Leaving School Early? Start with a Trade


If you’re thinking of leaving school early, getting a trade might be just the thing for you.

Even if studying at high school or doing your VCE doesn’t appeal, there are still plenty of options out there for you.

In this blog, we’ll talk about what you can do after leaving school early by starting with a trade.

Leaving school early

Although most students choose to finish high school in VCE,  leaving school early might be right for you.

Even if it isn’t the most popular choice ( or the one your parents want you to do) it can actually work out for the best.

For example, studies have shown that Vocational Education and Training (including trades certificates) can help you earn more than university graduates.

It’s also important to remember that leaving school early doesn’t mean that you can’t do further studies later in life.

Some people just prefer to leave school early and follow a different pathway to university.

In leaving school early, you might want to get a job and start earning income or take a non-traditional pathway into further education.

In other words, leaving school early is a legitimate option if you feel that it would best suit your life and your goals.

Starting a trade

If you’re thinking of leaving school early, starting a trade lets you achieve a few goals all at the same time.

By starting a trade you would become an apprentice, which means you’ll be learning and working at the same time.

This is a fantastic option for early school leavers because it lets you earn money  while getting a qualification.

After a few years in your apprenticeship, you’ll become a fully qualified tradie with a much greater earning potential.

Tradies have always been able to earn good money, but lately this has been in the news a lot.

In recent years, the data is showing that one in ten tradies earn over $200,000 per year.

Become an apprentice

When you do your apprenticeship, you work for a real employer while doing your certificate III.

The type of apprenticeship and certificate III you do will determine what type of tradie you will become.

For example, if you do a Certificate III in Carpentry (CPC30220) and a carpenter’s apprenticeship, you’ll become a fully qualified carpenter or joiner after 3 years.

We recommend doing your apprenticeship and certificate 3 with a reputable and trusted building school like Builders Academy Australia.

The cert 3 in Carpentry is one of the most popular trades certificates because it is so versatile. 

Aside from using it to become a full-time carpenter, you can also use it to follow a different pathway (more below).

Not only are we famous for our excellent courses and trainers, but we also help you get government funding to pay for your certificate if you are eligible.

Because we have industry connections in the Victorian construction game, we can also hook you up with your apprenticeship with an employer.

Not ready for apprenticeship?

If you have left school early and are interested in trades but are not sure what type of  trade would suit you, you should do a pre-apprenticeship.

The pre-apprenticeship is perfect for early school leavers because it helps bridge the gap between where you left off your schooling and your future studies in the trades.

Certificate II in Construction Pathways (CPC20211)  teaches you some of the fundamentals of the building and construction trades.

In this way, it gives you a taste of a few different trades, helping you work out which one you like best.

A pre-apprenticeship is also great because it gives you confidence moving into your apprenticeship, before you start working full-time for an employer. 


Leaving school early doesn’t mean that you will never be able to do further studies like diplomas and even university degrees.

A lot of people leave school early to pursue a trade and end up with many qualifications and even high paying careers.

One common pathway is to do a Certificate 3 in Carpentry which gives you a good foundation in general trades so that you can do more advanced studies.

With a Certificate 3 in Carpentry and several years of work experience in the building industry under your belt, you could be eligible for courses that qualify you to become a registered builder.  

Builder courses include:

It only gets better from there. Once you have a cert 4 or a diploma, you can continue to build on your qualifications by doing an advanced diploma or a university degree in construction. 

At Builders Academy Australia, we regularly help early school leavers to follow their dreams.

Whether you want to dive into trades work with an apprenticeship or take a pathway towards a university degree, our course advisors will help you get there.

Interested in leaving school early and starting with a trade? Our course advisors can show you the steps to reach your goals and workout if you’re eligible for government funding. Speak to one of our course advisors today on 1300 LEGEND or send us a message and we’ll get back to you soon.