How to Select the Right Barber School Near Birmingham Alabama
Since you have decided to enroll in a barber school near Birmingham AL, the process starts to locate and enroll in the best school. It's imperative that the school you choose not only provides the necessary instruction for the specialty you have decided on, but also preps you for passing the licensing examination. When you begin your initial search, you may 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 names are pretty much interchangeable and both pertain to the same type of school. We'll talk a bit more about that in the following section. If you anticipate commuting to classes you will want to choose a school that is within driving distance of your Birmingham residence. Tuition will also be an important aspect when reviewing potential barber schools. Just bear in mind that because a school is the closest or the least expensive it's not automatically the right choice. There are many other factors that you should evaluate when comparing schools, for example their reputation and accreditation. We will examine what questions you should ask concerning the barber colleges you are thinking about 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 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.
Questions to Ask Barbering Schools
Following is a list of questions that you will want to research for any barber college you are considering. As we have previously covered, the location of the school relative to your Birmingham AL residence, in addition to the price of tuition, will probably 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 narrowed your school options based on those initial qualifications, there are additional factors that you must research and consider before enrolling in a barber school. Following we have collected some of those supplemental questions that you should ask every school before making a final selection.
Is the Barber College Accredited? It's necessary to make sure that the barber training program you choose is accredited. The accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged 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 important for getting student loans or financial aid, which frequently are not obtainable 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, many employers will not recruit recent graduates of non-accredited schools, or may look more favorably upon those with accredited training.
Does the School have an Excellent Reputation? Any barber college that you are seriously considering should have a good to exceptional reputation within the field. Being accredited is a good beginning. Next, ask the schools for references from their network of employers where they have referred their students. Check that the schools have high job placement rates, attesting that their students are highly sought after. Visit rating services for reviews in addition to the school's accrediting agencies. If you have any connections with Birmingham AL barber shop owners or managers, or any person working in the business, ask them if they are familiar with the schools you are considering. They may even be able to recommend others that you had not considered. Finally, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to see if there have been any complaints submitted or if the schools are in complete compliance.
What’s the School’s Focus? Some cosmetology schools offer programs that are comprehensive in nature, concentrating on all facets of cosmetology. Others are more focused, offering training in a specific specialty, for example barbering. Schools that offer degree programs typically broaden into a management and marketing curriculum. So it's imperative that you select a school that specializes in 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 well regarded for that program. If your desire is to start 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. Picking a highly rated school with a poor program in barbering will not provide the training you require.
Is Enough Live Training Provided? Studying and perfecting barbering techniques and abilities demands lots of practice on people. Ask how much live, hands-on training is furnished in the barber lessons you will be attending. Some schools have shops on campus that allow students to practice their growing talents on volunteers. If a Birmingham AL barber college offers limited or no scheduled live training, but instead depends predominantly on using mannequins, it might not be the most effective option for developing your skills. So search for alternate schools that provide this type of training.
Does the School have a Job Placement Program? When a student graduates from a barber college, it's essential that she or he receives aid in landing that first job. Job placement programs are an important part of that process. Schools that furnish aid maintain relationships with local businesses that are looking for qualified graduates available for hiring. Confirm that the programs you are looking at have job placement programs and ask 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 confirm that they have wide networks of employers, but that their programs are highly regarded as well.
Is Financial Aid Available? The majority of barber schools offer financial aid or student loan assistance for their students. Check if the schools you are reviewing have a financial aid department. Talk to a counselor and learn what student loans or grants you may get approved for. If the school is a member of the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS), it will have scholarships available to students too. If a school meets all of your other qualifications except for expense, do not drop it as an option until you learn what financial help may be offered in Birmingham AL.
Choose in the Right Birmingham Barber School
Locating and enrolling in the ideal barber school is imperative to receive the necessary training to become a licensed practitioner. Make sure to ask all the questions that you require so as to feel confident about your decision. Make 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 information to contrast schools. A good start in your due diligence procedure is to make sure that the school and program you choose are accredited and have excellent reputations within the profession. If you start with that foundation, and address the additional questions provided in this article, you will be able to filter your list of schools so that you can make the ideal selection. And when you graduate and pass your licensing test, you will be self-assured that you are prepared to launch your new career as a professional barber in Birmingham Alabama.