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What is a Trade School? Everything You Need to Know

Last updated January 31, 2022

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.

young woman welding

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!
  • 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. 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!

Get to College

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Types of Trade Programs
5 Trade Jobs That Affect Your Everyday Life

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