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How to Select the Right Makeup School near Opelika Alabama

Opelika Alabama makeup artist school student putting makeup on womanNow that you have made a decision to train as a cosmetologist and enroll in a makeup artist school near Opelika AL, the task begins to locate and enroll in the best school. It's essential that the program you select not only provides the necessary education for the specialty you have chosen, but also preps you for passing the licensing examination. When you begin your initial search, you may be somewhat puzzled about the distinction between beauty schools and cosmetology schools. Well don't be, because the titles are pretty much interchangeable and both relate to the same type of school. We'll discuss a bit more about that in the upcoming section. If you plan on commuting to classes you will want to choose a school that is within driving distance of your Opelika residence. Tuition will additionally be an important consideration when evaluating prospective schools. Just bear in mind that because a school is the nearest or the cheapest it's not always the best choice. There are various other considerations that you should weigh when analyzing schools, for example 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 discuss a bit about what cosmetology is, and what types of courses are available.

What is Cosmetology

Opelika Alabama makeup artist finishing new bride's makeupCosmetology is a profession that is all about making the human body look more beautiful with the application of cosmetics. So of course it makes sense that many cosmetology schools are described as beauty schools. Many of us think of makeup when we hear the term cosmetics, but really 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, most states mandate that you take some type of specialized training and then become licensed. Once you are 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, 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 go by many titles 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 previously mentioned, in most states working cosmetologists have to be licensed. In certain 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 Education Options

Opelika Alabama makeup artist applying lip liner on young womanThere are primarily two pathways available to obtain 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 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. Shorter programs are available if you want to specialize in just one area, for example makeup. A degree program will also likely include management and marketing training in order that graduates are better prepared to manage a parlor or other Opelika AL business. Higher degrees are not common, but Bachelor and Master's degree programs are offered in such areas as salon or spa management. Whatever type of course you decide on, it's essential to make sure that it's certified by the Alabama Board of Cosmetology. Numerous states only certify 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 choose in the following section.

Online Makeup Artist Schools

Online makeup artist courses are advantageous for students who are working full time and have family obligations that make it hard to enroll in a more traditional school. There are a large number of online cosmetology school programs available that can be attended through a personal computer or laptop at the student's convenience. More traditional cosmetology schools are often fast paced because many programs are as brief as six or eight months. This means that a significant portion of time is spent in the classroom. With online programs, you are covering the same amount of material, but you are not spending numerous hours outside of your home or commuting back and forth from classes. On the other hand, it's vital that the school you choose can provide internship training in nearby Opelika AL salons and parlors to ensure that you also obtain the hands-on training necessary for a complete education. Without the internship portion of the training, it's difficult to obtain the skills necessary to work in any area of the cosmetology field. So make sure if you decide to enroll in an online school to verify that internship training is provided in your area.

What to Ask Makeup Artist Cosmetology Courses

makeup artist applying makeup on woman in Opelika Alabama beauty salonBelow is a list of questions that you need to look into for any makeup artist training program you are contemplating. As we have already covered, the location of the school relative to your Opelika home, in addition to the cost of tuition, will undoubtedly be your primary qualifiers. Whether you want to earn 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 additional factors that you should research and consider before enrolling in a makeup program. Following we have compiled several of those supplemental questions that you should ask every 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 certified 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 ensuring a quality curriculum and education. Accreditation may also be important for acquiring student loans or financial aid, which often are not offered for non- accredited schools. It's also a criteria for licensing in many states that the training be accredited. And as a final benefit, numerous Opelika AL employers will not employ recent graduates of non-accredited schools, or might look more favorably upon those with accredited training.

Does the School have an Excellent Reputation?  Any makeup artist institute that you are seriously considering should have a good to outstanding reputation within the field. Being accredited is a good starting point. Next, ask the schools for testimonials from their network of Opelika AL businesses where they have referred their students. Check that the schools have high job placement rates, signifying that their students are highly demanded. Visit rating services for reviews in addition to the school's accrediting organizations. If you have any relationships with area salon owners or managers, or anyone working in the trade, ask them if they are familiar with the schools you are reviewing. They may even be able to propose others that you had not considered. And finally, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to see if there have been any complaints submitted 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, offering training in a specific specialty, for instance hairstyling, manicuring or electrolysis. Schools that offer degree programs frequently expand into a management and marketing curriculum. So it's imperative that you choose a school that specializes in your area of interest. If your objective 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 aspiration is to launch 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 ranked school with a poor program in the specialty you are seeking will not deliver the training you require.

Is Enough Hands-On Training Provided?  Learning and perfecting makeup techniques and abilities requires lots of practice on volunteers. Ask how much live, hands-on training is provided in the Opelika AL beauty courses you will be attending. Some schools have salons on campus that allow students to practice their developing talents on real people. If a makeup program provides little or no scheduled live training, but instead depends heavily on the use of mannequins, it may not be the most effective alternative for acquiring your skills. So search for other schools that offer this kind of training.

Does the School have a Job Placement Program?  Once a student graduates from a makeup academy, it's essential that he or she gets support in securing that first job. Job placement programs are an integral part of that process. Schools that provide help maintain relationships with area employers that are seeking qualified graduates available for hiring. Check that the schools you are considering have job placement programs and inquire which Opelika AL salons and establishments they refer students to. Also, find out what their job placement rates are. High rates not only affirm that they have broad networks of employers, but that their programs are highly respected as well.

Is Financial Aid Offered?  Almost all beauty schools offer financial aid or student loan assistance for their students. Check if the Opelika AL makeup schools you are looking at have a financial aid department. Speak with a counselor and learn what student loans or grants you may get approved for. If the school belongs to the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS), it will have scholarships available to students as well. If a school meets each of your other qualifications with the exception of cost, do not discard it as an alternative until you learn what financial help may be provided.

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Enroll in the Right Opelika Makeup Artist Beauty Training Program

Choosing and enrolling in the ideal makep program is essential to get the proper training to become a licensed cosmetology professional. Make sure to ask all the questions that you require in order to feel positive about your decision. Make certain to collect all of the responses you get 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 process is to make sure that the academy and program you decide on are accredited and have exceptional reputations within the field. If you start with that foundation, and address the additional questions supplied in this article, you will be able to narrow down your list of schools so that you can make the proper choice. Once you graduate and pass your licensing exam, you will be confident that you are qualified to begin your career as a professional makeup artist in Opelika Alabama.


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