The word “college” can make you think of ivy-covered walls, quiet libraries, professors in tweed jackets, and students who never get their hands dirty. But maybe you’re the type who loves to dig into a greasy motorcycle engine, solder an electronic connection, or install an HVAC system in a skyscraper. You want to work with both your mind and your hands. Yes, there is a school for you!
Technical training schools offer hands-on instruction and experience in small engine repair, automotive and marine repair, computers, HVAC, truck driving, and more. You cannot learn these things only through the Internet. You can’t even learn it alone in a classroom. You have to get dirty and work with the real thing in a real life environment.
Training in the classroom and in the real world
Today’s technical careers require intelligence and physical ability. Most technical schools divide their curriculum into two parts: the classroom and the real world. The classroom portion can be presented in a physical campus building or through an online curriculum that can be mastered from anywhere. The real-world section involves hands-on interaction with hardware and should be done on the premises of the technical school.
For example, a program dedicated to trailer truck driving typically requires several weeks of instruction. Topics can include:
• Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) General Knowledge / Combination Vehicles
• CDL hazardous material
• Knowledge of CDL air brake / brake systems
• Decoupling / Coupling
• Vehicle inspections (circular verification)
• Parallel parking
• Straight back
• Backing of the alley quay
• Road / city driving
• State exam
Regardless of the career field in which you train, a good technical school will provide a curriculum that covers all the bases. Parts of the program that involve “book learning” can be presented in a classroom or online. Online courses can be as rich and rewarding as traditional classroom courses. Many include real-time feedback, quizzes, mock hands-on exercises, graphics, and even audio and video.
After successfully completing classroom instruction, the school introduces students to the real thing. Students get behind the wheel, work with real equipment, or build a working computer network. This part of the curriculum can only be completed on the school premises. Be sure to choose a school that has advanced technology and instructors with real-world experience.
After completing the program and earning your certificate or diploma, what is the next step?
In many cases, completing a technical training program is just the first step toward a new career. Many states require professional service providers to be licensed or certified before they can begin work. Additionally, many manufacturers, especially those of boat, automobile, motorcycle and aircraft engines, require mechanics to be certified before they can go to work at an authorized dealer or repair facility. Technical training schools generally design their programs to fully prepare their graduates to take the certification exams, but of course, the student is ultimately responsible for their success.
For example, if you want to work as a cosmetologist in New York State and have received your training in New York, you must meet these requirements established by the New York State Board of Cosmetology:
“If you are at least 17 years old, you must complete a 1,000-hour New York State approved course of study and pass the New York State written and practical exams to obtain a license to operate in this state. As proof of success Upon completion of schooling, the school principal must complete the New York State Approved Affirmation of Schooling section of the application. After your application is reviewed and accepted, you will receive information that explains the examination process in detail. ” .
Vocational and technical schools know that their goal is to land a rewarding job. An accredited technical school can help you change your life with vocational education. But where do you start? The best way to start is to go online to a directory of reputable colleges and universities. You will be able to search for schools in your area that offer training in the field that interests you. You can also find degree programs online. You can compare programs and even learn about flexible hours and financial aid. Then you can request free information from schools that meet your requirements, visit a few, and make a decision. In less time than you think, you could be ready for a rewarding career.