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How to Find the Best Makeup College near Tuscaloosa Alabama

Tuscaloosa Alabama makeup school student putting makeup on volunteerSince you have decided to train as a cosmetologist and attend a makeup artist school near Tuscaloosa AL, the process begins to locate and enroll in the ideal school. It's essential that the school you choose not only provides the appropriate training for the specialty you have chosen, but also preps you for passing the licensing exam. When you begin your preliminary search, you may be a little bit puzzled about the contrast between beauty schools and cosmetology schools. Well don't be, because the names are essentially interchangeable and both relate to the same type of school. We'll speak a little bit further concerning that in the next section. If you anticipate commuting to classes you will want to choose a school that is within driving distance of your Tuscaloosa home. Tuition will additionally be an important factor when evaluating potential schools. Just keep in mind that because a school is the closest or the lowest cost it's not automatically the ideal option. There are many other qualifications that you should evaluate when comparing schools, for instance their reputation and accreditation. We will go over what questions you should ask about the cosmetology schools you are considering later within this article. Before we do, let's discuss a little bit about what cosmetology is, and what types of courses are available.

Defining Cosmetology

Tuscaloosa Alabama makeup artist showcasing new bride's wedding makeupCosmetology is an occupation that is everything about making the human anatomy look more attractive with the application of cosmetics. So naturally it makes sense that numerous cosmetology schools are referred to as beauty schools. Most of us think of makeup when we hear the word 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, the majority of states require that you undergo some type of specialized training and then become licensed. Once licensed, the work settings include not only Tuscaloosa AL beauty salons and barber shops, but also such businesses as spas, hotels and resorts. Many cosmetologists, once they have gained experience and a customer base, establish their own shops or salons. Others will start servicing customers either in their own homes or will travel to the client's residence, or both. Cosmetology college graduates go by many professional names and work in a wide variety of specializations including:

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


As earlier stated, in most states working cosmetologists have to be licensed. In some states there is an exemption. Only those conducting more skilled services, for instance hairstylists, are required to be licensed. Other people employed in cosmetology and less skilled, which include shampooers, are not required to get licensed in those states.

Makeup Artist Degrees

Tuscaloosa Alabama makeup artist using lip liner on clientThere are primarily two pathways offered to receive makeup artist training and a credential after completion. You can enroll in a certificate (or diploma) program, or you can work toward an Associate's degree. Certificate programs generally require 12 to 18 months to finish, while an Associate's degree ordinarily 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 available if you wish to concentrate on just one area, for example makeup. A degree program will also likely include management and marketing training to ensure that graduates are better prepared to run a salon or other Tuscaloosa AL business. More advanced degrees are not common, but Bachelor and Master's degree programs are available in such areas as salon or spa management. Whichever type of program you choose, it's important to make certain that it's approved by the Alabama Board of Cosmetology. Numerous states only certify schools that are accredited by certain reputable agencies, for example the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS). We will examine the benefits of accreditation for the school you choose in the following section.

Online Makeup Courses

Online makeup artist courses are advantageous for students who are employed full time and have family responsibilities that make it difficult to attend a more traditional school. There are numerous web-based cosmetology school programs available that can be accessed through a home computer or laptop at the student's convenience. More conventional cosmetology schools are typically fast paced due to the fact that many programs are as short as six or eight months. This means that a substantial amount of time is spent in the classroom. With online courses, you are dealing with the same amount of material, but you're not spending numerous hours away from your home or commuting back and forth from classes. On the other hand, it's vital that the school you pick can provide internship training in nearby Tuscaloosa AL salons and parlors to ensure that you also obtain the hands-on training necessary for a comprehensive education. Without the internship part of the training, it's impossible to acquire the skills needed to work in any facet of the cosmetology profession. So make sure if you choose to enroll in an online program to verify that internship training is available in your area.

What to Ask Makeup Beauty Courses

makeup artist applying makeup on woman in Tuscaloosa 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 covered, the location of the school in relation to your Tuscaloosa home, in addition to the price of tuition, will most likely be your first qualifiers. Whether you want 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 should research and consider before enrolling in a makeup school. Following we have collected several of those additional questions that you need to ask every school before making a final selection.

Is the Program Accredited? It's necessary to make certain that the makeup school you enroll in 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 meet their high standards ensuring a superior curriculum and education. Accreditation can also be important for obtaining 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 final benefit, a number of Tuscaloosa AL employers will not hire recent graduates of non-accredited schools, or may look more positively upon individuals with accredited training.

Does the School have a Great Reputation?  Every makeup artist school that you are seriously evaluating should have a good to exceptional reputation within the industry. Being accredited is a good beginning. Next, ask the schools for testimonials from their network of Tuscaloosa AL businesses where they have referred their students. Confirm that the schools have high job placement rates, indicating that their students are highly regarded. Check rating companies for reviews as well as the school's accrediting agencies. If you have any contacts with local salon owners or managers, or anyone working in the field, 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 looked into. Finally, 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 Focus?  Some cosmetology schools offer programs that are broad in nature, focusing on all facets of cosmetology. Others are more focused, offering training in a specific specialty, for example hairstyling, manicuring or electrolysis. Schools that offer degree programs typically broaden into a management and marketing curriculum. So it's imperative that you pick a school that specializes in 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 well regarded for that program. If your aspiration is to open a beauty salon in Tuscaloosa AL, then you want to enroll in a degree program that will teach you how to be an owner/operator. Picking a highly regarded school with a weak program in the specialty you are seeking will not deliver the training you need.

Is Plenty of Hands-On Training Provided?  Studying and refining makeup techniques and abilities requires lots of practice on volunteers. Ask how much live, hands-on training is furnished in the Tuscaloosa AL beauty classes you will be attending. A number of schools have salons on campus that allow students to practice their growing talents on real people. If a makeup academy furnishes limited or no scheduled live training, but rather depends predominantly on utilizing mannequins, it might not be the most effective option for developing your skills. So search for other schools that provide this type of training.

Does the School Provide Job Assistace?  When a student graduates from a makeup artist academy, it's imperative that she or he receives aid in securing that first job. Job placement programs are an important part of that process. Schools that provide help develope relationships with local businesses that are looking for trained graduates available for hiring. Check that the schools you are contemplating have job placement programs and find out which Tuscaloosa AL salons and establishments they refer students to. In addition, find out 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 Assistance Offered?  Many beauty schools provide financial aid or student loan assistance for their students. Find out if the Tuscaloosa AL makeup schools you are considering have a financial aid department. Speak with a counselor and identify 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 accessible to students also. If a school meets each of your other qualifications except for expense, do not drop it as an alternative before you determine what financial aid may be available.

Find Out More About Tuscaloosa Makeup Artist Beauty Courses

Enroll in the Right Tuscaloosa Makeup Artist Beauty College

Selecting and enrolling in the ideal makeup artist school is essential to obtain the appropriate training to become a licensed cosmetology practitioner. Be sure to ask all the questions that you need to in order to feel confident about your decision. Don't forget to compile all of the information you get from the makeup school admissions departments, prioritize what matters the most to you, and then utilize that information to contrast schools. A reasonable beginning in your due diligence process is to make sure that the institution and program you decide on are accredited and have exceptional reputations within the field. If you start with that base, and address the additional questions provided in this post, you will be able to reduce your list of schools so that you can make the right selection. Once you graduate and pass your licensing exam, you will be self-assured that you are ready to launch your career as a professional makeup artist in Tuscaloosa Alabama.


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