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What Is Trade School?

Posted on July 29, 2021
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At some point in your life you’ve heard the term “trade school” passed around in conversation or in an advertisement. But, do you know what a trade school is? Or, what makes a trade school different from any other school?

Well, you’ve come to the right place for answers. This post will describe in detail what a trade school is, what sets them apart, and why you should attend one.


What Is A Trade School?

Depending on your region and who you talk to, trade schools are also referred to as vocational schools, technical colleges, or career schools. Regardless of what you call it, however, they all serve the same purpose. Trade schools are secondary or post-secondary education institutions that specialize in training people to work in various skilled trade industries.

What Makes Trade Schools Different From Other Schools?

While many schools teach trade skills, trade schools specialize in preparing students for working in a specific trade. For example, a community college may teach a welding course, but you’ll also have to take courses like English or Math that aren’t directly related to your chosen career. Trade schools, however, focus completely on what you’ll see and do during the work day. If you’re in an truck driving program, you’ll spend your time getting hands-on driver training from industry pros, and nothing else.

Trade school students graduate with either a diploma or career certificate. Also, students have the opportunity to earn nationally recognized certifications during their programs. Certification shows employers that you have the skills that you advertise. And, certification can be used as a bargaining chip during salary negotiations and reviews.

To summarize…

Trade schools prepare you for in-demand careers, you’ll only learn what you need to do your job, and you’ll have the documentation to prove you’re a pro. You’ll have everything you need to start a career in the skilled trade industries.


What Are The Skilled Trade Industries?

Skilled trade work is scrutinized and made to be low-paying blue collar jobs that no one wants. But, in reality skilled trade workers are some of the best paid and most sought workers across the country. Chances are that you don’t realize how many skilled trade industries exist and how important they are for our economy.

Skilled trade industries are categorized into five groups:

  • Construction – Jobs include electricians, carpenters, and HVAC/R technicians.
  • Service – Jobs include healthcare professionals, cooks, and hair stylists.
  • Transportation – Jobs include train operators, aircraft mechanics, and CDL-A truck drivers
  • Industrial – Jobs include welders, machinists, and tool makers.
  • Agriculture – Jobs include farmers, greenhouse operators, and forestry workers.

At Northeast Technical Institute, our curriculum includes:

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