How to Choose a Beauty School
Turn your passion for beauty into a cosmetology career!
You’re creative. You love playing with hair and makeup and style. You know how to make people look and feel great. And you want a stable, growing profession that will let you use those strengths.
If these apply to you, then attending cosmetology school is probably in your near future, and why shouldn’t it be? You already have the passion for beauty – you just need training from the right cosmetology school.
There are many factors to consider when choosing a cosmetology school. You want to make sure that your new school will meet your needs as a student. Here is a list of things to consider when choosing a beauty school:
- What kinds of payment plans and scholarships they offer
- What their admissions requirements are
- Whether they host a student salon or clinic
- If there is any flexibility with class schedules
- Whether they offer career placement services
- What their accreditation status is
- What kinds of beauty programs they offer
Definitely make sure you look into each program you are considering before you choose a beauty school. Different cosmetology schools offer a range of extras and benefits, so you want to research them before applying to make sure they can meet your needs.
Cosmetology Training Requirements
Let’s be honest – there are all sorts of beauty schools out there that you can choose to attend. So it’s important to figure out what to look for and what’s important to you in a cosmetology school training program in order to narrow things down.
First things first: You should probably consider admissions requirements. There are going to be some basic similarities from beauty school to beauty school – I mean, you’re probably not going to have to take some kind of boring, multiple choice state assessment – but each beauty school's admissions requirements might vary. You’ll probably find that there are differences in prerequisites like minimum age and whether you have a high school diploma or GED. Make sure to check with each school you're considering to see if you meet the requirements. Click here for more about cosmetology school education and age requirements.
A lot of the time, beauty schools have different class schedules available for their students. Sometimes this means offering both day and evening classes. Sometimes this means letting students choose whether they want to go to school part-time or full-time.
For some people, the availability of flexible class schedules may be the most important factor when choosing a beauty school. A lot of working adults and parents can’t afford to quit their current jobs or disrupt their lives in order to change careers, so a part-time cosmetology school training program would be a better fit than a full-time cosmetology program.
The schedule you select generally affects your overall completion time, so while it may take you longer to finish a part-time program than it would if you went full-time, it may be worth it in the long run when it comes to balancing your life.
Cosmetology training programs should offer both theoretical instruction in the classroom and practical instruction in student salons or clinics. Learning about techniques and procedures is great, but getting the chance to practice them is vital to build the confidence you’ll need after you graduate. And since state licensing exams include both theoretical and hands-on components, the more experience you have in both areas, the better prepared you’ll be.
Oftentimes, with practical training, you’ll try out techniques on mannequins first. Then you’ll likely move onto the student clinic to hone your skills on real customers but with the added benefit of having instructors on site to provide guidance and tips.
Some cosmetology schools also offer career placement services which can help you find a job once you complete your program, so make sure you ask after that and also about the job placement success rates of the schools you are considering. Also try to find out if they have partnerships with any salons or spas in your area. You’ll want to be sure you’re choosing a school that is equipped to help you get started on your brand-new cosmetology career.
How to Choose a Beauty School Program
A whole variety of programs fall under the cosmetology school umbrella, so you’ll have to decide which area of beauty you want to study. Just want your concentration to be hair training? Or nail technician training? How about esthetics or massage therapy? Then you should narrow your beauty school search to those with focused, specific programs.
But what if you’d rather not choose? What if you want to train in several areas of the beauty industry? There are some beauty schools that lump multiple programs together. For instance, some schools offer cosmetology training, and under that program, you can learn about hair, nails and skin care. Maybe even makeup artistry as well. You’ll want to find beauty or cosmetology schools that offer comprehensive programs that can give you all the training you’re looking for at once.
Once you have explored the factors laid out above in choosing a beauty school, there is one more important one to consider: accreditation. We’ve got thorough breakdown of cosmetology school accreditation, but here’s a quicker version.
Accredited beauty or cosmetology schools have met certain curriculum standards and guidelines set by the National Accrediting Commission of Cosmetology Arts and Sciences, which is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Choosing an accredited beauty school means that you’re eligible for federal financial aid and can sometimes help better your chances for future employment. Some beauty schools that aren’t accredited are still good schools, so it’s up to you to decide how much you value accreditation in your future cosmetology school.
BeautySchool.com offers you the ability to search for a beauty school in your area to find a quality cosmetology institution that fits your needs. Upon completing your program, you can obtain your state cosmetology license and begin a rewarding beauty career.