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How to Pick the Best Makeup Artist College near Opelika Alabama

Opelika Alabama makeup artist school student applying makeup on volunteerSince you have decided to become a cosmetologist and enroll in a makeup artist school near Opelika AL, the task starts to search for and enroll in the ideal school. It's imperative that the program you pick not only furnishes the appropriate training for the specialty you have chosen, but also readies you for passing the licensing examination. When you begin your preliminary search, you may be somewhat puzzled about the distinction 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 more concerning that in the following section. If you intend on commuting to classes you will want to choose a school that is within driving distance of your Opelika home. Tuition will additionally be a critical aspect when reviewing potential schools. Just keep in mind that because a school is the closest or the cheapest it's not automatically the best choice. There are several other factors that you should weigh when comparing schools, such as their reputation and accreditation. We will examine what questions you should ask concerning the cosmetology schools you are considering later in this article. Before we do, let's talk a bit about what cosmetology is, and what types of courses are offered.

Definition of Cosmetology

Opelika Alabama makeup artist finishing new bride's wedding makeupCosmetology is an occupation that is everything about making the human body look more attractive with the application of cosmetics. So naturally it makes sense that many cosmetology schools are referred to as beauty schools. Many of us think of makeup when we hear the word cosmetics, but actually a cosmetic can be anything that enhances the appearance of a person's skin, hair or nails. In order to work as a cosmetologist, most states require that you undergo some form of specialized training and then be licensed. Once licensed, the work environments include not only Opelika AL beauty salons and barber shops, but also such places as spas, hotels and resorts. Many cosmetologists, after they have gained experience and a customer base, launch their own shops or salons. Others will begin seeing clients either in their own homes or will travel to the client's home, or both. Cosmetology college graduates are known 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 earlier mentioned, in the majority of states working cosmetologists have to be licensed. In some states there is an exception. Only those offering more skilled services, for example hairstylists, are required to be licensed. Other people employed in cosmetology and less skilled, such as shampooers, are not required to be licensed in those states.

Makeup Artist Degrees

Opelika Alabama makeup artist using lip liner on modelThere are essentially two options available to receive makeup artist training and a credential after completion. You can enroll in a certificate (or diploma) course, or you can work toward an Associate's degree. Certificate programs usually call for 12 to 18 months to complete, 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 major areas of cosmetology. Shorter programs are available if you prefer to focus on just one area, for instance makeup. A degree program will also likely include management and marketing training to ensure that graduates are better prepared to manage a salon or other Opelika AL business. Higher degrees are not typical, but Bachelor and Master's degree programs are available in such areas as salon or spa management. Whatever type of program you opt for, it's imperative to make certain that it's certified by the Alabama Board of Cosmetology. Numerous states only approve schools that are accredited by certain respected agencies, such as the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS). We will examine the benefits of accreditation for the school you decide on in the following section.

Makeup Online Classes

Online makeup schools are convenient for students who are working full time and have family obligations that make it challenging to attend a more traditional school. There are many online cosmetology school programs available that can be attended by means of a desktop computer or laptop at the student's convenience. More traditional beauty programs are frequently fast paced because many programs are as short as 6 or 8 months. This means that a large portion of time is spent in the classroom. With internet courses, you are covering the same amount of material, but you are not devoting many hours outside of your home or driving back and forth from classes. On the other hand, it's imperative that the school you select can provide internship training in local Opelika AL salons and parlors so that you also obtain the hands-on training necessary for a comprehensive education. Without the internship part of the training, it's difficult to obtain the skills necessary to work in any facet of the cosmetology field. So be sure if you choose to enroll in an online program to verify that internship training is available in your area.

What to Ask Makeup Cosmetology Programs

makeup artist applying makeup on client in Opelika Alabama beauty salonFollowing is a list of questions that you need to research for any makeup artist training program you are considering. As we have already discussed, the location of the school in relation to your Opelika home, in addition to the expense of tuition, will undoubtedly be your initial 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 initial qualifications, there are additional factors that you need to research and consider before enrolling in a makeup school. Below we have collected several of those additional questions that you should ask each school before making a final selection.

Is the Program Accredited? It's essential 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 quality curriculum and education. Accreditation may also be important for obtaining student loans or financial aid, which frequently are not obtainable for non- accredited schools. It's also a criteria for licensing in several states that the training be accredited. And as a final benefit, numerous Opelika AL employers will not recruit recent graduates of non-accredited schools, or may look more positively upon individuals with accredited training.

Does the School have a Good Reputation?  Each makeup artist institute that you are seriously evaluating should have a good to excellent reputation within the field. Being accredited is a good starting point. Next, ask the schools for testimonials from their network of Opelika AL employers where they have referred their students. Confirm that the schools have high job placement rates, signifying that their students are highly regarded. Check rating services for reviews together with the school's accrediting agencies. If you have any relationships with local salon owners or managers, or anyone working in the field, ask them if they are acquainted with the schools you are reviewing. They may even be able to propose others that you had not looked into. Finally, consult the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there have been any complaints submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.

What’s the School’s Focus?  A number of beauty schools offer programs that are broad in nature, focusing on all areas of cosmetology. Others are more focused, offering training in a particular specialty, such as hairstyling, manicuring or electrolysis. Schools that offer degree programs commonly broaden into a management and marketing curriculum. So it's essential that you choose a school that focuses on 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 vision is to start a beauty salon in Opelika AL, then you need to enroll in a degree program that will teach you how to be an owner/operator. Choosing a highly regarded school with a weak program in the specialty you are pursuing will not provide the training you need.

Is Plenty of Live Training Provided?  Practicing and refining makeup techniques and abilities demands plenty of practice on volunteers. Check how much live, hands-on training is provided in the Opelika AL cosmetology classes you will be attending. A number of schools have salons on campus that make it possible for students to practice their growing talents on real people. If a makeup academy provides minimal or no scheduled live training, but instead relies heavily on the use of mannequins, it might not be the most effective option for developing your skills. So search for alternate schools that provide this kind of training.

Does the School Provide Job Assistace?  When a student graduates from a makeup academy, it's imperative that he or she gets support in finding that first job. Job placement programs are an integral part of that process. Schools that provide help develope relationships with area employers that are looking for trained graduates available for hiring. Confirm that the schools you are considering have job placement programs and inquire which Opelika AL salons and businesses they refer students to. In addition, find out what their job placement rates are. Higher rates not only verify that they have wide networks of employers, but that their programs are highly respected as well.

Is Financial Aid Available?  Almost all beauty schools offer financial aid or student loan assistance for their students. Ask if the Opelika AL makeup schools you are reviewing have a financial aid department. Talk to a counselor and identify 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 too. If a school meets all of your other qualifications except for expense, do not discard it as an option before you find out what financial aid may be offered.

Find Out More About Opelika Makeup Cosmetology Courses

Find the Right Opelika Makeup Cosmetology Program

Picking and enrolling in the ideal makeup artist school is important to obtain the necessary training to become a licensed cosmetology technician. Be sure to ask all the questions that you require in order to feel certain about your decision. Don't forget to collect all of the responses you get from the makeup school admissions departments, focus on what matters the most to you, and then use that data to compare schools. A sensible start in your due diligence procedure is to make certain that the academy and program you pick are accredited and have impressive reputations within the profession. If you start 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 ideal selection. And when you graduate and pass your licensing test, you will be confident that you are ready to start your new career as a professional makeup artist in Opelika Alabama.


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