A person using six dice pieces with letters to spell out the word "hands on"

Why Hands-On Learning Is Important for Entry-Level Trade Jobs

Practical, hands-on skills are important in many industries, and workers who demonstrate these skills contribute to a healthy economy. While millions of Americans work behind a desk, there are countless Americans who enjoy actively working with their hands and using their technical expertise.

However, a recent analysis from PeopleReady found that there is a skilled trades shortage in America. The shortage is occurring as millions of Baby Boomers retire and leave the workforce. The good news? Some students are choosing trade school instead of traditional two-year or four-year college. By choosing trade school—which can often be completed in as few as 7 months—students can get the hands-on skills they need to enter the workforce faster.

Let’s examine a few reasons why a hands-on education at trade school can set up students for success in their chosen trade.

Problem-Solving Practice

Problem-solving means making choices. And trade workers must make many choices on the job each day. Safety, proper techniques, maintenance and installation approaches all contribute to a tradesperson’s responsibilities. If you enter a trade you’re passionate about, you’ll want to be a strong problem-solver.

Hands-on training can be a key way to become a strong problem-solver because it gives you the opportunity to practice making decisions in the classroom or shop setting so you feel confident and prepared when you start your career. For example, a student in the Electrical & Advanced Electrical program may have to decide what type of wiring is needed to repair a broken fixture. Working hands-on in the shop gives students the opportunity to determine the best way to solve electrical problems.


Related: 6 Benefits of Trade School

Mentorship Opportunities

An Apex student in the Construction & Building Skills program learns to assemble walls

In addition to problem-solving practice, hands-on learning provides students with opportunities to learn alongside experienced instructors. As knowledge keepers, instructors at Apex are dedicated to helping students gain technical skills and expand their passion for their chosen trade. Students learn the theory, or the “why,” behind their trade in the classroom. Instructors also mentor students in the shop where theory is put into practice.

Students in the Construction & Building Skills program, for example, work with instructors to construct a model house, learning how to frame walls, install windows and more. Guidance from knowledgeable instructors increases students’ readiness to perform entry-level trade jobs in the field.


An Apex student in the Electrical & Advanced Electrical program learns to maintain a fuse box

Safety Training

Safety preparation is one of the most important aspects of a job site, and it’s also one of the benefits that hands-on learning affords students in trade school. At Apex, students learn how to safely use tools, wear safety gear and collaborate carefully in work environments. From handling electrical components to practicing fire safety around welding materials and more, students at Apex get – experience in learning to stay safe on the job. This experience can help students stand out to employers who want safety-minded individuals on their jobsites.




Ready to learn more about trade programs and hands-on education at Apex Technical School? Contact us today to start the conversation.




*Apex Technical School and its instructors are licensed by the State of New York, New York State Education Department.

Disclaimer: Apex Technical School provides training for entry-level jobs. Not everything you may read about the industry is covered in our training programs.

6 benefits of trade school

6 Benefits of Trade School

Considering trade school vs. college? Technical skills can offer career options and personal fulfillment, especially if you enjoy hands-on work. If you’re unsure how learning a trade can benefit you or fit into your schedule, explore the top reasons why students choose to enroll in trade school.


Classes are starting soon! Call us at 212-645-3300 to find out more.


*Apex Technical School and its instructors are licensed by the State of New York, New York State Education Department.

Disclaimer: Apex Technical School provides training for entry-level jobs. Not everything you may read about the industry is covered in our training programs.


A person interviewing for a skilled trade job

Interviewing for a Skilled Trade Job? Practice These Questions

Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) technicians often enjoy a rewarding and hands-on trade. These technicians require practical skills, problem-solving abilities and a passion for technical knowledge about heating, A/C and refrigeration equipment.

Individuals working in this trade should also understand HVAC safety standards. Whether you’re an HVAC student starting training classes, or you’ve been working in the field for years, you can find ways to protect yourself and others from potential hazards. Here are some HVAC safety tips to improve day-to-day operations:

What do you enjoy most about your line of work?

Hiring managers want to know about you and your technical skills and professional work habits. It’s a good idea to provide an answer that shows you have hands-on training. Instead of talking about how you will enjoy the company truck or the flexibility to set your own hours, you may consider discussing topics like working with your hands, solving problems and feeling accomplished that you completed the job on time and on budget.

How did you handle a disagreement at old job?

A trades student learning how to prepare for a job interviewThe interviewer is looking for evidence that you are a self-starter who can make decisions independently but who can also solve problems when they arise. Talk about a time when you and a coworker or customer disagreed about something. Maybe the customer wanted something that was unsafe or not permitted at your place of employment. Discuss how you listened to them patiently and worked to remedy the situation while ensuring no rules or safety measures were broken.

If you can’t think of an example from a job on your resume, you could also give an example of a disagreement you had in trade school. Think back to shop and theory classes—did you know you had the right answer, but a classmate insisted his answer was right instead? Maybe you found out your answer or technique was wrong. Tell the hiring manager how that impacted you, what you learned and how you approach this technique now.

Why do you want to work here?

Two people shake hands after asking job interview questions

While this question may seem easy on the surface, it requires some thought. People need jobs to make money to support themselves and their family—that much is true. However, if a hiring manager asks you this question, that’s not the answer they are looking for. Instead, they want to know why you think you’re the best fit for their specific company.

To answer this question, prepare an answer by completing some research. Before your interview, visit the company’s website. Read about what the company mission—do you believe in that too? Why? Explore their services and offerings. How do those align with your own skills and abilities? Be able to explain why you think this company is the best place for you.

Find Job Placement Assistance at Apex Technical School

Why do students choose Apex? Students say our job placement assistance is one reason. We provide support to students during training and upon program completion. Learn more about how we offer job placement assistance to Apex students by contacting us today.



*Apex Technical School and its instructors are licensed by the State of New York, New York State Education Department.

Disclaimer: Apex Technical School provides training for entry-level jobs. Not everything you may read about the industry is covered in our training programs.

Students learn about the benefits of trade school in class

Are Trade Schools Worth It?

When trying to determine the next step on your educational or career path, it can be difficult to make a decision that feels right. You might have many questions and few answers. If you’re considering trade school, one of the main questions on your mind is likely, “Is trade school worth it?” To help you find more information to make this decision, we’ve compiled a few reasons why students say they choose to attend trade school.

3 Benefits of Trade School

Trade school can provide valuable benefits for students from a variety of backgrounds and situations. For example, trade school students may be recent high school graduates, single parents, part-time workers, or full-time working individuals who want to go back to school to start a new career path. Whatever your situation or circumstance, you may find that trade school is a good fit for you. Here are a few reasons to think seriously about enrolling in trade school.

Shorter Time to Learn

An automotive trade student knows the benefits of vocational school
Compared to a traditional four-year college experience or two-year community college experience, it takes less time to learn skills at trade school. For example, at Apex Technical School, students can complete their program in as little as seven months. Some students prefer to spend a shorter amount of time in school so they can more quickly enter their field of choice.


Related: How Long Is Trade School?

Hands-on Training

A welding shop where students learn hands-on skills at ApexHands-on training is one of the best ways to learn trade skills. By learning how to do trade techniques yourself—instead of simply hearing about them—you are more likely to remember information to use later at a job. Trade school provides students with valuable hands-on opportunities to work in the shop setting and use tools of the trade. Students enjoy studying this knowledge at trade school because they often feel more prepared once they step into the field.

Learn About Theory and Safety

Theory is the “why” behind an approach or idea. In addition to hands-on skills, trade schools like Apex Technical School teach trade theory so students understand why they learn about certain topics or techniques. Theory is grounded in the history of a trade. For example, the history of plumbing goes back thousands of years, and some old ideas are still important to the field today. In addition to theory and history, students at trade school also benefit from learning trade safety. Depending on which program you take, safety procedures may differ. Welding safety gear and guidelines may be different from those in construction—but all safety measures are always important at school and in your career.

Explore Trade School Programs at Apex

Now that you know more about the benefits of vocational school, see if Apex has a program that’s right for you. With several programs to choose from, you may find a path you’re interested in by browsing our programs. Have questions? We’re happy to talk to you. Contact us and we’ll be in touch soon.



*Apex Technical School and its instructors are licensed by the State of New York, New York State Education Department.

Disclaimer: Apex Technical School provides training for entry-level jobs. Not everything you may read about the industry is covered in our training programs.

Windows at Apex Technical School building in New York

How to Get into Trade School

Is it hard to get into trade school in New York? How do I know if I’m qualified to enroll? How quickly can I finish trade school compared to a traditional four-year college? These are common questions the staff at Apex receive every day. We help individuals who are interested in learning more about trade school find the answers they need and enroll at our school if it’s a good fit. Find out more about the requirements for trade school below.

Vocational School Requirements for Enrollment

Vocational school at Apex Technical School buildingApex has four main requirements for trade school, which include:

  1. You must be at least 18 years of age. We also accept students who are 17 years of age with parental consent. You may be enrolled if you are 16 1/2 years old and have a release letter from your New York State high school.
  2. If you do not have a high school diploma or a GED, you must achieve a satisfactory score on a standardized examination.
  3. You will have an interview with an Admissions Representative at the school to see if Apex is right for you.
  4. You will be given information on the cost of attendance and financial assistance you may be eligible for. After careful consideration and you determine that Apex is right for you, you will sign an enrollment agreement and pay an application fee.

To learn more about the standardized examination, please contact us. We are happy to answer all your questions and want to make sure you get the information you need to make an informed decision about attending trade school. To learn more about transfer hours, visit our Admissions page.

Trade School Program Requirements

When you enroll in one of our seven programs, you’ll get the opportunity to split your time between the classroom and the shop. One of the benefits of trade school at Apex is the 900 hours of instruction and hands-on training students complete before finishing their program. Programs can be completed in as little as seven months.

Our trade programs include:

Is Financial Aid for Trade School Available?

A plumbing student repairs a pipe with a wrenchSome students are interested in financial aid for trade school. Financial assistance can vary from person to person. When you contact our school, you will receive information on the cost of attendance and financial assistance you may be eligible for. If you determine that Apex is right for you, you will sign an enrollment agreement and pay an application fee. You will also learn when your classes start and any other course requirements, such as tools you may receive.

Interested in learning more about enrolling at Apex? Contact us today online or by calling 212-645-3300.




*Apex Technical School and its instructors are licensed by the State of New York, New York State Education Department.

Disclaimer: Apex Technical School provides training for entry-level jobs. Not everything you may read about the industry is covered in our training programs.

A person holds a lightbulb with a graduation cap

Should I Go to Trade School in 2021?

Trade school can give students a sense of personal fulfillment and the opportunity to learn a craft. It can also position you for an entry-level position in your chosen industry. If you’re considering your goals for 2021, trade school might be a good option for you. Let us help you start planning for your future in trade school with an introduction to trade programs and the benefits of trade school in 2021.

What Trades Are There?

Trade school tools on a workbench Skilled trades are an important sector of the workforce and the economy. Tradesmen and tradeswomen keep America strong. However, you might not realize that there are many trades available for you to pursue. Which trade are you interested in? Does it align with your interests and goals? These are a few questions you will want to consider as you think about pursing a trade in 2021.

Here is a list of trade school programs offered at Apex Technical School:

Benefits of Trade School

Trade school offers benefits that vocational-minded students may not get at a traditional two-year or four-year college. For example, trade school is a good choice for students who want to complete their program and enter their chosen field quickly. At Apex, students can complete their program in as little as seven months vs. two or four years at a traditional college.

In addition, trade school provides a hands-on learning environment where students split their time between the classroom and the shop. Instructors teach about real-world scenarios and students become familiar with tools they might use on the job. This hands-on learning focus can help students prepare for an entry-level position with confidence.

Related: 4 Benefits of Hands-on Learning

Will Trade School Be Online in 2021?

Apex students learn the benefits of trade school in a classroom Many schools, colleges and vocation trade schools have reacted quickly in response to the COVID-19 pandemic throughout 2020 and into 2021. Health departments and government officials have mandated safety protocols in many states. Trade schools like Apex have instituted masking and social distancing to keep students and staff as safe as possible.

Apex has also used distance learning, or online learning, during the pandemic to teach theory classes. Depending on current health guidelines and type of coursework, Apex students may or may not participate in distance learning. To stay up to date with COVID-19 restrictions at Apex, visit our FAQ page.




*Apex Technical School and its instructors are licensed by the State of New York, New York State Education Department.

Disclaimer: Apex Technical School provides training for entry-level jobs. Not everything you may read about the industry is covered in our training programs.

Symbols on a set of steps representing memorization vs learning

Study Tips and Tricks for Trade School Students

All of us learn new skills every day. Whether you’re playing a sport, cooking a different meal for dinner or taking a trade class to pursue your education and gain new skills, you’re absorbing new information quickly. This may sound overwhelming, but there are proven ways you can help your brain remember information. Explore these study tips and tricks to learn how to remember what you study in trade school.

Learn How to Take Notes

Note taking is a good way to help your brain remember information you’ll need to use later. Some students like to take notes while they read; some students like to take notes while an instructor speaks. Both approaches can help your brain understand and recall the information when you’re practicing what you learned in the shop or when you’re working in your career.

To take notes, consider using a different color pen to write important terms, such as “arc voltage” in welding or “floor flange” in plumbing. Your brain sees the term in a different color and is more likely to recall it. In addition, don’t worry about grammar, spelling or neat handwriting—instead, focus on the content of the information.

Related: Trade School Tips: How to Be Successful in School

Memorization vs Learning

A student practices study tips and tricks by learning how to take notes

What does it mean to memorize a fact instead of learning it? When your brain memorizes information, it takes it in and holds onto it word for word. You may remember a fact you memorized the night before a test, but weeks later, you could forget it. When you learn something, your brain is less likely to forget that information over time.

With learning, your brain understands new information—instead of simply storing it away in your mind for a short time. Learning allows you to apply ideas to real-life situations, which is very useful in a variety of technical trades where individuals often need to recall information and put it into practice.

Hands-on Studying

Some students learn best with visual information, such as charts, illustrations and diagrams. Some students are kinesthetic learners—which means they learn best with hands-on practice. If you learn by doing, there are a few steps you can take to energize your approach to studying, such as:

  • Chew gum while reading
  • Take frequent breaks
  • Walk around, tap your pencil or bounce a ball
  • Create flashcards

Apex students get the opportunity for hands-on learning in the shop. In addition, you may consider talking about the information you are learning with others.  When you explain how to install a light switch or change a tire to a study group, family member or friend, your brain practices remembering that information.

Be Interested in What You’re Learning

A student gets hands-on studying experience in the auto repair shopFinally, one of the most important ways to remember new information is to enjoy what you’re learning. When you’re interested in the topic, you feel motivated to make it a part of your life—whether it’s learning a new trade, how to speak confidently in front of others, or many other opportunities to expand your skill sets. When you feel driven to learn, you may want to avoid multitasking by placing your phone in your pocket or in another room. Turn off the TV or play your favorite music to help you focus.




At Apex, we are happy to help you find a trade that fits your goals and interests. To learn more about finding a path for your future, contact us today.




*Apex Technical School and its instructors are licensed by the State of New York, New York State Education Department.

Disclaimer: Apex Technical School provides training for entry-level jobs. Not everything you may read about the industry is covered in our training programs.

A person learns how to write a professional email

How to Write a Professional Email in Trade School

Do you need to know how to write a professional email when you go to trade school? Most of us have written a casual email to friends, family or someone we know well. But when it comes to writing an email to your boss, instructor or someone you don’t know, you may choose to write a formal email.

Professional writing skills can benefit you in trade school and beyond. Follow the tips below to learn about the parts of a formal email and how to write one yourself.

Professional Email Format

Formal emails show respect and usually look different than casual emails. While a casual email may resemble a quick text message with a care-free tone, a formal email often contain several professional elements:

  • Subject line
  • Greeting (e.g. “Dear Mr. Smith” or “To Whom It May Concern”)
  • Your message
  • Closing (e.g. “I look forward to speaking with you.”)
  • Signature

A subject line summarizes the goal of your message. Your message can be a few sentences or multiple paragraphs. It depends on what you want to say. It’s important to use your signature to identify your full name and other relevant information, such as your phone number and where you work or attend school. Contact information in your signature lets the reader know who you are and how to contact you offline.  For example:



Brian Jones

Assistant Mechanic

A&B Auto Repair Shop



Steps for Writing a Professional Email

A professional email signals to the recipient that you value them and their time. It’s a good idea to write a formal email in the workplace or school environment. Professional writing only take a little more time, and it can help create mutual respect between you and the person who receives your email. Follow these five steps to learn how to write a professional email.

    1. Identify your goal.

Think about why you are writing this email. Do you want to ask about job openings? Are you submitting homework or questions to your instructor? Need help with distance learning? Consider what you want to ask the recipient to do for you or information you want to make the recipient aware of.

    1. Think about your audience.

If you write to someone you have never met, use a polished tone and refrain from jokes or emojis. However, if you need to email another student in your class, you might want to use a friendly tone.

    1. Write your message.

Be sure to include relevant information and keep your message brief. Politely and professionally let the recipient know what you need, why you need it and when you would like to receive their response. Short, simple sentences help keep your email to the point and easy to read.

    1. Proofread before you send.

Always read your emails before sending them. You may realize you made a mistake or left out important information. Double check your spelling, especially the recipient’s first and last name. Make sure you haven’t forgotten to attach important documents or links.

    1. Follow up.

About 269 billion emails were sent and received each day in 2017. That number is expected to grow to 320 billion daily emails by 2021, according to Statista. Some people may receive hundreds of emails a day. If you don’t get a timely response, send a friendly follow-up email. They could have simply missed your email or forgot to respond.

Are you interested in learning hands-on skills in a trade you’re passionate about? Use these email writing tips to contact us today and find out more about Apex Technical School.



Apex Technical School and its instructors are licensed by the State of New York, New York State Education Department.

Disclaimer: Apex Technical School provides training for entry-level jobs. Not everything you may read about the industry is covered in our training programs.


A trade student learns ways to study at home

5 Ways to Study at Home: Tips for Distance Learning

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused school closures around the world. Some schools, like Apex Technical School, are temporarily incorporating distance learning into their curriculums. Distance learning means classes are conducted through the internet, often at the student’s home. This style of learning is new for some trade school students. Here is a list of online class study tips to help you make the most of distance learning.

Make a Routine

Unlike attending a physical classroom, distance learners are taught outside of the school environment. Like many distance learners, you may review school materials at home or in another comfortable location. Wherever your distance learning takes place, you will want to build a routine.  Routines help students stay on track by creating structure in their day. Once you find a routine that fits, you will feel confident and motivated to accomplish your goals.

Accomplish Your Daily Goals

Keep track of your to-do list. Do you have to answer a series of questions about electrical safety or read about the main types of welding? Writing down your goals helps you hit deadlines and can ensure you have the knowledge you need to take on the next assignment. Consider using a calendar to create daily or weekly lists.

Create a Study Space

Distance learning requires you to be a student outside of the trade school environment. When you are at home, how will you transition from a parent, spouse or roommate into a student who needs to focus? Create a study space to help focus your mind. Your study space could be in a quiet room, like a bedroom or home office, where you can close the door and be a trade student.

If you don’t have an extra room in your home, your study space could also be a quiet corner with a table and chair. Study spaces are important because they signal to your brain that it’s time to focus. Learn how to limit distractions and get other online study tips on our blog.

Take Breaks

A study space can motivate you to check off goals from your to-do list. You may feel motivated by your accomplishments and want to maintain a steady pace with your learning. However, it’s important to remember to take breaks throughout the day. A short, five to 10-minute break every hour gives your brain a chance to process new information.

Ask for Help

Distance learning outside of the classroom or shop doesn’t mean you are learning alone. In fact, asking questions is one of the most important ways to study at home. If you are confused about a topic or need to ask questions, reach out to your instructors.



*Apex Technical School and its instructors are licensed by the State of New York, New York State Education Department.

Disclaimer: Apex Technical School provides training for entry-level jobs. Not everything you may read about the industry is covered in our training programs.


A notepad with the words interview questions and a pencil on a desk

Preparing for an Interview? Here are 5 Common Interview Questions

Every interview is different, but there are a few things to keep in mind. You should take a copy of your resume and be prepared to answer questions about your education, skills or job history. While the interviewer may ask different questions depending on the position, company and role you’re applying for, some questions are more popular than others. It’s a good idea to know common interview questions—and practice your answers so you feel prepared and confident during your interview.

What are your strengths?

When you interview for a position, the interviewer may ask what makes you a strong choice. Pick one or two of your personal strengths relevant to the position. For example, you may interview for a construction position that requires the ideal candidate to have hands-on skills in construction but also be open to learning related skills in electrical, plumbing or carpentry.

If you are a curious person with a problem-solving mindset, you can talk about how this is a strength you can bring to this role. To further illustrate your strengths, tell a story about how you used your curiosity and problem-solving skills in a previous role, at school or in another setting where you excelled.

Why do you want this job?

Businesses want to interview and hire people who are passionate about the position. If you applied for a role, it’s likely you’re interested in it! Be direct with the person interviewing you—let them know why the job excites you. Identify two to three reasons you believe you are a good fit, such as, “I love working on cars,” and “I’m a strong team player who enjoys collaborating with others in the automotive garage.”

Explain to the interviewer why you want a job at their company.

Tell me about a conflict you’ve faced. How did you deal with it?

We all face challenges from time to time. While you may not want to discuss something negative in your interview, consider how your answer can showcase you in a positive way. Be honest about a conflict you encountered and stay professional when you tell your story.

Spend more time talking about the resolution than the conflict. Try to provide answers to the following questions: How did you resolve the conflict? What was your approach? What did you learn? How will you bring those skills to this job? Focus on explaining the solution so the person who interviews you can understand how you respond to challenges.

What type of work environment do you like?

Work environments vary from company to company and can depend on the nature of the position. Most entry-level positions in the trade industry occur in hands-on environments, such as construction sites, residential homes, automotive garages, or a combination of locations.

Work environments can be quiet, noisy, collaborative, self-paced, structured or laid back. Consider how you do your best work. Do you need quiet to focus? Do you prefer collaboration and conversation with others? If you interview for an entry-level trade position, be sure you know what works for you to be successful.

Do you have any questions for us?

At the end of the interview, you may be asked if you have any questions. It’s always a good idea to come prepared with two or three questions. This demonstrates your commitment and interest in the job position. You can ask questions about the position and the company. Or, ask the interviewer what he or she likes about working there—the answer may give you valuable insight into the company’s culture. With the right amount of preparation and practice, you can set yourself up for success.




*Apex Technical School and its instructors are licensed by the State of New York, New York State Education Department.

Disclaimer: Apex Technical School provides training for entry-level jobs. Not everything you may read about the industry is covered in our training programs.


An individual wearing sneakers stands on a blue floor with white arrows pointing in all directions

Why Go to Trade School?

Figuring out your future isn’t easy. If you’re considering trade school, it’s important to understand what a technical education offers. Trade schools provide the benefits of a specialized  education and can be a faster route to entering the workforce. The trade school environment can be an enjoyable experience for students who like to learn hands-on. To help you determine a path that’s right for you, let’s explore the advantages of trade school.

  1. Time

  2. Trade school focuses on the essentials—including theories, basic skills and industry skills. Students who are looking for a direct route to a technical education should consider a trade school. On the other hand, two-year degree-granting community colleges and four-year universities can be a longer commitment and may require students take unrelated elective courses—for example, history or English.

    Two- and four-year colleges may not be a good fit for students looking for a direct route to practical training. Depending on your program, lifestyle, schedule and other factors, you could finish trade school in as little as seven months.


  3. Smaller Classes

  4. Small classes can be a benefit of trade school. Classes are smaller than classes held in large lecture halls at a college or university. The close-knit environment at trade school helps you get to know instructors who teach theories and guide hands-on learning. Additionally, trade students in small classes get to know each other, learn new ways of problem solving and establish a strong support network. Some students keep in touch with their peers after completing their program as they pursue an entry-level position in their chosen industry.


  5. Hands-on Learning

  6. Everyone learns differently. Some students are auditory learners, meaning they learn new information best by hearing it. Others are kinesthetic learners who thrive by learning hands-on. These learners prefer to try a task for themselves to fully understand and remember it. Both styles are available to students who enroll in a trade school program. Are you a hands-on learner who is excited to get out of the classroom, practice in the shop and start entry-level work after training? If so, trade school may be a good fit for you.



*Apex Technical School and its instructors are licensed by the State of New York, New York State Education Department.

Disclaimer: Apex Technical School provides training for entry-level jobs. Not everything you may read about the industry is covered in our training programs.

Woman with a white hard hat holds a blueprint on a construction jobsite

Why Are Skilled Trade Jobs for Women an Excellent Choice?

Women’s contributions to the U.S. labor force are vast. Traditional occupations have changed since women began entering the workforce in large numbers during World War II. As the country continues to blur the lines between gender roles at work, women thrive more than ever. However, women are still underrepresented in male-dominated trade industries.

Education is an opportunity for women to get their foot in the door and succeed in a trade they’re passionate about. What trade programs are a good match for women looking to learn a new skill or refine their knowledge? Check out seven trades for women now.

Residential Service Trades

Strong women across the country are supporting their households, whether they work outside the home, as a full-time homemaker or both. Women trade workers have the unique opportunity to connect one-on-one with women customers in the home who make financial decisions for themselves and their families. According to Bloomberg.com, women drive 70–80 percent of consumer purchasing. They influence a lot of decisions in a household and are often home at the time of repair or installation, especially in the following industries:

Plumbers may work long hours on a commercial construction site or install water heaters in a residential home. Whatever the job calls for, plumbers don’t back down from the challenge. Women looking to enter the plumbing trade learn to use tools and technologies to solve problems on the jobsite.

Heating, cooling and ventilation help keep indoor spaces comfortable. The industry also includes refrigeration systems, electrical controls and heating systems. Individuals in the HVAC trade are diligent workers with the skills to resolve problems efficiently.

Workers in the electrical field install, maintain and repair power and lighting systems in homes and businesses. The trade requires concentration, attention to detail, and adherence to best practices. Women who enjoy troubleshooting and problem solving may find fulfillment as electricians.

Automotive Trades

As more women choose an automotive education, their visibility and presence help change the industry for the better. In fact, women have been involved in the auto field for decades. Mary Anderson invented the windshield wiper in 1902 and Florence Lawrence invented the turn signal in 1914. Today, female mechanics make an impact in auto collision repair shops and automotive garages across the country.

Auto body repair workers improve the appearance of cars damaged by things like collisions, age or rust. They specialize in making cars safe to drive again, as well as fixing cosmetic flaws. With the help of computerized systems, auto body workers mix and apply fresh paint.

Automotive repair technicians help customers who need structural and mechanical maintenance on their cars. They fix the inner parts of vehicles that have broken down and perform oil changes and other basic car maintenance. Women who want an active, hands-on career path may find auto repair is a good match for them.

Building and Crafting Trades

Women who feel more suited to field work than to a desk may add unique strengths to a construction crew.  New technologies, tools and equipment mean that these trades are as detailed as they are hands-on.

Individuals in the construction trade build things with their hands. They work hard in residential, commercial or government settings to erect office buildings, homes, schools and more.

Welders use focused concentration, a steady hand and time-tested best practices to enhance, repair or create projects. This field holds potential for women who are strong team players and efficient when they work alone, too.

Why is learning a skilled trade an excellent choice for a woman? Potential entry-level employers are looking for proficient individuals with training. Learn how you can start your journey to learning a trade today by exploring programs at Apex.



*Apex Technical School and its instructors are licensed by the State of New York, New York State Education Department.

Disclaimer: Apex Technical School provides training for entry-level jobs. Not everything you may read about the industry is covered in our training programs.

HVAC tradesperson uses AC training to check equipment

4 Signs an HVAC Career Path Is for You

Is trade school the right choice for me? Do my interests line up with a specific trade? I think I’m interested in HVAC training, but how do I know if heating and cooling school is the right path for me?


If you are considering taking your education, skills and knowledge to the next level by going to a trade school, you have probably asked yourself these questions. Individuals interested in a future in the heating and cooling trade often wonder if their personality, interests and skills are a good fit. As you weigh your options and plan for the future, consider these indicators.


  1. I am a reliable worker.


    You are a dependable person who understands everyone plays an important role. Family, friends, coworkers and supervisors trust you to work hard and fulfill expectations. People know you will follow through with what you say you will do—whether it is a small request or an important appointment.


    These qualities help students studying the HVAC trade complete their work. For example, if an air conditioning unit stops working in the middle of the night, homeowners and building managers want a trustworthy individual with the skills and knowledge to resolve the problem right away.


  3. I like solving problems.


    You are a technically minded person—which means you approach a problem by locating patterns and efficiencies. You may prefer to create a system or routine when you want to be successful with work or school. Following a process gives you control over challenges, and you often break a project into smaller parts because you want to see how things work.


    In HVAC school, you can use this trait to your advantage. Heating, cooling and refrigeration systems have a web of inner parts, and students learn how and why things work to produce cold or hot air. When one of these important systems breaks or malfunctions, an individual in the HVAC trade is often the first person on the scene. Students who are technically minded are prepared to examine a control panel and locate patterns to complete important repairs.


  5. I enjoy an active lifestyle.


    You like staying active—whether you are spending time with family and friends or learning hands-on in the classroom. You are the type of person who does not mind taking a walk or a drive with no destination in mind—as long as you are going somewhere, you are happy. A traditional desk job sounds a little boring to you, and you think you want a future that requires working on your feet.


    People in the HVAC trade spend time driving to job sites, working with their hands and maybe crouching into tight spaces to assess and service heating, cooling or refrigeration equipment. This active role calls for individuals to be comfortable moving on their feet for periods throughout the day.


  7. I like helping people understand things.


    When you know how something works, it is easy for you to teach others to be successful with it, too. Your knowledge and passion for a topic—such as cars, cooking, or movies—sets you apart from others. You are friendly and approachable, and you feel comfortable talking to strangers.

    Individuals in the HVAC industry interact with many people throughout the day—and they are often answering important questions about their trade, skills, knowledge of various equipment, or why a replacement part is necessary and how it will improve an overall system. Homeowners, contractors and business managers want to understand what a red flag looks like—and an HVAC tradesperson is responsible for explaining various elements about a furnace, air conditioner, refrigerator or other appliance. Strong communication and patience help make these interactions successful.

If you are interested in learning entry-level HVAC skills or starting trade school classes, explore our A/C and refrigeration program and schedule a tour online today.

*Apex Technical School and its instructors are licensed by the State of New York, New York State Education Department.

Disclaimer: Apex Technical School provides training for entry-level jobs. Not everything you may read about the industry is covered in our training programs.

An Apex Technical School student parent and his family stack their hands together in a pile

Going to Trade School: Back-to-School Tips for Student Parents

Single parents in college or technical school often wonder how they can accomplish their education goals with a family at home. While it may seem difficult, it’s possible to manage a family, work and trade classes. Here are three back-to-school tips for parents in trade school.

  1. Schedule your tasks.

    • Use a calendar. It can be on your refrigerator, mobile device or in a small planner. For example, if trade school class starts at 9 a.m. and you must finish studying and drop your son off at child care—make sure you schedule “studying” and “traveling to child care” on your calendar. Not only will you be on time for class, but you’ll take advantage of the quiet morning hours to study before your son wakes up.
    • Block out distractions. If you must study safety codes for your plumbing or electrical class, make sure you can devote time, energy and concentration to the task. Some students prefer to study as soon as they get home from class, when the material is fresh in their minds. Whenever you study, make sure you channel your attention on only one task. Ask family members not to disturb you. Leave your mobile phone in another room.
  2. Prep meals.

  3. Imagine this: You’ve just finished a class in the auto body repair shop. You learned new techniques for repairing rust on old vehicles. You’re proud of yourself, but now you’re tired. It’s time to go home and relax with your daughter who is staying with you for the weekend—except, you forgot about dinner.

    • Fix healthy meals for the week. Meal prepping can be a smart way to eat healthier foods because you won’t have to pick up fast food every night. Use an hour of your free time for prepping meals: slice vegetables, cook rice or pasta in bulk and sauté chicken that you can add to different meals throughout the week.
    • Save time and money. Eating prepared meals at home saves dollars at the grocery store and fast food restaurants, since it means you’ll be able to grab prepared food right from the refrigerator. It also gives you more time in your busy schedule to spend with family, studying or working.
  4. Ask for help.

  5. Sometimes, it seems like you must accomplish more than you’re capable of accomplishing. Maybe it’s difficult to juggle work, school and being there for your family when they need you. Or maybe time management is easy for you, but you’re afraid of falling behind in your trade classes because you don’t understand a new technique.

    • Talk to your support system. The people you surround yourself with are there to help you—whether that includes family, friends, trade school instructors, your religious community or other students in your classes. Asking questions helps everyone learn, grow and get better. When you’re learning something new—like a hands-on technical trade—you’re bound to discover your strengths and weaknesses. Rely on your support system to help you improve and finish strong.
    • Contact us. Our friendly representatives at Apex can answer your questions, from financial aid for trade school, to job placement assistance and other services offered at the school. Need help or have a question? Contact us today for more information.


*Apex Technical School and its instructors are licensed by the State of New York, New York State Education Department.


Disclaimer: Apex Technical School provides training for entry-level jobs. Not everything you may read about the industry is covered in our training programs.

Plumbing equipment used by technical school students to learn plumbing trade

4 Signs a Plumbing Career Pathway Is a Good Fit for You

Should I pursue my goals of becoming a skilled tradesman? Is the plumbing industry right for me? How do I know if I should follow the plumbing career pathway?

It’s normal to ask these questions as you consider the next steps in your career. Perhaps you’ve repaired plumbing or pipefitting work in your home, but you don’t know if you should pursue plumbing training. As a first step, it’s helpful to evaluate what you like about the field and how to take advantage of your personal characteristics. Consider these indicators as you learn more about the plumbing trade.

  1. I’m a problem-solver.

  2. You’re a curious person with a knack for working with your hands. You like the challenge of solving puzzles, problems and collaborating with a group. Even if you’re unsure at first, you’re confident you can figure out most problems. You are both practical and creative when it comes to finding solutions.


    Tradespeople in the plumbing industry need to think efficiently. Installations and repair jobs require plumbers to draw on their knowledge and skills of the trade. Because there are many types of fixtures, faucets and pipes, plumbers must know how to handle a variety of tools, read blueprints and find solutions for many systems and appliances.


  3. I take pride in being reliable.

  4. Your friends, family and coworkers, know they can depend on you to follow through, show up on time or finish a project. You value hard work in others and you expect it from yourself.


    Workers in the plumbing trade need to demonstrate reliability to customers and business partners. Some individuals are responsible for several house calls per day, commercial plumbing projects and installs and repairs. A tradesperson who is consistent and trustworthy is an asset to the plumbing industry.


  5. I like to learn and test new things.

  6. You’re interested in the mechanics of how things work. You’re a hands-on person who prefers to troubleshoot an issue, take your time finding the right solution and complete a challenge the right way—and even if the right way takes longer, you never cut corners. You enjoy assembling pieces and parts to find out how things work together.


    In the plumbing trade, workers often repair a variety of pipes and appliances—some new and some old. While homeowners may do their best to fix a plumbing problem, a skilled plumber can recognize an unsafe repair job, locate the correct tools and materials and quickly correct the issue. To stay knowledgeable in their trade, plumbers must keep current on techniques, tools and housing and building codes.


  7. I don’t mind small spaces.

  8. Individuals in the plumbing industry often find themselves in confined spaces such as crouching under a sink, working in tight corners, and maneuvering around appliances. These areas may be uncomfortable at times and require individuals in the plumbing trade to maintain good health. In addition, manual dexterity and physical fitness help plumbers minimize their risk of injury.

    There are many exciting trade industries and countless reasons to consider a technical school to continue your education. If you’re interested in learning about our trade school classes, explore our plumbing and pipefitting program or contact Apex today.

*Apex Technical School and its instructors are licensed by the State of New York, New York State Education Department.

Disclaimer: Apex Technical School provides training for entry-level jobs. Not everything you may read about the industry is covered in our training programs.

Gears with inspirational words, such as skills, knowledge and growth

Professional Work Habits of a Skilled Tradesperson

In addition to skills and on-the-job training, a successful tradesperson has a strong work ethic and a professional attitude. Good professional work habits benefit even the most experienced technicians. While you learn skills to enter the trade field, start practicing good work habits while you train or apprentice. On-the-job training exposes you to real-life work situations, testing your skills and professionalism.


No matter where you are in your education or training, use these four professional work habits of successful tradespeople and develop a strong work ethic.

  1. Problem solving skills
  2. In the classroom and at the jobsite, get in the habit of presenting solutions in addition to problems. Offering solutions to problems or issues shows critical thinking and leadership. Problem solving helps you earn trust from your colleagues and superiors. When you solve problems, be sure to observe, listen and ask questions so you fully understand the issue.


    Consider offering a few solutions when working within a team or directly with customers. Take advantage of more experienced teammates or supervisors by asking for their advice on solutions. Gain additional knowledge and understanding from others that can help you solve similar problems in the future.

  3. Continuous learning and education
  4. Keep your skills sharp and gain more experience by participating in continuous learning. As you continue to learn valuable skills for your trade or industry, you learn more techniques and get familiar with new technologies. While working on a jobsite, don’t be afraid to say, “I don’t know.” Learn from others by asking for help from teammates or supervisors.


    A desire to learn shows passion and a commitment to doing good work. Look for new or additional learning opportunities to develop or practice skills. Consider asking instructors to connect you with industry leaders or local trade organizations. Gain access to new opportunities or learning workshops by getting involved with professional trade or networking organizations.

  5. Be kind
  6. Kindness goes a long way in every trade industry. As a skilled tradesperson, interacting and working with customers may be a large part of your job. Treat every customer, teammate and supervisor with respect and kindness. Good customer service tends to play a huge role in every trade field. Polite, clear communication helps build trust with customers, managers and project owners.


    If you find yourself working within a team, avoid gossiping on the job─even on breaks. A positive attitude lets others see you as a dependable team player. Keep personal issues at home, even if you become friends with your colleagues. Don’t let issues outside of work affect or influence your job.

  7. Stay organized
  8. Get in the habit of writing or recording dates and information. Learn an organization system or create your own way to stay organized using a calendar, a planner or a mobile app. Even if you use a company- or job-provided time tracking or project management system, keep your own records to prevent clerical errors.


    Keep your equipment organized, as well, by properly storing and cleaning tools after using them. Have tools ready to use at the start of each day or before starting a project. Good organization preserves and protects your equipment, so you can get the most use out of your tools.


Interested in technical school training? Learn more about the trade programs at Apex Technical School.

*Apex Technical School and its instructors are licensed by the State of New York, New York State Education Department.

Disclaimer: Apex Technical School provides training for entry-level jobs. Not everything you may read about the industry is covered in our training programs.

tools for Apex Technical School

Is Apex Technical School Right For You?

Start Your Journey to Learning a Trade at Apex Technical School.

Get to know Apex and learn how you can prepare for a hands-on technical education. Check out the infographic to learn more.

Is Apex Right For You? Infographic

New York City skyline showing electrical trade

A Guide to Choosing Trade Schools in NYC

Trade and technical schools in New York provide students with comprehensive, hands-on education and skills to enter the workforce. Whether you pursue a career in the heart of the city, or you take a job in a small town, New York is home to numerous trade schools for ambitious students motivated to advance their professional lives.

As you determine what type of technical school is right for you, it’s best to consider the unique ways various programs can directly benefit you. As you begin your new career journey, weigh your trade school options by examining all facets of a training program.

What Do Trade Schools Offer?

Unlike most colleges and universities that require two, four or more years of study, trade or technical schools offer a faster education. At a technical school, you take only the classes you need to hone your skills for a specific trade. Many students choose trade schools for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Specialized programs
  • Practical, hands-on training
  • Lower tuition costs compared to a four-year college or university
  • Accelerated time to graduation
  • Day and evening classes
  • The trade school culture

For students living in or near New York City, there are additional benefits to attending a technical school. The size of the New York City population provides more opportunities than more rural and suburban neighborhoods. Further, students at trade schools in NYC will also be in a booming culture that includes:

  • Sports
  • Recreation
  • Art museums
  • Music
  • Technology
  • Stores and restaurants

The city’s iconic skyline, the energy on the streets, a subway that runs 24 hours a day, and even the pizza are all specific features that students love about getting an education near New York City.


What are My Trade School Options?

If you’re ready to begin training for a trade you’re passionate about, it’s time to determine which technical school is right for you. To do this, ask yourself the following questions as you research possible programs:

    1. Does this school offer hands-on learning?

Hands-on learning is a critical part of learning a trade. Respected programs help you learn the skills and knowledge you need to succeed by allowing you to experience the work firsthand.

    1. Is this school accredited?

Not all schools are accredited by a federally recognized association. Choosing an accredited technical school means that you’re attending a school with well-developed programs and administration that meet specific standards.

    1. Can I get help with financial aid, job placement, or work study at this school?

Many technical or trade schools assist students with these important aspects of their education. While some students don’t require financial aid, students can benefit from financial aid if you qualify. Contact the admissions department to learn how a school can answer your questions before you enroll and after you graduate.

Knowing how to choose a trade school that’s best for you will help you reach your career goals. Understanding your options can help make it easier to choose a path that is rewarding for your personal and professional future.

Wondering what you can expect in class and shop? Schedule a tour to visit Apex.



*Apex Technical School and its instructors are licensed by the New York State Education Department.

Disclaimer: Apex Technical School provides training for entry-level jobs. Not everything you may read about the industry is covered in our training programs.

Women in trades equipped for construction success

Why Women Are Well-Equipped for Trade-Based Careers

In the male-dominant fields of trade-based careers, women in trades can face doubts about their careers. You might wonder if you’ll be able to succeed, or if anyone will take you seriously.

With the right training and commitment to the trade, we believe women are uniquely equipped to succeed in trades like HVAC, automotive repair, plumbing and more. And we believe they should be given equal opportunity to bring their strengths to the trade.

If you’re considering vocational school or wondering about trade careers for women, use the following as motivation to pursue your dreams.

The trade customer is often female.

In her article for The Boston Globe Women gearing up for careers in the auto industry, Katie Johnston notes that female car drivers outnumber men. And for in-home trade services, such as HVAC, construction, and plumbing, the resident at home during the time of service is often female.

With an audience largely female, female trade service providers can make their female customers feel more comfortable with the service and repair process. This can often mean more return and referral-based business for the company, simply because its customers become more comfortable understanding the repairs and having the tradeswoman in their homes and cars.

Women can flourish in male-dominant fields.

In her Boston Globe article, Johnston also calls out tradeswomen’s abilities to:

  • Communicate
  • Pay attention to detail
  • Solve problems

Women are uniquely equipped to succeed in both service-oriented and problem-based trades, due to their ability to see details, analyze situations, and communicate solutions. Women in trades, particularly at the beginning of their careers, may feel pressure to conform, or even leave the field. But when they fully understand their innate potential for success, they can set their goals higher and ignore any noise that gets in their way. They can even begin to educate nay-sayers about the strengths of women in trades, creating opportunities for more females to join and further improve trade careers for women.

Mentorship from another female can help women succeed.

Because of the communication and problem-solving skills mentioned above, women make ideal mentors to those new to the industry. If possible, find a woman in your trade, and ask her to mentor you. Even if you aren’t already close, she’s likely to say yes to helping another woman succeed in the industry.

A female mentor can help you do the following as you navigate your potential in a trade career:

  • Better understand and use your strengths
  • Set expectations around female stereotypes
  • Learn how to respond to difficult situations
  • Communicate effectively in a male-dominant field
  • Set attainable goals that lead to career success

Resources for Women in Trades

As you work toward success and improving trade careers for women, we recommend pursuing resources that will help you at all steps of your journey – education, networking, job searching, and career advancement. Explore these resources, based on your trade of interest:


*Apex Technical School and its instructors are licensed by the New York State Education Department.
Disclaimer: Apex Technical School provides training for entry-level jobs. Not everything you may read about the industry is covered in our training programs.

Tradesmen exhibiting teamwork leadership skills while working

5 Leadership Skills Employers Look For

It’s a common misconception that leadership belongs only to the executives and manager of a company. In fact, those people in management likely started developing their leadership skills at the same time they started their careers – the same place you are now.

Leadership skills can be considered synonymous with employability skills; employers want every person they hire to have well-honed leadership skills, no matter what job they’re hired for. Employees who master the skills of successful leaders can contribute to taking the company further, staying with the company longer, and growing their careers faster, so it’s a win-win for the employee and the employer.

Learn about the leadership skills you can start developing today, and get tips on how to begin.

  1. Team-Oriented

  2. Employers look for people who exhibit a desire to work with others. Even if your job requires you to work alone much of the time, you’ll likely need to work with a manager or small team for some critical tasks. Team orientation means you:

    • See the value in understanding perspectives other than your own
    • Are trainable and eager to learn from others in the field
    • Are willing to train others in skills you’ve already mastered

    To start honing a team orientation, look for opportunities to work with others, such as group projects at school, family decisions, and groups within any organizations you’re a part of, like a gym, church, or volunteer group. Make an effort to listen to the other people in your group, and help facilitate healthy conversation when conflicts arise. Make decisions that meet the needs of everyone in the group, and delegate work equally between team members. Once you’ve started consciously honing these skills, you can add your team-building experiences to your resume, even if you haven’t had a chance to practice them on the job.

  3. Open to Feedback

  4. An effective and well-liked leader is someone who considers the opinions of everyone involved, including teammates, managers, and those in training.You can build this skill before you even begin your career by adopting an attitude of humility. Share your opinion, but be sure to also seek out the opinions of those around you. Seeking feedback can not only help you grow but also help you make decisions for the greater good. Employers want to know that they’re hiring people who are willing to listen and make sacrifices for the good of the company.

  5. Honest

  6. Good leaders are confident in their integrity; they know they are always doing their best work, and they want what’s right for their team and company. Therefore, they’re humble enough to admit their mistakes. They’re committed enough to start difficult conversations. Leadership does not mean covering up problems or always going with the flow. It means providing honest feedback and owning your actions so the team can learn and grow.

  7. Entrepreneurial

  8. Having an entrepreneurial spirit doesn’t mean you need to invent something or start a business; it simply means you look for ways to improve things. Entrepreneurial ideas can include new ways to:

    • Make processes more efficient
    • Improve a product or academic assignment
    • Learn about a topic

    Ultimately, having an entrepreneurial attitude means you want to make experiences better and more efficient for everyone involved. To develop these leadership skills, start thinking about your everyday routines. How can you make them more efficient and enjoyable – for you and your family, friends, peers, or coworkers?

  9. Passionate

  10. Leaders must be passionate about their work. In order to keep honing all of the skills listed above throughout their careers, they must be excited to do their jobs every day. Be sure the career you choose offers a growth path that appeals to you. What can you do to get promoted? Are there learning opportunities for experienced employees? Learning often ignites passion, and your education doesn’t stop when your career begins. Always look for opportunities to learn new skills that can continue to motivate you toward leadership success.

*Apex Technical School and its instructors are licensed by the New York State Education Department.

Disclaimer: Apex Technical School provides training for entry-level jobs. Not everything you may read about the industry is covered in our training programs.