Technical schools, also known as trade schools, usually require a high school diploma or GED. However, it is possible to attend these schools without having either. Many schools offer free GED prep and testing to students as part of their educational packages and others will grant admission based on other factors. Many trade schools require students to pass proficiency testing in the trade area of interest in lieu of a GED or high school diploma. For example, Columbia-Greene Community College in Hudson, New York, is among a number of schools that admit students without diplomas or GEDs, so long as they meet other pertinent criteria.

Step 1

Research the technical schools that offer the area of study you seek to pursue and compile a list of schools that interest you. Scrutinize their admission policies to see whether or not they require a high school transcript or GED test results. There are many community colleges and trade schools that only require students to pass a proficiency test in their areas of interest before admission.

Step 2

Call the admissions counselors of the schools and explain your situation. Many schools are willing and able to help guide potential students through the admissions process. Prepare a list of questions and concerns that you have, and make notes of the answers you receive, as well as the names of the people you spoke to.

Step 3

Contact a high school guidance counselor in your area and ask for information. Guidance counselors often have admission information about a variety of technical schools, colleges and universities. Their job is to advise students of the best options to pursue after high school, and sometimes the best option for students without a diploma or GED is to attend a technical school.


Attending technical school without a diploma or GED could have negative financial ramifications. As of 2012, the government no longer offers funding for students without high school diplomas or GEDs.

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