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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:

Create a short list.

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.

Request information.

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?


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.


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.

Get help with financial aid.

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.


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 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.