Three New York City construction workers wearing white hard hats and reflective vests

Choosing a Trade: Construction in NYC

New York City is full of incredible views, culture and opportunities. It’s difficult to image a world without America’s most iconic city. Each person who lives, works and visits New York City leaves a unique mark on the community—especially those who dedicate their skills and sweat to crafting the buildings that make up the Big Apple.

It’s true—commercial construction workers have found many reasons to pursue their trade in New York. Can you see yourself pursuing a construction future in the city that never sleeps? Here are three benefits of working in the construction trade in New York City.

 

  1. The city depends on your skills to grow.

  2. New York City neighborhoods need skilled individuals to build offices, schools, roads, hospitals and skyscrapers. Construction projects bring new life to communities by creating infrastructure and economic opportunities for the people who live and work nearby. Individuals in the construction trade also contribute important skillsets that help New York City flourish as a tourist destination by helping erect museums, monuments, shopping centers and public transit facilities. Students who study the residential or commercial construction trade can help expand the development in their city.

  3. You can leave your suit and tie at home.

  4. Do you prefer steel-toe boots to polished loafers? Do ties and stiff collars sound like an uncomfortable uniform? For many construction-minded individuals, formal clothing is unnecessary. New York City construction workers don’t iron their 9 to 5 work clothes each morning, but they do suit up for a hard day’s work. They may wear safety goggles, hard hats, protective footwear, reflective vests and other protective workwear. In New York City, safety is a priority—especially in high-traffic areas, on high-rise jobsites and around pedestrians and heavy machinery.

  5. Hands-on work is satisfying.

  6. Construction projects in New York City—think skyscrapers, roads, bridges, restaurants and apartment buildings—need skilled individuals who enjoy working with their hands.  In the construction trade in New York, craftsmen often don’t sit at a desk in an office building all day. They work with their hands and operate equipment. There are several famous construction workers who contributed to New York’s skyline and structures.

    Interested in gaining construction skills for entry-level position in New York City? Contact us to schedule a tour, view our classrooms and ask questions about the construction program.

     

     

    *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.

A blue wall with a clock and calendar representing time management in trade school

How Trade School Students Find Success at School

Trade industries are powered by skilled individuals. What do those individuals have in common? Without work ethic, tradesmen and tradeswomen in fields such as construction, electrical, automotive and many others would fall short of their potential. Being proud of your work ethic starts with learning how to balance what you want to do with what you need to do.

Trade school is an ideal time to practice working hard and making the most of each day. Here are three ways you can manage your time to find success at school.

Try Proactive Learning

Trade school gives students the opportunity to learn new skills and practice them hands-on. The more hands-on practice students have, the more skills they retain over time and the stronger their critical thinking muscles become.

Time management is one way to help you be a proactive learner, or someone who is dedicated to taking initiative. Try making a to-do list that will help you balance school work along with your other responsibilities. Take advantage of each day in trade school and try the following proactive learning tips:

  • Keep an open mind
  • Ask questions and seek out information
  • Practice new techniques
  • Set aside time for studying at home

Network, Network, Network

Making connections is another way to make the most of your time in trade school. Trade school is an ideal place and time to form relationships with peers and instructors who not only help you reach your goals in school each day but also offer support when you’re pursuing entry-level employment or later in your career.

Networking may seem difficult at first. If you want to talk about a welding technique, you may need to stay after class to meet with an instructor. A small conversation now has the potential to build up your professional network later. Because you took the time to network, your instructor may be willing to speak to potential employers about your work ethic, character and passion for welding.

Learn How to Balance Your Day

When you have too much on your plate—think family responsibilities, trade school, a job, sports, hobbies and friends—learning how to balance your day is essential. Time management helps you stay on track, prevent distractions and say “yes” to the important things.

Time management isn’t just looking at your calendar and arriving to class on time. It involves learning how to make the most of each day, balancing what you need to do with what you want to do, and finetuning your work ethic along the way. Apex instructors and staff want to help you achieve your goals. Contact us today to learn more.

 

 

 

*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.

A student wearing brown shoes learns about trade school program myths

3 Myths About Trade School Programs

It’s no surprise that traditional college isn’t for everyone. Millions of students attend college every year, while countless others choose to pursue their goals at a trade school. This is an important, life-changing decision for many individuals and getting it right requires careful consideration.

 

Choosing to go to trade school over college is a viable option for many reasons. However, as you think about your goals and interests, it’s important to understand the benefits of a trade school education and know how to spot common trade school myths. Here are three trade school myths to debunk before you enroll in technical training classes.

 

  1. Myth 1: There are only a few trade school options.

  2. Welding, electrical and plumbing are well-known trades might be viewed as the backbone of the labor workforce. These trades help keep America’s homes, buildings and machines running smoothly. Many trade schools focus on providing students with entry-level skills and knowledge in these three industries—but they don’t stop there.

     

    In addition to training in the plumbing, welding and electrical trades, trade schools may offer a variety of important coursework and shop experience for students such as:

     

    • Auto body repair
    • Automotive service and repair
    • Air conditioning, refrigeration and appliance controls (HVAC)
    • Construction and building skills

     

    Trade school students don’t need to feel stuck or pressured to pursue a trade they aren’t interested in. Many trade schools, like Apex, offer students a variety of quality, hands-on programs to choose from. To find a career path you’re passionate about, you might start by exploring classes in each Apex trade program.

     

  3. Myth 2: Potential employers don’t want to see trade school programs on a resume.

  4. By completing a trade program, you show you’re ready to start an entry-level trade school job. Because technical training involves a mix of classroom and shop learning, students are exposed to a well-rounded and hands-on approach to learning. An educational experience like this sharpens your skills and preps you with knowledge you can carry with you anywhere your goals take you. Plus, hands-on career readiness shows employers you’ve practiced for the role of an entry-level employee.

     

  5. Myth 3: Trade schools can’t obtain accredited status.

  6.  

    Another trade school myth involves accreditation, or proof that a school or institution meets strict – standards. Being granted accreditation means a school follows best practices for student success and continually finds ways to help students on their educational journey.

     

    Like four-year traditional colleges, trade schools can receive this designation from accrediting organizations, including the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges which is recognized by the United States Department of Education. Just like many traditional colleges, accredited trade schools can also obtain special licenses and memberships that contribute to a quality learning experience.

 

Now that you’ve debunked some myths about trade school, learn if Apex is a good fit for you in this infographic. Have questions? Schedule a tour to visit the school and talk to our friendly staff.

 

*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.

A person completing a vocational resume on a wooden table top

How to Write a Resume After Trade School

If you’re on track to meet your graduation goal, congratulations! Finishing trade school and starting a career in the trade of your choice requires hard work—and a polished resume. At Apex Technical School, our job placement assistance team helps you learn how to create a resume you can send to companies as you prepare to pursue an entry-level position. To help you get started, we’ve listed four elements you can add to your new graduate resume.

  1. Education

  2. As you learn how to write a resume, it’s important to accurately and professionally represent yourself. Provide details about where you attended school, including high school and trade or technical school. It’s helpful to cite the dates you attended school because this shows hiring managers the time you’ve spent learning new knowledge and hands-on technical skills.

  3. Part-Time Employment

  4. Many students work part-time while they attend trade school. Plus, learning a trade part time is an excellent way to start a new career without putting your personal life on hold. If you have prior work experience, consider listing the following details on your new graduate resume:

    • Company or organization name
    • Location (city and state)
    • Dates of employment
    • 4–5 job responsibilities
  5. Experience

  6. You’ve worked hard acquiring new skills in the classroom and shop, so include your technical experience with pride. For example, students training for the plumbing trade can include their knowledge of hand and power tools, pipefitting skills and more. Unlike a college graduate’s resume, your vocational resume showcases hands-on learning experiences.

  7. Soft Skills

  8. What are soft skills and how are they different from hands-on technical skills? Soft skills such as personality traits and communication abilities characterize how you approach a job and find success in your work. Incorporate relevant soft skills on your vocational resume, such as:

    • Work ethic
    • Problem-solving
    • Time management
    • Decision-making

    Most employers look for soft skills in job candidates because they prove you have the ability to make decisions, solve problems and create professional relationships with coworkers.

For more help creating your vocational resume, contact our Job Placement Assistance team.
 

 
*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. The school does not guarantee job placement of any student.

The words “I can” next to a person’s hand representing a positive thinking technique

How to Achieve Your Goals with Positive Thinking Techniques

Staying focused in school isn’t always easy—whether you’re in high school, college, or a vocational trade school program. However, studies suggest that positive thinking can lead to happiness and achievement in school and beyond. Positive thinking is truly a powerful way to keep you on track for success.

 

Learn how to achieve your goals when you reframe your thoughts and stay positive. Here are some ways to use positive thinking techniques in trade school.

 

Be patient—don’t get discouraged or blame others.

We all deal with stressful situations, but it’s important not to waste energy placing blame on others around you. This makes you feel less powerful and can cause you to resent instructors, teammates or peers. Instead, gain a clearer perspective by writing down your thoughts:

  • List the problems you’re having.
  • Write down five to 10 solutions. Don’t worry if some won’t work out.
  • Next, look at your list, and weigh the pros and cons.
  • Which solutions are best? Choose one or two.
  • Make a plan, and act on it.

 

Keep in mind, you may need to revisit your list if your plan doesn’t work out the way you expect. Don’t worry—this is normal. Your list is there to guide you; simply try another option.

 

Avoid unnecessary conflict.

Disagreements at home, school or work are a normal part of life. Because we all learn and work differently, conflicts arise from time to time. Like conflicts in your personal life, disagreements in trade school can hinder the way you interact with other students and can damage relationships.

 

To lessen your chance of being involved in conflict, try to remain non-judgmental when you don’t see eye-to-eye with others. Discussions are another way to keep the peace, especially in class where other students have varying opinions. If a conflict does arise, keep the lines of communication open to show you respect what others have to say.

 

Ask for help when you need it.

Imagine this: You’re working through a tough problem in your electrical class, or maybe you can’t get your door frame to line up in your building skills class. No matter how hard you try, you feel like the task at hand is impossible. “Maybe I’m just not cut out for this trade,” you mumble to yourself.

 

The rules of positive thinking say it’s OK to ask for help. Nobody knows everything, and in moments like these, it’s helpful to remember why you’re in trade school—to learn a new skill. Reach out to instructors and peers, learn from others around you in class and in the shop. Asking for help gives you a fresh perspective, shows you how someone else solves the problem, and proves that you can solve it, too.

 

Don’t let your past define you.

Many people avoid negative parts of their past by focusing on gratitude. In fact, researchers have found that gratitude has lasting effects on the brain, especially when we write down what we’re grateful for in a gratitude journal.

 

To start your own gratitude journal, jot down a few things you’re thankful for as you take the train to school, break for a quick lunch, or after you finish an assignment for your plumbing skills class. It’s as simple as appreciating the skills you learn from a dedicated instructor, a cheerful call from an admissions representative, or even just jokes with classmates.

 

Deciding to learn a trade is about pursuing your goals. It requires determination to move forward. And you can’t overcome challenges if you’re always looking backward. So, take a deep breath, put one foot in front of the other and lean on the power of positive thinking to help you reach your goals.

 

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

 

Students going to trade school in vocational training programs

How to Turn Going to Trade School Into a Reality

If you’re considering going to trade school, you’re probably wondering where to start. Do you research financial aid for trade schools first, or should you find the most interesting vocational training program? To simplify the process, we’ve broken weighing your trade school options down into six simple steps that could take you to the first day of class. Start here:

  1. Create a short list.
  2. Before you consider cost or timeline, put your interests first. Create a list of all the accredited trade schools and programs that sound intriguing. Then consider what careers you could pursue with each of those vocational training programs. Which future sounds most appealing to you? To narrow down your list further, limit your schools of interest to only those in an ideal location for you.

  3. Request information.
  4. If you have questions about any of the vocational training programs on your short list, get in contact with the school. Some questions you might want answers to include the following:

    • What courses are required to graduate?
    • What careers have recent alumni pursued?
    • Can I talk with one of the program’s instructors about the program?
    • What does a normal day in the life of a student look like?

  5. Visit.
  6. Once you’ve learned all you can through email, the website, or phone conversations—and you’re still interested in the program—it’s time to visit the school in person. Contact the admissions department to schedule time for a campus tour or conversation with an admissions representative or instructor. Meeting faculty, staff, and students in-person will help you understand the trade school’s culture and if it would be a good fit for you.

  7. Apply.
  8. For the schools you enjoyed visiting, it’s time to start your application process. Reach out to admissions at any time. This is your official request to attend the programs you’re excited about, so you should accurately provide all information requested.

  9. Get help with financial aid.
  10. Once you’ve applied, you can get a better idea of financial aid for the trade schools you’re serious about attending. Ask the admissions departments where to start with your financial aid process. They should be able to introduce you to a financial aid advisor as they process your application. Remember to research all aid sources:

    • Federal financial aid (via FAFSA)
    • Scholarships and grants
    • Loans

    Keep asking questions until you have a clear understanding of the total cost of your program with financial aid factored in.

  11. Decide.
  12. Once you’ve been accepted, it’s time to decide when and where to start your vocational training program. If you’re accepted to more than one, your decision may come down to each school’s culture or cost after financial aid. Choose what’s best for your goals and lifestyle, and dive in head first when it’s time to start classes.

 
*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.

Apex students receiving technical education in welding class

The Value of Technical Education

What is a trade school?

Trade schools specialize in hands-on training that prepares students for entry-level work. More importantly, trade schools help busy students obtain the skills and experience they want to enter the workforce in a chosen field.

 
A technical education offers many advantages over an education at a traditional, four-year university. Most trade school students agree traditional college doesn’t fit their unique goals. If you’re one of those people, you’re not alone. Let’s examine how a technical education is a valuable way to gain skills and training to enter a new career.

  1. Specialized programs prepare students for entry-level work
    A trade school curriculum is designed to build entry-level skills. For example, students training in the construction program at Apex learn how to use common tools of the trade to frame windows and doors, install light fixtures, and more. This kind of hands-on learning provides you with practical experience you can use as soon as you enter the workforce. When you solve problems in a classroom or shop setting, you prepare for entry-level tasks.
  2.  

  3. Spend less time in school
    If you intend to enter your career field quickly, trade school provides a faster track than colleges and universities, which typically take two to four years to complete. Trade school minimizes disruptions for students who juggle busy work schedules with family commitments. With the option to take day or evening classes, trade schools provide a valuable opportunity that may fit with your lifestyle.
  4.  

  5. Small classes are personal and adult-oriented
    In general, compared to traditional universities and colleges, many students at trade schools value the hands-on training, as well as the support and encouragement they receive in their smaller-sized classes. Trade school instructors dedicate time to helping you learn, troubleshoot, question, and expand your skill set.
  6.  

  7. No waiting to enroll
    Students who apply to four-year universities often wait months before they start classes. With technical education, you are on a fast-track to enrollment. At Apex, you’ll visit the school, see the workshops equipment, and meet your Admissions advisor. Once accepted, you can complete hands-on career training in as little as seven months.
  8.  

  9. Career Services assists upon graduation
    Students who complete trade school training programs receive friendly, helpful assistance. Career Services advisors can help you search for career options that fit your skill sets and goals.

A career and technical education can help you obtain the skills, knowledge, and experience you need for entry-level work. By learning a trade at Apex Technical School, students follow their goals and prepare for positions in their chosen industry.
 
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 student works on A/C refrigeration repairs while learning a trade

A Guide to Learning a Trade Part Time

Trade schools—also known as technical schools—are job-focused training programs popular across the United States where students often obtain specialized certificates or degrees in two years or less. Individuals at trade schools often find learning a trade part time to be a rewarding, faster route to pursuing their career goals.

How fast can I complete a trade school program?

If you’re interested in fast trade school programs, there are a few items you’ll want to consider when selecting your trade school. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • How much time do I have for trade school?
  • First, determine how much time you can devote to learning a new trade. Learning a trade part time is an excellent option for individuals who are already working a current job or have family obligations that require their energy, care and time. Part-time technical classes empower students to learn on a schedule that works with their lifestyles.

     

  • When would I attend classes? (i.e. day or night)
  • Next, consider when you will attend classes. If you work during the day, night classes might be right for you. However, if you care for your family at night, attending classes during the day will allow you more family time in the evenings.

     

  • Does trade school offer the skills I want to learn?
  • The benefits of trade schools are many; however, students often mention technical, hands-on learning as the key factor to completing a program in a short period of time. Concentrated, specialized trade programs focus only on what students need to learn for specific jobs. For example, students don’t spend time on general or broad elective courses such as art history or social studies.

Fast Trade School Programs at Apex Technical School

Learning a trade can be a faster route to entering the workforce, especially when compared to traditional four-year university degree programs. At Apex Technical School, you can complete various hands-on learning programs in as little as seven months. Apex can prepare you to pursue entry-level positions in these industries:

  • Auto Repair
  • A/C & Refrigeration
  • Auto Body Repair
  • Welding
  • Electrical & Advanced Electrical
  • Construction
  • Plumbing

By learning a trade at Apex Technical School, students can benefit from day or evening class times and hands-on learning experiences with skilled instructors. A technical school can help you learn a trade and pursue the skills you want to fulfill your goals.
 
Learn more about our programs today.
 

 
*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.
 

Use group work to learn how to succeed in school by treating school like a job

5 Ways You Should Treat School Like a Job

If you want to make the most of your trade school education, it’s essential that you take every assignment, workshop, and opportunity seriously. When you start treating trade school like a job, you will be implementing one of the most important student success tips.

Learn about how to succeed in school by treating it like a job below.

  1. Early is on time, and on time is late
  2. Treating trade school like a job means being on time to every commitment, whether you’re going to class, a study session, or a meeting with your instructor. One way to become timelier is to change your mindset around what on time means. If you want to ensure you’re on time to every commitment, start arriving at least five minutes early. Arriving a few minutes early to every commitment shows dedication, and it builds a useful skill for your future.

  3. Value teamwork
  4. Group projects aren’t a method instructors use to frustrate overachievers and enable underachievers. They are training exercises that prepare you for working on real-world teams. No matter what your future holds, you will need to interact with people of all different personalities and skillsets. If you want those interactions to be productive and enjoyable, use your group work in school as an opportunity to build collaboration skills.

  5. Exceed your goals
  6. To get a promotion in the real world, you usually need to not only meet but also exceed your employer’s expectations. To exceed their expectations, you must go above and beyond your established responsibilities. Start setting the bar high while you’re in trade school so this becomes your mindset early on. Try the following:

    • When you’re confused about something, ask questions and commit personal time to learning it.
    • Ask your instructor what you can be doing outside of the workshop or classroom to keep learning.
    • Don’t simply aim for good grades; ask yourself and your instructors how else you can prepare for the real world.

    The workplace demands that you be respectful toward every employee, regardless of your personal feelings. Practice showing respect to everyone by starting with your instructors and fellow students, especially in frustrating situations. Trade school is your chance to build your communication skills and patience before the stakes are raised.

  7. Team Success = Personal Success

Even if you have all your ducks in a row in the workplace, if the entire company doesn’t see financial success, you may not be rewarded. Keep in mind that for all your personal academic success, what really matters in the workplace is the growth of the team and business. Practice in school by helping your classmates. Build them up, and find out how you can all succeed in school. Ultimately, you can’t control the success of others, but employers value the desire to serve others and succeed together.
 
Want to learn more about trade school, including 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.

Working students pursuing their trade career goals

How to Balance Work and Trade School

Being a working student is a demanding lifestyle, so prioritizing balance is essential. As you prepare to take on your career goals, you can add some habits to your life that will help you with balancing school and work. If you’re working full time and going to trade school, try these time management techniques.

Trim down your list of priorities

If you’re adding a full course load to your already busy schedule, you will need to make some small changes. An education in a new trade is worth it, and making intentional changes will help you carry through. Follow these simple steps:

  1. Make a list of all the ways you spend your time throughout a typical week. Categorize each one into categories such as the following:
    • Work
    • Entertainment
    • Eating
    • Family/Friends
    • Rest/Sleep
    • Household Duties
    • Travel
  2. Next to each category, estimate how many hours per week you spend in each category. You might be surprised how much time you spend in some.
  3. Create a new Category, “School,” with 0 hours.
  4. Rank the importance of each category (1 being of highest important and 7 being of lowest importance).
  5. Starting with the lowest-ranked category, determine how many hours you can take from that category to add to the new category of School. This step may take some discussion with your family or roommates so they can help you stay on track and fill in if you need to take away some time spent doing household duties.
  6. Continue reducing hours from the low-priority categories until you’ve accumulated enough class and study time for your School category.

Set expectations with your circle of support.

Now that you’ve determined what lifestyle changes you’ll need to make to achieve your goals, it’s time to seek accountability and support from your closest friends and family. Let them know that until you’ve completed your trade school program, you’re trying to balance school and work, and you’ll need to reduce some of the time you spend with them. Your true support system will be eager to help and see you achieve your goals. Let them know exactly what you plan to sacrifice during your time in school, and ask them to understand and hold you accountable.

You should also have a candid conversation with your current managers at work. Let them know that you are pursuing an education, and ask about any schedule changes you’ll need to accommodate your trade school program. A good manager will understand that you’re trying to advance your career and want to help you achieve your goals.

Stay motivated

When you’re taking on a lifestyle change and striving to transform your career, it can be easy to become overwhelmed. When you’re overwhelmed, you’re more likely to procrastinate or spend time worrying about your future. This will get in the way of your progress, and it will accumulate as wasted time, so it’s essential that you avoid stress as much as possible. Read this article to get tips for staying motivated.

Are you ready to make some changes so you can achieve your career goals? Being a working student is something you’ll be proud of once you transform your career.
 

*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.

Materials for a construction class that can give a student inspiration to study

5 Motivational Strategies for Students in Technical School

Do you ever feel overwhelmed by your future? Do you get discouraged from achieving your career goals? You are not alone. When motivation runs low, it’s essential to stay focused on what matters. Use these simple strategies to feel motivated more frequently – and work through the times when you don’t.

  1. Remember why you’re here.
  2. Your motivation for studying and completing your program go beyond simply starting or advancing your career. Did you decide to go to school so you could do something you care about every day? Or maybe it’s so you can provide a better life for your family. Whatever the reason, write it down on a few sticky notes, and place them somewhere you will see them often – on your desk, computer, dashboard, or refrigerator. Remind yourself why the small things you do today can make a difference to your future.

  3. Set mini-goals.
  4. Completing an educational program and starting or switching careers can feel overwhelming because they might take more than a few weeks or months to attain. Set short-term goals that can symbolize your progress and give you inspiration to study along the way. Short-term goals could include:

    • Mastering one new skill
    • Asking your instructor for help with one topic
    • Hosting a study group
    • Improving your grade on an exam or in a course
    • Sticking to a study schedule
    • Attending every class

    As you set a few short-term goals that are easier to attain, you’ll be able to mark your progress toward achieving your long-term goal. Notice the progress you’re making every day so you can gain extra motivation for studying and achieving your goal.

  5. Tell someone about your long- and short-term goals.
  6. By talking to people about your goals, you can build a team of supporters who want to see you succeed. You might feel vulnerable talking about your goals at first; that’s a sign that you’re being honest about something that matters to you. When those around you – your family, friends, and instructors – understand what you want to achieve, they can help you along the way. Your family can be understanding when you need to spend time in school, your friends can encourage you, and your instructors can hold you accountable. Share your long- and short-term goals so you have a community of support during this time of transition.

  7. Reward the small victories.
  8. You’re likely making some sacrifices to achieve your goals. You might be spending less time with your family and friends, spending more time in the shop or classroom, and investing in your education. While sacrifices are necessary to make life changes, it can be difficult for students to stay motivated when they place too many limitations on themselves. Remember to celebrate when you achieve any of the mini-goals on your list. Whether it’s treating yourself to your favorite restaurant or taking a relaxing walk, small rewards can mark your progress and keep you motivated to work toward the next reward.

  9. Ask for help
  10. Sometimes, you do everything you can to stay motivated to study and achieve your goals, and you still feel overwhelmed. When this happens, it’s time to reach out to your community of support. Explain your feelings to your family and friends. Ask your coworkers to take an extra shift for you. Ask your instructors for help with the materials, equipment, or concepts. Your community cares about you and wants to see you succeed. Asking for help shows that you are truly committed to achieving your goals. It shows that you’ve set goals worthy of achieving.

Try these motivational strategies for a week. See if you feel more motivated to reaching your goals, and better-equipped to achieve them.

 
*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.

A team of two welders work together in a hands-on shop class to gain experiential learning skills for the workforce

4 Benefits of Hands-On Learning

Are you wondering if hands-on learning works? Adults who choose hands-on learning can reap the following benefits, from a faster education to resume-worthy in school lab/shop experience.

1. Take only the classes you need.

Hands-on training programs focus primarily on preparing you for a career. The program curriculum is developed to help build your real-world skill set. You don’t have to take general classes that are not relevant to your choice of trade (i.e. History, Art) which slow down your education and distract you from starting your career.

2. Acquire the skills you need faster.

Hands-on training allow adults to learn real-world trade skills. When lectures are combined with shop and project work, you’re able to immediately apply your knowledge to job-related tasks. Hands-on learning allows you to experiment with what you learn in the classroom, solve real problems, and therefore retain your learnings faster.

3. Discover your interests before you start working.

You’ve heard the stories, maybe from one of your own friends: They’ve known what they wanted to be since they were 10, they work hard to pay for and graduate from a four-year college, and they get their dream job. After a year – maybe even less – they realize that they don’t love it, and they’re not sure how to get out of it.

Years of educational study can sometimes trap you into a career you’re not passionate about. Short-term hands-on learning programs allow you to not only start working faster but also find out if you enjoy the job while you’re still in school. Labs and shop settings introduce you to how it feels to do the work you’re training for, providing early confirmation that you chose the right trade.

4. Gain resume-worthy experience while you’re in school.

As you consider training programs, you’re probably wondering how you can start a new career without any experience. Your future career can benefit from hands-on learning experience doing the tasks an entry-level job requires of you.  Remember, you can add lab and shop experience to your resume, even if it happened in school or you weren’t paid to do it. These valuable experiences could set you apart from other entry-level job candidates.

Embrace the opportunity of hands-on learning, and start the path toward a career you’ll enjoy.

 

*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.

working student

8 Challenges Working Students Face

And How to Overcome Them

Adult students at trade schools and technical colleges are some of the hardest working individuals with the highest goals; they want to earn their education while providing for themselves and their families. Because their goals are so high, they overcome challenge after challenge along the way. If you’re one of those working students, we commend you and offer our tips for working while in school. Do you identify with these working student challenges?

1. You’ve agonized over going back to school.
When you’ve been in the working world for a year or two, it can be difficult to figure out a way to fit school into your busy life. After all, you’re already earning a living. At the same time, you know you would grow faster with an education – or be able to get a job in a field you care about – if you furthered your education. Don’t make the decision to go back to school on a whim; it’s an investment that requires time, commitment, and career goals.

2. Some say you’re too serious about your work.
While some traditional college students move from working in the dining hall, to helping out at the school library, to lifeguarding in the summer, adult students may have held down a full-time job before starting school. You should be proud of your commitment to your career – and your desire to grow through education. Don’t let your friends and family tell you to take your job less seriously while you’re in school. You’re gaining valuable work experience, padding your resume, and building a stronger network every day.

3. You had to be more particular about your college search.
When searching for the right higher education option, you had a different checklist than your traditional student friends. While they might look for a school that had the best dorms and student life, you looked for industry specific programs and a school with programs less than 2-4 years in length. Being a working student means focusing on mature priorities – ones that put you on the fast track toward your goals.

4. You have a long to-do list.
Working hard without breaks can often lead to over-commitment or fear that you won’t be able to do it all. Remember, working students just like you get it done every day. If you feel yourself worrying about your schedule, meet with your advisor or boss to discuss ways to adjust your priorities. You can do faster, better-quality work when your mind can relax and focus on one thing at a time. Check out our tips on time management and goal-setting to bring more balance to your life.

5. You go to bed exhausted more often than not.
Working students have a long list of priorities, and meeting those priorities takes hard work. A productive life is healthy, but we encourage you to move rest up on your list of priorities. When you get the sleep your body needs, you’ll become even more productive and motivated in achieving your goals.

6. You’re frequently balancing school work and your social life.
When your job and school take up your time, your social life often lags behind your other ambitions. Before you cancel on your best friend again, remember that friend time is often beneficial to your emotional well-being. However, you’re investing in your future heavily right now. If that means you need to trim your social time to finish homework and get some hard-earned rest, don’t feel guilty about committing less of your time to friends while in school.

7. Even procrastinators become productive multi-taskers.
When challenged with work-school-life balance, adult students – even those who were once chronic procrastinators – find themselves getting as much done as possible whenever there’s a free moment. You use those five minutes waiting for your teacher to start class to brush up on last week’s notes. You work through your lunch break instead of going out with your coworkers. If you have children, you use the time in between their homework to reflect on the job-training you received that day. Increased productivity can help you feel accomplished; but remember to set apart downtime before bed or first thing in the morning so you can consciously debrief and recharge.

8. You have the right form of early-onset senioritis.
Because you’ve chosen a program based on a career you’re genuinely excited about, you’re eager to learn and graduate so you can put your skills to work.
 
If you’re a working student or considering going back to school, we commend you. Set your priorities based on what’s important to you – your career, personal stability, and an education. A school like Apex Technical School understands what working students need in a trade school. You can find the support in advisors, teachers, and a focus on your goals.
 
Learn more about our programs today.
 

 
*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.

calendar time management thumbnail

Time Management Tips for Working Students

As a student working while in college or at a trade school, you can wear many hats – you’re a student, a parent, a friend, an employee and more. There are times when two or more of your roles can overlap, and it can become stressful to find time to complete everything. To help you succeed in each role you have, Apex Technical School offers you seven time management techniques.

Keep a Planner or a Schedule

Balancing work while going to school can create a hectic schedule, and the best way to stay on top of it is by using a planner – whether it’s a physical planner or using your calendar features on your smartphone.

When you keep your planner with you at all times, you can keep track of everything you need to do. It can be used to keep your work and school schedule, as well as your assignments or requirements for both. A planner can help you keep track of where you need to be, what you need to do, and can limit the stress of forgetting things.

One benefit of using a digital calendar is that you can set reminders, create to-do lists and organize different types of tasks by color.

Find Your Productivity Peak – Breaks are Important

Your circadian rhythm (CR) is your internal, 24-hour clock that tells you when your body is ready is for sleep. Your CR also manages other cycles in your body, like your ultradian rhythm (UR). Your UR is what drives your productivity while you are awake, and it works in 90-120-minute sequences. Why? Because your brain can only focus for 90-120 minutes at a time and then you need to take a break.

At the beginning of the UR, you’ll have your most productive time (roughly 90 minutes). This is the time you want to focus on your work or other tasks. Then, when your cycle is complete, you experience a 20-minute break that is needed to refocus and regenerate. Step away, take a coffee break or check your social media profiles.

Your ultradian rhythm, just like your circadian rhythm, is unique to you. When you know what time of day works best for you, you can depend on that time to prioritize and complete work or school tasks efficiently. You’ll also be more productive when you take regular breaks to give your brain a rest.

Make, then Prioritize, a To-Do List

Along with your schedule, you can create to-do lists. When you write down everything you need done, you can prioritize the tasks by when they need to be complete, or space them out by how much time they will require. When you prioritize and follow the new to-do list with your schedule, you can prevent stress, manage time and keep your work and school life in order.

Complete Related Tasks Together

When you complete similar tasks all at the same time it allows your brain to continue in a constant flow without making it switch skill sets.

When you have, for example, 30 emails to read and one presentation to prepare, it is better if you schedule to read and reply to all the emails in a row. That may seem intimidating, but the emails require the same set of skills and thought process. When you complete similar tasks all at the same time, it will reduce start-up and slow-down time and increase focus.

When you put similar things in one group to complete, it is a technique called batching

Utilize Waiting Time

There are many moments that happen every day where you spend time waiting: for the bus, in a doctor’s office, on the elliptical at the gym, before work or before class. Those moments can be used to complete work that needs to be done. If you complete tasks while you wait, you can save time in other parts of your day.

Make Every Day/Week To-do’s a Habit

When you have a consistent work and/or school schedule, it will quickly become habitual.
On your schedule, when a task or assignment happens often, you should complete it at the same time each day. When you begin a regular schedule, it becomes expected, and you know where you need to be or what you should do during that time. Organizing your schedule to repeat daily or weekly will become a habit that will also help you organize your spare time because it will become a part of your rhythm.

Know the Importance of Work Life Balance

With all the roles you keep at school and work, one of your goals should be to make time for yourself. Leisure time should always be included in your daily or weekly schedule to do things that you enjoy.
In your schedule or to-do list, don’t forget to set some time away for yourself. When you have time to refresh, your focus will increase while your stress decreases, and you will make your working hours more beneficial.

Working While Going to School

Working while going to school takes dedication. To make the most of your time, use a calendar, make habits, use your waiting time to get things done and make extra time to do things for you.

For more school tips or information on the trades, check out all our resources in Apex Toolbox Chatter or contact Apex Technical School.

 
*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.

back to school image

7 Tips for Adult Learners Going Back to School

Going back to school as an adult can create a unique set of obstacles that may differ from that of a traditional student. Balancing classes and schoolwork, along with a full-time or even part-time job, family commitments and a social life can be a challenge for some students. This can create a mix of emotions, anywhere from excitement to anxiety, and not all students have a support system to help ease these concerns.

Returning to school after a long gap of time can be daunting, but there are endless positive outcomes when it comes to networking with fellow students and faculty, not to mention the thrill that comes with learning a new skill and bettering oneself. Check out these seven tips to help make the most out of your learning experience.

  1. Ask for Guidance
  2. Asking a – school representative for help is a great place to start to make sure you’re on track. Their job is to help students and assure you succeed, so be sure to take advantage of these services. Whether you have questions about the process for getting started, time management concerns or help locating classes, they can help you find the answers.

    Guidance can also be found by talking directly with your course instructors. If you have a question about a particular lesson, a topic being discussed or the trade in general, your instructors are great resources. At many schools, including Apex, instructors have designated hours to help students.

  3. Learn Time Management
  4. There are many ways you can learn to manage your time effectively. There isn’t one correct way to do it because everyone has different priorities, preferences and practices. Some students improve time management skills through creating to-do lists, using planners and calendars, while others may utilize technology to set cell phone alarms and task reminders.

    Good time management skills can also benefit you in keeping on top of your small achievable goals. Every detail may not be mapped, but managing your school, work and free time can help you accomplish the small steps to your ultimate goal.

  5. Get Enough Sleep
  6. Sleep is something that, as adult learners, we tend to value more, but do less. As adult learners, we don’t always have the option to take mid-day naps or sleep-in on the weekends. However, sleep is vital, and that is an understatement because sleep can help by:

    • Reducing stress
    • Supporting creativity
    • Improving memory
    • Increasing your attention span
    • Expanding your overall health within your body
    • And more
    • Cutting time out of your schedule to rest your mind and body will help you succeed.
  7. Make Support Systems
  8. Support systems offer a way to manage stress, anxiety, questions, and the school process. Support systems can be made of friends, advisors, teachers, significant others, parents and/or relatives.
    Your support system can be where you go to unwind and take a break or who you talk to about school. It will give you the chance to talk out your problems or give you a fresh perspective.

  9. Set Small, Reachable Goals
  10. Starting with small, achievable goals is like going through different levels in video games and earning experience points for each task you complete. Each goal you set for yourself can have a reward – like a check mark on a list or something small and tangible. Just like experience points can lead to new levels, each small goal can lead to one ultimate goal.

    The benefit of small goals will make the journey to your final goal more attainable, and it will give you confidence in your ability to get there.

  11. Balance Work and Personal Time
  12. It is desirable to keep a healthly balance in life’s activities. It is easy to get wrapped up in work and school, so planning personal time, and time with family or friends, is what helps keep a healthy work and life balance.

    Keeping a healthy work and life balance will also help you get more out of your school time. Taking personal time can help refresh so when you go to school you’ll be focused and relaxed.
    Many times, balancing the two corresponds with time management. It connects with knowing your priorities and meeting all your needs.

  13. Enjoy Your Adult Learning Experience
  14. Every student going to school has their own unique experience. Whether it is the reason why you decided to continue education or the process of going back to school, your experience and drive is your own.

Adults Going Back to School

Going back to school, especially when reenrolling after a long time, has many benefits. The small fears of getting back into the swing of things shouldn’t stop you from pursuing your goals. Remember to set small achievable goals with reasonable deadlines. And, if you’re having a hard time, don’t be scared to ask for guidance from someone at the school or someone in your support system.
 

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