How to Select a Barber College near Northport Alabama
Now that you have made a decision to attend a barber school near Northport AL, the process begins to search for and enroll in the best school. It’s essential that the program you select not only provides the necessary training for the specialty you have selected, but also preps you for passing the licensing exam. When you start your initial search, you may be a little bit unclear about the distinction between beauty schools and cosmetology schools, which both may offer barbering programs. Well don’t be, because the titles are basically interchangeable and both pertain to the same type of school. We’ll talk 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 Northport home. Tuition will likewise be a critical consideration when evaluating possible barber schools. Just remember that because a school is the nearest or the least expensive it’s not always the best option. There are many other qualifications that you should evaluate when comparing schools, such as their reputation and accreditation. We will go over what questions you should ask about the barber colleges you are thinking about later in this article. Before we do, let’s discuss a little bit about what cosmetology is, and what kinds of courses are available.
Definition of Cosmetology
Cosmetology is a profession that is all about making the human body look more attractive through 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 word cosmetics, but basically a cosmetic may be almost anything that enhances the appearance of a person’s skin, hair or nails. In order to work as a barber and a cosmetologist, most states mandate that you undergo some kind of specialized training and then become licensed. Once licensed, the work settings include not only Northport AL beauty salons and barber shops, but also such venues as spas, hotels and resorts. Many cosmetologists, once they have gotten experience and a customer base, open their own shops or salons. Others will start servicing customers either in their own residences or will go to the client’s home, or both. Cosmetology college graduates have many titles and are employed in a wide variety of specialties including:
• Nail Technicians
• Makeup Artists
• Hair Coloring Specialists
• Electrolysis Technicians
As already mentioned, in most states practicing cosmetologists must be licensed. In a few states there is an exemption. Only those offering more skilled services, for example barbers or hairstylists, are required to be licensed. Others employed in cosmetology and less skilled, which include shampooers, are not required to get licensed in those states.
Online Barber Schools
Online barber colleges are advantageous for students who are working full time and have family obligations that make it hard to attend a more traditional school. There are numerous web-based barbering programs available that can be attended via a home computer or laptop at the student’s convenience. More traditional barber schools are frequently fast paced because many courses are as brief as 6 or 8 months. This means that a significant amount of time is spent in the classroom. With online programs, you are covering the same amount of material, but you’re not devoting many hours away from your Northport AL home or commuting to and from classes. On the other hand, it’s vital that the training program you choose can provide internship training in local Northport AL shops or salons to ensure that you also get the hands-on training necessary for a complete education. Without the internship portion of the training, it’s difficult to gain the skills necessary to work in any area of the cosmetology industry. So make sure if you decide to enroll in an online barber school to verify that internship training is available in your area.
Questions to Ask Barber Schools
Following is a series of questions that you should look into for any barber college you are contemplating. As we have already discussed, the location of the school relative to your Northport AL residence, as well as the cost of tuition, will most likely be your initial qualifiers. Whether you would like to pursue 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 take into consideration before enrolling in a barber training program. Below we have collected some of those supplemental questions that you should ask each school before making a final selection.
Is the Barber School Accredited? It’s important to make sure that the barber college 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 guaranteeing a quality curriculum and education. Accreditation can also be necessary for securing student loans or financial aid, which frequently are not available in Northport AL for non- accredited schools. It’s also a prerequisite for licensing in many states that the training be accredited. And as a concluding benefit, many employers will not employ recent graduates of non-accredited schools, or might look more positively upon individuals with accredited training.
Does the School have a Great Reputation? Any barber school that you are seriously evaluating should have a good to outstanding reputation within the industry. Being accredited is an excellent beginning. Next, ask the schools for testimonials from their network of businesses where they have referred their students. Confirm that the schools have high job placement rates, attesting that their students are highly demanded. Visit rating services for reviews as well as the school’s accrediting organizations. If you have any contacts with Northport AL barber shop owners or managers, or anyone working in the business, 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. And last, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to see if there have been any complaints filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
What’s the School’s Specialty? Many cosmetology schools offer programs that are comprehensive in nature, focusing on all facets of cosmetology. Others are more focused, providing training in a particular specialty, such as barbering. Schools that offer degree programs commonly expand into a management and marketing curriculum. So it’s imperative that you decide on a school that focuses on your area of interest. Since your ambition is to be trained as a barber, make certain that the school you enroll in is accredited and well regarded for that program. If your aspiration is to start a barber shop in Northport AL, then you need to enroll in a degree program that will instruct you how to be an owner/operator. Selecting a highly rated school with a weak program in barbering will not provide the training you need.
Is Enough Live Training Provided? Learning and mastering barbering techniques and abilities involves lots of practice on people. Ask how much live, hands-on training is provided in the barber classes you will be attending. Some schools have shops on site that enable students to practice their growing skills on real people. If a Northport AL barber school furnishes little or no scheduled live training, but instead relies predominantly on utilizing mannequins, it might not be the best option for developing your skills. Therefore look for other schools that provide this kind of training.
Does the School have a Job Placement Program? When a student graduates from a barber school, it’s essential that he or she gets help in finding that first job. Job placement programs are an integral part of that process. Schools that furnish aid maintain relationships with area businesses that are searching for trained graduates available for hiring. Confirm that the programs you are looking at have job placement programs and inquire which Northport AL area shops and establishments they refer students to. In addition, ask 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 Available? The majority of barber schools provide financial aid or student loan assistance for their students. Check if the schools you are investigating have a financial aid department. Consult 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 satisfies all of your other qualifications except for cost, do not omit it as an option before you find out what financial aid may be provided in Northport AL.
Considering Barber School near Northport AL?
Northport is a city in Tuscaloosa County in the west central part of the State of Alabama. Located on the Black Warrior River across from downtown Tuscaloosa, it is currently the 21st largest city in Alabama with an estimated population of 24,497 in 2013. It incorporated in 1871. It is part of the Tuscaloosa Metropolitan Statistical Area.
As Northport is adjacent to the larger city of Tuscaloosa, many residents work in Tuscaloosa or other parts of Tuscaloosa County. Although the two cities share a land boundary, much of their boundary (and historically all of the boundary) is the Black Warrior River.
As of the census of 2000, there were 19,435 people, 7,844 households, and 5,255 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,328.3 people per square mile (512.9/km²). There were 8,509 housing units at an average density of 581.6 per square mile (224.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 71.11% White, 26.03% Black or African American, 0.19% Native American, 0.80% Asian, 0.15% Pacific Islander, 1.02% from other races, and 0.70% from two or more races. 1.92% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 7,844 households out of which 32.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.3% were married couples living together, 15.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.0% were non-families. 28.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.41 and the average family size was 2.98.
Choose the Right Barber School near Northport AL
Selecting and enrolling in the ideal barber training program is important to get the appropriate training to become a licensed specialist. Be sure to ask all the questions that you need to so as to feel confident about your decision. Make sure to compile all of the responses you get from the barber school admissions departments, focus on what matters the most to you, and then use that data to compare schools. A reasonable beginning in your due diligence procedure is to make sure that the institution and program you pick are accredited and have excellent reputations within the field. If you start with that base, and answer the additional questions presented in this article, you will be able to reduce your list of schools so that you can make the right choice. Once you graduate and pass your licensing test, you will be self-assured that you are ready to start your career as a professional barber in Northport AL.
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