How to Choose the Right Barber College Near Alabaster Alabama
Once you have decided to attend a barber school near Alabaster AL, the task begins to search for and enroll in the right school. It's imperative that the program you choose not only furnishes the proper training for the specialty you have selected, but also prepares you for passing the licensing examination. When you start your preliminary search, you may be a little bit puzzled about the distinction between beauty schools and cosmetology schools, which both may offer barbering programs. Well don't be, because the titles are essentially interchangeable and both relate to the same kind of school. We'll talk a bit more regarding that in the following section. If you anticipate commuting to classes you will need to find a school that is within driving distance of your Alabaster home. Tuition will also be a critical aspect when assessing potential barber schools. Just keep in mind that because a school is the closest or the cheapest it's not always the right option. There are various other factors that you should weigh when reviewing schools, for instance their reputation and accreditation. We will go over what questions you should ask regarding the barber colleges you are considering later in this article. Before we do, let's talk a little bit about what barbering is and why you may want to become a barber.
Why Become a Barber?
Barbering can be considered a subspecialty in the larger field of cosmetology. While cosmetologists train to work in hair, nails, skin, makeup, and overall beauty enhancement, barbers focus on cutting hair, almost exclusively men’s hair, and giving shaves and trimming facial hair. They might learn specialized techniques such as coloring and permanent waving like cosmetologists do, but it’s not essential. Barbers and cosmetologists also earn different licenses that specify which services they can legally perform. The first step to becoming a barber is to complete a barbering program. You might choose to enroll in a dedicated barber school or sign up for a barbering program in a cosmetology school that offers barbering as a specialty. Because states have different requirements for training and licensure, it is important to start by checking with your state cosmetology board.
What to Ask Barbering Training Programs
Below is a series of questions that you will want to research for any barber college you are contemplating. As we have already discussed, the location of the school relative to your Alabaster AL home, as well as the cost of tuition, will most likely be your first qualifiers. Whether you want to pursue a certificate, diploma or a degree will probably be next on your list. But once you have reduced your school options based on those preliminary qualifications, there are even more factors that you must research and take into consideration before enrolling in a barber school. Below we have put together some of those supplemental questions that you need to ask every school before making a final selection.
Is the Barber School Accredited? It's important to make certain that the barber 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). Programs accredited by the NACCAS must measure up to their high standards ensuring a superior curriculum and education. Accreditation may also be necessary for getting student loans or financial aid, which often are not obtainable in Alabaster AL for non- accredited schools. It's also a requirement for licensing in several states that the training be accredited. And as a final benefit, numerous employers will not hire recent graduates of non-accredited schools, or may look more favorably upon individuals with accredited training.
Does the School have an Excellent Reputation? Every barber school that you are seriously evaluating should have a good to excellent reputation within the industry. Being accredited is an excellent beginning. Next, ask the schools for references from their network of businesses where they have placed their students. Verify that the schools have high job placement rates, indicating that their students are highly regarded. Visit rating services for reviews together with the school's accrediting agencies. If you have any contacts with Alabaster AL barber shop owners or managers, or someone working in the field, ask them if they are familiar with the schools you are looking at. They might even be able to propose others that you had not thought of. Finally, consult the Alabama school licensing authority to see if there have been any grievances filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
What’s the School’s Specialty? 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 barbering. Schools that offer degree programs often broaden into a management and marketing curriculum. So it's imperative that you choose a school that focuses on your area of interest. Since your goal 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 vision is to start a barber shop in Alabaster AL, then you want 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 barbering will not deliver the training you need.
Is Any Hands-On Training Provided? Studying and perfecting barbering skills and techniques demands plenty of practice on people. Check how much live, hands-on training is provided in the barber classes you will be attending. Some schools have shops on campus that make it possible for students to practice their growing talents on real people. If a Alabaster AL barber school offers minimal or no scheduled live training, but instead depends mainly on utilizing mannequins, it may not be the best alternative for acquiring your skills. Therefore look for other schools that offer this type of training.
Does the School have a Job Placement Program? As soon as a student graduates from a barber college, it's important that she or he receives assistance in finding that initial job. Job placement programs are an important part of that process. Schools that provide aid maintain relationships with local businesses that are looking for skilled graduates available for hiring. Verify that the programs you are looking at have job placement programs and inquire which Alabaster AL area shops and organizations they refer students to. In addition, find out what their job placement rates are. High rates not only confirm that they have wide 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 considering have a financial aid office. Consult with a counselor and learn what student loans or grants you might get approved for. If the school is a member of the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS), it will have scholarships offered to students as well. If a school meets each of your other qualifications except for expense, do not omit it as an option before you determine what financial aid may be available in Alabaster AL.
Enroll in the Right Alabaster Barber School
Locating and enrolling in the ideal barber training program is important to get the appropriate training to become a licensed practitioner. 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 receive from the barber school admissions departments, focus on what matters the most to you, and then use that information to compare schools. A reasonable beginning in your due diligence procedure is to make sure that the college and program you choose are accredited and have exceptional reputations within the field. If you begin with that base, and address the additional questions provided in this article, you will be able to reduce your list of schools so that you can make the proper selection. And when you graduate and pass your licensing examination, you will be confident that you are qualified to launch your new career as a professional barber in Alabaster Alabama.