A trade school provides highly focused training programs specifically tailored to prepare graduates for a career in the highly specialized skilled trades. Mechanical trades involve working in all areas of the industry, including designing, repairing, building, or even maintaining some type of mechanical device. These programs are often designed by a trained technician who specializes in these types of trades, with additional training and classroom experience.
Some of the specialized programs offered in many trade schools include automotive, boiler, electrical, HVAC, plumbing, and heating and air conditioning. In general, these programs cover more than a broad spectrum of knowledge, but often focus on specific areas of the trade, as well as specific equipment.
Other vocational schools that offer trade courses can focus on the manufacturing and assembly of machinery. There are even some schools that offer specialized courses in the electronics and computer industries. The programs offered by these schools will provide practical training in areas such as data entry, computer programming, and electronics.
The types of courses covered in trade schools vary, depending on the program. At some schools, students are trained in areas such as mathematics, science, English, and foreign languages. Others emphasize courses in business management, computer networking, computer programming, and accounting. While there is a variety of courses to choose from at each school, the programs generally include an assortment of hands-on and classroom experience.
Schools can be grouped into a number of categories, including vocational, private, public, or online. At most schools, students must attend for only one year to earn a degree. This program is usually the first step in a person's career, and many schools require graduates to have at least a two-year college degree or a similar credential before they can begin employment.
Private vocational schools are less expensive than public schools, and may offer some assistance in financial aid for the cost of tuition, books, and housing. Private schools also allow students to take classes part time during the week and to complete courses as needed.
Public vocational schools tend to be smaller, and are run by non-profit organizations. They may require all students to be residents of the area and follow local rules on dress codes and attendance. Many times, the only way to enroll in such a school is through a local college. The main goal of these schools is to equip their students with knowledge of the trade field, and the necessary training needed to get hired.
Online schools are now becoming increasingly popular for a variety of reasons. Not only do they cost less per month than traditional schools, but some offer accelerated programs, allowing students to complete them in as little as four months. The flexibility and convenience of the course schedule also makes them popular among those who are pressed for time.
Even students with a high school diploma can find an education that fits their needs. Some schools may offer classes for adults who have just graduated from high school, or for people with work experience and a GED (General Education Diploma).
All vocational schools offer technical and vocational courses, but not every school offers the same quality. Many vocational schools offer classes in areas such as culinary arts, industrial maintenance, plumbing, electrical engineering, computer programming, and electronics, which are highly specialized fields that are highly sought after by employers.
Vocational schools can be very affordable. Many of these schools accept federal loans, so they are very low-cost to attend. Some of them also offer financial aid for students who need to pay for books, housing and food, but do not have any money to pay for tuition.
Trade school programs offer an opportunity for those looking to enhance their skills to get a job that has a high job placement rate and pays well. With these programs, students can build a practical working knowledge of the specific trade before they begin their careers.