How to Select the Right Barbering School Near Birmingham Alabama
Since you have decided to enroll in a barber school near Birmingham AL, the process begins to find and enroll in the right school. It's essential that the school you select not only provides the proper instruction for the specialty you have selected, but also prepares you for passing the licensing exam. When you begin your preliminary search, you may be rather puzzled about the distinction between beauty schools and cosmetology schools, which both may offer barbering programs. Well don't be, because the titles are pretty much interchangeable and both relate to the same kind of school. We'll discuss a bit more about that in the following section. If you plan on commuting to classes you will want to find a school that is within driving distance of your Birmingham residence. Tuition will likewise be an important aspect when assessing potential barber schools. Just remember that because a school is the nearest or the cheapest it's not necessarily the ideal choice. There are various other factors that you should evaluate when reviewing schools, such as their reputation and accreditation. We will go over what questions you should ask regarding the barber colleges you are looking at later in this article. Before we do, let's discuss a little bit about what barbering is and why you may want to become a barber.
Why Become a Barber?
Barbering, which is as old as America itself, is certainly a career steeped in tradition. Many of today’s barbers use the same equipment or tools, practice the same techniques, and retain the atmosphere of barber shops of long ago. In fact, not much has changed in barbering, as this profession is considered an art form that requires skill, training, a steady hand, and a sharp eye. As a barber, you get to specialize in the cutting, trimming, and styling of hair, mustaches, and beards. Barbers are the specialists in masculine style, providing facial, shaving, and hair-cutting services to men. The barber career choice has also seen a recent resurgence or rise in popularity. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of barbers is projected to grow 13 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations. If you’re passionate about beginning a career in the barber industry and are ready to blaze a path in this booming industry, then entering this particular field does require you to obtain specialized schooling.
Questions to Ask Barbering Training Programs
Following is a series of questions that you will want to look into for any barber college you are considering. As we have already covered, the location of the school relative to your Birmingham AL residence, together with the expense of tuition, will undoubtedly be your initial qualifiers. Whether you want 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 initial qualifications, there are even more factors that you should research and take into consideration before enrolling in a barber school. Following we have compiled some of those supplemental questions that you should ask each school before making a final selection.
Is the Barber College Accredited? It's important to make sure that the barber college you select 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 assuring a superior curriculum and education. Accreditation may also be necessary for securing student loans or financial aid, which often are not obtainable in Birmingham AL for non- accredited schools. It's also a requirement for licensing in many states that the training be accredited. And as a final benefit, numerous businesses will not hire recent graduates of non-accredited schools, or might look more positively upon those with accredited training.
Does the School have a Good Reputation? Each barber school that you are seriously considering should have a good to excellent reputation within the profession. Being accredited is an excellent starting point. Next, ask the schools for endorsements from their network of businesses where they have referred 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 organizations. If you have any connections with Birmingham AL barber shop owners or managers, or any person working in the trade, ask them if they are familiar with the schools you are reviewing. They may even be able to suggest others that you had not looked into. And finally, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there have been any complaints filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
What’s the School’s Focus? Some beauty 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 typically expand into a management and marketing curriculum. So it's essential that you enroll in a school that specializes in 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 open a barber shop in Birmingham AL, then you want to enroll in a degree program that will instruct you how to be an owner/operator. Choosing a highly regarded school with a poor program in barbering will not deliver the training you need.
Is Enough Live Training Provided? Learning and mastering barbering skills and techniques involves lots of practice on people. Ask how much live, hands-on training is provided in the barber courses you will be attending. A number of schools have shops on campus that enable students to practice their growing skills on real people. If a Birmingham AL barber school furnishes minimal or no scheduled live training, but instead relies predominantly on utilizing mannequins, it might not be the most effective alternative for developing your skills. So try to find other schools that provide this kind of training.
Does the School Provide Job Assistance? Once a student graduates from a barber school, it's crucial that he or she gets aid in securing that very first job. Job placement programs are an important part of that process. Schools that provide aid maintain relationships with area employers that are seeking qualified graduates available for hiring. Confirm that the programs you are considering have job placement programs and ask which Birmingham AL area shops and establishments they refer students to. Also, find out what their job placement rates are. Higher rates not only verify that they have broad networks of employers, but that their programs are highly respected as well.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? The majority of barber schools provide financial aid or student loan assistance for their students. Ask if the schools you are considering have a financial aid department. Consult with a counselor and learn what student loans or grants you may qualify for. If the school is a member of the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS), it will have scholarships accessible to students also. If a school meets each of your other qualifications except for expense, do not eliminate it as an alternative before you learn what financial aid may be offered in Birmingham AL.
Enroll in the Right Birmingham Barber College
Selecting and enrolling in the ideal barber college is important to get the necessary training to become a licensed professional. Be sure to ask all the questions that you need to so as to feel confident about your decision. Be sure to compile all of the information you receive from the barber school admissions departments, prioritize what matters the most to you, and then employ that data to compare schools. A sensible beginning in your due diligence process is to make certain that the school and program you decide on are accredited and have impressive reputations within the profession. If you start with that foundation, and answer the additional questions presented in this post, you will be able to narrow down your list of schools so that you can make the proper choice. And when you graduate and pass your licensing examination, you will be confident that you are ready to launch your new career as a professional barber in Birmingham Alabama.