Choosing the Right Trade School: Which Trade School is For You

Before deciding which trade school you want to go to, there are many questions that you should ask yourself. Use this blog to help you create a mental, or physical, checklist before picking which trade school is best for you.

AIM students in a classroom

Trade School Versus Four-Year College 

How much time are you willing to spend on your program? If your answer is to spend as little time completing a program before graduating as possible, then trade schools are perfect for you. The purpose of a trade school is to focus on teaching you everything you need to know for a skilled trade of your choice. Attending a trade school eliminates the extra classes that 4-year colleges offer, making your time from start to graduation shorter. Trade schools provide classroom teachings where you can obtain and test your knowledge, as well as the hands-on training and experience that you need in the hangar or lab.

Program Costs: Is It in Your Budget?

One big question that is typically at the forefront of many students’ minds is, “What is the cost of this program?” Be sure to compare the prices and come to a decision on how much you are willing to spend. Budget and plan accordingly, keeping the cost of books, tools, and other materials in mind. While on the topic of finances, also check to see if the school offers any type of financial assistance, grants, scholarships, and/or scholarship match programs. Setting up an appointment with a financial advisor can help you see if you are eligible for financial assistance before applying.  

Campus Facility: Is it Big Enough?

Before choosing your school, schedule a guided tour of the campus. Touring the campus allows you to see how big the classrooms and labs are to assess if you’ll have enough elbow room to work. While on your tour, be sure to be on the lookout for how many tools and workstations there are. Are students sharing tools and waiting for their peers to finish so that they can use the tools and/or workstations? You want to make sure classes aren’t overfilled causing limited resources and space.

Student Services and Learning Resources

Whether or not you know if you’ll need extra assistance during your schooling, it’s always good to see what student services and learning resources are available. Find out if the campus offers:

  • Tutoring – Check to see if they offer after class, smaller teaching sessions, or one on one extra training when you find yourself struggling during normal class hours.
  • Learning Resource Center – Do they have a center with accessible computers, books, and quiet spaces to use for studying?
  • Job Placement Assistance – Is there someone who will be able to help guide you after graduating? For example, do they offer job placement assistance where they will help you draft up and write your resume? Will there be someone to coach you on the proper etiquette for job interviews and what the proper attire is?
  • Career Fairs and Hiring Events – Does the college host events that allow companies to meet with students and graduates for potential future hiring?
  • Veteran Services – Are you a Veteran? Does the campus help veterans adjust to transitioning into civilian life?

Check the Rates

Lastly, checking the campus’ completion, graduation, and job placement rate is important. Inquire about student experiences and check to see how many students were happy and successful during and after the program. Be sure you are satisfied with the numbers before applying. Keep these questions in mind when looking at different trade schools. These questions not only help you decide which trade school is right for you, but they can also help you plan your future after school! To learn more about our programs visit Aviation Institute of Maintenance.

About Aviation Institute of Maintenance

Aviation Institute of Maintenance (AIM) is a network of aviation maintenance schools with campuses coast-to-coast in the United States and headquarters in Virginia Beach, Va. AIM students are trained to meet the increasing global demand of commercial, cargo, corporate and private aviation employers. AIM graduates are eligible to take the Federal Aviation Administration exams necessary to obtain their mechanic’s certificate with ratings in both Airframe and Powerplant. AIM’s campuses are in the following major metro areas: Atlanta, Charlotte, New York, Philadelphia, Dallas, Houston, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, Washington, D.C., Kansas City, San Francisco Bay, Orlando, and Norfolk. Learn more at or like them on Facebook at

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