Top Trade School Programs and their Benefits


Approximately 69.7% of high school graduates in 2016 got college acceptance letters that same year. As graduates reflect on their prospects, they often find it challenging to finance their tertiary education.

Technical schools are an alternative for students who want to get into the job market faster and at a lower cost. They offer certifications and programs which are up to three times lower than the expense of a college degree.

In this article, we’ll look at some of the best trade school degrees and why more and more graduates are choosing this option.

Benefits of Trade School Degrees

One of the advantages of a trade school is that it facilitates job placement right from the time of graduation. Reputable institutions will channel their resources to help students along the path to their career. Some vocational schools have counselors to assist graduates as they navigate the job market.

, Unlike four-year courses, the best trade school degrees will always have on-the-job training for students. The objective is to integrate hands-on training so that they can intuitively understand the requirements of potential employers. Furthermore, real-life experience is necessary for the responsibilities of professions, such as metal fabrication.

The industry-specific training you receive from a technical institution can boost your academic performance. The hands-on experience makes it easier to understand theoretical concepts. It is beneficial for both your training and your future career prospects.

After college, some graduates may choose to take a technical course to specialize and carve a career path. By taking the best trade school degrees, they can gain a skills trade that’s up to date with current economic demands.

An electrical engineer may want to become an elevator maintenance specialist. A trade school will act as a bridge between your skills and how you apply it to applications in the industry. You can take a continuing education program to update your current certification while still going to work full-time.

Joining a trade school cuts down the amount of time you spend studying. That means you can start your career much earlier than most graduates. Even though people assume that trade school jobs have an income that is lower than college careers, it varies depending on the course.

The length of time it will take to complete your course depends on how far you want to go with the training. Some courses may entail taking a certificate, diploma, and associate degree levels. But generally speaking, most entry-level programs will take about a year.

It also depends on whether you’ll take full-time sessions. Most programs allow you to take part-time classes as you continue with your career or business. As a result, it may create opportunities for contractors to update their skills through a building course.

Convenience is probably the most significant benefit of taking vocational programs. Thanks to digital technology, you can always take classes and get your certification online. But be sure to check the state requirements to avoid losing time on training. Potential employers in your field may also have specific conditions for employment, which you should research.

Some professions also require a lot of hands-on training. When looking for the best trade school degrees, evaluate the institution and its facilities. Taking a course from a reputable institution may cost more than other training programs. But it often proves to be a good investment as you start your journey towards your dream profession.

The Best Trade School Degrees in 2020

There are a variety of specializations to choose from, ranging from plumbing to architectural metalwork. They all have different requirements as well as varying incomes. Since they are flexible and affordable, you can always take a vocational program that complements your career trajectory.

The following are some of the best trade school degrees in 2020.

Aviation Maintenance Technician

An aviation maintenance technician is one of the in-demand courses and amongst the best trade school degrees. The vocational program teaches you how to repair and perform maintenance tasks on aviation equipment.

The curriculum may include airframe systems, which cover the structural frame of the aircraft. The other major part of the course is power plant or engine systems. Some training programs may provide training for both systems, but often it includes either of the two.

You can start training as an aircraft mechanic as soon as you graduate from high school. But many courses require at least 18 months’ experience with either airframe or power plant system. Before you get a certificate, you will have to work under a supervisor who is a qualified aviation engineer.

A licensed aviation maintenance technician can approve airframes and power systems. They can certify helicopter replacement parts and other components of aviation equipment. Amongst the responsibilities is working with computer systems for aviation instrument control.

In 2020, an aviation technician earns, on average, 51,000. The salary is $27,000 on the lower side, and the highest income is approximately $78,000. The demand for employment will grow by 5% through to 2029.

Automobile Service Station Manager

An automobile service station manager is responsible for running a gas station or an automotive repair shop. The job involves managing the efficiency and safety of the gas station and delegating day-to-day tasks.

The profession requires an individual with above-average skills in staff and business management. The manager has to assign tasks to employees, but he must also liaise with customers at the service station. Virtually all aspects of the profession involve interactions with people.

The curriculum includes training on customer relations, electrical, accounting, and automotive repair software applications. Most institutions require an ASE (Automotive Service Excellence) certification before you can train to become a service manager.

An auto service manager is one of the best trade school degrees if you love management and interacting with people. The median salary is about $55,000, and the demand may grow by 10% to 2026.

Elevator Maintenance Technician

The work of an elevator maintenance technician is to install, troubleshoot, and repair elevators and escalators. Most students take the course through a five-year apprenticeship program.

An elevator technician needs to have experience and working knowledge of hydraulic and electrical systems. Graduates should also have soft skills such as attention to detail, manual dexterity, and the ability to work with tools.

During the apprenticeship program, you will work alongside a supervisor until you earn your certification. Due to the rising demand for elevator technicians, some employers require an electrician degree.

Elevator maintenance is one of the best trade school degrees for the job market in 2020 and beyond. The average salary was 79,000 in 2018, with an above-average growth rate. If you love to troubleshoot and tinker with machinery, you can have a fulfilling career path as an elevator technician.

Power Utility Technician

A power utility technician is essentially an electrician whose core responsibility is to service high-power lines. As a line technician, you will check and repair utility installations. You’ll often be outdoors, and you may have to work off-hours.

Employers will sometimes want technicians with an associate degree. However, it is still possible to become a power utility professional through vocational training. An apprenticeship program is often necessary to earn your certification.

The median salary was $69,000 in 2020, and the demand growth projection is 4% to 2028. If you love working outdoors and electrical work, it may be the best trade school degree for you.


The work of a boilermaker is to service large containers that hold liquids and gasses. It may also involve checking for faults and washing tanks containing fluids. As a boilermaker, you’ll often travel to industrial plant sites for repair and installations.

Boilermaker’s profession entails a lot of manual work. You will be hoisting vessels on bulky mechanical lifts. Metal fabrication will make up a significant part of your day-to-day duties, as well as the fitting and assembly of components.

Trade school programs are often in the form of a three-year apprenticeship at a vocational institution. Students learn to design and assemble hoist and winch systems. Some of the aspects of the boilermaker’s job will demand hands-on metal-cutting and welder training.

The average pay for a boilermaker is about $62,000 per year. The job growth prospects are 6% for the next ten years. If you fancy working with metals and welding equipment, have critical thinking skills, it may be the career for you.

Home Inspector

If raising college tuition fees will be a challenge for you, consider becoming a home inspector. It has flexible hours with an attractive and stable income. Licensing requirements may vary, but they are not as demanding as with the other professions. For that reason, it is probably one of the best trade school degrees you can pursue in a relatively short time.

Before you embark on becoming a home inspector, take time to investigate your local regulations. Some states do not require any certification, while other jurisdictions may accept online classes.

The license requirements will depend on your state laws. But you’ll need an associate degree that takes about three years to complete. You may have to pass clinical board tests, depending on your jurisdiction’s regulations.

You will still need to take some courses to be a successful home inspector. Your profession will involve evaluating buildings and home systems. You’ll be working with homeowners as well as other professionals, such as plumbers.

You can be an employee, or you could start an entrepreneurial venture. Keep in mind that not all vocational programs are equal in substance. The course you take ought to be in-sync with the requirements of your state laws and employer.

You can always switch between other related professions if you have the right certification. You can become a furnace maintenance technician if you take some additional training. The median yearly earnings for a home inspector is approximately $59,000. It has a rate of growth of 7% to continue for the next decade.

Dental Hygienist

The dental hygienists work as assistants in a dental office, where they help take care of patients. Their day-to-day responsibilities are to clean the patient’s gums and teeth, check for symptoms, and teach oral hygiene.

Communication and interpersonal skills are crucial since you’ll be working closely with people of all ages. Cleaning and examining the gums for gingivitis requires attention to detail and manual dexterity. You’ll also need to have the ability to stay calm when dealing with anxious patients.

The license requirements will depend on your state laws. But you’ll need an associate degree that takes about three years. You may have to pass clinical board tests, depending on your jurisdiction’s regulations.

As a dental hygienist, you can expect to earn an average yearly income of about $75,000. Generally speaking, it pays more than a dental assistant, which has somewhat different responsibilities. Additionally, the annual growth rate is above average, at 11%, expected to continue to 2028.

Web Design

If you love computers and digital technology, you should consider becoming a web designer. As we progress further into the information age, there will always be new opportunities for income generation.

You’ll need to have some graphic design and coding skills to be competitive in the digital industry. There is virtually no educational requirement you’ll need to become a web designer. You only have to demonstrate that you can create functional web pages and deliver as per the client’s request.

However, if you choose to work for an employer, the company could have specific certification requirements. You can take a course, but make sure that it is relevant to the current market demands. Most programs are easily accessible online.

Web design is flexible in both education requirements and the demands of the job. If you have attention to detail and you love solving problems, you can expect to earn $69,000 as a web designer. It has one of the highest job prospects for the coming decade, estimated at 13%.


There are many factors to consider when you are trying to find the best trade school degrees. Income is a critical aspect when it comes to deciding on your future career. But you should not ignore your passion and personality. However, it would be wise to consider the employability of the course you decide to pursue. All in all, do what you love and love what you do.

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