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6 Factors to Consider When Choosing Trade Schools

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Choosing trade schools for your education is a great way to get started with your career as quickly and efficiently as possible. The number of students enrolled in trade school increased by 28% as of 2016. However, because many trade school options are available, choosing the right trade school can be difficult. 

Do you want to learn more about trade school and how to choose the best options for you? Keep reading these tips!

1. Talk To Instructors

Talking to instructors is one of the easiest ways you can learn more about a trade school. It is great to meet with instructors while enrolled in a program and even before you get started. For example, if you are touring a trade school, ask to meet with instructors from the program you are interested in attending. They can help you understand the career, the materials covered in your classes and help mentor you.

Having an instructor that you trust can enable you to find the best program for you. It can also help you decide whether or not you want to attend a specific trade school. 

When you visit a trade school campus, you should meet with an instructor in your department of interest. Talking to instructors allows you to look at what your program would look like, explore job titles and position responsibilities, and position qualifications after graduation.  Instructors have a good understanding of any continuing education, training, or certification that may be required after graduation, and they can guide you to the right path.    

2. What Trades Are Offered

Next, it is essential to consider what types of trades are offered at this specific school. While many schools offer several trade programs, others may only offer a few popular options, like HVAC technician training and electrical training. 

You want to make sure you are not limited in your schooling choices before you choose a college! Having plenty of options for types of trades may allow you to explore different trade school classes before settling on a career choice. 

3. Compare School Costs

School can be expensive, especially if it is preparing you for a career. However, going to trade school may save you tens of thousands of dollars compared to more traditional Bachelor’s degrees. And, if you can complete the training in less than a year, you can be qualified to enter the career much earlier than if you pursue a bachelor’s degree.  Of course, the cost depends on the program of choice. Still, generally, students can save money overall and join the profession in an entry-level capacity much earlier than with a Bachelor’s degree.

While trade schools can be less expensive options for education, the costs will vary between each school. This is why comparing school costs is vital before you choose a school to attend. 

Even if one school costs more than another, they may offer financial aid options. If you cannot afford continued education, applying for federal or state financial aid programs may help lessen the financial burden. In the United States, about 66% of students apply for federal financial aid. This means that more than half of students need help paying for their education. 

By attending a school that offers financial services or financial aid to its students, you may have funding available to help defray some of the costs, but this is only if you qualify.  When you contact the trade school you are considering attending, ask if the school participates in federal or state financial aid programs.  After you apply for any aid, you can compare different school tuition costs and available financial aid to help you find the best fit for you.  

4. Understand Coursework

Another thing you need to consider before you choose a trade school to attend is what kind of coursework you will be doing. Understanding this will show you what each day will be like when you attend school. It will also help you understand the format of your classes and homework. 

You can learn more about the coursework to meet with an academic mentor to learn more about the specific trade school classes you will take and how long it will take you to graduate. 

As was mentioned before, you can also meet with an instructor to ask questions about coursework. Understanding what trade school classes you need to take and the coursework you are expected to do will help you feel more prepared to attend your trade school.

5. Learn About Student Support Services

Something that is often overlooked when choosing from trade school options or colleges is student support services. Choosing a school that offers a lot of support to its students can help you progress through your schooling. 

It will also help your schooling go more smoothly. If you have issues with instructors, classwork, and more, you can find student support services that can help!  Schools focused on student success will have staff on board, such as student success partners or academic mentors, to help their students succeed.  Ask about the type of student support services provided by the trade school.

Make sure you find a school that values its students and is willing to help you. 

6. Accreditation

Finally, you want to make sure you choose a trade school that is accredited. Accreditation means the programs are reviewed by peers in the industry and that the institution meets standards established by the accreditor.   Accredited schools typically offer various services to their students, such as job placement assistance, resume support, interview techniques, tutoring, and employer referrals/interviews.  Accredited institutions will also verify the institution will provide the proper certifications if required.  If you do not attend an accredited school, you may find that you are receiving the same education as an accredited institution.  Talk with a member of your program to ensure you are attending an accredited school with qualified instructors. 

Get Help Choosing Trade Schools Today

Choosing trade schools can be difficult, especially when you are concerned about your future career. However, when you follow each of these tips, you can find a reliable and professional trade school to attend. Are you looking for a trade school program? 

InterCoast can help! We offer training for the medical industry, HVAC industry, and more, and we have enrolled thousands of students.  InterCoast has been institutionally accredited since 1988. Contact our team today to learn more about our programs and to get started with your education!

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