How to Choose a Local Trade School

How to Choose a Local Trade School

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Throughout your life, you’re told to go to college and get a degree. Everyone tells you that obtaining a four-year degree is the only way to be successful. Yet, not everyone wants to choose that path.

What if I told you there might be another way to be successful in doing something you love?

Have you thought of attending a trade school?  Choosing to go to a local trade school can lead you down a path of success and happiness. According to NCES.ed.gov, statistics show that, in general, people who have degrees from trade schools are more likely to be employed.

If you know going to a trade school is the option for you, keep reading to find out ideas on finding a trade school that fits you!

What Does It Mean to Go to a Local Trade School?

If you choose to go to a vocational school, you’ve decided that you want to become skilled in a specific trade. You will be taught a particular skill set at a trade school instead of gaining a general education.

A trade school will prepare you with the experience you need to offer your skills to employers down the line. Specifically, you will be working hands-on to learn your skills.

Some specific trades you may specialize in are electrician training and HVAC training, along with many others. Specializing in a vocational program can lead you to a successful career of being an electrician, a medical assistant, a pharmacy technician, an HVAC Technician, an Addiction Counselor, or a Mental Health worker, to name a few.

In terms of what happens after you earn your certificate from a trade school, you should be ready for entry-level employment in the profession you have trained.  Because your training is skill-specific, this will allow you to seek entry-level jobs after graduation. 

How Much Does It Cost to Attend a Trade School?

When choosing which school to attend, it’s essential to look at the overall costs, not just tuition. Look at book prices and tool prices. Research if your school pays for these things or if it is out of your pocket.

The average tuition price for a trade school is $33,000 in total. Compared to your average bachelor’s degree tuition, trade school tuition is a lot cheaper. Suppose you consider that you are also going to be working after one to two years. In that case, you have the opportunity to enter your career two to three years earlier than those who are attending college full-time for a bachelor’s degree. 

As a general note, trade schools can be less expensive than some academic institutions and usually take less time to complete.

What Should I Look for in a Trade School?

Choosing the right trade school is not as simple as looking at reviews. Before picking a school, you should look at their instructors, class sizes, financial aid options (if available), and the services they offer, including career services.

Instructors and Learning Resources

It’s essential to look for a trade school that has industry-experienced instructors.  When you are taught by instructors who are current with their industry skills, this will help you understand your requirements in entering the profession.  

Also important are the learning resources available to students. Is there an on-campus or virtual library for students?  Are these resources available to students at no cost, or is there a charge? What are other learning materials included in tuition?  Are students required to pay for their books?  These are essential questions you should ask any school you are considering attending.

Class Size

Not only are the instructors important, but class sizes can be crucial to learning. Smaller class sizes can improve student interaction and learning. 

If you are training for a specific skill, you’ll want an instructor to work closely with you to improve your trade. With a big class size, that won’t always be possible. 

Services

When looking for a local trade school, you’ll also want to know what services they offer. Knowing that you will work toward your successful completion will give you peace of mind. Does the school provide academic support such as tutoring, office hours with the instructor or academic mentor?  Is there someone you can talk with that will motivate and challenge you?  

Additionally, will you be given the support services to assist you in finding entry-level employment after graduation? Double-check that the school has a career services department to help you with job search skills, resume workshops, interview techniques, and more.

Grants and Loans

To help you pay for your program, find a school where you can apply for financial aid, and if qualified, you may receive federal grants, state grants, and student loans. As for all loan programs, be sure to look at the interest rates, how long you have to repay, and how much each payment will be. It is important to explore the best options available to you.  

Which Trade School Is Right for Me?

There is so much that goes into choosing the best trade school. You want to ensure that you receive quality instruction and have access to resources you may need. You also want to ensure there are available financial aid resources to you if you qualify.  Finally, you want to be sure there are tutoring services, instructor office hours for students, and other support services such as job placement assistance.

Before investing your time and money into education, you want to ensure that your school is institutionally accredited. When it comes to seeking employment after graduation, employers may ask you if you received an education from an accredited school. 

Finally, it’s important to find the right program for you, your career goals, and your skills. Here at InterCoast, we have many programs to choose from, such as medical assistant training to a mental health technician, alcohol and drug counseling, and cybersecurity and business programs.  

Good Time to Apply?

You’ve learned how to choose a trade school and do all of the research needed before applying. Now you have one more step toward achieving your educational goals!

We offer some of the most up-to-date training and will assist you in the development of job-preparedness skills. We also discuss the attitudes and interpersonal skills you will need to work in the real world after graduation. 

If you’re ready to go to your local trade school and receive career-focused education, go check out our website and apply now!

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