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How to Pick the Right Makeup School near Muscle Shoals Alabama

Muscle Shoals Alabama makeup school student putting makeup on womanNow that you have decided to train as a cosmetologist and attend a makeup artist school near Muscle Shoals AL, the task starts to locate and enroll in the best school. It's important that the school you pick not only furnishes the necessary instruction for the specialty you have selected, but also prepares you for passing the licensing examination. When you start your preliminary search, you may be a little bit puzzled about the difference between beauty schools and cosmetology schools. Well don't be, because the names are pretty much interchangeable and both refer to the same type of school. We'll speak a bit more about that in the upcoming section. If you anticipate commuting to classes you will need to locate a school that is within driving distance of your Muscle Shoals residence. Tuition will also be a critical factor when assessing prospective schools. Just keep in mind that because a school is the nearest or the cheapest it's not necessarily the best choice. There are several other qualifications that you should weigh when comparing schools, for instance 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 discuss a bit about what cosmetology is, and what kinds of training programs are offered.

Defining Cosmetology

Muscle Shoals Alabama makeup artist showcasing bride's wedding makeupCosmetology is an occupation that is all about making the human body look more beautiful through the application of cosmetics. So naturally it makes sense that a number of cosmetology schools are regarded as beauty schools. Most of us think of makeup when we hear the term cosmetics, but basically a cosmetic can be anything that enhances the look of a person's skin, hair or nails. If you want to work as a cosmetologist, the majority of states require that you take some kind of specialized training and then be licensed. Once licensed, the work settings include not only Muscle Shoals AL beauty salons and barber shops, but also such venues as spas, hotels and resorts. Many cosmetologists, once they have gotten experience and a client base, establish their own shops or salons. Others will start seeing customers either in their own homes or will go to the client's house, or both. Cosmetology college graduates are known by many names 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 previously stated, in most states practicing cosmetologists must be licensed. In some states there is an exemption. Only those offering more skilled services, for instance 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 Degrees and Certificates

Muscle Shoals Alabama makeup artist applying lip gloss on modelThere are basically two avenues available to get 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 typically call for 12 to 18 months to finish, while an Associate's degree usually 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 wish to concentrate on just one area, such as makeup. A degree program will also likely feature management and marketing training in order that graduates are better prepared to manage a salon or other Muscle Shoals AL business. More advanced degrees are not common, but Bachelor and Master's degree programs are offered in such specialties as salon or spa management. Whichever type of program you opt for, it's essential to make certain that it's recognized by the Alabama Board of Cosmetology. Many states only approve schools that are accredited by certain highly regarded agencies, for example the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS). We will cover the benefits of accreditation for the school you decide on in the next section.

Makeup Online Programs

Online makeup courses are accommodating for students who are employed full-time and have family commitments that make it hard to attend a more traditional school. There are numerous web-based cosmetology school programs offered that can be attended by means of a home computer or laptop at the student's convenience. More conventional cosmetology programs are often fast paced given that many courses are as short as six or eight 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. However, it's vital that the school you select can provide internship training in nearby Muscle Shoals AL salons and parlors in order that you also receive the hands-on training necessary for a complete education. Without the internship part of the training, it's impossible to acquire the skills needed to work in any area of the cosmetology field. So don't forget if you decide to enroll in an online school to confirm that internship training is provided in your area.

Questions to Ask Makeup Beauty Courses

makeup artist applying makeup on woman in Muscle Shoals Alabama salonFollowing is a series of questions that you will want to look into for any makeup artist training school you are contemplating. As we have previously discussed, the location of the school in relation to your Muscle Shoals home, in addition to the expense of tuition, will undoubtedly 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 reduced your school options based on those preliminary qualifications, there are even more factors that you should research and take into consideration before enrolling in a makeup program. Below we have put together some of those supplemental questions that you should ask every school before making a final decision.

Is the School Accredited? It's essential to make sure that the makeup college 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). Programs accredited by the NACCAS must measure up to their high standards assuring a quality curriculum and education. Accreditation can also be necessary for obtaining student loans or financial aid, which typically 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 final benefit, numerous Muscle Shoals AL employers will not hire recent graduates of non-accredited schools, or might look more positively upon those with accredited training.

Does the School have a Good Reputation?  Every makeup artist school that you are seriously considering should have a good to outstanding reputation within the field. Being accredited is an excellent beginning. Next, ask the schools for endorsements from their network of Muscle Shoals AL employers where they have referred their students. Check that the schools have high job placement rates, attesting that their students are highly regarded. Visit rating companies for reviews as well as the school's accrediting organizations. If you have any contacts with local salon owners or managers, or any person working in the industry, ask them if they are familiar with the schools you are considering. They might even be able to suggest others that you had not considered. And finally, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to see if there have been any grievances filed or if the schools are in total compliance.

What’s the School’s Focus?  Many beauty schools offer programs that are expansive in nature, focusing on all facets of cosmetology. Others are more focused, providing training in a specific specialty, such as hairstyling, manicuring or electrolysis. Schools that offer degree programs typically expand into a management and marketing curriculum. So it's imperative that you enroll in a school that focuses on your area of interest. If your intention is to be trained as a makeup artist, make sure that the school you enroll in is accredited and respected for that program. If your desire is to start a beauty salon in Muscle Shoals AL, then you want to enroll in a degree program that will instruct you how to be an owner/operator. Picking a highly rated school with a poor program in the specialty you are seeking will not deliver the training you need.

Is Any Hands-On Training Provided?  Practicing and refining makeup skills and techniques involves plenty of practice on people. Find out how much live, hands-on training is included in the Muscle Shoals AL cosmetology lessons you will be attending. A number of schools have salons on campus that enable 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 utilizing mannequins, it may not be the most effective option for developing your skills. Therefore search for other schools that provide this type of training.

Does the School Provide Job Assistace?  When a student graduates from a makeup academy, it's essential that she or he gets support in finding that very first job. Job placement programs are an important part of that process. Schools that provide help maintain relationships with area businesses that are looking for trained graduates available for hiring. Verify that the programs you are looking at have job placement programs and inquire which Muscle Shoals AL salons and businesses they refer students to. In addition, find out what their job placement rates are. High rates not only affirm that they have wide networks of employers, but that their programs are highly regarded as well.

Is Financial Assistance Offered?  Most beauty schools offer financial aid or student loan assistance for their students. Ask if the Muscle Shoals AL makeup schools you are looking at have a financial aid department. Consult with a counselor and find out what student loans or grants you may qualify for. If the school belongs to the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS), it will have scholarships accessible to students too. If a school fulfills each of your other qualifications except for cost, do not discard it as an alternative until you find out what financial aid may be offered.

Learn More About Muscle Shoals Makeup Artist Cosmetology Courses

Enroll in the Right Muscle Shoals Makeup Beauty School

Choosing and enrolling in the right makep college is essential to obtain the appropriate training to become a licensed cosmetology professional. Make 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 get from the makeup school admissions departments, focus on 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 college and program you choose are accredited and have excellent reputations within the profession. If you start with that foundation, and answer the additional questions presented in this post, you will be able to reduce your list of schools so that you can make the ideal selection. And when you graduate and pass your licensing examination, you will be confident that you are ready to launch your career as a professional makeup artist in Muscle Shoals Alabama.


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