Learning a trade can boost your earning power and career opportunities, and trade school typically takes less time than completing an associate or bachelor's degree. Some trade schools don't require a high school diploma or GED certificate, but state licensing requirements for various professions vary. Consequently, you'll have to check your state's licensing requirements to ensure you'll be able to practice your trade once you graduate.

Beauty School

Every state establishes licensing requirements for cosmetologists and beauticians, and if your beauty school is located in a state that doesn't require a high school diploma, you can gain admission without one. The Georgia Beauty School, for example, only requires that applicants be 16 or older, and in states such as Illinois, you can apply to beauty school without a diploma. Your course load will depend upon your state's licensing requirements and your area of concentration. Students at The Georgia Beauty School take courses such as theory of hair cutting, theory of nail and skin care, permanent hair waving and manicures, pedicures and nail shaping.

Trades and Crafts

Many skilled trades require an apprenticeship and hundreds of hours of training, but they don't require a high school diploma. Front Range Community College, for example, offers a variety of certificate programs with no educational prerequisites. You can gain a welding certificate, which requires 41 course hours and takes three semesters, without a GED or diploma. You'll take courses such as safety for welders, allied cutting processes, and layout and fabrication.

Massage Therapy School

Like cosmetologists, massage therapists have to be licensed by the state in which they practice, and some states require a high school diploma. In states that don't, however, you can go to massage therapy trade school without any formal education. The Community College of Baltimore County offers such a program, and provides students with opportunities for internships as they complete their course work. You'll take courses such as introduction to massage, musculoskeletal system and structure, and massage modalities.

Nurse Assistant School

Certified nurse assistants work alongside nurses and provide basic services, such as transportation and companionship, to patients. You can become a licensed nurse's aid without a high school diploma, but if you plan to continue your education to become a nurse, you'll need to finish high school first. The American Red Cross offers nurse assistant training programs across the country. The entire program takes 160 hours to complete, with 60 hours dedicated to classroom work in nursing theory, and 100 hours dedicated to supervised clinical work.

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