What Age Do Most People Go to Trade School?

Trade schools offer a viable alternative to traditional higher education for individuals seeking specialized vocational training. While the majority of students typically pursue degrees at colleges and universities, there’s a significant segment of the population that opts for trade school education at various stages of their lives. Rather than adhering to a strict age range, the decision to attend trade school tends to be driven by individual circumstances and goals, regardless of age. Others may postpone trade school until later in life, perhaps after gaining experience in a different career, seeking a change in path, or discovering a specific passion that they wish to pursue through specialized training.

What Age Do Most People Start Trade School?

However, most students typically start trade school after completing high school or obtaining their GED. This is because trade schools offer specialized training in a particular field or trade, which requires a certain level of maturity and foundational knowledge.

In addition, trade schools often have specific prerequisites or entrance requirements that may be more easily met once a student has completed high school. For example, certain programs might require a minimum GPA or completion of specific courses.

These skills are essential for succeeding in any career, including trades.

Lastly, many trade schools also offer career placement services and opportunities for internships or apprenticeships. These can provide valuable real-world experience and connections within the industry.

This allows them to gain foundational knowledge, explore career options, meet entrance requirements, and develop essential skills before embarking on their chosen trade career path.

Furthermore, in the skilled trade industry, age isn’t a determining factor when it comes to starting a new career. In fact, a staggering 96% of the workforce in this field is aged 30 or older. So, whether you’re 28 or even older, there’s no need to worry about being too late to learn a trade. Your desire to develop new skills and embark on a fulfilling career is what truly matters.

Is 28 Too Late to Learn a Trade?

Deciding to learn a trade at the age of 28 shouldn’t be a cause for concern. The misconception that age plays a significant role in starting a new career is unfounded, particularly in the skilled trade industry. In fact, statistics show that a staggering 96% of the workforce in skilled trades is aged 30 or older, highlighting that age shouldn’t be a deterrent to pursuing a trade.

One of the main benefits of learning a trade later in life is the wealth of experience and maturity individuals bring to the table. This experience can be invaluable in a trade career, as it allows for a deeper understanding of how to navigate challenging situations and solve complex problems. Additionally, having a diverse skill set acquired through prior work or personal experiences often leads to a more well-rounded and adaptable tradesperson.

Furthermore, embarking on a trade career at 28 provides ample time for individuals to develop and grow within their chosen field. With dedication and a strong work ethic, it’s possible to gain a significant amount of expertise and become highly skilled in a trade over time. Many successful tradespeople have started later in life and have gone on to establish thriving careers.

The skilled trade industry values individuals with a strong work ethic, perseverance, and a willingness to continuously learn and grow.

However, this negative perception of trade schools is often unfounded, as these institutions provide valuable skills and training that can lead to well-paying and fulfilling careers. In reality, trade schools offer specialized education in various fields, such as plumbing, electrician work, automotive repair, and culinary arts, among others. Breaking down the misconceptions and exploring the benefits of trade schools can help debunk the stereotypes and give these institutions the recognition they deserve.

Why Is Trade School Looked Down Upon?

Others may believe that trade schools are only for individuals who aren’t intellectually inclined or lack ambition. Additionally, there’s a common misconception that trade school graduates earn significantly less than college graduates. These misconceptions contribute to the negative perception of trade schools and the belief that they’re somehow inferior to traditional colleges and universities.

One possible explanation for this stigma is the cultural and societal emphasis on obtaining a four-year college degree. Society has long regarded a bachelors degree as the ultimate measure of success and intelligence. This mindset has created a biased perspective that devalues alternative paths such as trade schools. The pressure to attend college is deeply ingrained, and some people are conditioned to believe that anything other than a college education is subpar.

Furthermore, trade school education is often more affordable than a four-year college degree, meaning that trade school graduates may face less student loan debt and have more financial stability in the long term.

Society would benefit from recognizing and valuing the importance of trade school education as a viable and reputable path to success.


In conclusion, determining the age at which most individuals pursue trade school can be a complex and multifaceted issue. While it’s evident that people from various age groups opt for trade education, it’s essential to acknowledge that there’s no universally prevailing age. Factors such as personal circumstances, career goals, and economic conditions significantly influence when individuals embark on trade school journeys. Therefore, a diverse range of age cohorts engages in trade education, highlighting the importance and relevance of vocational training for people at different stages of their lives.

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