How Much Does Trade School Cost? A Comparison Guide

The overall average cost of vocational school in the United States is about $33,000. Although that may initially seem like a large chunk of change, the average cost of a Bachelor’s degree is $127,000.

Trade school vs College – How they compare

How much does trade school cost?

The price of attending a trade school can change depending on the institution, its location, and the course of study you choose. Here is a list of typical costs related to trade schools:


Here are some examples of the typical tuition and fees, based on information from the 2018–2019 academic year:

Books, supplies and other expenses

Some trade schools include the cost of their program’s books and supplies in the tuition rates they charge. On the website for their programs or in the course guide, they could also include the approximate cost of those costs. Once more, these expenses can change depending on the school, its location, and the courses you take.

What is trade school?

A trade school is a type of educational facility that provides instruction in the skills required by particular professions. Another name for this kind of institution is a technical or vocational school. Instead of focusing on general education, students at these institutions only develop the knowledge and skills necessary for their desired careers. They can also enroll right away after high school because there is no application process like there is for four-year colleges.

Generally speaking, trade schools concentrate on preparing students for jobs requiring manual, mechanical, or technical skills. These students can benefit from apprenticeship programs to gain practical experience. You can pursue a variety of careers by enrolling in a trade school, for instance:

How to pay for trade school

When you decide to enroll in a trade school and learn how much it will cost, you might want to think about financing options. You can investigate and evaluate these choices to determine which one best suits your requirements and makes the most sense for you. The options available to you include:

Financial aid

Fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on the U.S. Department of Education’s website to request federal financial aid for trade schools. S. Department of Educations website. But not all trade schools take part in or qualify for this program. To learn more about their participation, you can directly contact your chosen school.

You might receive an aid offer following your submission that details the amount of money a school will give you and your anticipated costs for the academic year. The school uses that money for your tuition, and any remaining funds can be used for other educational costs. Typically, in order to apply for financial aid, you must meet both eligibility requirements and maintenance requirements.


If you qualify for financial aid, you may receive grants. Your level of need will determine how much money you receive. Unlike loans, you usually have no obligation to repay this money. You can visit the U. S. To find out more about the types of grants the federal government offers, visit the Department of Education’s website. The federal Pell Grant is a typical illustration, which also takes into account the costs of attending your preferred school and whether you plan to enroll part- or full-time. Vocational students may be eligible for grants from some state governments if they meet certain criteria.


Another source of funding that does not require repayment is through scholarships. They may originate from a variety of places, including businesses, state governments, professional or trade associations, or even the schools themselves. To find and apply for scholarships, you can conduct research and use online scholarship search engines. Some organizations offer scholarships just for people going to technical or trade schools.

When looking for scholarships, there are numerous categories to choose from, including:

Student loans

Consider student loans as another option for financing your education. You must carefully consider how much you borrow when applying for a loan because you must pay interest. Federal loans with fixed interest rates are available through the government’s administration. You can visit the U. S. To learn more about the Department of Education’s federal student loan program and your options, visit their website.

You can consider private student loans or personal loans in addition to federal loans. These loans are managed by private lenders, such as banks or credit unions. Even private loan programs for students who are pursuing vocational training are available. Another thing to keep in mind about private loans is that, unlike federal loans, they frequently have variable interest rates.

How much do other education programs cost?

You might want to consider all your options if you want to pursue higher education. To decide which option is best for you, you can weigh the costs of trade school against those of other options:

Colleges and universities

Colleges and universities represent four-year, post-secondary educational institutions. They come in both for-profit and non-profit varieties, and can be either public or private. These institutions accept students seeking undergraduate or graduate degrees. College students typically take general education courses in addition to specialized coursework while they decide on a field of study. Students learn soft skills like problem-solving, critical thinking, and communication in addition to the technical skills associated with their major or concentration.

These sums of money do not include additional college-related expenses like books, supplies, room and board, and other costs. Numerous variables, including the location of the school, whether it is public or private, the courses you take, and whether you live on- or off-campus, can influence these costs.

Community colleges

Community colleges typically represent two-year, public educational institutions. These institutions provide general education courses in addition to vocational programs for students. Community college students can obtain GEDs, technical certificates, and associate’s degrees. Some students start their academic careers at community colleges before transferring to four-year institutions to complete their bachelor’s degrees.


How much does trade school cost in the US?

Costing on average $33,000, “trade schools” include career colleges, vocational schools, and community college certificate programs. That said, the cost of trade school varies by program. Community colleges within the district provide certification programs with annual tuition as low as $2,500.

What is the best paying trade job?

Cons of trade schools can include flexibility, limited career growth, and financial aid.

What is the best thing to go to trade school for?

The Highest-Paid Trade Jobs
  • Radiation Therapists. …
  • Nuclear Medicine Technologists. …
  • Dental Hygienists. …
  • Electrical and Electronics Engineering Technicians. …
  • Aircraft and Avionics Equipment Mechanics and Technicians. …
  • Boilermakers. …
  • Construction and Building Inspectors. …
  • Electricians.

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