Top 10 Trade Schools in The US

trade schools in the US

Trade is not just buying and selling. There are certain skills involved in completing the value chain, and these skills are learned in trade schools.

These skills are hands-on skills like plumbing, wiring, carpentry, machine installation, bakery, sewing, and a host of others. 

You obtain a bachelor’s degree after going through a 4-year course at a university, while you get a diploma from a trade school.

A trade school is where students are trained solely for a particular career.

It’s not like a university where students are taken through several other courses while they’re studying for a particular course. In a trade school, you go straight to the course you’re studying.

Trade schools cover fields as diverse as culinary arts, music production, broadcasting, graphic design, computer programming, cosmetology, and even nursing and medical technologies.

Many of the skills you learn in a trade school are industry experiences that will set you on your journey in a career.

Trade schools are here to stay

Trade school helps you arm yourself with the information you need to start your career right away.

As high-tech machines continue to disrupt how things are made, and as workforces age in many technical fields, vital jobs are opening up that academics just can’t fill. 

Highly-skilled and well-trained workers are needed and trade schools are here to fill this gap. 

Difference between a trade school and Universities 

Both of them are academic. You will arrive at learning in both of them. You write tests and exams in a trade school just like you do in universities.

The only difference is that, in trade schools, your attention is focused on a particular field rather than gathering a “universal” knowledge as it is in a university.

University teaches you a lot beyond your course of study, the word is said to be coined from the word “Universal”.

Another difference is that trade schools offer just 2 years as opposed to a university that offers 4 years of programs and above.

Top trade schools in the US

Some of these trade schools are either institute of Technology, universities, or skill acquisition academies.

They include 

1. East Valley Institute of Technology

The institution has three different locations in Arizona(Mesa, Fountain Hills, Apache Junction)

and is focused on trade specializations. 

They offer programs like Classic Automotive Restoration, Collision Repair, Cosmetology, George Brazil School of Plumbing Service & Repair Technician, HVAC, Industrial Trades Academy & GED program, Precision Machining & Manufacturing Technology, Solar Maintenance & Installation Technician-PV, and Welding

2. Austin Community College

Trade school in the US

The trade school is located in Austin, TX.

They offer courses like Architectural & Engineering Computer-Aided Design, Automotive Collision Repair & Refinishing Technology, Automotive Technology & Outdoor Powered Equipment, Building Construction Technology, Electronics & Advanced Technologies, Geographic Information Systems, HVACR, Land Surveying Technology/Geomatics, and Welding Technology.

3. Triangle Tech Inc

Trade school in the US

This is located in Greensburg, PA.

They specialize in construction trades (Although they offer other programs). They are a nationally accredited technical school and were listed in Forbes Magazine’s Top 30 Two-Year Trade Schools list.

4. Central New Mexico Community College

Trade school in the us

Location: Albuquerque, NM; Rio Rancho, NM

They specialize in Carpentry, Construction Management Technologies, Diesel Equipment Technology, Electrical Trades, HVACR, Machine Tool Technology, Plumbing, Gas Fitting, and Welding.

Other skills they offer include: Architectural/Engineering Drafting Technology, Automotive Technology, Aviation Technology, Carpentry, Construction Management Technology, Diesel Equipment Technology,

Electrical Trades, Emerging Applications in Applied Technologies, Film Technician, Geographic Information Technology, HVACR, Machine Tool Technology, Plumbing, and Gas Fitting,

Pre-Architecture, Rapid Prototyping & Innovative Design, Surveying Technology, Truck Driving, Unmanned Aircraft Systems, and Welding

5. Georgia Piedmont Technical College

Trade school in the us

Location: Clarkston, GA; Covington, GA; Decatur, GA

It has the reputation for being the “oldest and most respected of Georgia’s 22 technical colleges”.

They are said to offer top-notch field service training programs under their Industrial Technologies area of study.

The other courses they offer include:

Automotive Technology, Building Automation Systems, Commercial Refrigeration, Air Conditioning Technology, and Welding & Joining Technology.

6. Lake Area Technical Institute

Trade school in the us

The trade school is located in Watertown, SD.

They offer Automotive Technology, Aviation Maintenance Technology, Building Trades Technology, Custom Paint & Fabrication, Diesel Technology, Electronic Systems Technology, Energy Technology,

Environmental Technology, Heavy Equipment Operator, High-Performance Engine Machining, Precision Machining, Robotics, and Welding Technology.

They were awarded the 2017 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence.

7. Ivy Tech Community College

Trade school in the us

Location: Indiana (40 locations).

They offer Advanced Automation & Robotics Technology, Agriculture, Automotive Technology, Aviation Technology, Building Construction Management, Building Construction Technology, Diesel Technology,

Electrical Engineering Technology, Electronics & Computer Technology, Energy Technology, Engineering Technology, HVAC, Industrial Technology, Machine Tool Technology. Manufacturing Production and Operations,

Mechanical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering Technology, Nanotechnology, Precision Agriculture Equipment Technology, and Pre-Engineering.

Ivy Tech Community College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association. With over 40 locations around Indiana.

8. Western Wyoming Community College

Trade school in the us

This trade school is located in Rock Springs, WY. 

They pride themselves on being a constantly evolving institution, responding to student feedback and market needs.

And as a member of the Academic Quality Improvement Program, they are trusted to provide you with different pathways for finding your perfect career.

The skills they offer include: Automotive Technology, Diesel Technology, Electrical Technology, Industrial Maintenance Technology, Mining Maintenance Technology, Natural Gas Compression Technology, Oil & Gas Technology, and Welding

9. Center for Employment Training

Trade school in the us

Location: California, Virginia, Texas

Their most popular field of study in Construction & Building Maintenance. They have a specific program for Green Building Construction Skills that deal with more modern building technologies.

They offer other skills like Construction & Building Maintenance, Cleaning Service & Maintenance Technician, Green Building Construction Skills, Electrician, HVAC Technician, HVAC Green Technology, Machinist Technology, and Welding Fabrication.

10. Ferris State University

Ferris state university

Ferris State University is a trade school located in  Big Rapids, MI.

They are known for their great HVAC program.

Trade they offer includes: Architectural Technology, Automotive Service Technology, Building Construction Technology, CAD Drafting, and Tool Design Technology, Civil Engineering Technology, Heavy Equipment Technology, HVACR Technology, Industrial Electronics Technology, Manufacturing Technology, Mechanical

Engineering Technology, Plastics, and Polymer Engineering Technology, Surveying Technology, and Welding Technology

Some other trade schools to check out include: 

  • San Francisco Institute of Esthetics & Cosmetology Inc Trade Program
  • Cinta Aveda Institute
  • Evergreen Beauty and Barber College-Everett crest
  • Penrose Academy Scottsdale, Arizona

What certificate will you receive after going through a trade school?

Unlike a four-year college, you don’t graduate from a trade school with a bachelor’s degree.

Upon completion of the program, you will receive a diploma or trade certificate acknowledging you successfully finished. 

For some programs, you can earn an associate degree, which is the degree you get from a two-year college.

What jobs can you get after a trade school?

Popular trade school jobs include plumber, electrician, pharmacy technician, and paralegal.

Students can also train to become restaurant cooks and private chefs by enrolling in a culinary arts program or working as auto mechanics by earning a certificate in fields such as automotive technology, service management, or collision repair/refinishing.

Summing it up on top trade schools in the US

Trade schools are not cheap, how much you pay depends on the schools and your course of study.

There are so many ways to navigate life, going to a trade school could be your way to reach your career heights.

If you want to specialize in a particular field, you should consider a trade school.

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