How to Enroll In the Right Barbering College Near Birmingham Alabama
Since you have decided to attend a barber school near Birmingham AL, the task begins to locate and enroll in the ideal school. It's imperative that the program you select not only furnishes 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 rather confused about the distinction between beauty schools and cosmetology schools, which both may offer barbering programs. Well don't be, because the names are essentially interchangeable and both pertain to the same kind of school. We'll speak a little bit more about that in the next segment. If you plan on commuting to classes you will want to choose a school that is within driving distance of your Birmingham residence. Tuition will additionally be an important aspect when evaluating potential barber schools. Just bear in mind that because a school is the closest or the least expensive it's not necessarily the ideal option. There are many other considerations that you should evaluate when comparing schools, for instance their reputation and accreditation. We will go over what questions you should ask about the barber colleges you are looking at later within this article. Before we do, let's discuss a bit about what barbering is and why you may want to become a barber.
Why Become a Barber?
Barbering is an art form, according to many, so it’s no surprise that individuals interested in becoming a barber must become authorities before they can command a barber’s chair. And one of the best and most effective ways to do so is through a comprehensive educational program. Since the early 1880s, barbering has been a tradition among men. Visiting the barber shop was often a weekly occasion, where a shave and a cut, and a little socialization among friends, were as popular as a trip to the local saloon. The barber experience still lives on, and many say it is even making a comeback as men realize the value of a great cut and a close shave. Today’s barbers must be able to deliver the highest quality services to their clients, services that cannot be found at a local mall hair salon or a unisex discount salon. Therefore, a solid education, complete with plenty of hands-on training, is a must. It is also a must for licensure, a requirement in every state. Although some states do recognize an apprenticeship as a route to licensure, all states recognize an accredited program.
Questions to Ask Barber Schools
Following is a series of questions that you will want to research for any barber school you are contemplating. As we have previously discussed, the location of the school in relation to your Birmingham AL home, together with the price of tuition, will probably be your primary qualifiers. Whether you wish to pursue a certificate, diploma or a degree will no doubt be next on your list. But once you have narrowed your school choices based on those preliminary qualifications, there are even more factors that you should research and consider before enrolling in a barber training program. Below we have collected several of those supplemental questions that you need to ask every school before making a final selection.
Is the Barber College Accredited? It's essential to make sure that the barber college you choose is accredited. The accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged 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 guaranteeing a superior curriculum and education. Accreditation can also be necessary for obtaining student loans or financial aid, which frequently are not available in Birmingham AL for non- accredited schools. It's also a criteria for licensing in some states that the training be accredited. And as a concluding benefit, a number of businesses will not recruit recent graduates of non-accredited schools, or may look more favorably upon individuals with accredited training.
Does the School have a Great Reputation? Any barber college that you are seriously considering should have a good to outstanding reputation within the profession. Being accredited is an excellent beginning. Next, ask the schools for endorsements from their network of businesses where they have placed their students. Check that the schools have high job placement rates, indicating that their students are highly regarded. Check rating services for reviews as well as the school's accrediting organizations. If you have any connections with Birmingham AL barber shop owners or managers, or someone working in the business, ask them if they are acquainted with the schools you are reviewing. They might even be able to suggest others that you had not considered. And last, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to see if there have been any complaints filed or if the schools are in complete compliance.
What’s the School’s Focus? Some cosmetology schools offer programs that are broad in nature, focusing on all areas of cosmetology. Others are more focused, providing training in a specific specialty, for example barbering. Schools that offer degree programs often expand into a management and marketing curriculum. So it's essential that you choose a school that focuses on your area of interest. Since your objective is to be trained as a barber, make certain that the school you enroll in is accredited and respected for that program. If your dream is to launch a barber shop in Birmingham AL, then you want to enroll in a degree program that will teach you how to be an owner/operator. Choosing a highly rated school with a poor program in barbering will not deliver the training you require.
Is Plenty of Live Training Provided? Learning and refining barbering skills and techniques demands lots of practice on volunteers. Find out how much live, hands-on training is provided in the barber classes you will be attending. Some schools have shops on campus that allow students to practice their developing talents on real people. If a Birmingham AL barber college furnishes minimal or no scheduled live training, but rather relies predominantly on utilizing mannequins, it might not be the most effective alternative for cultivating your skills. So search for alternate schools that furnish 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 he or she gets help in landing that initial job. Job placement programs are an important part of that process. Schools that provide aid develop relationships with area employers that are seeking skilled graduates available for hiring. Confirm that the programs you are looking at have job placement programs and ask which Birmingham AL area shops and organizations they refer students to. Also, 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? Almost all barber schools provide financial aid or student loan assistance for their students. Ask if the schools you are investigating have a financial aid department. Consult with a counselor and learn what student loans or grants you may 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 satisfies each of your other qualifications except for expense, do not drop it as an alternative before you determine what financial help may be offered in Birmingham AL.
Enroll in the Best Birmingham Barber School
Finding and enrolling in the ideal barber school is imperative to obtain the necessary training to become a licensed technician. Make sure to ask all the questions that you need to in order to feel positive about your decision. Be sure to organize all of the information you get from the barber school admissions departments, prioritize what matters the most to you, and then utilize that data to contrast schools. A good start in your due diligence process is to make certain that the institution and program you choose are accredited and have exceptional reputations within the field. If you begin with that base, and address the additional questions presented in this post, you will be able to reduce your list of schools so that you can make the proper selection. Once you graduate and pass your licensing examination, you will be self-assured that you are prepared to begin your career as a professional barber in Birmingham Alabama.