What You Should Know About Going into a Trade After High School

After graduating high school, there are many paths to take. Some people will head off to college and some might take a year off. However, there is also an option to move right into the workforce. If you choose to begin a trade right after high school, there are some things you should know.

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Trade School

In order to go into most trades, you will first need to attend trade school. At these schools, you will learn all the essential skills for your chosen profession through hands-on learning. Some examples of trades include plumbing, electrical work, and carpentry. Of course, there are many, many trades beyond these. One of the greatest benefits of a trade school is they are usually cheaper and much shorter than attending a four-year college. Additionally, many trades are in high demand, so you won’t be stuck without a job. Trades also offer job stability as they are a constant need. Once you finish trade school, you can immediately begin earning a salary.

Licensing Requirements

Another important step of going into a trade is getting a license for your specific trade. Having a trade license indicates to your potential clients that you know what you’re doing and that your work will not present a hazard to them. People are also more comfortable working with someone who is properly licensed. In order to get a license, there are some criteria you need to meet. First of all, you need to be at least 18 years old or older. You also cannot have a criminal record. While there are some exceptions, there is a lot of activity that could prevent you from getting a license. A DUI can potentially threaten your professional licensing status. Make sure you keep your record clean in order to receive your license. Additionally, you will need to regularly renew your license.


In many trades, you will be required to complete an apprenticeship. These are very common in plumbing and electrical work. As an apprentice, you are paid and received on the job training. This way you can begin your career while still learning. In some cases, an apprenticeship will replace trade school and in other cases an apprenticeship will be part of your trade school experience.

Going into a trade is a valuable option. You can begin earning money sooner and enter a highly secure job field. If attending a four-year university doesn’t seem like the right path for you, consider learning a trade.

Read this next: 7 Tips to Be Ultra-Successful After Graduation

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