If you’re looking to save a little extra cash this summer, here’s one idea to try on for size: stop paying full price for services and visit a vocational school instead.
Uncertain about what a vocational school is and how you might be able to secure big discounts on dental care, haircuts, pet grooming and more? Read on for a quick guide to the world of trade school discounts.
What Is a Vocational School?
A vocational school—also known as a career school, technical college or trade school—is an institution that trains students in a specific trade skill. Unlike other post-secondary colleges, a vocational school doesn’t typically require general education classes or focus heavily on theory-based learning. Instead, students receive hands-on training in preparation to enter a career. Vocational schools are usually shorter than the four-year college.
While many vocational schools operate as stand-alone institutions, other trade school programs may be run through a more traditional four-year university and located on the same campus. Common vocational programs include dentistry, cosmetology, cooking, construction, veterinary services, automotive mechanics, electrical training and lots more.
Vocational School Training
Hands-on training is a critical part of the vocational school experience. Students can’t graduate without getting a certain number of practice hours in their chosen profession. Electricians need to inspect real circuit breakers, veterinarians need to examine real animals, and hair stylists, estheticians and dental hygienists need to practice their skills on real people. Supervisors are present during these training exercises and may directly or indirectly support the student in practicing their craft.
As an incentive to encourage people to volunteer as models or patients for vocational students to practice on, heavily discounted services are often available through vocational schools. Services may be much less expensive than usual, or in some cases, free.
What Services to Look For?
Here are a few examples of commonly discounted services which may be available in your area at local vocational schools:
- Haircuts – Beauty schools almost always offer discounted haircuts to any customers brave enough to let students practice on them. Just remember: it’ll grow back!
- Hair styling – Salon professionals also need to practice updos, curling and straightening, so you may be able to get a discount on these kinds of special event services through a beauty school.
- Other beauty services – Ask about manicures, pedicures, waxing, and skin treatments such as chemical peels if there’s a vocational school for estheticians in your city.
- Teeth care – Dental schools sometimes offer low-cost teeth cleaning and X-rays, although it can take a few weeks or months to get an appointment, depending on when students are scheduled to practice.
- Pet grooming – Facilities that train people in pet grooming may have a specific day of the week set aside for discounted services, so it’s worth giving your local grooming school a call to check.
- Fine Dining – Culinary schools may feature an on-site restaurant with delicious dishes available at a discount. Just make sure to tip your server!