$15 million in grants & scholarships available this year for those who qualify10


What Can You Go to Trade School For?

Nov 26, 2020 ·

Step 1 of  
What kind of training are you interested in? Required
Change program to see other campuses.

With a new year quickly approaching, it’s not uncommon for people to be thinking about what they want to be doing for a career. For some, this can mean taking the next step to further their education. However, this doesn’t necessarily have to come in the form of a four-year university.

Trade schools can be a great option for those who are interested in a specific field of work and want to gain hands-on training through a specialized program. Trade schools often allow students to graduate in a shorter amount of time than a typical college, usually between eight months to two years. This can be helpful for those wanting to enter the workforce as soon as possible.

There are many different types of trades students can choose from when they’re looking into attending a trade school. No matter the program, the expectation is that their education will help them to be prepared for an entry-level career in that given field after graduation.1

Knowing what trade school programs are available can help you to have a plan of action when looking to enroll. Keep reading to learn about some of the many fields you can pursue at a trade school in 2021.

What Can You Learn at a Trade School?

Trade schools are designed to give students training and experience that they’ll be able to apply to their chosen profession once they graduate. Learning these skills can come from a combination of classroom lectures and hands-on training in a lab environment. Some schools also offer online training, which can be great for those who need the flexibility. 

There are a variety of opportunities out there for students to pursue if they decide a trade school is right for them. With thousands of different programs, there’s something for everyone.

What Trades Are There?

Here are some examples of different types of trades:

The programs offered at trade schools can vary from broader, generalized topics that can be applied to an industry to programs that can be specialized further to allow for advancement in a given field.

For example, the Automotive Technician Training program at UTI provides training for the industry as a whole, but there are also specialized training programs that can help lead students to a career working with specific vehicle brands.2

Career Opportunities for Trade School Graduates

When thinking about pursuing higher education, it’s important for students to know what their options are going to be once they graduate. There are many different career opportunities that trade school graduates can choose from within their respective fields.

Here are some examples of jobs commonly pursued by trade school grads:

  • Dental Assistant
  • Massage Therapist
  • Makeup Artist
  • Hairdresser
  • Chef
  • Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)
  • HVAC Technician
  • Electrician
  • Plumber
  • Elevator Mechanic
  • Radiation Therapist
  • IT Technician

In addition to these occupations, some of the most popular career paths for trade school graduates are associated with the transportation industry.

Transportation Careers & Trade School Programs

The transportation industry is going to remain important over the coming years and offers a range of career opportunities for those who attend a trade school. In fact, there are more than 73,000 estimated average annual automotive job openings in the U.S.41

Most of our grads start out working as entry-level technicians or in other entry-level roles. As with any industry, over time, you may be able to advance in your career with hard work. Some potential entry-level career paths in this industry include:77

  • Automotive Technician
  • Automotive Service Writer
  • Collision Repair Technician
  • Diesel Technician
  • Power Generation Technician
  • Motorcycle Technician
  • CNC Operator
  • Marine Technician
Student works on a weld at a UTI lab.


So what trade school program should you take to train for these types of careers? A trade school like UTI has several program options7 that include:

  • Automotive Technology: Students will be able to maintain and repair different kinds of vehicles once they’ve completed this 51-week program. Career opportunities for graduates include entry-level technician roles that can eventually lead to service management positions. Students can also enroll in a Manufacturer Specific Advanced Training (MSAT) program that helps prepare them for jobs with specific manufacturers.
  • Diesel Technology: If a student pursues a degree in diesel technology, they can gain the skills needed to become a diesel mechanic. Classes offered include everything from diesel engine service and repair to preventative maintenance. Diesel techs can find themselves working in a range of settings, from trucking companies to road crews and auto body shops.
  • CNC Machining: Pursuing a degree in CNC (computer numerical control) machining can give students the skills to craft sophisticated performance parts and components from raw materials. These skills can be used in the transportation industry as well as fields ranging from aerospace to medical and defense.
  • Welding: Students can learn all about the equipment and procedures necessary to weld in this 36-week program. They will be taught the skills needed to fabricate and put together metal parts, which is used in a range of fields. Prospective careers can be within the automotive industry, ship building, construction and infrastructure, and aerospace.
  • Collision Repair: Those pursuing a degree in collision repair can be trained with the skills needed to restore and reshape a range of vehicles. Students will gain knowledge on the proper procedures and parts needed to repair vehicles.
  • Marine Technology: Students with a passion for the water can attend MMI and train as a marine technician. The 51-week program will give hands-on training when it comes to marine product service, repairs and more. Careers marine technicians can pursue include anything from becoming a boat rigger to working as a dealership technician or electrician.
  • Motorcycle Mechanics: In just 48 weeks, students can train as a motorcycle technician at UTI and learn everything they need to enter the field. Courses include everything from engines and transmissions to vehicle maintenance. Students are prepared to work in a range of settings, including dealerships, police departments and custom bike shops.

Attend Trade School and Prepare For a Career

Trade schools are often seen as non-traditional avenues for earning a degree. They can encompass many industries and offer students multiple career pathways upon graduation.

Knowing the requirements and processes for applying to trade school can help you prepare for the next step. We recommend reading our requirements tips first.

If you know that your interests are in the transportation industry, UTI offers a variety of core programs available at campus locations nationwide to help prepare you for an entry-level position.

To learn more, visit our programs page or request information to get in touch with an Admissions Representative today.

With classes starting every 3-6 weeks, no need to wait to start your career.
Hands-on training. Get hands on experience with the industry's leading brands.
No Pressure to commit. Get answers to your questions without any obligations.
View Available Trade School Programs Or Call Now 800.834.7308

1) UTI is an educational institution and cannot guarantee employment or salary.

2) For program outcome information and other disclosures, visit

7) Some programs may require longer than one year to complete.

41) For Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects an annual average of 73,300 job openings between 2021 and 2031. Job openings include openings due to net employment changes and net replacements. See Table 1.10 Occupational separations and openings, projected 2021-31, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics,, viewed October 13, 2022. UTI is an educational institution and cannot guarantee employment or salary.

77) UTI is an educational institution and cannot guarantee employment or salary. UTI prepares graduates for entry-level careers using the provided training. UTI graduates’ achievements may vary. Some UTI graduates get jobs within their field of study in positions other than those listed.

Universal Technical Institute of Illinois, Inc. is approved by the Division of Private Business and Vocational Schools of the Illinois Board of Higher Education.


Take 60 seconds and find out how you can get trained.

Step of
What kind of training are you interested in? Required
Change program to see other campuses.
First Name Required
Last Name Required
Date of Birth Required
Zip Required
Phone Number Required
Email Required