Vocational Training: A Complete Guide To Vocational Education

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Vocational Training: A Complete Guide To Vocational Education

We do not all fit into one box, no one is the same.

This means that when it comes to education, we are not all the same either.

The traditional system of schooling is not for everyone, no matter how good the school is.

For some, vocational training is where it’s at.

While some of us have no idea of where we want to go in our careers, some of us know, for those people can seek out vocational training.

Help them become pros in their field.

So, what is it, how does it work, and what do you need to know?

Stick around and find out!

What Is Trade School Or Vocational Training?

Vocational Training, or Trade Schools are best described as training which will emphasize the knowledge and skills that are needed for a particular job or vocation.

This could be something as simple as understanding data for admin, or carpentry skills for woodworking.

These can also be known as technical and career educational programs, they are better designed for those who are suited best to obtaining expert knowledge on a specific trade or career rather than how teaching is done in traditional schooling.

There are many types of vacationing training, and there are options out there for people in all walks of life with different vocational aspirations.

Of course, these are also designed for those who have a goal in mind when it comes to their career.

As we have said, not everyone knows what they want to do in their career for some years.


How To Find A Vocational Training School

Interested in the idea of vocational training? Well, you should be able to find some vocational training schools near you.

They are somewhat hidden in plain sight.

Community colleges will often offer academic credentials including certificates, diplomas, and associate degrees in many different vocational paths which you can finish in a 2-year period.

However, you will also note that most of these vocational training schools will often be recognized and supported by the government.

You can also find career colleges that offer training programs which can be completed in a single year as well.

Universities may also offer these vocational programs.

However, you can find career training centers that can also provide employment and training in particular fields from construction, to auto repair, health care and so on.

Let’s not forget military vocational courses as well, which were crafted from partnerships between different departments, and offer training for vocations for military members who want to reintegrate into typical civilian lifestyles.


The Different Types Of Training:

Vocational training is not as simple as just being a single type of training though.

As it tends to cover multiple different vocations, these training courses can vary.

They can be done in many different ways.

Each type of training is usually done as best suits the specifics of the vocation.

As different vocations need different approaches, this is as expected.

Formal Education

This type of training can actually begin during schooling, just as a child is entering their teens. They can complete a technical certificate, covering things such as Business English or even Engineering Sciences.

They get to start off their vocational training in post-high school education, by choosing a TVET college offering national qualifications, or a technical university, they could also choose a SETA accredited course too.

Whatever the case it can be highly beneficial to cover this kind of education in this way and get ahead into the career you want from the get go.

Many young people who have their heart set on a career can get ahead in this way by choosing a formal education from their years in school and pursuing it from them into colleges or universities.


Apprenticeships are doubtless a good way to go for those who know what they want to do. As vocational training is usually needed to be able to enter a specific profession, especially in physical vocations such as engineering or welding, apprenticeships can provide this.

They will often be used to provide vocational training to aspiring workers. Apprenticeships are like work experience in a way, but with a small paycheck attached, which allows the person the ability to learn a specific trade as they work alongside a professional in a genuine working environment.

They learn from the person on the job.

On-The-Job Training

Training on the job is another great way to go about learning your vocation on the go. This type of training could be provided by your company, or by a third party provider of training that the company has sourced.

Employers will often want to help employees enroll for these relevant training programs as it will give them tax benefits making them liable for levies from skill development.

It is also beneficial for you though, if the company provides this, then you will not be paying to learn more about your vocation, as it will be provided by the company.

Continuous Development

This is yet another great form of vocational training. It can be done by a qualified person for many different reasons. It can be due to fulfillment of requirements from professional organizations, expanding one’s skill set, updating skills, or even taking on knowledge in another trade.

This can very easily be done via online learning courses, or even distance learning if you do not wish to take time off from your current employment.

In the modern labor industry, having continuous development is very important for those professionals who would like to succeed in their industry.

Tech-Prep Education Program

Tech-prep programs will provide students with academic and technical career preparation via specifically identified pathways for a specific career.

These programs allow their students to be able to start up their career and training in their career via a program studying at a secondary level before they transition into a level post secondary. This allows them to earn an advanced technical certificate or degree.

It is rigorous academically and gives the students the fundamentals that are required to gain post-secondary entry.

Military Training

There are some vocational programs which will also include military for some enrolled people. This will help them to develop in advance of their training or career in the military.

It will also give them specialized as well as vocational licenses and certificates too. These have long been a type of vocational training and education worldwide for quite some time and are very important in maintaining the military as well as military standards.

No matter where you live, you can guarantee that this type of training will be available to you.

Distance Learning Education Programs

This type of learning can be a very prominent route in formulating a specific set of skills, which helps to facilitate working through equipment. That being said, a few schemes can expect students to attend specific schedules or to pursue one.

This is an important area to examine and discover which of these programs are substantial and accredited.

That being said, you should establish these as being important components of education among many universities and colleges across the world.

Policies of education should view these entirely.


What Careers Can You Have With A Vocational Education

If you were to believe that you could have just about any career thanks to vocational education, you would not be half wrong, but not totally right. Not every career is available through vocational training. However, a great deal of careers are available via vocational training.

Some of the most popular careers are often found to have pathways through vocational education.

Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources

This is a niche career path which can cover farming, working in food processing, and dealing with natural materials such as wood, clay, mining and so on.

If you have an interest in providing resources from the earth to the general public then this is where you fall in. Within this niche career prospect there are many pathways that you can take, and from these you can choose anything from farming and working with crops, to working in a mine, or even an oil rig.

Courses will tailor to which specific area interests you.

Architecture & Construction

Construction and architecture is another option that will have vocational training. This can be anything from being a bricklayer to an architect.

In this vocation you could specialize in any particular part of the process of construction. So, there are many pathways to go down, you could start off with studies and then work into an apprenticeship, or even study a degree in construction, there are many options.

Of course, many architects will need a degree, however, it can go many ways.

A/V Technology & Film

Tech and film is another area in which you can do vocational training. Like our two other mentions there are many areas to work in. In the film industry alone you can specialize in cinematography, sound design, VFX, production, set design and so on.

Most of the time, film industries will require you to have a degree, but you can also do apprenticeships after relevant qualifications have been achieved. This is not always the case though, it is just desirable for the industry.

Getting relevant contacts is the most important thing in the media world, and specializing in it through vocational training will grant you this and make it easier for you to get in.

Business Management & Administration

Business and admin are popular areas to work in these days, as it is also a topic that often covers entrepreneurship as well. There are many studies in this area, often beginning in school levels to help children learn about the business world.

However, you can get some companies which will offer training or apprenticeships, but it is not as common as other more hands-on careers.

That being said, there are plenty of vocational schools of whom specialize in this.

Education & Training

Most of us are aware that teachers and those who work in education and training have to undergo plenty of training. It is a legal requirement for any form of education, however, it is even more so when the education regards children.

There is much training that has to be completed for someone to teach. Of course, the type of teaching is variable, and ranges throughout many sectors.

One can train to be a kindergarten teacher, teach teenagers, teach in colleges or universities, or teach courses for adults in workplaces.

There are courses available on all different types.


Working in an environment in which you handle people’s money is a very risky job, however it is also a well paying job. You do not need to study mathematics at every level to do this job, however, you do need training.

With a career in finance you could work at a bank, a credit union, a bettors’ office, an accountant, or even as a financial advisor.

Companies everywhere need to hire companies and persons to handle their finances, so it is a very secure role to choose with many opportunities.

Government & Public Administration

When we think of government, our minds tend to go straight to presidents, prime ministers, and associated persons, but government goes beyond that and goes into public administration.

This includes every sector from the areas of the government that handle work and pension laws, social security, property, benefits, vehicle licensing and so on. Basically if you go on the government website and look at the many sectors the government covers, any of these could be an applicable job for you, if a career in government interests you.

Health Sciences

Health sciences are the sciences of applying natural or formal sciences in order to develop information and technology that can help in health care and public health.

This can cover many careers in nursing, midwifery, paramedic roles, working with anesthetics, dentistry, as well as working in virology and more.

This is basically any work that covers the bettering of the human condition through the understanding of the human body and technologies applied to it. It can be a very demanding career choice, especially if you go into doctor or nurse work. However, it can also be extremely rewarding.

Hospitality & Tourism

For some places, hospitality and tourism is their main source of income. Many towns and cities thrive off of hospitality and tourism, and this makes for a very lucrative career.

Hospitality can be anything from catering to hotel work, and tourism can be any work in tourist attractions. Understanding how tourism works and how to keep it flowing into areas is absolutely key to keeping many economies thriving.

It is an area which has many areas of choice, and can provide a very enjoyable career, especially for extroverted people.

Human Services

Human services is any service that looks to better the lives of others. This could be seen as broad, but this includes care work, social service work, even therapy and more.

It is suited well to those who have a passion for the human condition and fighting to better improve the lives of others.

There are many routes all of which require different training, psychotherapists would need different training to social service workers for example.

Information Technology

Information technology, or better known as IT, is the art of working with computers. If you thoroughly enjoy working with computers and are somewhat tech savvy, you may find yourself enjoying a career in IT.

Regardless of the career type, much of the training will be fairly similar to a point. However, there are specialities depending on what area of IT you may want to pursue a career in.

Many different industries need specialists in IT, therefore it is a highly demanded vocation, and you can pursue it in everything from data security to website development, building computers, coding, and more!

Law, Public Safety, Corrections & Security

These vocations are all similar in some way as they all require understanding of the law. You could pursue many careers from police work, government agency work, lawyer or judiciary work, national security and so on.

It is a broad area, however, the vocational training for a career in legal matters is extensive.

You will certainly need to do a law degree, and after this will require further training depending on the specific vocation that interests you.

That being said, this is a career which can pay very well, and can be rewarding in many ways.


Managerial roles are found in every business, every company and sometimes for most of us feel a bit out of reach. However, training in management roles helps to make you more applicable for higher paying positions and exerts yourself as a leader.

Since you can find management roles in pretty much every walk of life, this is an area of training that can help you to use your management skills in any career.

An ideal career choice for those who are leadership personality types and who have a keen eye for detail in teamwork. It can be very challenging though. You can find training for management roles for specific industries.


Marketing is probably one of the biggest industries around these days, especially with the internet, e-commerce, affiliate programs and more. Getting trained in marketing as a vocation opens up a plethora of doors for you.

The marketing industry is one of the most competitive, and most ruthless industries there is, but if you are vocationally trained in this you will have a head start. You could apply this to working for a company, or even working solo.

Engineering & Mechanics

These are popular trades which are needed in many aspects. However, do not think that these just relate to cars, this is a common misconception. Mechanics tends to apply to anything that has an engine.

This means that a mechanic can work on cars, bikes, boats, planes, and more. Engineers can work on many things as you can have computer engineers, engineers who work in power, such as with power plants, or wind turbines and so on.

Much of what we require in our lives, requires an engineer to maintain, these are sought after roles, and training can be as simple as college and an apprenticeship, or as complex as requiring a PhD.

Science, Technology, & Mathematics

Science, tech and mathematics can be applied to many different areas of our lives. From the science of human health, to working with geography, predicting natural disasters, monitoring outer space, all the way to data collection.

If you were unsure of what area you wanted to study in but know you have passion for these topics, pursuing them in vocational training can open up many doors for you and help you to narrow down your career prospects.


Why Should I Consider Vocational Training?

The generations that were educated in the 90s and 00s were often told to go to college, and if they did not, they were often judged for choosing against it. However, with more open eyes on the amount of debt college leaves behind, that stigma is dropping.

It is actually becoming better known that you may actually have a better chance at securing a high paying job that you enjoy by choosing vocational training instead of simply going to college.

Some vocational technical schools cost very little in comparison to colleges, and most students leave with plenty of the skills needed to secure high paying roles.


How To Get Into A Vocational Training Program

How you get into a program depends entirely on the type of program. Some programs can be free through government websites for some vocations. Some programs you can do through colleges and universities.

Ideally you should find a school and see if it offers you what you seek. Then, when you are happy with what they offer, send your application to them, filling out the required information.

Much like colleges and universities you may be required to complete an interview for the program, however, this is not always the case, you may simply be accepted or denied.


What Are The Highest Paying Vocational Jobs?

Some of the highest paying jobs are vocational jobs. Trading businesses can be an awesome option if you enjoy challenging tasks, however, you will need to establish a profitable business.

These are some of the highest paying vocational jobs in which you may find this:

  • Licensed Practical Nurse: $25.18 per hour.
  • HVAC Tech: $23.25 per hour.
  • Home Inspector: $52,066 per annum.
  • Plumber: $24.58 per hour.
  • Electrician: $24.83 per hour
  • Landscape Designer: $54,862 per annum.
  • Boilermakers: $27.18 per hour.
  • Respiratory Therapists: $35.13 per hour.
  • Construction manager: $84,476 per year.
  • Dental Hygienist: $38.10 per hour.
  • Ultrasonographer: $38.49 per hour.
  • Radiation Therapist: $115,241 per annum.


Is The Vocational Course/ Degree Same As a Traditional Degree?

Vocation degrees do differ from traditional degrees, this is because they tend not to take as long, and they allow the students of these topics to enter the industry of said field almost instantaneously.

Vocational degrees are also provided by trade schools or technical schools, but they may also be available at normal universities and colleges.

One of the main differences is how a traditional degree such as an MBA will give students an opportunity to advance their careers, whereas vocational degrees give certification specific to your chosen trade or career.

Vocational degrees are directly related to their choice, but a conventional degree provides learning more than only the abilities to fulfill a role.


What Is The Importance Of Vocational Skills?

Vocational skill training concentrates its learners on the academic frameworks of particular sectors and will have a hands-on approach that is needed in many manual sectors.

It is generally the most desired path for people to find sustainable livelihoods and employment in the modern world.

Here are some of the things vocational skill training helps with.

Job Readiness

As vocation uses fieldwork as part of its curriculum your abilities in a job evolved better through this. Vocational practices will help you to work in tandem with the many nuances found inside the corporate world of today.

It also helps to give you an enthusiasm for the job making you more prepared for said job.

Upgradation Of Prior Skills

You do not only build on new skills when you complete vocational training, but you upgrade old ones too. It minimizes old aptitudes, allowing previously employed craftspeople to further raise their understanding of their jobs.

Decreases Marginalization

There are some associations which are marginalized, but now have easy access to vocational practices that help them to gain a living. Even those who are not academically skilled are able to gain a very lucrative career through training vocationally.

Study Becomes Enjoyable

Most vocational studies will include practice programs which will have more practical approaches, preventing learning from being theoretical, as not everyone benefits from  this.

Due to this kind of approach, the process of discovering and learning becomes more fun, and it opens up doors for people who may not be good learners in theoretical studying but perhaps are more skilled learners when it comes to doing things hands-on.


Boosts Productivity

As vocation training keeps learners upgraded by their capacities, this can actually enhance growth and productivity in workplaces a great deal. It keeps staff constantly learning and adapting to the changing ways of the industry.

This benefits employers and employees alike.

Reasonable Interaction Aptitudes

Vocational practices can be a whole new way of thinking and a totally unique experience from the viewpoint of a learner.

Instructors in this need to stay focused on crafting an environment in which the learners can be able to enrich themselves and their aptitude to better interact with others in general.

This helps to develop healthy interactive aptitudes.

Encourages Out-Of-Box Thinking

Practice in vocational training is a mash-up of thinking, application, observance and knowledge, all in one. It is able to facilitate a new way of thinking, being more out-of-the-box learning and understanding of learners, as it puts them into ‘simulations’ of their job roles.

It helps inexperienced people to learn practical abilities as it provides them with hands-on-learning experiences. From a teacher point of view, it can craft awareness for their students, helping them to better understand the true scope of the options they have in front of them.

A great deal of universities and higher education colleges and such will encourage their students to use vocational training to better enhance their chances of doing well on the path they have selected.

It has a higher success rate due to the approach it takes, and it can even help people to decide whether or not they truly want to pursue a particular career or not. It is totally natural to get tied up in struggling to decide what type of career is for you.

Vocational training gives the opportunity to experience it hands-on on a level, so you can make more informed decisions about your future.



Vocational training is, in many ways, just more specified, hands-on in depth learning experiences than we would see in colleges or universities.

You get to experience the job you are considering on a more in-depth level, and get to prepare for it in a more integrated way, better understanding what the job entails and how you feel in the role.

It can be done as a course, or even as an apprenticeship, sometimes you can complete vocational training via your employer.

As colleges and universities tend to leave students with hefty loans that they spend their lives struggling to pay back, more and more people are noticing that perhaps these forms of education are not quite as successful in the long term as doing vocational training.

Some of the most successful careers worldwide can be studied via vocational training at a fraction of the cost of going to college or university.

Choosing vocational training as a path of education for your career can be the best choice, and it is open to everyone, from child to adult, and it covers many sectors too, so your dream job may be better attainable this way!

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