College Life High School Life TSS

Should You Trade College for Trade School?

The benefits of trade school need to be examined and considered.

The time has come to start asking the big question: where are you going to college? This question may make you feel uncomfortable. Why go on to another institution that is no different than high school, cramming your head full of information that is not crucial for the career you desire?

The truth is, you do not have to go to college. You can spend drastically less time (and money!) by going to a trade school for a certificate. There is no extra history or English classes, and you can even get your certificate faster than an Associate’s degree, allowing you to jumpstart your career. While your friends are struggling with debt, you could be working in a steady, high-income career.

The Statistics

Working in the skilled trades is widely frowned upon by many people. However, a simple look at these statistics can help them change their mind.


Image from American Institutes for Research


As you can see from the graph above, you can be making more money than a Bachelor’s degree recipient when they graduate. Since you are only in one year maximum of training, your experience and salary are increasing, while they are still learning to get their four-year degree. You keep a steady increase, while their pay increase lowers over time. And they all end up in the same place 10 years after graduating, so where is the loss?

Image from Adecco

Worried about being able to get a job after getting your certificate? You should not be, since many current workers are nearing retiring age, and will need replacement. Almost all workers are above 45, meaning they will be phasing out of the workforce in as little as a decade or two, leaving massive gaps that will need to be filled. It has actually been becoming a huge worry, as so many people are pursuing college over a trade certification. Without more young people willing to take up trade jobs, there could be a severe shortage of essential careers, like plumbers and electricians, which could affect everyone.

The Possibilities

Have you decided that trade school may possibly be in your future? If so, that is great! Now, you can choose what specific career path you want to take. You do not have to be working in just construction, plumbing or HVAC. There are also options for being a dental assistant, a sonographer, or other medicine-related careers. As you can see below, it is a very popular choice to pursue that field.


Uncertainty about what you want to spend your life in is perfectly okay. If you would like to read more on your options in trade school, stay tuned for part two of the Trade School Series, which will go into depth on each possible certification!

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