Trade School vs. Community College

With the high cost of college tuition these days, more people are opting to attend either a community college or a trade school. Both are the next step after a high school diploma, leading to better jobs and higher salaries for most graduates. But which is the most affordable choice? Determining this requires considering other factors besides just the bottom-line dollar difference between the two. On average, attending a trade school costs about $33,000 total to receive a certificate of completion, and community colleges average around $10,000 annually, so community colleges are a bit more affordable from the point of view of yearly cost. But the pros and cons of each should be considered when making a decision.

The median salary of a trade school graduate is about $7,000 less annually than a graduate with an Associate Degree, although many trade school graduates make even more than those with a degree. Another factor to consider is the time required to earn a certificate or diploma. Most trade schools can be completed in less than two years, and over half can be completed in less than a year. Community colleges require a minimum of two years to earn a diploma, but most students require more time than that to finish, with almost 40% taking six years to finish their degree.

The Tulsa Welding School created a useful guide summarizing the differences between trade schools and community colleges. This information may help prospective students and family members make more informed choices regarding the financial consideration of each.

trade school vs. community college