How to Find the Right Barbering College Near Birmingham Alabama
Now that you have made a decision to attend a barber school near Birmingham AL, the process begins to locate and enroll in the right school. It's imperative that the program you select not only provides the proper instruction for the specialty you have decided on, but also prepares you for passing the licensing examination. When you start your preliminary search, you might be a little bit puzzled about the difference 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 next section. If you plan on commuting to classes you will want to choose a school that is within driving distance of your Birmingham home. Tuition will additionally be a critical aspect when reviewing prospective barber schools. Just keep in mind that because a school is the closest or the lowest cost it's not necessarily the best option. There are many other qualifications that you should evaluate when comparing schools, for example their reputation and accreditation. We will examine what questions you should ask regarding the barber colleges you are considering later within this article. Before we do, let's talk a bit about what barbering is and why you may want to become a barber.
Why Choose Barbering?
Barbershops have always been a place for men to get their hair cut, socialize, and gab about everything from sports to stock tips. Although today some women visit barbershops and some men visit stylists and salons, the barbershop and its iconic red, white, and blue striped pole is still a cornerstone of male culture. If you’ve got an eye for style, a creative flair, and an appreciation for America’s unique barbershop culture, a career as a barber could be your calling. As a barber, you’ll cut, style, shape, and treat men’s hair, and sometimes women’s and children’s hair, too. You’ll give shaves and trim facial hair and sometimes perform neck and scalp massages. Like all specialists in the field of cosmetology, you’ll make a ritual out of maintaining your tools, station, and clients to the highest standards of hygiene and sanitization.
What to Ask Barbering Training Programs
Following is a series of questions that you will want to research for any barber college you are considering. As we have already discussed, the location of the school in relation to your Birmingham AL home, together with the cost of tuition, will undoubtedly be your initial qualifiers. Whether you wish to earn a certificate, diploma or a degree will probably be next on your list. But once you have narrowed your school options based on those preliminary qualifications, there are additional factors that you should research and consider before enrolling in a barber college. Following we have put together some of those additional questions that you should ask each school before making a final selection.
Is the Barber College Accredited? It's essential to make sure that the barber school you pick 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 comply with their high standards assuring a quality curriculum and education. Accreditation can also be essential for securing student loans or financial aid, which often are not available in Birmingham AL for non- accredited schools. It's also a requirement for licensing in several states that the training be accredited. And as a concluding benefit, numerous businesses will not recruit recent graduates of non-accredited schools, or may look more positively upon individuals with accredited training.
Does the School have an Excellent Reputation? Any barber school that you are seriously evaluating should have a good to outstanding reputation within the profession. Being accredited is a good starting point. Next, ask the schools for endorsements from their network of employers where they have placed their students. Confirm that the schools have high job placement rates, indicating that their students are highly regarded. Check rating companies for reviews in addition to the school's accrediting agencies. If you have any contacts with Birmingham AL barber shop owners or managers, or anyone working in the field, ask them if they are familiar with the schools you are looking at. They may even be able to suggest others that you had not considered. And finally, consult the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there have been any complaints filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
What’s the School’s Focus? Some beauty schools offer programs that are expansive in nature, focusing on all areas of cosmetology. Others are more focused, providing training in a specific specialty, for instance barbering. Schools that offer degree programs often expand into a management and marketing curriculum. So it's important that you choose a school that focuses on your area of interest. Since your intention is to be trained as a barber, make sure that the school you enroll in is accredited and respected for that program. If your vision is to start a barber shop in Birmingham AL, then you need to enroll in a degree program that will teach you how to be an owner/operator. Selecting a highly regarded school with a weak program in barbering will not provide the training you need.
Is Plenty of Live Training Provided? Studying and refining barbering skills and techniques involves plenty of practice on volunteers. Find out how much live, hands-on training is provided in the barber lessons you will be attending. A number of schools have shops on site that enable students to practice their growing skills on volunteers. If a Birmingham AL barber college furnishes little or no scheduled live training, but rather relies heavily on the use of mannequins, it may not be the most effective alternative for developing your skills. So search for alternate schools that offer this kind of training.
Does the School have a Job Placement Program? Once a student graduates from a barber college, it's imperative that she or he gets aid in finding that first job. Job placement programs are an important part of that process. Schools that provide aid maintain relationships with local employers that are searching for skilled graduates available for hiring. Verify that the programs you are considering have job placement programs and inquire which Birmingham AL area shops and businesses they refer students to. In addition, find out what their job placement rates are. High rates not only verify that they have broad networks of employers, but that their programs are highly regarded as well.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Almost all barber schools offer financial aid or student loan assistance for their students. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have a financial aid office. Talk to a counselor and identify 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 too. If a school meets all of your other qualifications with the exception of expense, do not drop it as an alternative before you find out what financial assistance may be provided in Birmingham AL.
Enroll in the Right Birmingham Barber School
Locating and enrolling in the right barber training program is imperative to obtain the proper training to become a licensed professional. Be sure to ask all the questions that you require in order to feel confident about your decision. Make sure to collect all of the responses you get from the barber school admissions departments, prioritize what matters the most to you, and then employ that information to contrast schools. A sensible beginning in your due diligence procedure is to make certain that the institution and program you pick are accredited and have impressive reputations within the field. If you start with that foundation, and answer the additional questions provided in this article, you will be able to narrow down your list of schools so that you can make the proper selection. Once you graduate and pass your licensing exam, you will be confident that you are prepared to start your career as a professional barber in Birmingham Alabama.