Trade school has often been considered the gateway to a promising career. With technical trade school, the education you receive is specifically geared toward a specific career path, unlike a liberal arts education that involves a broader academic focus. Trade school is a great option for people looking to fine tune their skills or want to transition to a new career entirely. If you are considering attending a technical trade school, be sure that you are prepared to make it a cost effective experience.
The cost of tuition depends on a few different factors: course load, and the location of the school. Different states have different costs per credit hour. Often discounts are available when students enroll in 12 or more credit hours., so step one to achieving a cost effective trade school experience is to find a way to commit to a minimum of 12 credit hours per session. This way you are on a faster track to your education goals, and you won’t pay as much to get there.
Financial aid is available for trade school students. There is a misconception that this is not the case, but it most certainly is available. Be sure to explore all the different types of aid available to you and apply for as much as you are eligible for. Scholarships and grants are a great option because they are essentially free money-money that you won’t have to pay back. There are varying types of free aid like this- sometimes employers will even offer loan repayment or tuition stipends. So be sure to check in with your employer as well.
On occasion, trade schools online are slightly cheaper than attending regular classes, but this is not always the case. The best practice would be to explore all of your options online and otherwise, select a program, enroll in the minimum number of credits for the discount per credit hour, and seek as much financial aid as is available. In the end, getting a vocational degree can be cost effective and absolutely life enhancing.
Making a difference for a living is not a luxury that every person has, yet it is possible. You can use your love of animals to help them and your community by becoming a veterinary technician with a trade school education. Going with a trade school will accelerate your studies and get you working with four-legged friends in no time.
What does a vet tech do?
Think of a vet tech as a medical assistant. While you will not be a qualified animal doctor, you will serve as the right hand to one, aiding in surgeries and performing tests for diagnoses. You will also work with client records and maintaining the schedule of appointments. Vet techs have the advantage of working hands-on with animals and using their impressive organizational skills, which they will develop in trade school, to maintain a vet office.
Choosing a vet tech school
When browsing vet tech trade schools online, it is best to look for schools with full accreditation from The American Veterinarian Medical Association. Be sure that this is a “full” accreditation as there are degrees of accreditation from vet tech schools. In vet tech school, you can pursue a two-year associate’s or a three to four-year bachelor’s. While an associate’s degree will provide you with enough knowledge to be a competent vet tech, those with bachelor’s degrees will bring in a higher salary. Courses you will take in vet tech school include office management, vet support and patient care.
After completing your vet tech trade school program, you may still need to become certified with The State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners for your state before looking for jobs. Before taking this exam, you will most likely need to pass The Veterinary Technician National Examination.
One of the main appeals of attending a trade school is the amount of time it will take to complete your training and earn your certificate. However, it is important to know that every trade school programs is different and will require varying time commitments from students. Before you embark upon your career training, get the full scope of your program and find out what exactly is required from you, both in longevity and on a daily basis.
In general, trade school programs and trade school online take about as long to complete as an associate’s degree program, which is two years. However, other programs such as medical billing for dental assisting for instance, can take maybe less than a year. The length of your program depends on how much technical knowledge your chosen career path requires. Programs such as computer sciences, electrician training or Web design require in-depth knowledge on a plethora of skills. These programs will take the full two years to complete.
You may be wondering if there is any way to accelerate your program in order to complete your training earlier. Technically, a trade school program is already an accelerating learning process that weeds out the general education units required by four-year universities. Further accelerating your trade school program may not be possible, or if it is, it may not be recommended. Your program is designed to give you thorough, hands-on training and rushing through your classes may be to your detriment.
There are different advantages and disadvantages to attending a four year college or a technical trade school. Really it is a matter of what your goals are academically and professionally and how either option fits into that equation. If you want to become a doctor, technical trade school is not going to get you there. Four year college offer more formal degrees, but has more intense scheduling restrictions. If you are trying to decide which one is the best option for you, consider asking yourself the following questions:
- What are your goals? This includes career, academic, and subject matter oriented. What do you want to know and what would you like to do with your time?
- What are your strengths and weaknesses? Are you self motivated for online trade schools, or do you need a structured class schedule when working towards a degree or certificate?
- How will school fit into your lifestyle? Will you need to keep working and therefore need a non-traditional work schedule?
- What do you need to achieve your goals? What degree or certificate program will get you there?
You can check out the US Department of Education to help get a better idea on many of these topics. Knowing what you want out of school in addition to doing research for what it takes to get it will guide your decision of a four year college vs. a technical trade school.
Other things to consider include tuition costs and time commitments. Just be sure to know all the facts before you make a decision either way.
Just as there are many types of trade schools, there are many different types of certificates you can earn in order to further your career. Trade school is a great option for those who are resolute in studying and working in a specific field and would like to opt for a shorter college career in order to enter the work force as soon as possible.
Basically, almost any job in the country that does not require a four-year bachelor’s degree is a job you can train for in trade school. These general fields include:
- Art and Design
- Computer Technology
- Liberal Arts
- Criminal Justice
- Culinary Arts
- Massage or Holistic Therapy
- Medical or Dental Assisting
Within each of these areas of study are numerous positions for which you can qualify after completing trade school.
Other benefits of choosing trade school include saving money and time. Trade school will cost you significantly less than attending a four-year college. Plus, you can finish your studies and earn your degree in half the time. Trade school can also be a bit more flexible on your time since there are many trade schools online from which to choose. If you are working or have a family, this could be the best option for you in furthering or changing your career. Learn more about great trade schools in your area.
A technical trade school’s goal is to provide their graduates with marketable, professional skills that are immediately relevant after graduation. Graduates are able to enter the work force and receive a high rate of pay as soon as they receive their degree or certificate. Trade school programs are highly specialized for specific career paths and there are multiple types of vocational courses available to choose from. Some of these programs are more common than others. The following list is the most popular degree trends from technical trade school.
Popular trade school programs:
- Auto mechanic
- Criminal justice
- Forensic science
- Massage therapy
- Medical assistant
- Physical therapy
- Social work
- Surgical technician
- Ultrasound technician
- Veterinary technician
- Web design
These programs have the widest variety of schools and vocational courses to choose from on the road to finding your career. This is due to their greater popularity. Technical trade school provides graduates with a rewarding career in a variety of fields, so if you are looking for a sure thing in your job search, one of these degree programs could be just what you’re looking for.
Now that you’ve decided that an online trade school is the best option for your continued education, you may be wondering how to choose the best school. The amount of information you will receive about online trade schools can be overwhelming. However, knowing the most important questions to ask will help make the process quicker and easier. Here are the top five most important things you will need to know about your online trade school.
- Accreditation - If a trade school is not regionally or nationally accredited, there is basically no guarantee as to its financial stability, curriculum, student services, faculty and governance. Accreditation will also ensure that your units can be transferred to other accredited universities and that there is substantial opportunity for financial aid.
- Degree programs – It is obviously important that the trade school of your choice offers the degree and major of your choice. Look into their comprehensive list of academic programs and concentrations and the degree levels offered for each. If the school does offer the concentration and degree you are looking for, look into the online classes offered for this program. Compare these classes against areas of expertise required by the job field in which you are interested.
- Student support – Many online trade schools offer services to eliminate the feelings of isolation that can come with taking online classes. Look into student support services offered by the school and see if they would be helpful to you. Also, find out how accessible your professors, counselors and other students will be through your online program.
- Dependability and requirements - One of the downsides of depending on computer and online technology for your trade school studies is that the technology is subject to certain failure. Make sure your online school uses a dependable online platform with 24-hour technical support. Be sure you have the required equipment needed for your courses as well. It’s also important to know the limits of your access to this online platform, if any.
- Tuition and financial aid – Lastly, you should get a clear idea of cost for your trade school tuition, both per semester and total. Then, see what kind of financial aid services the school provides and fill out all the appropriate forms to see if you qualify for any aid.
Technical trade school prepares you for the real world by providing you with the skills to fill greatly needed positions. These days there are extensive options of fields to specialize in, many have even more possibilities for further specialization- the possibilities seem to be unlimited. Here are the most popular areas of study/career options offered in trade school:
- family and consumer sciences
- health careers
- fine arts and design
- writing courses
- personal grooming
These are just a few, and many of these industries have exciting sub categories. Fore example, the health care industry includes nursing programs and medical assistant programs. Personal grooming can focus on hair, nails or skin.
The most promising technical trade school careers as of 2006 were: veterinary technologists and technicians; makeup artists, theatrical and performance; skin care specialists; physical therapist assistants; dental hygienists; environmental science and protection technicians; manicurists and pedicurists; fitness trainers and aerobics instructors; preschool teachers, except special education; cardiovascular technologists and technicians.
Trade school careers allow you to strike out on your own; many trade school graduates go on to start their own consultancies, shops, and businesses. With a technical degree you can explore a multitude of career options that are challenging, exciting, and constantly evolving.
Choosing a technical trade school can feel overwhelming with all the information you have to take in and the important choices you have to make. However, knowing the most important questions you should ask can take some of the anxiety out of the process. If you didn’t intend on visiting trade school campuses, you definitely should. In this case, there is information you should look into about the campus before visiting as well as questions you should bring with you during your visit. Here is a list of questions to help you choose the right school for you.
Questions to ask before visiting trade school campuses
- Is the school accredited?
- Does the school have proper licensing from the state?
- What are the admission requirements?
- Can my units be transferred to this school?
- Does this technical trade school have a high crime rate? (This is especially important if you plan on taking night classes.)
- What are the tuition fees?
You will also want to check with the Better Business Bureau, the Department of Education and the Consumer Affairs Department to see if there are any complaints filed against the technical trade school you are looking into.
Questions to ask while visiting
Here are some questions you can ask of the counseling staff, professors and students during your visit to a technical trade school.
- What are the qualifications of the instructors? Do they seem knowledgeable?
- Do the students seem to enjoy their classes? Which ones do they recommend?
- What is the graduation rate of the school?
- What problems, if any, do any of the students have with this technical trade school?
- Does the school have a job placement program?
- What is the hiring rate for graduates of the school?
Remember, there is no such thing as a stupid question when looking into potential schools. It’s your future and choosing a technical trade school to get you there should not be taken lightly.
A fair amount of the student body at technical trade schools consists of individuals seeking a career change or a higher education. For this reason there are frequently students that have families in addition to their school life. Balancing family life with school life can be difficult to manage; being in school requires dedicated hours of studying and class time, but being a member of a family also requires time and energy. Merging the two can be done successfully as long as you are diligent about keeping to a schedule that works.
Many students with families will opt to take online classes so as to have more control over when they study, but even online classes require concentrated study times. The bonus about being in trade school versus more formal types of education is the overall time commitment is usually less. This does not mean, however, that it will be any easier when you are in it.
In most any life circumstance, balance is the key. There are some great tricks for ensuring that you strike a healthy balance between trade school studies, and family life. Here is a list of some that can help you through this busy time:
- Have a clear and detailed schedule that is well communicated to other members of the family. This means that you have time set aside specifically for studying and attending classes, and that other members in the household know when these times are so that they know not to bother you.
- Be OK with flexibility. Sometimes, no matter how much we try to organize our time, the unexpected will happen. A few ways to help get past these little life hicups: try to study ahead in your trade school material whenever possible; have backup childcare available in case of an emergency; be willing to accept that all your work may not get finished, in the end, family must come first.
- If your children are in school too, sometimes you can all study together. This way you spend time with them while accomplishing your tasks, and setting a good example.
- In order to make your family time a little extra special, set aside time for special activities and make it a rule that school work can not interfere with these times. Things like meal time, game night, movie night, ice cream sundae night, and going to the theatre are great ways to bring the family together for fun while stilling staying on top of your vocational courses. Aside from the time with family, these activities can be great motivators for pushing through difficult study sessions.
It is entirely possible to have a healthy balance between technical trade school obligations and family. If you are committed to making it work and are willing to work through the bumps as the come, you should be able experience great happiness and success doubling as a trade school student and a full-time family member.