What Are the Top Accredited Online Trade Schools?

Q: What is an online trade school?

A: Trade school is an educational opportunity where students gain practical skills in a specialized technical field such as construction, health care, automotive, and high tech industry. Trade school education is usually offered as post-secondary education through a community college or a technical institute. Many trade schools offers courses especially designed to be taken online to help students manage school and other responsibilities such as work or family commitments. Learn more with this Distance Learner’s Guide.

Q: Why should I look for an accredited online trade school?

A: Accreditation is a voluntary process many educational institutions undergo to prove that their programs are top quality. An education from an accredited institution will provide recognition for the student that can be beneficial when finding a job after graduation. Additionally, students seeking financial aid will have many more opportunities for money if they attend an accredited institution. Check with the RWM Vocational Schools Database to find accredited schools by state and by occupation. To learn what types of schools to avoid, read Diploma Mills and Accreditation.

Q: What should I look for in an accredited online trade school?

A: You will want to ask many questions before deciding where to study. After determining if the school is accredited, find out information such as what type of requirements they have for admission, ask about the qualifications of the instructors, learn the success rate of recent graduates, and how much the program will cost with all expenses such as books, lab fees, uniforms, and any other necessary materials. Two excellent resources to help you find a trade school are with the Federal Trade Commission and U.S. Department of Education.

Q: What type of training can I expect to receive from an online trade school?

A: Most trade schools focus on the skills and knowledge you will need to work in the specific field you have chosen. While you may expect to take some general education courses, the bulk of your education will be directly related to career-skill preparation. Many online trade schools will provide you with any classes or examinations necessary for certification and/or licensure required to perform your career.

Q: How long will it take to complete my education, and will I receive a degree upon completing a program at an online trade school?

A: How long you will study will depend on exactly what type of program you select. Many of the top online trade schools offer complete programs that result in two-year associate degrees or you may opt for a shorter course of study that delivers certification in a matter of months rather than years.

Q: Can I get financial aid for my accredited online trade school education?

A: Many students of accredited online trade schools qualify for financial aid. To find out exactly what is offered at your institution, you should check with the financial aid office at the school. You can also look into federal opportunities for student loans, scholarships, and grants at the FAFSA website. You can also begin filing the necessary paperwork to begin your financial aid application at this site.

Q: What kind of careers will online trade school prepare me to do and can I get job placement assistance?

A: The types of careers available through accredited online trade schools are many and varied. Some examples include welder, auto mechanic, cosmetologist, AutoCAD drafter, HVAC technician, computer repair technician, nurse, construction manager, electrician, locksmith, plumber, pharmacy technician, and paralegal. You can check with the Bureau of Labor Statistics to determine which jobs are projected to be the fastest growing by educational level. Many schools do include job placement assistance as a part of their services to students and graduates, but you should check with any institutions you are considering to determine exactly what type of assistance they offer. You should also ask about the percentage of recent graduates who have received placement after graduation.

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