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Barbering Colleges
How to Pick the Best One Near 
Decatur Alabama

Decatur Alabama bearded man getting a haircutNow that you have made the decision to begin your career in barbering, you must enroll in the best barber college near Decatur AL to receive your training. Since barbers are licensed in all 50 states, the college you choose should prepare you to pass the licensing test and provide the necessary training for your specialty. When you begin your initial search, you might be rather unclear about the difference between beauty schools and cosmetology schools, which both offer barbering programs. Well don't be, because the titles are essentially interchangeable and both pertain to the same kind of school. In the next section that will be discussed in a bit more detail. You will need to find a campus that is within reasonable commuting distance of your home unless you plan to relocate for training. Another qualification when evaluating possible barbering schools is the cost of tuition. Just bear in mind that because a school is the closest or the cheapest it's not always the ideal choice. There are a number of other considerations that you should weigh when comparing schools, for instance their reputation and accreditation. We will examine what questions you should ask about the barber colleges you are considering later within this article. Before we do, let's discuss a little bit about what cosmetology is, and what kinds of courses are available.

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Barbering is a Specialty of Cosmetology

Cosmetology is an occupation that is all about making the human body look more beautiful through the use of cosmetics. So naturally it makes sense that numerous cosmetology schools are referred to as beauty schools. Most of us think of makeup when we hear the term cosmetics, but actually a cosmetic may be almost anything that enhances the look of a person's skin, hair or nails. In order to work as a barber, most states require that you take some type of specialized training and then be licensed. Once licensed, the work environments include not only Decatur AL barber shops, but also such businesses as spas, hotels and resorts. Many barbers, once they have acquired experience and a customer base, establish their own shops or salons. Others will begin servicing clients either in their own residences or will travel to the client's house, or both. Cosmetology college graduates are known by many professional names and work in a wide range of specializations including:

• Hairstylists
• Beauticians
Barbers
• Manicurists
• Nail Technicians
• Makeup Artists
• Hair Coloring Specialists
• Estheticians
• Electrolysis Technicians

As already mentioned, in all states working barbers have to be licensed. In some states there is an exemption for cosmetologists in general. Only those performing more skilled services, such as barbers or hairstylists, are required to be licensed. Others working in cosmetology and less skilled, such as shampooers, are not required to be licensed in those states.

What to Ask Barber Schools

Decatur Alabama older man receiving trim from barberFollowing is a list of questions that you should research for any barber college you are contemplating. As we have already covered, the location of the school in relation to your Decatur AL home, together with the cost of tuition, will probably be your primary qualifiers. Whether you wish to earn 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 initial qualifications, there are even more factors that you must research and take into consideration before enrolling in a barber college. Below we have collected some of those additional questions that you should ask every school before making a final decision.

Is the Barber School Accredited? It's necessary to make sure that the barber school you enroll in 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). Schools accredited by the NACCAS must meet their high standards ensuring a superior curriculum and education. Accreditation may also be necessary for securing student loans or financial aid, which frequently are not available for non- accredited schools. It's also a criteria for licensing in some states that the training be accredited. And as a concluding benefit, many Decatur AL businesses will not hire recent graduates of non-accredited schools, or might look more positively upon those with accredited training.

Does the School have an Excellent Reputation?  Any barber college that you are seriously evaluating should have a good to excellent reputation within the profession. Being accredited is a good starting point. Next, ask the schools for references 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 demanded. Check rating companies for reviews along with the school's accrediting organizations. If you have any connections with Decatur AL barber shop owners or managers, or anyone working in the industry, ask them if they are acquainted with the schools you are reviewing. They might even be able to recommend others that you had not looked into. And last, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to see if there have been any complaints submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.

What’s the School’s Focus?  Many cosmetology schools offer programs that are expansive in nature, concentrating on all areas of cosmetology. Others are more focused, providing training in a specific specialty, for instance barbering. Schools that offer degree programs typically expand into a management and marketing curriculum. So it's essential 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 dream is to start a barber shop in Decatur AL, then you need to enroll in a degree program that will teach 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 Any Live Training Provided?  Learning and refining barbering skills and techniques requires lots of practice on people. Find out how much live, hands-on training is furnished in the barber courses you will be attending. A number of schools have shops on site that allow students to practice their growing talents on volunteers. If a Decatur AL barber school furnishes limited or no scheduled live training, but instead relies mainly on the use of mannequins, it may not be the best option for cultivating your skills. So look for alternate schools that offer this type of training.

Does the School have a Job Placement Program?  Once a student graduates from a barber school, it's crucial that he or she gets support in securing that initial job. Job placement programs are an integral part of that process. Schools that provide aid maintain relationships with local businesses that are looking for skilled graduates available for hiring. Check that the programs you are considering have job placement programs and find out which Decatur AL area shops and businesses they refer students to. Also, ask what their job placement rates are. High rates not only confirm that they have broad networks of employers, but that their programs are highly regarded as well.

Is Financial Assistance Offered?  Most barber schools offer financial aid or student loan assistance for their students. Find out if the schools you are investigating have a financial aid department. Talk to a counselor and find out what student loans or grants you may get approved for. If the school belongs to the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS), it will have scholarships offered to students also. If a school satisfies all of your other qualifications with the exception of cost, do not drop it as an alternative until you determine what financial help may be available in Decatur AL.

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Choose the Right Decatur Barber School

Finding and enrolling in the ideal barber training program is imperative to get the proper training to become a licensed practitioner. Be sure to ask all the questions that you require in order to feel positive about your decision. Make sure to organize all of the information you receive from the barber school admissions departments, focus on what matters the most to you, and then employ that information to contrast schools. A sensible start in your due diligence procedure is to make certain that the school and program you decide on are accredited and have outstanding reputations within the field. If you begin with that foundation, and answer the additional questions provided in this post, you will be able to narrow down your list of schools so that you can make the ideal choice. And when you graduate and pass your licensing exam, you will be confident that you are prepared to begin your new career as a professional barber in Decatur Alabama.




 

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