Technical school programs prepare grads for high-growth jobs
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Technical School Programs Can Lead to High-Growth Jobs

With unemployment rates in the last half of 2010 falling between 9.5 and 9.8 percent, you want the best chances of finding a job if you're going to invest money and time into education and job training. And if you can boost your chances of earning more than the national average of $22.75, even better.

U.S. industry and job growth

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics issues projections once a decade as to which jobs and industries are poised for the most growth. The projections for 2008-2018 account for 15.3 million new jobs, of which 96 percent will be in the service sector. Business and professional services will add 4.2 million jobs and the health care industry is expected to add 4 million jobs. Many jobs are expected to be available in nursing homes, physicians' offices and businesses that provide services for the elderly and disabled. The construction industry is also expected to add a million jobs.

The BLS doesn't just make projections for industries; it also makes projections for specific careers, too.

Of all new jobs, about half will require you to have more education than a high school diploma. Seventeen of the top thirty highest-growth jobs require short or moderate training. If you've been thinking of switching jobs or getting some career training, you may as well prepare yourself for a career that is poised for growth.

Job training through technical school programs

The entire reason behind technical schools, also called vocational or trade schools, is to teach you specific job skills for your chosen vocation. You get hands-on experience and training, instead of taking your chances with on-the-job training from someone who may or may not be knowledgeable.

Many people think that technical schools are just for jobs like welding or automotive repair, but that's not true. You can find technical school programs in health care, business, technology or trade vocations such as carpentry or welding. Any school that provides you with career-relevant hands-on training can be considered a technical school and many schools offer courses online. Most technical schools consider their online offerings academically equivalent to their campus programs. Some online programs may be self-guided study and others have an instructor, online discussion with required participation and firm deadlines.

The length of most technical school programs varies on your concentration. Most schools offer a certificate or diploma, though some offer associate degree programs as well. The longest technical school program at the associate degree level would most likely take around two years of full-time study to complete.

The Association for Technical Education also notes that students who complete technical school programs are 10 to 15 percent more likely to be employed and earn 8 to 9 percent more than students who graduate from academic programs.

Get career training for high-growth jobs

Graduating from a technical school program won't qualify you for all of those top thirty high-growth jobs, but it can qualify you for more than half. These three careers and potential salaries are great examples of the career you could have with the right technical education.

  • Carpenters build, repair and remodel homes, other buildings, furniture and more. Overall, jobs for carpenters are expected to grow 13 percent between 2008 and 2018. You'll be most employable if you have training, well- rounded skills, are familiar with the newest tools, technology, techniques and prefabricated components. As with any construction trade, these jobs can be greatly impacted by the economy and the geographic areas with the most growth will offer the most job opportunities. The average annual salary for carpenters in May 2009 was $43,640.
  • Dental assistants provide an extra pair of hands for dentists and perform other lab and office duties as needed. Jobs for dental assistants are project to grow by 36 percent, making it one of the fastest growing occupations. Dental assistants made an average of $34,000 in May 2009 with the best-paid assistants working in Washington, D.C., Alaska and Minnesota.
  • Truck drivers need a special driver's license and endorsement to operate commercial vehicles. Truck driving jobs are expected to increase 13 percent. Truck driving is a pay-for-performance job, but on average, drivers brought in $39,260 in May 2009.

If you're looking for a new career, keep an eye toward the future. With the number of high-growth careers on the horizon that require only a small amount of training, there's no reason why you shouldn't research technical school programs and study for a job with a great chance of employment.