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How to Find the Right Makeup College near Sterling Alaska

Sterling Alaska makeup artist school student applying makeup on volunteerSince you have decided to become a cosmetologist and attend a makeup artist school near Sterling AK, the process starts to find and enroll in the best school. It's essential that the program you pick not only provides the appropriate education for the specialty you have decided on, but also readies you for passing the licensing exam. When you begin your preliminary search, you may be somewhat confused about the difference between beauty schools and cosmetology schools. Well don't be, because the names are basically interchangeable and both pertain to the same kind of school. We'll discuss a bit more regarding that in the upcoming segment. If you plan on commuting to classes you will need to choose a school that is within driving distance of your Sterling home. Tuition will additionally be an important aspect when evaluating prospective schools. Just remember that because a school is the nearest or the lowest cost it's not always the best choice. There are several other considerations that you should weigh when comparing schools, such as their reputation and accreditation. We will go over what questions you should ask regarding the cosmetology schools you are considering later in this article. Before we do, let's discuss a little bit about what cosmetology is, and what kinds of courses are offered.

Defining Cosmetology

Sterling Alaska makeup artist viewing bride's makeupCosmetology is a profession that is all about making the human body look more attractive through the use of cosmetics. So of course it makes sense that a number of cosmetology schools are described as beauty schools. Most of us think of makeup when we hear the term cosmetics, but really a cosmetic may be almost 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 become licensed. Once you are licensed, the work environments include not only Sterling AK beauty salons and barber shops, but also such venues as spas, hotels and resorts. Many cosmetologists, after they have gained experience and a clientele, establish their own shops or salons. Others will begin servicing clients either in their own homes or will go to the client's home, or both. Cosmetology college graduates go by many names and are employed in a wide variety of specialties including:

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


As previously mentioned, in most states practicing cosmetologists have to be licensed. In a few states there is an exemption. Only those performing more skilled services, for instance hairstylists, are required to be licensed. Other people employed in cosmetology and less skilled, including shampooers, are not required to become licensed in those states.

Makeup Artist Education Options

Sterling Alaska makeup artist using lip gloss on modelThere are primarily two options available to get 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 usually take 12 to 18 months to complete, while an Associate's degree ordinarily takes about 2 years. If you enroll in a certificate program you will be trained in each of the main areas of cosmetology. Briefer programs are offered if you prefer to specialize in just one area, for example makeup. A degree program will also most likely include management and marketing training in order that graduates are better prepared to operate a salon or other Sterling AK business. More advanced 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 go with, it's essential to make certain that it's recognized by the Alaska Board of Cosmetology. Many states only recognize 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 next segment.

Online Makeup Classes

Online makeup artist classes are accommodating for students who are working full-time and have family obligations that make it challenging to enroll in a more traditional school. There are a large number of web-based beauty school programs available that can be attended through a desktop computer or laptop at the student's convenience. More traditional beauty schools are often fast paced because many programs are as brief as 6 or 8 months. This means that a large amount of time is spent in the classroom. With online courses, you are covering the same amount of material, but you are not devoting numerous hours away from your home or driving back and forth from classes. On the other hand, it's essential that the program you pick can provide internship training in local Sterling AK salons and parlors so that you also receive the hands-on training needed for a complete education. Without the internship portion of the training, it's difficult to acquire the skills required to work in any facet of the cosmetology field. So don't forget if you choose to enroll in an online school to confirm that internship training is available in your area.

What to Ask Makeup Artist Beauty Schools

makeup artist applying makeup on young lady in Sterling Alaska salonBelow is a list of questions that you should research for any makeup artist training school you are contemplating. As we have already discussed, the location of the school relative to your Sterling home, together with the cost of tuition, will undoubtedly be your first qualifiers. Whether you wish to earn a certificate, diploma or a degree will no doubt be next on your list. But once you have reduced your school options based on those initial qualifications, there are even more factors that you should research and consider before enrolling in a makeup program. Below we have collected several of those supplemental questions that you should ask each school before making a final decision.

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 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 superior curriculum and education. Accreditation may also be important for obtaining student loans or financial aid, which typically are not available for non- accredited schools. It's also a prerequisite for licensing in some states that the training be accredited. And as a final benefit, many Sterling AK employers will not recruit recent graduates of non-accredited schools, or might look more positively upon those with accredited training.

Does the School have an Excellent Reputation?  Any makeup artist school that you are seriously considering should have a good to exceptional reputation within the industry. Being accredited is an excellent starting point. Next, ask the schools for testimonials from their network of Sterling AK employers where they have placed their students. Check that the schools have high job placement rates, attesting that their students are highly regarded. Visit rating services for reviews along with the school's accrediting organizations. If you have any connections with local salon owners or managers, or anyone working in the field, ask them if they are acquainted with the schools you are considering. They might even be able to recommend others that you had not thought of. Finally, check with the Alaska school licensing authority to find out if there have been any complaints filed or if the schools are in complete compliance.

What’s the School’s Focus?  A number of cosmetology schools offer programs that are comprehensive in nature, concentrating 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 frequently expand into a management and marketing curriculum. So it's important that you pick a school that focuses on your area of interest. If your goal 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 open a beauty salon in Sterling AK, then you want to enroll in a degree program that will teach you how to be an owner/operator. Selecting a highly rated school with a poor program in the specialty you are seeking will not provide the training you require.

Is Enough Live Training Provided?  Studying and mastering makeup skills and techniques demands plenty of practice on volunteers. Ask how much live, hands-on training is included in the Sterling AK cosmetology lessons you will be attending. Some schools have salons on campus that make it possible for students to practice their growing skills on volunteers. If a makeup school offers little or no scheduled live training, but instead relies mainly on the use of mannequins, it may not be the best alternative for developing your skills. So look for other schools that furnish this type of training.

Does the School Provide Job Assistace?  When a student graduates from a makeup academy, it's important that she or he receives aid in finding that very first job. Job placement programs are an integral part of that process. Schools that provide assistance maintain relationships with local businesses that are looking for skilled graduates available for hiring. Verify that the schools you are contemplating have job placement programs and find out which Sterling AK salons and establishments they refer students to. In addition, ask what their job placement rates are. Higher rates not only affirm that they have extensive networks of employers, but that their programs are highly respected as well.

Is Financial Assistance Available?  The majority of beauty schools offer financial aid or student loan assistance for their students. Ask if the Sterling AK makeup schools you are looking at have a financial aid office. Speak with a counselor and learn 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 offered to students too. If a school fulfills all of your other qualifications except for expense, do not eliminate it as an option before you determine what financial assistance may be offered.

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Find the Right Sterling Makeup Cosmetology Training Program

Picking and enrolling in the right makeup artist school is imperative to receive the appropriate training to become a licensed cosmetology specialist. Be sure to ask all the questions that you need to in order to feel confident about your decision. Be sure to compile all of the responses you receive 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 sure that the academy and program you decide on are accredited and have impressive reputations within the field. If you begin with that foundation, and answer the additional questions provided in this article, you will be able to reduce your list of schools so that you can make the ideal choice. And when you graduate and pass your licensing exam, you will be self-assured that you are prepared to launch your new career as a professional makeup artist in Sterling Alaska.


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