL businesses will not employ recent graduates of non-accredited schools, or may look more favorably upon individuals with accredited training.

Does the School have a Great Reputation?  Each makeup artist school that you are seriously considering should have a good to outstanding reputation within the industry. Being accredited is a good starting point. Next, ask the schools for testimonials from their network of Muscle Shoals AL employers where they have placed their students. Confirm that the schools have high job placement rates, signifying that their students are highly regarded. Visit rating companies for reviews together with 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 reviewing. They might even be able to recommend others that you had not considered. 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 Specialty?  Many 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 instance hairstyling, manicuring or electrolysis. Schools that offer degree programs typically broaden into a management and marketing curriculum. So it's imperative that you decide on a school that specializes in your area of interest. If your ambition 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 open a beauty salon in Muscle Shoals AL, then you need to enroll in a degree program that will instruct you how to be an owner/operator. Picking a highly ranked school with a poor program in the specialty you are pursuing will not provide the training you require.

Is Enough Live Training Provided?  Practicing and refining makeup techniques and abilities demands plenty of practice on people. Check how much live, hands-on training is provided in the Muscle Shoals AL cosmetology courses you will be attending. A number of schools have salons on site that enable students to practice their growing talents on volunteers. If a makeup academy provides limited or no scheduled live training, but instead relies predominantly on utilizing mannequins, it might not be the best option for acquiring your skills. So look for other schools that offer this type of training.

Does the School have a Job Placement Program?  When a student graduates from a makeup artist school, it's important that she or he receives assistance in landing that very first job. Job placement programs are an important part of that process. Schools that offer aid develope relationships with area employers that are looking for skilled graduates available for hiring. Check that the schools you are considering have job placement programs and ask which Muscle Shoals 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 extensive networks of employers, but that their programs are highly respected as well.

Is Financial Aid Available?  Many beauty schools provide financial aid or student loan assistance for their students. Check if the Muscle Shoals AL makeup schools you are investigating have a financial aid department. Talk to a counselor and find out 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 available to students too. If a school satisfies each of your other qualifications except for cost, do not drop it as an option before you determine what financial help may be provided.

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Enroll in the Right Muscle Shoals Makeup Artist Cosmetology Training Program

Selecting and enrolling in the right makeup artist program is imperative to get the proper training to become a licensed cosmetology technician. Be sure to ask all the questions that you need to in order to feel positive about your decision. Be sure to compile all of the information 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 sensible beginning in your due diligence procedure is to make sure that the school and program you choose are accredited and have outstanding reputations within the field. If you begin with that foundation, and address the additional questions supplied in this article, you will be able to reduce your list of schools so that you can make the proper selection. Once you graduate and pass your licensing exam, you will be self-assured that you are ready to begin your career as a professional makeup artist in Muscle Shoals Alabama.


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