10 Things to Know About Getting a Trade School Degree



Trade school is also known as vocational or technical school. These schools specialize in training learners with education and practical skills for a particular occupation. Once the student graduates, they’re ready to work in that specific trade.

The National Center for Education Statistics explains the vital part played by trade schools. These institutions help plug in the demand for industry skills that don’t need long-term tertiary training or learning. They enable students to specialize in the career they’re passionate about and delve into the job immediately after college.

Trade school gives training for more hands-on careers, such as plumbing, welding, and carpentry, among others. It would help if you had a high school diploma to join these vocational schools, according to sparrowfi.com. Before choosing the vocation you’d want to train in, here are ten things you must know about getting a trade school degree.

1. Electrical Trade Studies

As an aspiring electric technician, you can choose from two undergraduate certificate programs. The first is the apprenticeship program, where the student is paid while training under the supervision of an experienced journeyman. The training takes four to five years while also taking supplemental courses in a school supervising the apprenticeship.

The second program is the certificate studies in electrical technology. According to Best Accredited Colleges, the student will take three semesters studying conceptual and technical coursework. The student will then sit the state licensure exam; a pass is required before being released to practice their occupation.

Before getting a trade school degree, the student must present a capstone project as part of graduation requirements. Through the project, the student demonstrates what they’ve learned, such as solving an electrical repair problem. After passing, you can go ahead to become a commercial electrical contractor.

2. Student Housing

A student is expected to stay in the college housing during their study period. You’ll pay for student housing during college studies and buy food, books, travel, and other necessities. As a student, every dollar matters, and any savings will help.

You may live on a college campus, where you’ll book a student apartment before the start of your studies. You’ll pay in advance to use the apartment every semester.

According to WoodSpring, there are alternative accommodations for students. They don’t need to pay expensive on-campus housing for the years of study as they gear towards getting a trade school degree. One such option is to pay for accommodation in the extended stay hotels.

These hotels offer students affordable rent options. They don’t ask the student to sign a lease or pay a rent deposit. They offer the most privacy since no sharing of rooms is allowed in this accommodation model.

The extended stay model offers students a long stay rate, cheaper than paying per night to use their suites. You can also pay a weekly rate. The rooms are typically fitted with an in-room kitchen. The hotel management provides cooking appliances, so students won’t have to bring their own.

These hotel suites also have free parking for your stay, a guest laundry room, and staff support. Some of them can allow you to bring your pet. Doing your studies in the room is easy as there’s Wi-Fi access provided to all rooms.

These student-focused hotel businesses are located near the college. You can choose from hotel options, including a smoke-free property and closeness to nearby shops and amenities. These hotels cater to students who want to spend less, such as paying a deposit to access accommodation.

3. Competency Courses

If you’re not planning on getting a trade school degree and instead want to opt for a shorter route to your certificate, think of registering for competency courses. They’re offered in as little as six to 13 months in residential, day, or evening program modes. An electrical course is one.

A student gets training on designing, installing, and maintaining electrical equipment. They also receive training in repairing and replacing faulty electrical parts for commercial and residential systems. Since the student is getting ready to enter the work sector immediately, they must know all the requirements and guidelines set by the National Electrical Code. The learner will be instructed on identifying electrical tools and their proper use and routine care.

Though the course runs for a few months, Gateway Community College notes that the learner will get the basic theory of the course. Basics covering electrical control systems and single-phase and multi-phase electrical motors will be part of the lessons. The student must know about power supplies and power distribution for commercial establishments, too.

The program aims to reinforce common construction skills like using tools, adherence to safety and codes, and interpreting construction drawings. On completion of the program, the student will receive a Certificate of Completion (CCL) and an Associate in Applied Science in Construction Trades. They can then work as electrical technicians on residential and commercial job sites.

4. Monitoring and Evaluation Jobs

As a supervisor or manager in a process monitoring company, your career has prospects for growth. Process monitoring, improvement, and control have been the core of quality management for years, and new ideas continue to develop. Make plans to enroll in a short course study in an area of interest and work towards getting a trade school degree.

Jobs in the monitoring space are varied. The idea of business process monitoring covers a broad scope. You need to use a structured approach to succeed in business process monitoring.

You can learn functional monitoring, an effective method to detect problems and blockages in a process or system. You may also get training in technical monitoring. Technical business monitoring helps businesses check their return on investment.

5. Roofer Course

Several colleges offer the commercial roofing pre-apprenticeship program. The course runs for only two weeks and trains roofers for entry-level commercial roofing jobs. Once completed, you’re certified by the National Roofing Contractors Association.

With this certificate, you can start looking for work at roof metal decking companies immediately after college. This way, you won’t have to study for many years. You can start making money while getting a trade school degree.

Some roofing programs have specific restrictions. For example, some roofer and waterproofer courses require the student to be in an earlier apprenticeship program. This roofing study is designed to train students to take up jobs as journeyman roofers and waterproofers.

6. Crane Operator Training

If you’ve been looking to start a business offering a crane rental service, having a certification will help you. Take a 14-week crane operators class to get the skills and knowledge for the rigging and hoisting essential in the construction industry. You’ll learn how to operate the crane to construct everything from highways to commercial and residential constructions.

Crane operator vocational courses are structured with course materials approved by the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators. New Brunswick Community College adds that all courses are administered during in-person sessions. The training and examination must include practical sessions such as crane operation before getting a trade school degree.

7. Certified Nursing Assistant Course

You can begin your certified nursing assistant (CNA) occupation within four to 12 weeks. As a CNA, you’ll assist nurses in hospitals, clinics, and nursing homes. Your work will include providing hands-on care such as bathing, feeding, and dressing patients.

After 12 weeks of learning, you will sit a certification exam to be licensed to work. You can look for a job in a trt clinic where you’ll take the patient’s vital signs, such as temperature, pulse, and blood pressure. Northwestern Health Sciences University also adds that although your job differs from a nurse’s, you’ll do more lifting and moving of heavy patients.

8. Veterinary Assistant Courses

According to learn.org, the veterinary assistant course trains you to treat and care for animals. The course is hands-on, so you must attend in-person classes, which include laboratory sessions. Getting a trade school degree for this occupational course either means a Certificate in Veterinary Assistant or a Certificate of Achievement in Veterinary Assisting.

The duration of the certificate programs is approximately nine months, about two semesters. You can also take an on-the-job training route in this career field. Your occupation will involve working with veterinarians in vet clinics and animal farms.

9. Building Inspection Course

The fast-growing construction industry constantly seeks skilled workers in various sectors. If you’ve been desiring an occupation in the building and construction industry, there are basic courses to equip you for the field. Building inspection courses prepare people to work as contractors, architects, and developers and can work in government agencies.

By taking the course, students understand all construction requirements needed for a building plan review and processes such as foundation inspection. They’re educated on the foundations of the International Building Code and its proper use in the industry before getting a trade school degree. Student building inspectors will be taught how to identify code violations in masonry construction, steel structural systems, and concrete construction at different stages of construction. Processes such as curing, placement, and reinforcement should be at their fingertips as they expect to deal with these situations when they start working.

The student must complete a practical on-site internship where they’re expected to apply what they learned in class. Consumnes College observes that internship allows students to develop marketable skills, which they will use in their jobs later. It’s during the internship that a student develops their workplace skills and competencies.

The student will sit examinations they must pass before getting a license. Some colleges also teach the learners how to prepare for job hunting. They are empowered with resume-making skills, interview preparation tips, and the power of networking in the job search. They are also encouraged to keep on learning so that they rise in career success.

10. HVAC Technician Training

Thinking of a career as an HVAC technician? Courses are plentiful in local community colleges. According to ITI College, a student studying HVAC courses will be taught the fundamentals of refrigerants, heat transfer, electricity, safe work practices, and requisite regulations. They will be trained to troubleshoot the refrigeration and air conditioning systems, AC repairs, and AC loading calculations.

The HVAC technician course runs for only nine months but is heavily practical and intensive. Students are trained in diagnostic techniques, mechanics, and electricity using HVAC systems’ testing equipment and electronics. Some jobs waiting for you include AC installer, HVAC technician, and HVAC service technician.

To be licensed to practice, one must sit HVAC certification exams. An industrial internship offered during the program is a must for all students. That’s how they get industry-relevant competencies. Getting a trade school degree helps jobseekers win employers’ trust, and they can be employed in retail stores, organizations, and government agencies. A licensed technician can also start their own business.

Not all occupations must take you through a college education. There are apprenticeships where you can train to understand the skillset you want. It includes practicing the skills under the supervision of an experienced hand in the real workplace. An apprentice is advantaged in training in the latest technologies in the real industry.

What You Should Know About Trade School

Generally, getting a trade school degree is less expensive than a four-year college. The study duration in trade schools is between eight months and two years, so you’ll pay for a shorter period than if you went to a four-year institution. You’re likely to get a job immediately after completing your studies.

If you’re joining a trade school after reading this, prepare for an intensive, fast-paced time in college. You’ll say goodbye to your free time because you must attend all classes, complete assignments, do your internship, sit for, and pass exams. How you spend time in college will impact your final grade.

Those working while studying do not need to job hunt after studies. Trade school, however, will not offer you student aid, so prepare your finances beforehand, according to Goodwin University. Don’t quit your job because you need the money to pay your tuition! If your employer supported you with money, it will ease the financial pressure. Some companies even offer employer-paid tuition reimbursements. There you have it, now make your next move wisely.

You don’t have to stay in school for four years or more for a successful career. Trade schools have produced millionaires and billionaires. Find a trade you’re passionate about, and you’ll indeed find a course that will equip you with the right skills for the industry.

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