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Why Should You Choose Trade School Over College?

Have you ever thought that you’re not cut out for the college lifestyle? Do you want to pursue a

career sooner rather than later? If so, then trade school might be a great investment for you.


Trade school careers are good options for those who want to learn a solid skill – like working as

an electrician or heating and air conditioner technician– and, best of all, many of these careers

are quite high-paying considering the time you put into the schooling vs. the entry-level salary

you receive when you graduate.  Here is an overview of the benefits of attending trade school

and what your career options might be depending on the trade you pick..



Trade School vs. College

1. Trade School

Trade school once carried a stigma of a school that is more advanced than high school but still

not quite college. If you choose trade school vs college, you’re likely looking at intense, accelerated training in a practical, career-oriented line of work like electrical or HVAC technology. You will receive a certificate when you complete the program.


2. College

When most people talk about going to “college”, they mean a four-year public or private institution. Degrees conferred at a four-year institution are usually a Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Arts, or perhaps a Bachelor of Fine Arts if you study a creative subject like film,

studio art, or creative writing and you create a portfolio for your senior project.


Benefits of Choosing Trade School

You may have grown up believing that the only way to get a good job in a good career was

attending a four-year college. But what if you are not academically inclined or have no patience

for literature, foreign language, and theory? Maybe you’ve got a gift for practical thinking, or

you might have an intuitive understanding of how electrical wiring works or you like taking

things apart and putting them back together.


1. Career Path

Though there is much benefit to a liberal arts education, it’s not always a practical choice to attend a four-year college and major in English or Philosophy. Majors like this, unless you have a solid career plan, might leave you high and dry and scrambling for unrelated work after you graduate. The demand for essential workers such as electricians, HVAC and other technicians are needed to help keep communities running.


2. Apprenticeships

If you choose a four-year college, the closest thing you might get to a modern apprenticeship is an internship, during which you might be learning the tricks of a new trade, like working at a news station or creating important spreadsheets, or you might be fetching coffee and taking notes in meetings. At a trade school, you can take advantage of genuine vocational school training. You’re learning a real-world skill, after all, and there’s no room for a technician that can’t read a schematic or an electrician who doesn’t understand the basics of household wiring.


3. Lower Tuition

Many trade schools boast affordable tuition rates. For example, in 2019-2020, the average college tuition paid was $41,426 at private college, and on the lower end, $11,260 for in-state residents at state schools. In comparison, two-year colleges and trade schools might cost you about $7,345. There are accelerated trade schools that cost less than $4,000. Combining this lower overall cost within demand careers makes trade school a great bet – especially in these uncertain, post-COVID times.


Popular Career Options in Trade Schools


Electrical and HVAC/R Technology


Electricians are often in high demand as they have a specific set of skills that might include installing and repairing construction wiring in both commercial in residential developments, working with lighting, or maintaining electrical control systems. Their current median salary is $56,180 per year and job growth is projected at 10% for the next 10 years.



Employment of heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installers is projected to grow 6 percent from 2022 to 2032, faster than the average for all occupations.


About 37,700 openings for heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installers are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire. The median annual wage for heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installers was $51,390 in May 2022.


If you’re the type of person who envisions going to school to learn what’s necessary for a job, working immediately after graduation, and making a great starting salary, then trade school might be right for you.


Contact the Tesla Training Center to discuss admission for a trade school in Chicago and to begin

planning your future today and elevating your career options.



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