Skilled Trades Colleges

Skilled Trades majors learn a very specific set of hands-on skills tailored to a specific career. Within the Skilled Trades majors, you can select from several groups of careers: Construction Trades, Mechanic/Repair Trades, Precision Production Trades and Taxidermy/Taxidermist. Courses of study include Autobody Repair, Welding Technology, Aircraft Powerplant Technology, Diesel Mechanics Technology, Marine Maintenance, Woodworking and Plumbing Technology.

Usually, Skilled Trades majors seek a certificate or associate career training degree from a technical school or career college. Some community colleges, online schools, 4-year colleges and universities offer programs as well. If desired, you can find a few bachelors degree and masters degree programs for some of the more advanced Skilled Trades.

If you’re good with your hands, mechanically inclined and aren’t afraid of working with complex machinery, you’re a good candidate for the Skilled Trades major. Having a good eye for details and strong problem-solving skills will help, too. Because the work in Skilled Trades is very hands-on and sometimes requires heavy lifting, you should be in decent physical condition.

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Choosing a Skilled Trades School

Skilled Trades degree programs are offered at technical schools, career colleges, community colleges, online schools, 4-year colleges and universities across the country. Choose your school based the skill you wish to learn whether it’s a Construction Trade or a Precision Production Trade. Because hands-on training is key for these careers, take a close look at the labs and shops to ensure you’ll be learning on state-of-the-art equipment.

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Skilled Trades Degree Programs

Most Skilled Trades majors pursue certificates or associates degrees from technical schools or career colleges. Lasting from 6 months to two years, these programs provide the skills needed for a specific career. You can expect plenty of hands-on training in labs and shops along with courses in subjects like blueprint reading, safety, drafting, regulations and codes and project management.

Skilled Trades bachelors degree programs are offered at some technical schools, colleges and universities. A 4-year program can provide more advanced technical skills along with core curriculum classes, sometimes leading to greater earning potential in your career.

A few college and university masters degree programs are available for Skilled Trades majors. These programs are designed for students who already hold a bachelors degree in a related major and likely, having been working in another field or trade already.

Skilled Trades Degree Programs:

Online Skilled Trades Degree Programs at Online Schools

If you’re interested in online school, you can pursue an online degree for some Skilled Trades majors through a technical school, college or university. Because Skilled Trades are generally hands-on, some programs are better suited to online school than others—for example, you can learn about building codes and safety easily, but understanding how a car engine works is probably easier to learn in an auto shop. That said, some online degree programs are designed for students who already have experience in the workforce and others are designed to prepare student to learn more hands-on skills in an apprenticeship later.

Online Skilled Trades Degree Programs:

Online Skilled Trades Schools:

High School Preparation

If you’re interested in working in Skilled Trades, be sure to work hard in math and science classes during high school, especially algebra, physics, chemistry and trigonometry—you’ll find them all useful on the job. Communication skills are also important for Skilled Trades so don’t brush off English and speech classes. When you look for a part time job, look for one related to the trade you’re interested in whether with a construction company or an auto repair shop.

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Popular Careers in the Field of Skilled Trades

In general, the employment outlook for Skilled Trades graduates is expected to be average or better than average. Construction Trades grow and decline with the rate of construction and are more plentiful in cities experiencing a lot of growth. Precision Production Trades are declining slightly, but opportunities are still expected to be good.

Career possibilities vary based on education, but include carpenters, plumbers, drywall installers, sheet metal workers, roofers, mechanics, automotive-body repairers, tool amd die makers, machinists and cabinet makers. Usually, the best job opportunities will go to candidates with a certificate or associates degree in Skilled Trades. Bachelors degrees and masters degrees can boost earning potential even more, but are rarely seen in the field.

Typical hourly wages for Skilled Trades fall between $11 and $20. With more experience, comes higher wages. To advance a Skilled Trades career, most technicians look to supervisory, managerial or team leader roles. Others go on to open their own business. Some also choose to get certifications in more than one Skilled Trade for added expertise that can entice employers and qualify you for a raise.

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Read More About Skilled Trades Colleges

Top 10 Most Popular
Skilled Trades Colleges

1

Universal Technical Institute, Orlando

Orlando, Florida

College degrees offered: Certificate Program

2

Ivy Tech Community College, Central Indiana

Indianapolis, Indiana

4.5 Read all Reviews

College degrees offered: Certificate Program, Associates Degree

3

Motorcycle Mechanics Institute, Phoenix

Avondale, Arizona

College degrees offered: Certificate Program, Associates Degree

4

Edmonds Community College, Lynnwood

Lynnwood, Washington

4.5 Read all Reviews

College degrees offered: Certificate Program, Associates Degree

5

Mech-Tech College, Caguas

Caguas, Puerto Rico

College degrees offered: Certificate Program, Associates Degree

6

Louisiana Technical College, Alexandria Campus

Alexandria, Louisiana

College degrees offered: Certificate Program, Associates Degree

7

Albany Technical College

Albany, Georgia

4.5 Read all Reviews

College degrees offered: Certificate Program, Associates Degree

8

Lincoln Tech, Nashville

Nashville, Tennessee

College degrees offered: Certificate Program, Associates Degree

9

Cochise College

Douglas, Arizona

3.0 Read all Reviews

College degrees offered: Certificate Program, Associates Degree

10

Arizona Automotive Institute, Branch of Platt College Tulsa, OK Campus

Glendale, Arizona

College degrees offered: Certificate Program, Associates Degree

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What is This?

To provide you with the most accurate and helpful facts, our Top 10 Most Popular results are based on a combination of program or major graduation data from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the primary federal entity for collecting and analyzing data related to education, and the popularity of a school on our web site.

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