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


Trade School for Veterans

Jul 27, 2022 ·

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Leaving the military is a major deal. When the time comes, you might have more questions than direction.

Questions like … What exactly do you want to do when you get out of that uniform? Do you want to do the same work you did in the military? Should you look for a job or go to school? How will you afford tuition?

While there are multiple paths that can lead to a successful civilian life, many veterans have found their way after training at a trade school.

Read on to discover how the career-focused training you’ll find at trade school can help you transition from the troops to a life filled with passion, purpose and stability.

Why Trade School is a Great Option for Veterans

By definition, trade school is a postsecondary educational institution designed to train students for a specific job in a skilled trade career, such as automotive repair, welding or HVAC repair. It’s also known as technical or vocational school.

Programs usually take a fraction of the time necessary to complete a bachelor’s degree, and coursework is focused on a specific vocation.

At Universal Technical Institute (UTI), we train technicians for skilled trades including automotive, diesel, motorcycle, motorsports,24 marine, welding, collision repair and CNC machining. Some of our programs even take less than a year to complete.7

An Accelerated Path

Trade school is a popular choice for veterans because it offers an accelerated path to train for a career that could help achieve security for themselves and their families.6

Also, many trade schools honor benefits provided by the GI Bill®, which can help veterans cover the cost of training.21

Hands-on Training

At UTI, our programs teach the foundational skills employers look for when hiring entry-level technicians.

Our courses are hands-on,18 instructors have real-world experience in what they teach and the things you learn could lead to a career. Class schedules are typically flexible to accommodate your life obligations, including family or a job.

We also offer many services to help veterans find a career after school.20

Transition From the Troops to a Trade

All in all, trade school can help veterans face some of the top challenges of transitioning from military to civilian life by:

  • Creating a familiar structure: A trade school training program offers familiar structure for a transitioning veteran. It’s an approach not far from what veterans may have experienced in the service.
  • Preparing students to enter the workforce: Trade school helps students obtain the skills and certifications that some employers seek.6 At UTI, we’ve built industry relationships with 35+ leading brands, and our Career Services department offers help with résumé development.
  • Connecting students with community: ​In school, you build camaraderie with your classmates while working toward a common goal. Military Friendly® Schools will even have veteran-specific spaces and resources.56

Do Skills From the Military Transfer to the Trades?

Going to trade school allows you to leverage your military experience to prepare for a career doing what you love. Many of the soft skills you learned in the military could serve you well.

Here are some examples of what soft skills are and how they can help you succeed while learning your trade at UTI or wherever you end up

  • Work ethic – As a veteran, you know how to take orders and work hard. You won’t quit or procrastinate once you’ve set your mind to something, whether it’s on the battlefield or in the classroom. 
  • Sense of leadership – Your ability to direct a team and take initiative is valuable in any position. Strong leadership skills are valuable in the classroom and on the job.
  • Teamwork – A sense of teamwork allows you to communicate and work well with others, which is essential to successful outcomes in your schooling and your trade.
  • Quick problem solving – Military members must adapt to changing situations and be able to solve problems that arise without warning. Skilled trades workers must also be problem solvers.
  • Discipline – You’ve got a commitment to excellence that leads to positive results. That’s the type of outlook that transfers well to any trade. And, of course, you’ll always be on time to class and work.

Career Paths for Veterans

Choosing a career path after the military can be confusing to say the least. You may want to find work similar to what you did in the military or explore a completely new field.

The first step is to identify what you’re passionate about and find a career that matches. Here are a few resources that can help:

  • CareerScope assessment: An online self-assessment tool provided by the VA that measures your interests and skill levels and helps you figure out the best career path when you move into civilian life.
  • My Next Move for Veterans: A career search platform that allows you to browse careers by industry and find jobs similar to your military work.
  • Occupational Outlook Handbook: Veterans can research projected demand for certain jobs, required education and median annual salaries through the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

At UTI, we offer hands-on training in the automotive, diesel, motorcycle, marine and collision repair industries as well as CNC machining and welding.18

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. Here are some of the exciting entry-level and advanced career paths that our graduates can pursue after training here:77


  • Automotive Technician
  • Service Writer
  • Welder
  • CNC Machinist
  • Diesel Technician
  • Marine Technician
  • Collision Repair Technician
  • Repair Estimator
  • Motorcycle Technician


  • Master Technician
  • Service Manager
  • Marina Service Manager

Do Trade Schools Typically Accept Veteran Benefits?

The short answer: It depends on the school, but some GI Bill® benefits could extend to trade school for veterans.21

To find GI Bill® vocational schools near you or to check eligibility for a particular school or program, you can use the VA's online GI Bill Comparison Tool. It lists schools and programs, shows how much money can be applied toward tuition, and even shows how many other GI Bill recipients are enrolled.

GI Bill® coverage rates for vocational training programs depend on the overall cost of the program.

At UTI, our Financial Aid representatives are well-versed to help you navigate your VA benefits. In fact, most of our Military Admissions Representatives are U.S. veterans.

Choose a Military Friendly® School

UTI is the leading provider of training for students preparing for careers as professional automotive, diesel, collision repair, motorcycle, marine, CNC machining and welding technicians.

We’re also proud to have been designated a Military Friendly® School, indicating our support of veterans and military service members.56 From VA funding20 to exclusive scholarships,10 our team is here to help you navigate this journey.

Request more information today to learn more.

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.

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

2) For program outcome information and other disclosures, visit

6) UTI graduates’ achievements may vary. Individual circumstances and wages depend on personal credentials and economic factors. Work experience, industry certifications, the location of the employer and their compensation programs affect wages. UTI is an educational institution and cannot guarantee employment or salary.

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

10) Financial aid, scholarships and grants are available to those who qualify. Awards vary due to specific conditions, criteria and state.

18) UTI now offers all of its automotive, diesel, motorcycle and marine technician training in a blended learning format consisting of online lecture courses along with in-person, hands-on lab training.

20) VA benefits may not be available at all campus locations.

21) GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government website.

24) NASCAR Technical Institute prepares graduates to work as entry-level automotive service technicians. Some graduates who take NASCAR-specific electives also may have job opportunities in racing-related industries. NASCAR Tech is an educational institution and cannot guarantee employment or salary.

56) Military Friendly® Schools designation applies to specific campuses. Check with the campus for details.

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.


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