Students who do not have the time or availability to take cosmetology classes at a local institution or college may wish to take online cosmetology classes instead. Many of these programs offer the same education you would receive in person, but with the flexibility of online education. However, depending on your state, you may not be able to take all of your pre-licensure coursework online. If you are interested in enrolling in an online program, there are some important considerations you need to know.
Can You Undertake All Required Education Online?
Most states currently do not allow students to take the entirety of their pre-licensure coursework online because so many of the skills require hands on learning and experience. According to Milady Directory of Marketing & Training Gerard McAvey, quoted on Beauty Schools Directory, there are three different areas in which states land: those that have passed legislation to allow online cosmetology education, those that have passed legislation that forbids it, and those that have done nothing, making it technically legal.
Many schools are beginning to offer more and more courses online, but they still have to follow the regulations in place by the state licensing boards. You have to check with your state licensing board to see how many hours are required to take with hands-on practice, but you should expect the majority of your coursework to have some on campus work for most states. If you can do some online work, you should expect it to mainly cover theory and book work.
Do You Need Special Equipment?
Every online program is different, but most cosmetology programs offered online do not require any additional specialty equipment than what you would need were you to take the course in person. You will be expected to purchase books and may also need to buy the tools of the trade. However, you typically do not need any special software. However, you may need to have a computer with certain technical specifications and use a certain browser. You will have to check with the school to see any specific requirements for the course.
How Do You Know the Program is Legitimate?
Before beginning any distance learning course, you want to be sure that the program is accredited. Accreditation is a volunteer review of the school. A representative from the accreditation institution will visit the program and ensure that it meets with all the standards for that degree program. For cosmetology schools, you want to look for accreditation through the National Accrediting Commission of Career Arts and Sciences (NACCAS). The NACCAS is moving towards offering accreditation to programs with as much as 50 percent of coursework offered online.
In addition to accreditation, you want to ensure that the program follows any curriculum regulations set up by your state. You can check with your state licensing board to see that requirements for sitting in the exam to ensure that the program will provide you with the appropriate preparation.
How Do Online Cosmetology Courses Work?
If you live in a state that allows online education for cosmetology, then you can enroll in one of the many accredited programs offered. You should expect to cover the same basic coursework as you would in a traditional brick and mortar school. Some programs may also have specific work deadlines and time in which you must be present in the online class. However, many programs are self-paced, which means you do the work at your leisure. It is this flexibility that attracts many students to the program.
The reading, coursework, and tests will all be handled online, although you may have to have some sort of proctoring for tests. You may also be required to sign up for in person training for the aspects of the coursework that cannot be taught online. Some programs may have a partnership with a salon or beauty school for this training, but you may have to handle this on your own.
What About Continuing Education Coursework?
In almost every state, you are required to take a certain amount of continuing education units to maintain your license. More states allow continuing education to be done completely online than pre-licensure work. This makes it easy to fit in the education around your busy work and home schedule. Beyond just being a requirement, continuing education can help you expand your services and improve your job outlook.
How Can Beauty Academy Help?
Beauty Academy offers online cosmetology classes for continuing education. We aim to provide cost-effective solutions for fulfilling continuing education requirements with as little hassle as possible. Nail technicians, cosmetologist, barbers, estheticians, and massage therapists can find solutions for the coursework required by their state. Our coursework is currently approved by Georgia, Illinois, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.