Is Trade School Right for You? Pros, Cons, and Options

Is Trade School Right for You

Deciding on the path to kick-start your career after high school can be quite daunting. But does that always imply going to a traditional four-year college? Not necessarily. Trade schools are a great alternative to traditional education, but only if you properly weigh the pros and cons.

The Many Ways You Can Get Into the Trades

Trade schools aren’t the only way to get into the trades, but they tend to be one of the best ways to get a job in your preferred field quickly. Still, it’s a good idea to look at all of your options.

Trade Schools

Trade schools offer practical courses that teach skills directly applicable to specific industries. They focus on practical training and tend to be more economical and faster than college. In fact, you can jumpstart your trade career at and finish your schooling rather quickly.


An apprenticeship provides a unique blend of classroom instruction and practical on-the-job training. This hands-on approach can be invaluable for getting started in the trades. As an apprentice, you learn directly from experienced professionals and get paid while doing it.

Union Training Programs

Union training programs provide education and hands-on experience meticulously designed and monitored by established professionals in their respective fields. By joining a union, you access worthwhile programs that enhance job readiness and career progression prospects.

Community Colleges

Community colleges offer programs focused on practical trade skills such as welding, HVAC, or automotive repair. They also provide a broader curriculum to diversify your learning experience. It’s an affordable alternative with the added benefit of being located in your local community.

Online Courses

Online courses have become a feasible option for learning trade skills. They offer a flexible, convenient way to gain new skills at your pace from anywhere in the world. Various platforms provide comprehensive instruction, making trades more accessible to everyone.

Why You Should Go to Trades School

Trade schools present a fast-track route to both learning a craft and securing employment.

These schools provide hands-on training, focusing on the skills required by specific industries, preparing you for the workforce in less time than traditional colleges. Furthermore, they are often more affordable and have smaller class sizes for personalized learning sessions.

With the increasing demand for skilled tradespeople, attending trade school can pave the way for lucrative, steady employment with ample opportunities for growth and specialization.

The Pros and Cons of Going to Trade School

Trade school is a great way to learn vital trade skills, but is it right for you? Let’s take a look.

The Pros of Trade School

  1. Job-Specific Training: Trade schools focus on teaching the specific skills you need to succeed in your chosen profession, so you’ll be prepared for your profession.
  2. Fast Completion: Compared to traditional colleges, trade schools often take less time to complete—typically two years or less. You’ll be working in construction in no time.
  3. Cost-Effective: Trade school tuition is lower than that of a four-year university.
  4. Practical Hands-on Learning: You get real-life practice under expert supervision to prepare for the actual job environment. You aren’t just focusing on book learning.
  5. High Demand for Skilled Workers: Many industries are desperate for trade skill-certified workers, so job opportunities are often plentiful, especially in cities.
  6. Small Class Sizes: This allows for plenty of one-on-one attention from instructors.
  7. Career Services: Most trade schools offer job placement services, helping you begin your career after graduation. They also help you with networking and resume creation.

The Cons of Trade School

  1. Limited Scope: Trade schools focus on specific skills, which may limit your knowledge.
  2. Less Networking Opportunities: Unless your trade school sets you up with companies who are looking for new tradespeople, you’ll have limited networking opportunities.
  3. Potentially Outdated Curriculum: Some trade schools may not update their curriculum regularly, leaving students to learn outdated techniques. Always do your research.
  4. Varying Accreditation Standards: Ensure that your chosen school has proper accreditation, as standards can vary widely. This could limit your ability to find work. For individuals aiming for a career in logistics or transportation, obtaining a CDL license can significantly boost employability prospects. Trade schools offer dedicated Class A CDL Training programs that equip you with essential hands-on skills, preparing you efficiently for professional driving careers.
  5. Employer Perception: Some employers may favor applicants who learned via apprenticing as it’s proof that you have on-the-job experience and references.

After weighing the pros and cons, you should have a better idea if trade school is right for you.

In Conclusion

As we’ve seen, trade school is an excellent alternative to traditional university education, offering practical skills and a faster route into the workforce. Don’t allow societal pressures to dictate what’s ideal for you. Your career path should be a perfect fit for your strengths.