Trade Schools That Pay You to Attend
If you don’t know it yet, there are trade schools that pay you. However, the most well-known program that pays those who attend trade schools is Job Corps.
Honestly speaking, it’s difficult to find trade schools that pay you directly by just attending; however, per my research, most go through Job Corps (more on this later).
Now you might be wondering, why trade schools? Well, they’re a less costly, time-efficient educational option compared to your regular college degree.
Instead of spending four years before earning a penny, trade schools typically dish out programs that last between 8 months to 2 years.
Furthermore, trade schools concentrate on high-in-demand, hyper-specialized skills.
They trim the fat and leave you with just the meat: everything you need for that dream job.
Electrician? Plumber? Welder? You got it!
You see, there are lucrative vocational opportunities everywhere waiting for open arms to embrace.
So, forget the “everyone should do a degree” mantra.
While having a degree is an edge, those who have undergone vocational training have much more opportunities, especially with the highest paying trade jobs nowadays.
That said, I’ll help you go through the basics of trade schools, including those that pay you while attending on the job training.
Benefits of Attending a Trade School
One massive upside of going to a vocational or trade school for trade school careers is quicker job market entry.
These programs are tailored to help you slip right into that ideal job.
They give you practical, sought-after skills that employers are ready to snatch up.
And guess what else? Some trade schools will actually pay you to learn!
Think about apprenticeship programs where you earn as you study.
Now, that’s a double blessing: acquiring valuable skills while your pockets get heavier.
The Growing Demand for Skilled Trades
There’s a surging tide for skilled trades or trade school careers.
As our dear baby boomers retire, a multitude of skilled trade school jobs are up for grabs.
The need for these skills is not just rising; it’s persisting.
There are even some highest paying trade jobs that are enticing enough for an individual to go to a trade school.
You see, regardless of how far technology advances, the world will forever need electricians, plumbers, and welders.
These hands-on trade school jobs aren’t going anywhere, and they can’t be outsourced either.
With this rise in demand, salaries are on the upswing, too.
Don’t be tricked into believing that skilled trades offer petty pay.
Many tradesfolks earn great figures, easily rivaling the earnings of traditional university graduates.
Moreover, these trades offer a level of job security that’s unbeatable.
Types of Trade Schools
To jumpstart your endeavors into learning and mastering one of many trade school careers, it’s important that you know the types of trade schools first.
Let’s dive into the types of trade schools waiting to give you a head start in the highest paying trade jobs in the workforce.
First up is vocational training. This is essentially a straight pipe into the job market, bypassing traditional undergraduate schooling.
Vocational training equips students with practical, technical skills for specific careers such as welding, plumbing, or electrical work.
Many even provide a high school diploma.
Bidding adieu to general compulsory courses, these training programs focus only on the skills you need for your desired career path.
Better still, most programs take less than two years to complete.
It’s all about maximizing your time, minimizing your cost, and getting you fitted with the skills you need for job market success.
Next, we have technical colleges. These are for the tech-savvy folks in the trade school careers of engineering, computers, or design.
You may have a community college near you that offer programs for a trade job.
The thing is, instead of laboring through four years of university, technical colleges get you ready for the digital world half of the time.
The programs typically offer associate degrees or certificates in specialized sectors such as computer programming, graphic design, or electronics maintenance.
While it may be a bit more formal than vocational training, you’ll also be entitled to slightly higher wages once you finish your education.
Last but not least, we have apprenticeship programs. These serve as the perfect blend of formal education and hands-on training.
Think of it as earning while learning.
You’re not just stuck in a classroom all day, but you’re out there in the world, getting your hands dirty and mastering your trade.
These programs usually run for 1-4 years, during which apprentices work alongside professionals in their chosen occupation, all while receiving a paycheck.
Once completed, the apprentice often has a job waiting and can start earning a professional wage immediately.
So, get set to clock in those hours, amp up your skills, and let your bank account grow.
Trade School Costs and Financial Aid
If the price tag of trade schools for skilled trades has you breaking into a sweat, don’t worry, I’m here to tell you interesting things.
I’ve unpacked some trade school careers’ costs, financial support available, and the possibility of earning while you learn.
Let’s dive deeper.
Understanding Cost of Attendance
Before anything else, let’s decrypt the cost structure of starting your trade school career.
While the price of trade schools is considerably lower than universities, rates can vary based on your chosen trade and program duration.
Generally, most trade school programs geared toward popular skilled trades cost somewhere between $3,000 and $15,000, but it’s paramount to look up precise rates for your preferred trade school and program.
Don’t forget to consider other charges, such as enrollment fees, study materials, tools, and uniforms.
However, such expenses are often insignificant compared to the advantage of entering the workforce immediately after finishing your course and getting a big income.
Available Financial Aid
Fortunately, there’s a wide array of financial aid that could lighten the load of costs of your trade school career, especially if you’re looking for well-known programs for skilled trades.
The thing is, many highest paid trade jobs don’t just come with easy costs.
However, students can avail themselves of student loans, grants, scholarships, and work-study programs:
- Student loans. These can be federal or private. They necessitate repayment with added interest but significantly mitigate upfront costs.
- Grants. These are superior resources as they aren’t repayable. These are awarded based on financial needs.
- Scholarships. These are non-repayable forms of financial aid, generally awarded based on merit.
- Work-study programs. These schemes offer part-time job opportunities to students, allowing them to earn money to supplement their studies.
The secret to learning one of the highest paid trade jobs lies in exploring different sources of financial aid, meeting the eligibility criteria, and sticking to application deadlines.
Apprenticeships that Offer Compensation
The icing on the cake? There are apprenticeships that offer payment as you gain skills.
Some trade schools partner with businesses to provide these arrangements.
The school takes care of the academic part, and the business provides practical on the job training with a paycheck.
Apprenticeship programs generally extend between one to four years and offer paid on the job training under expert supervision.
What’s the bonus?
Many apprentices secure full-time positions at their training companies upon completion, immediately earning a professional salary and fast-tracking their career growth.
Trade Schools That Pay You in Attending
If you’re aiming for a trifecta (affordable education, specialized skills, and earning while you learn), trade schools are eager to welcome you with their apprenticeship programs.
However, the ones mentioned below are mostly associations or institutions, and some don’t directly pay people who attend or join them.
If you want to get paid while attending a trade school, you must go through Job Corps.
Of course, as implied, there are still some that can pay their members or apprentices.
Job Corps is a no-cost education and vocational on the job training program administered by the U.S. Department of Labor.
Its aim is to help young people aged 16-24 strut confidently into the trade school job market with practical skills, education, and hands-on experience.
Job Corps is a nationwide program consisting of 121 centers spread across the U.S.
Overview of Job Corps Training
Job Corps offers a broad range of vocational on the job training programs for trade school jobs, such as:
- Automotive and machine repair
- Finance and business
- Information technology
- Renewable resources and energy
- Retail sales and services
Every center has many trade school programs that provide students with the opportunity to obtain a high school diploma or the equivalent to get into some of the highest paying trade school jobs.
For those who have already achieved this, some centers also offer college programs.
Specific on the job training programs and career pathways can vary by center, so it’s important to explore and select a center that offers your desired courses.
Benefits of Job Corps
Job Corps’ primary benefit is it enables eligible candidates to attain valuable skills to get one of the highest paying trade school jobs without burdening their finances.
Its all-inclusive package covers tuition, training, accommodation, meals, and basic medical care at no cost.
Here are some of the standout benefits of Job Corps:
- Earn while you learn. Students can earn a modest living allowance during their time learning trade school jobs at Job Corps. The allowance may escalate as students advance in their training.
- Collaborative learning environment. Studying at Job Corps is like learning with family. With students living and studying together on campus, support, and camaraderie are just a given.
- Placement support. Job Corps graduates receive transition support for up to 12 months after leaving the program. Assistance includes job-search support, career counseling, and potentially residential aid for eligible candidates.
United Brotherhood of Carpenters (UBC)
Founded in 1881, the United Brotherhood of Carpenters (UBC) is one of North America’s largest building trades unions, with over half a million members strong.
If you’re contemplating a career in the building and construction industry, UBC offers an invaluable mix of paid work experience, in-depth training, and numerous benefits.
It leads the way in training professional carpenters across a variety of specializations such as general carpentry, millwright, piledriver, floor layer, millwork, and interior systems.
Overview of UBC Training
With a robust commitment to developing a skilled workforce for trade school jobs, UBC prides itself on providing innovative training and apprenticeship programs that prepare its members to get one of the highest-paying trade school jobs.
You see, the focus of many trade school programs is on equipping tradesfolks with the skills, knowledge, and credibility that will offer them advantages on any job site, and UBC is up for that.
The training centers scattered across North America offer a variety of programs for trade school jobs, including:
- General Carpentry
- Interior systems
- Floor covering
- Pile Driving
Benefits of UBC
With UBC, the benefits of their trade school programs are many.
This dynamic union aims to improve the quality of life of its members, foster their skills, and enhance their career opportunities through its trade school programs.
Here’s a summary of their key benefits:
- Earning while learning. Apprentices at UBC earn competitive wages from day one, and their pay increases as they gain more skills. Apprentices earn while they learn by working on job sites and attending classes without paying tuition fees.
- Unparalleled training. The UBC’s extensive training system ensures that its members remain competitive in the rapidly evolving construction industry. It houses a network of 200+ training centers throughout North America, offering an array of training topics.
- Health and pension benefits. UBC members get health benefits and are part of a pension plan to ensure they’re taken care of during retirement.
- Safety and productivity. UBC’s training curriculum incorporates up-to-date safety regulations and standards to ensure the well-being of its members.
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW)
The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) is a labor union that represents approximately 775,000 members in various fields, including utility, construction, telecommunications, broadcasting, manufacturing, railroads, and government.
Established in 1891, IBEW’s primary aim is to foster skilled electrical workers’ welfare, ultimately improving living standards and ensuring job security for its members.
As a dominant force in the electrical trade, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers provides opportunities to gain valuable training through their trade school programs, secure employment, and enhance career prospects.
If you’re pursuing a career as an electrical worker, aligning with IBEW could be the crucial stepping stone toward achieving your professional goals.
Overview of IBEW’s Training
IBEW, in conjunction with the National Electrical Contractors Association, has established the Electrical Training Alliance, which offers premier training programs through apprenticeships.
Aspiring electrical workers can also choose from a multitude of programs, including:
- Inside Wireman
- Outside Lineman
- Residential Wireman
- Voice Data Video Technician
- Solar and Wind Technologies
Their trade school programs involve both on the job training and classroom instruction, equipping students with all the necessary skills and knowledge to excel in their chosen careers.
Benefits of IBEW
IBEW apprenticeship programs boast several key advantages for those looking to enter the electrical trade:
- Earn while you learn. Apprentices in IBEW programs not only receive hands-on experience and education but also receive a wage from the outset. Salaries tend to increase incrementally as apprentices obtain more skills and progress through the program.
- High-quality training. Taught by experienced professionals, IBEW training programs leverage the most current industry standards and safety practices. With access to state-of-the-art training facilities, apprentices can be confident about their preparedness for real-world work situations.
- Job security and opportunities. IBEW’s strong reputation and established relationships with employers often lead to improved job prospects and security. Upon program completion, apprentices may enjoy access to numerous job opportunities and ongoing support from the union.
- Benefits and pension. As IBEW members, apprentices receive health benefits and contribute to pension plans for a secure and comfortable future.
American Welding Society (AWS)
The American Welding Society (AWS), established in 1919, is a distinguished non-profit organization dedicated to science and technology pertaining to welding and other related cutting and joining processes.
With a rapidly growing global community of over 70,000 members strong, AWS places high value on developing industry standards, endorsing welding professionals, and driving growth and innovation in the welding industry.
The American Welding Society also plays a groundbreaking role in the global welding sphere, providing top-tier training, certifications, and a myriad of resources to its well-earned members.
Whether you’re an aspiring welder or an experienced professional looking to finesse your skills further, AWS could be your avenue to professional evolution and recognition within the industry.
Overview of AWS Training
AWS proudly boasts an array of comprehensive welding programs covering various skill levels, from beginners to experts.
Some of the hallmark AWS training programs include:
- Certified Welder (CW) Program
- Certification Scheme for Welding Inspection Personnel (CSWIP)
- Certified Welding Inspector (CWI) Program
- Certified Welding Educator (CWE) Program
- Certified Welding Supervisor (CWS) Program
- Certified Radiographic Interpreter (CRI) Program
Training programs for some of the highest paying trade school jobs are offered at numerous AWS-approved locations nationwide.
AWS also regularly organizes a range of seminars, workshops, and online courses covering a vast spectrum of themes related to welding techniques, inspection, and quality control.
Benefits of AWS
The American Welding Society offers a range of benefits for its members and participants in its training programs:
- Enhanced job prospects. AWS’s esteemed place in the industry ensures that its certifications are held in high regard. Earning these credentials can significantly improve employment opportunities and validate your expertise in various welding techniques and standards.
- Knowledge access and resources. AWS members enjoy the perks of an abundant array of learning opportunities through seminars, workshops, local section presentations, and access to AWS’s comprehensive library containing industry-standard codes and guidelines.
- Community and networking opportunities. Membership with AWS introduces you to a vibrant array of networking opportunities with fellow welding professionals. Active participation in industry-associated events and community interactions can open doors for substantial professional growth.
- Discount benefits. AWS members enjoy significant savings with attractive discounts on AWS products and services such as certification exams, publications, conferences, etc.
Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC)
Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), established in 1950, is an esteemed nationwide association in the construction industry, having more than 21,000 members spread throughout the United States.
ABC champions producing some of the highest paying trade school job workers.
The organization places high value on fostering worker development, obtaining projects, and delivering work in a manner that is safe, ethical, and profitable for the upliftment of the communities it operates within.
Overview of ABC Training
ABC has various training programs and resources associated with the construction industry through its specialized trade school education and training programs.
These programs also cater to all professional stages and are designed to promote the expansion of skills and knowledge that are essential to excel in the industry.
The key offerings include:
- Craft Training & Apprenticeship
- Safety Training & Evaluation Process (STEP)
- Project Management Training
- Leadership Institute
- National Craft Championships
- eLearning Courses and Webinars
These programs use different teaching methods, such as in-person classes, online training, and hands-on experience.
Benefits of ABC
ABC offers many valuable benefits to its members:
- Competitive edge. ABC members have an advantage in the competitive construction field through business development resources, networking opportunities, and special access to industry reports and news.
- High-quality training. ABC’s training programs are known for their excellence, giving professionals the skills they need to meet industry needs and achieve successful projects.
- Workforce development. ABC’s efforts in apprenticeship programs, craft training, management education, and safety training play a vital role in creating and advancing a skilled workforce.
- Advocacy. ABC represents its members at the state and federal levels, supporting policies that benefit the construction industry and opposing those that cause unnecessary difficulties.
Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors Association (PHCC)
Established in 1883, the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors Association (PHCC) is the oldest trade association in the construction industry.
PHCC has members all across the country and offers a broad range of services to assist plumbing heating-cooling contractors in managing their businesses.
With its sole focus on fostering the success of businesses in the plumbing-heating-cooling industry, anyone looking to navigate and thrive in this industry can gain considerably from PHCC’s assistance.
Overview of PHCC Training
PHCC offers a myriad of training opportunities for professionals in the industry through the PHCC Educational Foundation.
The training programs, designed for different skill and career levels, empower plumbing-heating-cooling professionals with crucial skills and knowledge.
Key offerings include:
- Apprentice and Journeyman Training
- Online Training Courses
- HVACR Training
- Requisite seminars and webinars
These programs utilize various modes of training, including online courses, practical teaching, and in-person sessions.
Benefits of PHCC
Being a part of PHCC comes with a wide array of benefits:
- Networking opportunities. Members can leverage PHCC to connect with fellow professionals, create valuable networks and share experiences with others in the industry.
- Learning and skill development. PHCC’s extensive training programs and seminars provide members with an opportunity to enhance their skills and stay updated with the latest industry trends and practices.
- Advocacy. PHCC actively plays a role at the local, state, and national levels of government, advocating for issues that impact the p-h-c profession and the broader construction industry.
- Access to industry resources. As a PHCC member, you gain access to a wealth of industry-specific resources, including, but not limited to, guides, handbooks, latest news, and updates.
The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)
The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) is a broad-based organization representing the interests of home builders, remodelers, and other stakeholders involved in residential construction.
Founded in 1942, NAHB seeks to promote policies that make housing a priority and ensures the housing and building industry’s growth and profitability.
Anyone in the residential construction industry seeking to leverage knowledge, advocate for their interests, and enhance their business prospects would find great value in being an NAHB member.
Overview of NAHB Training
NAHB offers a robust collection of learning opportunities for professionals in the home building industry.
The Association’s training programs are geared towards equipping professionals with the skills required to succeed in the housing industry.
Key programs include:
- Builder and Remodeler Education Courses
- Green Building Education
- Safety Training and Courses
- Webinars and eLearning
These programs offer flexible learning options, including traditional classroom-based courses, online courses, and webinars—all aimed at enhancing proficiency and expertise in residential construction.
Benefits of NAHB
Membership in NAHB comes with numerous benefits, including:
- Boosted business visibility. Increased exposure through a listing on NAHB’s online directories, award programs, and member discounts provides a competitive edge to businesses.
- Educational opportunities. NAHB’s multitude of training programs, webinars, and seminars offer constant opportunities to enhance skills and stay ahead of industry trends.
- Policy advocacy. NAHB’s vigilant advocacy at the local, state and national levels ensures the interests of the home building industry are prioritized in policy making.
- Access to knowledge resources. Members gain broad access to market forecasts, legal assistance, technology updates, and other technical resources, enabling them to stay informed and competitive.
How to Choose the Right Trade School
Choosing a trade school is a crucial decision that could impact your career trajectory, especially if you’re gearing into mastering one of the highest paying trade jobs.
Thus, one must consider various factors while evaluating suitable options.
Evaluating the Curriculum
Every trade school will have different curricula, even for the same professional course.
So, while selecting a trade school, ensure:
- The curriculum aligns with your career aspirations and provides the required knowledge base.
- The syllabus is updated, reflecting the industry norms and best practices.
- The course offers practical training or apprenticeships alongside theoretical learning.
- Programs that provide additional training, such as project management, communication, or business skills, can be beneficial and provide an edge in the job market.
Of course, add those schools that pay you while attending as much as possible.
Qualifications and Certifications Provided
Ensure the trade school offers a recognized qualification or certification upon completion of the course.
- There are certifications that are recognized within the industry.
- Whether the school is accredited by a reputable accrediting body
- There’s an option to pursue higher levels of certification in your field of interest.
Reputation and Reviews
A school’s reputation can give you insights into the quality of trade school education and the potential opportunities post-graduation.
When evaluating a school’s reputation, you should:
- Check online reviews from past students or talk to alumni about their experiences.
- Look at the statistics about graduate employment rates.
- Learn about the faculty and their expertise.
- If possible, visit the school premises, talk to the professors, or sit in a class to get a feel for the quality of education.
Final Thoughts on Going to Trade Schools That Pay You to Attend
As you can see, there are numerous trade schools that pay their apprentices, but most come from Job Corps.
If you’re an aspiring tradesman, you better do your own research about Job Corps and your local Job Corps center to know more about it.
That said, I hope this blog helped you in a way or two!