Let's say you're considering a construction-related trade, such as plumbing. When you go to a trade school, they're going to teach you how to be a plumber. But they will also teach you how to do bids for jobs, how you should dress when meeting with a client for the first time, how to read a blue print for when you're installing in new construction, and many other skills essential for being a top-notch plumber. You will also earn a lot more money that if you didn't get professional training. As a first-year plumber with trade school training, you can make around $33,000 a year compared to someone with no trade school of about $20,000.
The cost of these programs vary, but a two-year plumbing program at Red Rocks Community College will cost less than $10,000. Since you'll earn $13,000 more in your first year than with just a high school diploma, it's well worth the investment.
If you're lucky enough to receive a Bootstraps scholarship and/or interest-free loan, you'll be well on your way to funding your career.