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What is a Trade School? Everything You Need to Know

Last updated March 1, 2021

What is a Trade School? Everything You Need to Know

Thinking about pursuing a trade career after graduating high school? Trades are professions like electrician, plumber, welder, auto-mechanic, construction, carpenter - generally professions that require specific training and manual work. If you don’t see yourself working in an office or going to college, trade school is a great way to quickly learn hands-on skills and get hired into stable, in-demand careers. Great for job security!

How trade training programs work:

  • Trade certificates at community colleges, technical schools, and trade schools can vary in length from 10 weeks to 2 years.
  • Class sizes are smaller, meaning you'll have consistent, hands-on access to your teachers.
  • You’ll learn your trade
  • To enroll: All you need is a high school diploma, GED, or equivalent
  • Keep in mind, the credits at trade schools or programs typically do not transfer to a community college or a university. Also, at the end of a trade program, you get a certificate in the field you studied, but not a degree.

Some things to consider when looking at Trade Schools and their programs:

  • Range of trade certificates offered at the school
  • Salary potential
  • Apprenticeship availability
  • Availability of jobs, especially in the area where you live
  • Is the school licensed? Check with your state agencies or the U.S. Department of Education
  • Does the program have accreditation by a private education agency or association that evaluates the program to see if it meets a set of requirements? Check here:
  • Check with your local community colleges to see if they have trade programs, most do!

Trade jobs come with many benefits, but some risks

  • Strong job prospects: Worried about the current economy/job market? Trade jobs are consistently in-demand, pay well, and lead to stable increases in salary over years of experience gained, and often offer union protections and benefits.
  • Earn and learn: You can get hired while you're still in school
  • Physically demanding work: Keep in mind that many trades are physically demanding - if you're worried about the toll that working in a physical trade will take over years of work, that's a valid concern. Ask questions and talk to professionals in the fields you're interested in on social media, or reach out on LinkedIn.

what is a trade school

If you have questions about trade school and want to talk to someone, just text us! We can walk you through your questions and point you toward a great trade school near you. Text "Hello" to 33-55-77.

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