Graduate in 6 months or less: Fast trade school education options

Graduate in 6 months or less: Fast trade school education options

Traditional college isn’t necessarily for everyone, and a high school diploma might not be enough to get a good job and make a comfortable living. Instead, many are turning to trade schools for an education. One of the great aspects of trade schools is that it’s possible to get certified fairly quickly and start a career immediately after graduation. In fact, some trades only require 6-months or less of training.

Here’s a look at some of those options.


You can become certified as an electrician in as little as 4-months. Electricians are responsible for installing, maintaining, and repairing electrical wiring in residential and commercial buildings. You’ll likely have to travel as electricians go from location to location for work.

Some challenges with this job are having to find your own clients if you are self-employed, traveling, and sometimes working in extreme temperatures to complete a job.

Average length of training: 4-6 months

Cost of certification: $5,000 – $10,000

Average salary: $56,000

Flight Attendant

If you have a goal to see the world, but your bank account doesn’t support your wanderlust, a career as a flight attendant might be perfect for you. These individuals are responsible for providing service and assistance to passengers during their flight.

Many airlines offer benefits including travel perks for you and your family. This means you’ll be able to explore the world on your time off and bring your family or friends with you. While this career sounds like a dream come true, it’s important to know that flight attendants have a very demanding schedule  and work long hours, nights, weekends, and major holidays.

Average length of training: 8 weeks

Cost of certification: $5,000

Average salary: $49,000

Real Estate Agent

For those who are self-motivated with a strong passion for sales, becoming a real estate agent might be a great fit for you. You’ll have the opportunity to work with people from all backgrounds and help them find the home of their dreams. Most real estate agents work on commission, which means they only make money once they help sell or buy buildings, homes, or property.

Working solely on commission means your income can fluctuate throughout the year. Some housing markets are very competitive, so you’ll have to work hard every day to find new clients.

Average length of training: 4-6 months

Cost of certification: $500 – $1,200

Average Salary: $50,000



First responders call for a particular kind of person that is capable of putting their fear and doubts aside and performing in high-risk situations to help others. Firefighters serve to protect their communities by not only putting out fires but many times also being the first to arrive on the scene of an accident. This job involves working in high-stress situations and is not for the faint of heart.

This career is also very physically and mentally demanding, so in order to become a firefighter, you must be able to pass a physical test as well as several written and oral exams.

Average length of training: 3-4 months

Cost of certificate: $5,000 – $25,000 depending on the school

Average salary: $51,000

Mechanics: Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC)

Are you someone who prefers to work with their hands? Maybe a career as an HVAC mechanic sparks your interest. HVAC mechanics install and fix heating and air conditioning systems, and it’s a growing industry.

In fact, the average growth rate in this field is around 15%. You’ll be able to travel from location to location working on both residential and commercial properties. Since this job can be demanding, and in some cases critical if an AC system goes out during the summer months, you might be required to work odd hours to perform emergency repairs.

Average length of training: 6 months

Cost of certificate: $20,000

Average salary: $44,000


There’s a lot more to being a carpenter than your high school shop class lead you to believe. Carpenters get to work with their hands building homes, framework, and buildings. You’ll be part of the team responsible for new buildings from day one— that’s pretty exciting! 

You can also find work doing home renovations or repairing buildings as they get older. It can be a challenging field as you will spend a lot of your time outdoors and exposed to the elements. Weather can cause complications on new projects as well and delay your work.

Average length of training: 5 months

Cost of certificate: $17,000

Average salary: $48,000


There are many opportunities out there that don’t require the traditional form of education. Trades are in high demand, and whether you want to work with your hands, help others, or travel the world, you should be able to find the career that’s right for you. The best part is, a lot of these skills can be acquired in a short amount of time, which means you can finish your training and start building on your experience and earning money very quickly.