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Choosing the best beauty therapy courses means keeping a few things in mind. First, you should decide on the particular qualification that you'd like to get and the amount of time you're willing to study. Another consideration is the accreditation of the school and whether the qualifications offered are nationally or internationally recognized. You may also have the option of full-time study, part-time study, or online courses.
There are many beauty therapy courses available, but they can be broken down into three main groups. You have the choice between degree, diploma, or certificate programs. The most important question when choosing between beauty therapy courses is what kind of qualification you want, as this will determine the length of study and possibly the method of study.
Beauty therapy degrees can be completed in three or four years and usually require full-time study, depending on the school you choose and where you are located. Diploma courses can usually be completed in two years with full-time study. Certificate courses can be completed within a few days or by meeting an hourly study requirement.
Finding an accredited and licensed school is a vital part of the process, as the school's accreditation could help or hinder your career prospects. If you are US-based, the courses you take should meet state licensing requirements. It's also best to look for a school and for courses that are both nationally and internationally recognized. Some of the international bodies to look for include Comité International d’Esthetiques et de Cosmetologie (CIDESCO), Confederation of International Beauty Therapy and Cosmetology (CIBTAC), and the International Therapy Examination Council (ITEC).
Studying full time will usually mean enrolling for a two-year diploma or a health and beauty degree. If you choose this option, you may be required to attend classes on a daily basis, and you'll devote full time hours to classes and practical instruction. CIDESCO and CIBTAC qualifications are usually associated with full time study.
If you enroll for part-time beauty therapy courses, then you'll attend classes only on certain days. These courses generally include modular courses or certificate courses, and you may qualify for a diploma if you complete all the required modules. Most modular courses will enable you to take the ITEC examination to receive an internationally recognized qualification.
Online study is very similar to part-time study. The only real difference is that the theory sections of the beauty therapy courses you choose can be completed online. You may only need to attend in-person classes to receive practical training or to complete the practical modules. Online courses generally carry the same accreditation as part-time beauty therapy courses.
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