Trade School Search by State
Start your trade school search here. Look for a state and get a full list of trade schools in that state.
If you know what program you want to study, visit our trade school by program page.
No matter what trade career you want to get into, the school list below can help you get there.
Our comprehensive trade school list does not feature any colleges, only schools that will focus on specific programs to help you start your career faster. Be sure to check out our list of questions to ask a trade school before you decide to attend. This will help you find a school that is a good fit for your needs!
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Search our partner trade schools and submit your email to those that look interesting. A school representative will contact you to discuss their programs!
Trade Schools By State
Select a state to find a trade school campus location that is close to you. You can further refine the list on the state page to find the skilled trade career you are most interested in.
How Many Trade Schools Are There?
According to IBIS World, there are an estimated 7,109 trade schools in the United States. This means you have plenty of opportunities to learn any trade you want all across the US!
There has been minimal growth in the number of schools over the past 5 years.
California, Texas, and Florida round out the top 3 states with the most trade schools.
Is a Technical School the Same as a Trade School?
Technical and trade schools are very similar. They both provide education in vocational or skilled trade careers that can last 1-2 years or less.
The only difference is that trade schools are more hands-on and focus on careers that are more blue collar, like automotive, HVAC, or construction.
Technical schools offer a mix of classroom and hands-on work and can also include training for careers in computers, medical, or culinary.
Graduates from either option are taught the skills needed to get started in their career of choice. Both also use a mix of technology and practical experience to pass exams and the requirements needed to receive a certificate of completion.
What to Consider When Choosing a Trade School
There are a few things you should consider when deciding which trade school to attend.
- Is the campus in a setting you will enjoy? City, rural, etc.
- Does the school have an industry accreditation?
- Do they offer job placement?
- Are the instructors experienced tradespeople?
- Are there networking resources for finding apprenticeships or jobs for the future?
View our complete guide on questions to ask a trade school.
Can I Take Courses at a Community College?
Yes, you can take courses at a community college to learn a trade. There are tens of thousands of community colleges across the country that offer vocational and trade programs.
Associate’s degrees or certifications in a range of trade programs are available to students at local area colleges. The curriculum at some colleges may require more basic classes like English, while a trade school only focuses on the specific trade. The education requirements between a trade school vs college is quite different. Make sure you know what they are before enrolling.
Some collages may allow a student the option to take a course or two instead of a full continuing education program. This experience can help you learn more about the industry you are considering, which can help you decide if it is a path you will like before making a bigger investment in your education.
Can I Just Do an Apprenticeship Instead of Trade School?
You can do an apprenticeship instead of attending a trade school for many trades. But, in a competitive industry, having a trade school certificate may be the make-or-break decision when trying to land a job.
An apprenticeship is a great way to learn a trade, but trade schools offer additional elements that you cannot learn as an apprentice. Understanding the how and why of various tasks and learning critical thinking skills are just some things that are better learned in classes.
Also, as an apprentice in a busy work environment, you may not get a real chance to learn as much as you can. Your mentor may be over-worked as it is and not give you the hands-on opportunities to learn the craft.
This may make the process of getting a certification or license for your job much more difficult too.
Paying for Trade School
Tuition at a trade school can range from a just a few thousand to upwards of $20,000. This means thinking about the financial impact and return on investment should be a top consideration. As an example, you would not want to spend thousands of dollars on a vocation that may only pay a top hourly rate of $20 even with experience.
Make sure you are doing the math. Also, be sure to see what trade school financial aid options exist. Not only should you be looking into financial aid, but definitely check out scholarships and grants too. There is more money than you might think available to get into a trade career.
Trade School Resources
Find resources to help you select a trade school, find financial help, and more!