Cost is largely determined by the trade you want to study and the specific school. The easiest way to get a ballpark figure is to look into different programs offering the trade you're interested in learning. GuidetoOnlineSchools.com suggests preparing for anything between $2,000 and $10,000 a year for tuition, not including any added materials or room and board. Estimates for a private four-year college cost between $21,000 and $40,000 a year, illustrating how much you can save through vocational training. DeVry University, a technical school offering various fields of study, typically charged $8,100 per semester for many of its 2010 programs offering a two-year degree.
If $2,000 to $10,000 a year makes you cringe, you may be able to find financial aid, student loans and grants. Fortunately, such monetary aid isn't exclusive to students studying at universities. The first place to look for funding assistance is through the school. Although they don't all offer financial assistance, some schools receive federal funding to provide grants for students in need. If your desired field of study has any state or national trade organization, becoming a student member may open up funding possibilities if the organization offers grants or loans. Lastly, the government may provide financial aid and assistance. Both state and federal government provide funding to encourage a healthy economy through ensuring a supply of well-trained experts in high-demand fields.
On-the-Job Training and Internships
Other alternatives for funding your education include on-the-job training and internships within a specific company. Depending on the profession, some employers may offer training to new recruits, making the need for an outside education irrelevant. Internships provide similar opportunities to get into your desired industry. These programs commonly offer hands-on experience working in your desired field. Some internships even pay interns. While you won't be making as much as somebody actually working in that field, getting money to learn the skills that will shape your future has its obvious advantages, especially if money is tight.
Before making a final decision, consider any extra costs that may not be obvious. Find out if materials, text books and work tools are provided or whether they'll cost extra. Also consider and plan for any tools you may need to purchase after graduation to use on the job. For example, if you're in a carpentry program, you'll likely need your own set of tools once you find work. Even if tools end up being provided by the employer, purchasing your own allows you to ensure you have a quality tool set that fits well in your hands.