Trade School: Know Everything About It

What is trade school?

A trade school is where you can study after completing your secondary education. It has nothing to do with trading or learning to speculate in stocks, property, etc.

The trade school's study program gives you hands-on training in your chosen vocation or technical skill.

A trade school is also called a vocational or technical school. 

Colleges impart general education in a degree program, but trade schools are single-minded in preparing you to be successful on the job. While it will take you at least four years to obtain a degree, you can complete a trade school program in two years.

What's The Difference Between Trade School And University?

There are 3 key differences between Trade school and University, which are:

Time Duration:

Trade schools have programs like diplomas and certifications. The time duration of these programs can vary from 6-weeks to a year or two.  

On the other side, Universities have degree programs which are mostly of 4 years including everything. Thus, the Trade school program is much shorter than the University program.


The cost is much less for trade school if compared to the University tuition fees.


The training in trade school is specific to the topic you have chosen. Opposite to that, in University, you get significantly broader topics to study with a higher focus on one major topic. Trade schools focus more on the training of hard skill and University focuses on soft skills.

Trade school vs Universty

What skill can you learn at a trade school?

Actually, the sky's the limit for the skills you can choose from. The list can well resemble a yellow pages directory.

Some of the skills that you can learn at a technical school are:

  • Automotive Technology
  • Cosmetology
  • Carpentry
  • Dental Assistant
  • Event Management
  • Nursing
  • Optician
  • Electrician
  • Gardening and Landscape Design
  • Welding 

And many more.

What jobs can you do with a trade school degree?

There are many job opportunities you can go for after getting a trade school diploma or certification. What job you can do depends on what skills you've learned. Every skill has a good amount of job opportunities. 

For example, suppose you learned the skill of an electrician. In that case, you can get a job as an electrician in a company; you can also be a Journeyman Electrician, or else you can also be a freelancer.

There are many job opportunities, from low-paying to high-paying jobs. There are some jobs which can pay you very high like these 10 jobs.

What are the advantages of studying at a trade school?

  • A technical school will provide the requisite practical training for a specific career.
  • Every lesson and task was given to you in a technical school to prepare you with the rudimentary skill necessary for an entry-level job.
  • Experienced professionals will instruct you in a committed environment
  • Class schedules are more flexible in technical schools to help you include other obligations even while you are honing a skill
  • For someone without experience, a trade school gives you the initial knowledge that is necessary for the competitive job market

How to apply to a trade school?

Applying to a trade school is quite simple once you understand their admission requirements. Most technical school admission requirements are:

  • The applicant must be 16-18 years of age.
  • A high school diploma or GED (General Education Development or General Education Diploma)‍
  • High School Transcripts or GED Certificates to prove attendance and completion of the course
  • A minimum GPA of 2.0
  • SAT, ACT, or ASSET exam scores for assessment
  • At many trade schools, you may have to take their standardized placement test like the Career Programs Assessment Tes.t‍
  • Depending on the vocational course, some trade schools ask for prior relevant knowledge or experience.

How much does it cost to study at a trade school?

Typically, average tuition costs for a two-year course range from $3,000 to $5,000 a year. But it will depend on the trade school you want to train at and the course you choose to take. Some courses can cost $30,000 or more.

Is there financial aid available at trade schools?

Trade schools can't attract applicants with attractive financial aid like many of the best universities do.

Scholarships, loans, or grants may be available at some trade schools, but it will largely depend on the course you choose and the trade school itself.

Which are the reputed trade schools?