How to Get Paid to go to Trade School

Going to trade school is a great idea, but it can be expensive. Fortunately, you can get paid to go to trade school. Here are trade schools that pay you.

Paid Trade School is a Possibility

Getting further education after high school can be beneficial but tough. Balancing school, a job, and a personal life can quickly add up to an impossible daily situation. It would be great if you could combine your job and your education, right? 

You may be wondering, “Do you get paid in trade school?”

Well, you can.

In fact, there are many different ways to get paid to go to trade school. From gaining scholarships and grants to specific programs that pay students a stipend, trade schools that pay you are out there. Here we will explore the paid possibilities of paid trade school.

Auto Programs in Trade Schools that Pay You

Overview of Programs

  • BMW – Free training without payment
  • Cummins – Apprenticeship Opportunities
  • Mopar – Training sponsored by dealer with internship
  • Tesla – Free training while earning a stipend
  • Toyota – Training sponsored by dealer with internship

Paid BMW Training

The BMW Service Technician Education Program (STEP) is the fastest and most focused way to become a BMW mechanic. This is a 16-week course that is added to your general automotive training to train mechanics on BMW specific processes and mechanics. The BMW STEP is offered at 8 locations across the US and is a great way to get paid trade school training.

Paid Cummins Training

If you desire working on some of the most powerful engines in vehicles and power plants, Cummins is for you. There are trade schools that offer Cummins programs and grants/scholarships can help pay for those. If you desire to get paid while training, Cummins offers some great apprenticeship opportunities.

Paid Mopar Training

In the Mopar Career Automotive Program (MCAP), students will need to find a sponsoring Mopar dealer. This will help with funding and the paid internship aspect of the program will provide great work experience. The MCAP will be all necessary training as it lasts 18-24 months. So, you will not need to add it on top of any other training.

Paid Tesla Training

Out of all of the specific automotive training programs, the Tesla START program is the only that actually pays you while you learn. Students seeking to get paid to go to trade school will want to consider this program. On top of being offered a job upon successful graduation, you will earn a good hourly rate during this 12-week course.

Paid Toyota Training

Toyota’s Technician & Education Network (T-TEN) has over 30 locations and is a great option for students seeking a better financial option for school. Students will need to gain sponsorship from a Toyota dealer which will help with the cost of training and provide real-world experience. On top of that, this is the only paid trade school course that you will earn ASE certifications in.

Jobs to Get Paid to go to Trade School


If the more traditional education system is not for you, apprenticeships are one of the best ways to earn cash while you learn. These are best when they are facilitated by a respected institution. This way you can ensure you are learning under a truly qualified individual. Is an apprenticeship right for you?


The Federal Work-Study Program is around so that students with financial need can get paid while in trade school or college. These programs provide students with jobs in civic education and jobs related to what you are studying. Check with your financial aid office to see if your school participates. 

Scholarships and Grants

As always, one of the best ways to get paid to go to Trade School is through scholarships and grants. Scholarships are typically merit based awards given to students who apply. They can vary in amount from $500 to a full-ride. Get in touch with your financial aid department at your school to see what scholarships they offer. Then, head over to our scholarships page to see what you can apply for.

Grants, on the other hand, are given out based on student need. The most popular grant for students going to trade school or community college is the Federal Pell Grant. This grant can vary in award amount with the maximum being $6,095 for the 2018-2019 school year. Depending on your school, this could cover all of your tuition costs. Be sure to keep an eye out for grants you may qualify for.

More Ways to get Paid to go to Trade School

Military Tuition Benefits

Whether you are a member of the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, or the Coast Guard, you may qualify. Each of the services have their own eligibility requirements and processes. If you qualify, you can be granted up to 100% of your tuition expenses. Below are the requirements for each separate service:

No-Loan Colleges

A new trend for schools across the nation is adopting “no-loan” policies. These policies take away the need for students to take out loans for their schooling. Although this is not an option to get paid while you learn, this is a great way to cut down the cost of school. Financial aid departments hand-craft awards for students based off of their income so that they do not need loans to attend school. Another great way to earn paid trade school. Check with your financial aid office to see if you qualify.

Tuition Waivers

Similar to scholarships, schools may offer a plethora of tuition waivers for many different things. Some schools will offer tuition waivers for working on the school newspaper, being a teaching assistant, working as a lab assistant, being a resident assistant (RA), and more. Check with your school’s financial aid office to see if you qualify for any.

There can also be state-based tuition waivers. You can do a quick search on your favorite search engine to find them. So, if you live in Arizona, simply search “Arizona tuition waiver.”

Schools with No Tuition

This might sound too good to be true, but it is a real thing. Some schools are starting to waive tuition fees for certain students. These are all the schools that are currently offering this; Stanford University, College of the Ozarks, Deep Springs College, Berea College, Olin College of Engineering, Curtis Institute of Music, Alice Lloyd College.

Some of these schools grant this with no strings attached while others will require you to work on campus to maintain the benefits. Either way, it is a great opportunity. For example, Stanford University does not charge students tuition if their household income is less than $100,000 per year while if their household income is less than $60,000 year they will waive both tuition and room/board.

Non-Profit Organizations

The last thing you should do to find ways to get paid trade school is through local non-profit organizations. If you are in Boston, a great example is Uncornered by College Bound Dorchester. This institution works specifically with students who have previously been incarcerated. Even though, there are many organizations seeking to help students gain education and training. Check with your financial aid office to see if they are connected with any.

So, do you get paid in Trade School?

You can. There are so many ways to get paid to go to trade school, take advantage of them. There are trade schools that pay you to attend, there are organizations that will grant you paid trade school, and there are so many ways to earn awards to pay for your education. 

This should get you started on your financial aid process. If you are needing more help, let us know. Fill out the contact form below to get in touch with us and we would love to help. We can point you to scholarships, grants, organizations, and more that will help pay for your school.

Still trying to figure out what college to go to? We can help with that too. Our short questionnaire can connect you with the perfect school.

Contact Us

    Explore More Resources for Mechanics