Feb 20, 2023

Question of the Day: What percent of high school students have considered vocational/trade schools?

It is important for our students to know all of their options after high school graduation. How many students are interested in getting to work in the trades?

Answer: Over 40%


  • Have you ever considered taking a CTE (career and technical education) or occupational education class? Why or why not? 
  • Demand for skilled trade jobs currently exceeds the supply of workers to fill them. Why do you think that is the case? 
  • You are hired by a local company that needs more electricians in their business. They want to recruit students from your high school and want you to answer this question: "What do you think it will take to make these skilled trade jobs more attractive for high school students?"

Click here for the ready-to-go slides for this Question of the Day that you can use in your classroom.


Behind the numbers (Tulsa Welding School):

"When digging a little deeper into the sentiments high schoolers hold about the trades, it’s evident why they’re regarded so highly. The two most common motivations high schoolers had for enrolling or considering enrolling in a vocational school were the high potential for job placement and the opportunity to obtain real-life work experience. When asked to rank the benefits of a skilled trades career, the top three responses were earning potential, job security, and benefits.

With college commonly touted as the sole path to professional success, it’s no wonder that just under 16% of surveyed high school graduates enrolled in a vocational or trade school.

However, a little over 40% seriously considered pursuing an education in the skilled trades, suggesting a shift in thinking among high school students. More specifically, 40% of respondents have thought about becoming a mechanic while 36% and 32% have considered electrician classes and welding training, respectively."



Looking for more career-related resources from NGPF? Look no further


NGPF's Alternatives to 4-Year Colleges unit is great for students considering a career in the trades.

About the Author

Mason Butts

After graduating from UCLA with a Master's in Education, Mason spent 5 years as a science educator in a South Los Angeles public high school. He is committed to supporting the holistic growth of all students and empowering them to live a life of relational, academic, and financial success. Now settled in the Bay Area, Mason enjoys facilitating professional developments and partnering with educators as they prepare students for a bright financial future. When Mason is not building curriculum or planning a training, he can be found cycling, trying new foods, and exploring the outdoors.

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