Funding Your Career Training: How to Pay for Trade School

April 15, 2024
Suzanne Murdoch

So, you’ve found a career path that looks perfect for you. Perhaps it’s something you can quickly get up and running in like locksmithing. Or it could be starting your own small business as a carpenter, joining a furniture making shop or local jeweler, or any one of a number of vocations that promise an interesting and fulfilling career. You’ve even found a great trade school like NBSS that will give you the comprehensive training and career boost you need. 

Jewelry making student using a sanding tool

But how do you pay for a quality trade school? You know there are scholarships for 4-year college programs. Is there financial assistance available for full-time job training? Yes! There is some form of assistance available to most career training students. Nearly 75% of our current students receive financial aid, and we’ll provide over $1.1M in NBSS scholarships directly to qualified students this year, with an average award of $10,000. 

And, if you happen to be a veteran, already have a bachelor’s degree, or are an individual who is considered high-need, NBSS offers several specific scholarship programs:

NBSS Workforce Development Initiative: To remove financial barriers to employment experienced by motivated low-income students in the Boston and Greater Boston areas, Workforce Development is a “full-ride” scholarship award. Specifically, it covers tuition, fees, tools, books, materials, public transportation, and more with special consideration for Boston residents and graduates of Boston public schools.

NBSS Yellow Ribbon veteran scholarship fund: Established to serve veterans and military service members in career training programs, NBSS Yellow Ribbon funds can be applied to tuition and other qualified educational expenses.

NBSS Pell Yes! gap funds: NBSS attracts many non-traditional students and career changers who have already earned a bachelor’s degree, making them ineligible for federal Pell Grants. Our institutional Pell Yes! replacement program addresses that gap by making individual funding available to qualified applicants.

And this is just the beginning. NBSS also has several additional scholarships available including a robust general scholarship program based on financial need. And, with a little legwork, you may be surprised at the number of private scholarships that might be available to you. Places to check for information might include your school counselor, employer, community organizations, employment agencies, and online resources. (Plus, it’s important to note that scholarships and grants are not loans, meaning they don’t have to be repaid.) 

Three locksmithing students each holding hardware, in front of shelves

And, when you’re thinking about the cost of trade school, consider this: the length of time you’ll be in school learning your trade will be considerably shorter than it would be for the typical college degree, and you’ll be employable immediately. For example, our Locksmithing & Security Technology program is just nine months, and you can work and be paid in your field while you attend school. Instead of years out of the workforce paying for housing, food, and expenses, you could be trained and working in under a year.

While financial aid can help offset much of your school expenses, there are still other ways you can structure your life and work to bring in income as you learn. You can do this. 

To learn more about NBSS and how we can help you realize a career in the skilled trades, let’s connect.