What is a Trade School?

In a competitive job market, it’s crucial to prepare with specialized skills and practical knowledge. That’s where trade schools can come in. They bridge the gap between traditional academia and the real-world application of skilled trades. While many fields benefit from these institutions, some significant areas of study include aviation; wind power; non-destructive testing; heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration; and welding. 

What is a Trade School?

Trade schools — also known as vocational or technical schools — provide job-specific training to prepare for different industries. Unlike traditional colleges and universities, trade schools provide students with the practical skills needed for specific jobs.* 

Trade school programs often are shorter in length. They also are more specialized and offer training for roles ranging from technical to professional. Let’s delve into some of these programs and their merits.


Typically lasting less than two years, these programs provide students with knowledge about aircraft systems, inspection procedures and repair methods. Professionals in the industry help ensure aircraft airworthiness and safety while reducing downtime. Upon completion, students are prepared to test for FAA certifications required in the field.

Wind Power

For students looking to expand their skill set, wind power programs can offer an environmentally conscious avenue for careers. Wind technology demands a rigorous understanding of complex mechanical systems and safety protocols. Programs typically span less than a year and cover various aspects such as turbine systems, maintenance, troubleshooting and safety standards.

Non-Destructive Testing

Non-destructive testing (NDT) programs train students to examine the structural integrity of materials and components without causing any damage or obstructing their functionality. An NDT technician is equipped to detect potential faults before they lead to serious problems. This ability to address problems early can significantly contribute to safety, reliability and overall performance.


HVACR technician programs provide training in installing, maintaining and repairing heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration systems. These programs often span less than a year and focuses on diverse areas, from basic electrical theory to complex climate control systems. As the emphasis on energy efficiency and indoor air quality increases, so can the demand for these specialized skills.


Welders not only join metal components but are also responsible for inspecting weld quality to ensure it meets the rigorous standards of various industries. A comprehensive understanding of welding techniques and their application enhances the skill set of welders, enabling them to oversee a broader range of maintenance and welding tasks.

What are the Benefits of Attending a Trade School?

Trade schools offer significant benefits, including hands-on training, learning that simulates the real world and guidance from industry-experienced instructors. They also offer a safe environment for students to make mistakes and learn from them. Additionally, trade schools provide career services like résumé building, interview coaching and job placement assistance.

How to Choose the Right Trade School

Choosing the right trade school requires careful consideration of factors like accreditation, reputation and location. Accreditation ensures the quality of education. Prospective students should thoroughly research potential schools, and talk with students or alumni to get first-hand information.

Final Thoughts

Trade schools offer excellent opportunities to train for careers in specialized fields. They bridge the gap between theoretical knowledge and practical application. A career in the skilled trades has the potential to play a crucial role in an industry.

Want to Learn More?

If you’re mechanically inclined, enjoy working with your hands and are looking for skilled- trade training, MIAT College of Technology can help. Students learn directly in shop facilities that include aircraft, engines, wind turbines and related equipment.

To learn more about the our skilled trade programs and explore whether MIAT is right for you, fill out the form on this page. Contact us today if you are interested in attending MIAT College of Technology.

*MIAT aviation maintenance programs prepare graduates to apply and test for FAA mechanic certification. Graduates who don’t obtain certification may have fewer career opportunities. Some graduates get jobs in aviation or related industries other than as aviation maintenance technicians. MIAT is an educational institution and cannot guarantee employment, salary or FAA certification. For program outcome information and other disclosures, visit www.miat.edu/disclosures.