With new ways of learning, growing, and succeeding, trade schools are helping students master specific skills and become competent employees.

Most students that enroll at CET have three common concerns: 

  • Lack of time and funds
  • Family responsibilities
  • Finding stable employment

As someone facing these circumstances, you need to gain a lot in less time, and that’s why you’re looking for an answer to the question, “how long do most trade schools last?”

And here’s your answer: 

Most trade school programs take a few months to two years to complete. For example, at CET, a construction or electrical-based program might take 8-9 months, an automotive program — 7-8 months, and a lineman program could take 18-24 months. 

The duration depends on the field and programs you choose — its complexity, hands-on knowledge, and experience needed before setting foot on the ground. 

But before hitting the keyboard with “trade schools near me,” you must know the pros and cons of trade school versus college and determine a better-suited option for yourself. 

Trade Schools vs College Programs — which is better?

Since college has been the conventional way to get a secondary education for decades, choosing between trade school programs and college programs can be confusing. 

Here are a few factors to help you make the decision: 

The Investment

In the US, traditional college costs are about three times that of trade schools ($100,000+). Such costs typically require student loans that an average borrower takes 20 years to pay.

On the other hand, the average cost of trade school programs comes to around $33,000.

Along with reduced costs, trade schools like the Center for Employment Training (CET) also offer financial aid to those in need. In addition, seeking external scholarships may also help you acquire resources to pay for your program.


If you are someone who needs to take care of other engagements or work shifts to provide for your family, you can also opt for part-time courses, which is not always possible with college programs. 

A part-time course takes longer to complete than a full-time one but gives you the flexibility to work during the day and attend classes afterward.

Placement opportunities

Most trade schools yield lucrative careers, and the efforts tend to pay off sooner as most of these schools guarantee career placement, while colleges might not. 


The choice of timing is also what makes trade schools flexible. So, if you want to learn culinary arts, you can intern at a cafe during the day while learning technical skills in the evening, and have the opportunity for career advancement once you graduate. 

Focused Programs

Trade school programs do not beat around the bush and instead just focus on just one skill, and the in-depth training you receive prepares you for success in the field.

Get Skilled and Paid: Is it by choosing the highest paying trade jobs?

Not every “decent” job requires a four-year college degree. It is acquiring the relevant skills that get you paid and prepares you for growth.

Still, many people search around, looking for quick trades to learn that pay well. 

But, instead of just looking at the highest paying trade jobs without a degree, it is essential to look at the list of skilled trades and analyze their market growth. You must also consider the cost and duration that fits well with your requirements and interests, and choose a skill that will grow in demand. If you want to start your career soon, you can opt for a full-time course, or you can work while earning an income with a part-time program. 

To get you motivated and help you make the right decision, here are some trade skills and how much you can earn per year: 

  • An Elevator installer and repairer earns $88,540 per year on average. 
  • A Transportation and Distribution manager makes an average of $96,390 with proper vocational training. 
  • The average automotive mechanic’s salary is $51,870. However, an auto mechanic education requirement isn’t a four-year degree, but requires an automotive vocational training program. We also expect to see a change over the next decade, with a demand for around 69,000 jobs every year.

So set your fingers on the keypad and look for “best trades to learn.” You can also read relevant articles and research to choose a skill you want to pursue. You will also find excellent trade school programs for adults that align with your interests. 

Here’s a simple way to find what you need: 

Create a table with 5 columns

  1. Name of the trade skill
  2. Duration
  3. Cost
  4. Full-time/ Part-time
  5. Timings

Fill up the table with your research and pick the trade skill that suits you the best. 

Final Words

The above factors prove that trade schools have a more practical approach to employment. They save you time, money, and energy. Although the course offerings may be more limited, they are in demand in various sectors. 

CET’s extensive program list makes your journey simpler by offering on-the-job training and job placements. 

While you search through the programs, feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions, and we’ll be there to help you every step of the way. 

So, if you were to attend a trade school, what skill would you want to learn and why? Let us know in the comments below.