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Most Affordable Technical and Trade Schools Cheapest Trade Schools

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There are so many reasons one might consider attending trade school. Especially for students who know what they want to do, and in many cases this includes using their hands, a trade school can be the perfect fit. A four-year degree requires so much academic rigor, and though a trade school is not void of general education requirements or hard work, it is a great way to surpass some of the extra coursework and move right to the trade for which a student is trying to engage. Don’t be afraid to look for scholarships that fit your specific criteria.

Many people choose trade schools according to their location. Generally, someone will not relocate to the other side of the country for an education in the trades, and staying local makes things convenient. In some cases, you can learn online. Oftentimes, however, programs that have apprenticeship and hands-on opportunities really stand out for prospective students. In order to engage in a trades career, it is imperative that you are trained appropriately and have had enough field experience to be ready for the job at hand. Start looking around and make sure the trade schools you are considering offer the distinct trade for which you want to invest. 

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How We Ranked the Best Trade Schools

All of the schools on our list are accredited institutions to assure a level of quality. We have looked at the following metrics while completing our ranking: 

  • Cost (Current IPEDS Data)
  • Reputation (Niche Data)
  • Success (PayScale Data)

Keeping these factors in mind, our ranking offers the best school for a return on investment. These trade schools review the best synthesis of educational quality, market reputation, and potential for rewarding income. 


10 Highest Paid Trade School Degrees

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Wallace Community College - Dothan

The top school on our list is Wallace Community College in Dothan, Alabama. The school is named for the American politician and segregationist George Corley Wallace Jr. Wallace first introduced the  Alabama Regional Trade School Act of 1947 as legislation. Wallace Community College was one of the first trade schools in Alabama. Today Wallace Community College, accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, respects and holds its student body diversity as a huge part of the values that they cherish and promote as a benefit to students. Can we say progress?  It has since become an impressive community college with the merger of their Stark campus in Eufaula, AL. Wallace offers a fast-track workforce development program that enhances the skills of professionals with employment. They also offer classes online to aid students in accomplishing their learning goals. This college goes beyond the classroom with its mission to lift up and support the long-term advancement of their community and their students. 

Net Price: $2,347.00


Lewis & Clark Community College

Lewis & Clark Community College offers a unique environment for its students to achieve success in whatever they choose to pursue. Their core values speak through their student engagement, community initiatives, and beyond. This makes their growing Illinois campus the steward of excellence for 12,000 students across seven counties. They tap deeply into the social needs of their students and neighboring organizations by encouraging environmental innovation, providing affordable healthcare to fulfill their motto of empowering people. Beyond the countless resources offered for students, faculty, staff, and alumni, Lewis & Clark also offers a small classroom guarantee. They are accredited by several organizations including the higher learning commission. Cultivating a purpose-driven student body is their focus, programs are centered around the advancement of citizens, through cultural, civic, and professional activities. To accomplish this blending of both traditional and modern learning techniques, they inspire social interaction, personal enrichment, and job enhancement. 

Net Price: $3,939.00


Mt. San Antonio College

If you are interested in finding the best trade schools, Mt. San Antonio College is one of California’s best options. Here’s why: they offer over 200 academic and training programs along with 71 certificates for adult and continuing education students. Their accreditation by the western association of schools and colleges is just the tip of the iceberg for this school. Mt. San Antonio College prides itself on providing the college experience without debt, with 25 support programs to ensure students have financial assistance options for their tuition. They also boost 50 student clubs and athletic programs that encourage students to create their own campus experience. They also offer courses, degrees, and certifications online for students that want a more flexible learning experience. One stand-out program is the accelerated bachelor’s program offered through a partnership with four-year universities. With over 75% of the student body receiving financial aid, more than 68 million dollars are awarded each year. 

Net Price: $4,387.00


Elgin Community College

Elgin Community College is based out of two locations, Spartan Dr campus and Burlington, Illinois. Each offers over 120 acres of campus. Since its inception in 1949, Elgin Community College has offered career and technical training in a specific field for students to achieve immediate employment as accomplished career professionals. It has grown to what it is today a community college with over 130 degrees and certificates, with a mission to improve citizen living through education. They proudly serve the community in partnership with Harper college at the Education and Work Center in Hanover Park. Some student resources include distance learning, student and academic clubs, and an apprenticeship program. Students interested in industrial maintenance, basic nursing assistant, CNC machining, firefighter, or paramedic can learn and earn in the apprenticeship program. Elgin Community College is the best trade school, as they devote a large part of their effort to equity planning to support diversity and inclusion on campus. 

Net Price: $4,565.00


Lake Land College

One of the best technical colleges in Illinois is Lake Land College. They are an accredited institution by the Higher Learning Commission, offering a plethora of options for individuals interested in general education, technical and career education, workforce development, and university transfer education. These are only a few services students will have the opportunity to take advantage of at Lake Land Community college. Inspiring excellence through community partnerships, students will have the chance to participate in institutional research and benefit from the Lake Land College Foundation. Lake Land College Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to the development of educational advancement, scholarships, and charitable programs for citizens of the district. This school is impressive and we aren’t the only one that thinks so; the Aspen Institute has acknowledged Lake Land College in the top 10 percent of all the community colleges nationwide. With a wide range of degrees, certificates, and workforce development programs, this school is a safe bet when choosing where to invest in your education. 

Net Price: $4,846.00

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Southwest Mississippi Community College

Southwest Mississippi Community College has been offering two-year programs since 1932, coming from its modest agricultural high school origins to one of the best trades schools in Mississippi. Their mission is simple, straightforward, and to the point, which is a notable quality in a community college. One exciting aspect of their offerings are the online learning options for students that need a flexible self-curated learning schedule. SMCC serves 48 counties in Mississippi and accepts students from 8 different states. They focus on providing academic transfer, technical, and workforce training programs. To fulfill their mission they offer a quality enhancement plan, blending classroom learning with practical experience. Only select programs qualify to participate in the quality enhancement program. There are several ways to pay for school; students will have the full support of the college when applying for grants and scholarships. There is a huge array of career and technical education programs offered. Grating a plan of study is a useful practice for establishing long-term learning goals. 

Net Price: $4,905.00


Holmes Community College

Holmes Community College offers it all, dual credit for high school students, online learning, career, and technical programs, GED courses, and a competitive selection of degree options. This best technical college has so much to offer. Created as a high school in 1922, then later evolved into a junior college. This is considered an exceptional public college, while it is a small institution, its acceptance rate is 100%. They provide financial aid to 89% of their student body, which is a promising attribute for a small community college in Goodman, Mississippi. Their most popular programs include nursing, business, liberal art and humanities, and health services preparatory studies. They offer 99 online programs from certificates, associates to bachelor’s degree programs all online. As part of the Mississippi community college system students can apply with no fee, without SAT or ACT test scores. This best trade school has a non-credit workforce development program partnered with organizations and businesses to train individuals in the specific requirements. 

Net Price: $4,977.00


Lincoln Land Community College

Lincoln Land Community college is another best trade school in Springfield, Illinois, they offer career training, transfer education, and affordable education to over 12,000 students. This is due partially to their 100% acceptance rate, with 23% of enrolled students attending career training programs. They offer online and evening courses, to the working student. Keeping the classroom small is an important value at Lincoln, with a 17:1 student-to-teacher ratio. Some of their popular programs being liberal art and humanities, nursing assistant, and natural sciences. The Springfield campus acts as their main location yet they have programs being offered at four other campuses. Student engagement and diversity are a huge part of their overall mission, holding events, such as multicultural fest is a way to welcome new students and to introduce campus resources to individuals wanting to support crafting their environment. 

Net Price: $5,258.00


Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology

Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology is an institution in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, that is centered on serving citizens in the state of Pennsylvania. This best technical college is home to more than 1,300 students, and 24 career and technical training programs.  They are accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and have maintained that accreditation since 1991. With 18 buildings across a sprawling 32-acre campus, students will enjoy resources to support their educational goals. Their most popular programs include machine and metalworking, computer systems repair, and automotive mechanics. Since its inception, the goal and mission of the school are to provide educational opportunities for historically underrepresented students to learn skills that will lead to immediate employment. They embody the core values of integrity, diversity, respect, and teamwork by incorporating an educational environment that students can thrive in and experience long-term growth. 

Net Price: $5,598.00


Amarillo College

Amarillo College certainly makes the list as one of the best trade schools, located in Amarillo Texas. They are a fully accredited institution by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges with a 100% acceptance rate. Their goal is to create opportunities for their students. Whether transferring to a four-year institution or starting college for the first time, their mission is to partner with students to achieve their goals. The Amarillo College Foundation is raising funds for students and scholarships for eligible candidates, 72% of students that enroll receive financial aid. They offer a smart start center, that introduces strategies that will aid students in being successful in college-level work. There are several online degree options, 16 online programs, along with select courses offered online as well. Some of the most popular degrees at Amarillo College are business, liberal arts and humanities, and nursing. Adult education services are another standout fact about the student resources offered at this school, eligible students can apply to receive child care, transportation, and textbook assistance. 

Net Price: $6,005.00

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Eastern Arizona College

Residents of Thatcher Arizona have an amazing resource in Eastern Arizona College. This best trade school serves 1,938 full-time students and as many as 4,000 part-time students. They have as many as 36 degrees, certificates and career, and technical programs. The most popular being HVAC and Refrigeration Engineering Technician, Liberal Arts and Humanities, and Business Support Services. Students don’t have to wait until after high school to begin earning credits, skills for a career. Eastern Arizona College is partnered with area high schools to offer high school students an opportunity to earn skills that will allow them to enter the workforce right out of high school. There are some online options as well, 8 degree programs are offered in their online format. This is a free form college as it does not require SAT/ACT test scores to be accepted. Not only that they offer evening courses and small classroom sizes, but student to teacher ratio is also 17:1. They offer a variety of financial options to their students in the form of scholarships or financial aid. 

Net Price: $6,299.00


Oakton Community College

Oakton Community College is considered one of the best community colleges in the United States. This best trade school boasts transfer partnerships, STEM scholars programs, internship initiatives, a music department and so much more. Located in Des Plaines, Illinois they offer an engaging campus environment and a diverse student body. Popular degrees are nursing, liberal arts, accounting technician, and bookkeeping. They offer a wide range of scholarships to new and continuing students. Advisors are available to help students be matched with a variety of funding options. To aid students in being successful Oakton has a late start program, only select courses are offered in this format. It is structured to give students a start date that is convenient for them. The student to faculty ratio is 16:1, making sure students receive their professor’s focused attention. For placement purposes, students may be required to provide SAT/ACT scores to be placed in an ideal position to be successful. It may depend on the degree or program you’re interested in pursuing. 

Net Price: $6,341.00


John Wood Community College

John Woods Community College is located in Quincy Illinois, as well as offers programs in several other locations, like the workforce development center, southwest education center, and four other locations. This best technical college offers over 50 different certificates, associates, and associates transfer programs. Currently serving 13 districts in Illinois, and over 1881 students. Popular programs include Liberal arts and humanities, natural science, and nursing. Student resources are in abundance, students can depend on career service and internship support, as well as a food pantry to provide food when needed. There is also personal counseling available to enrolled students. Faculty are also a resource of support in and out of the classroom. Their student-to-teacher ratio is 13:1, which allows for faculty to provide a personal level of attention to each student. They offer select career and technical career training online for students that need a more flexible learning format. 

Net Price: $6,735.00


Southeastern Community College

Southeastern Community College is a great starting point if you are interested in pursuing a four-year degree. This best trade school is ranked 11th in total enrollment with 3,797 students in the state of Iowa. Accredited by the higher learning commission, they offer five locations throughout the great river region. To ensure students are successful in the enrollment process they require a placement test. They offer several transfer programs, as well as associates and certificates. They excel in their career and technical programs, like PACE. The pathway for academic career and employment works with students to discover their pathway to employment. Students will have access to funding sources including scholarships, financial aid, and monies received from the school’s fundraising foundation. They also offer individual counseling to business owners in Iowa free to the business owner. This service develops relationships with businesses in Iowa, so students will have a leg up on the competition when looking for employment. 

Net Price: $6,936.00


Lamar Institute of Technology

Lamar Institute of Technology, situated in Beaumont, TX, known for the museum, recreating the life of an early oil town in the 1900s. They offer 50 plus degrees, certificate programs, and career development training. Programs in business, public safety, healthcare, technology, and continuing education and workforce training. The average classroom size is 17:1 student to teacher ratio. This best technical college is known for providing innovative teaching to create the workforce of tomorrow. The online training available for in-demand occupations is a huge aspect of this institute. Education professionals partnered with specialists in a variety of different fields created web-based learning programs for students to complete online. Coupled with the truck driving academy and the safety institute, the workforce training programs are a huge resource to this historic town. There are several financial aid options for students to attend; 65% of the student body was able to receive full or partial financial aid to attend. 

Net Price: $7,033.00


Harper College

Harper College is a huge college named for Dr. William Rainey Harper, the first president of the University of Chicago. His contribution to the junior college movement is recognized at Harper College. It sits as one of the largest community colleges in the United States. Located in Palatine, Illinois offering associate degrees, workforce training programs, transfer associates, certifications, professional development and so much more to over 35,000 students. Their goal of making education accessible as a way to impact the community is at the heart of the movement to create two-year colleges. This best trade school celebrates diversity, collaboration, respect, and excellence. To embody their mission Harper College offers a borrowed laptop to students, summer school, online learning, adult learner initiatives, including undocumented or international students there is something for everyone. To make it even easier for students to attend they offer several funding options, financial aid, grants, loans scholarship, and even payment plans. 

Net Price: $7,080.00


State Technical College of Missouri

State Technical College of Missouri was created as an alternative to a bachelor’s or junior liberal arts college. This best technical college creates an environment for students to learn in person. Students will receive hands-on instruction from specialists in their field of interest. This campus can be considered if nothing else impressive. It offers 360 acres with eleven buildings that include technical laboratories, on-campus housing, and a public airport. They pride themselves on being the state’s number 1 employment choice, as 99% of graduates receive employment after completion. Seventeen programs are accredited by the association of technology, management, and applied engineering, including accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission, as well as holding 15 program-level external accreditations. They were named 3rd best college in the country, which is no wonder they landed on our best trade school list. Equipped with 37 unique in-demand technical programs, from aviation maintenance to welding technology there is something for all interests. 

Net Price: $7,646.00


Western Iowa Tech Community College

While creating a community connection through education at Western Iowa Tech Community College, you are not just learning a skill you are enhancing the community. This best trade school offers associate programs, certifications, transfer associates, and workforce development training. They also support students to pay for college as 92% of enrolled students receive some form of financial aid. This school is small and tight-knit although they have big aspirations. Classrooms are kept at a 16:1 student-to-teacher ratio for the benefit of creating meaningful connections with students. They offer several programs and courses in an online format. To prove they are dedicated to the enrichment of their environment, they have a Last Dollar program, which offers degrees, and certifications free to the student. They offer a comprehensive list of careers and programs that are eligible for free tuition. This program is first come first serve. 

Net Price: $7,710.00


Lurleen B Wallace Community College

Lurleen B Wallace Community College is a dominant institution of learning in Andalusia, Alabama. Operating on a total of four campuses, the 160 acre Andalusia campus is by far the largest. Yet at each one you will find an environment of cultural enrichment, the college mission is to aid students to grow and learn as they become empowered through education. This best technical college creates opportunities for first-time freshman transfer students, adult learners even high school students, and non-high school graduates. What makes Lurleen B Wallace Community College special are the college prep programs offered to prepare individuals for the college experience. They also offer advisor and apprenticeship programs for students, by partnering with local and industry businesses in the area companies can be a part of the educational experience of their workforce. They also offer career coaching to help build educational and career goals for students discovering their interests and skill set.

Net Price: $8,127.00


South Georgia Technical College

South Georgia Technical College is located in Americus, Georgia on the ground of the old training base of US army pilots. So, the grounds are deeply rooted in education and career development. They offer over 200 diploma programs, technical certificates of credit, and associates of applied science degrees. This best technical college is staying true to its roots. Aviation maintenance was one of the first programs offered and it is still to this day. Accompanied by FFA certifications and airframe and powerplant licenses, graduates can work anywhere in the world. They have also partnered with Georgia Power and other regional cooperatives to train interested individuals in electrical line work. There are several funding sources, 96% of students receive financial aid. They are considered one of the best technical colleges by the community. There are several programs that have received professional certifications, practical nursing, cosmetology, avionics maintenance, and aviation maintenance. Although, some other popular majors here are criminal justice and safety sciences, culinary arts and food service, and data processing.

Net Price: $8,162.00

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Hutchinson Community College

Hutchinson Community College delivers education with heat, as their school mascot is a dragon and it is very well placed. Located in Hutchinson Kansas, a part of a four-campus system, they are bringing the heat when it comes to education. They deliver continuous lifelong learning that is concurrent online and teaching at outreach centers. With all of these delivery options, it is no wonder they have been around for almost 100 years. They have a step ahead program that saves students money on their education by taking classes while they are still in high school. They administer placement tests to students for the proper placement within the college. Success and academic excellence are key core goals of this best trade school. To further help students with employment prospects, they have partnered with businesses in the area to post job opportunities onto their school website platform. This resource is available to students, alumni, employers, and community residents. 

Net Price: $8,168.00


Stanly Community College

Stanly Community College is considered one of the best trade schools in North Carolina, for the last 40 years, Stanly has operated in service of its community. They offer over 27 programs and degrees, in health, business, engineering, computers, public service, and college transfer degrees. Stanly Community College enrolls 10,000 students annually in its curriculum. They are accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Stanly community college offers online student resources on a web-based platform called CANVAS. They also use this platform to offer online programs and courses to students. A driving force for their student success is a tool used as a self-service feature for the purposes of student planning. It also acts as a communication tool to communicate with an advisor, to assist students to map out their learning goals. Enrollment is open to international, local, and military students. 

Net Price: $8,447.00


San Jacinto College

San Jacinto College is one of the best trade schools in Texas. Located in Pasadena Texas in one of the most populated cities in the Houston metro area. They have been around for 60 years and serve over 32,000 students. They offer programs in three different formats, continuing education, online, and degree or certification. Students can explore 8 different areas of study to create their educational pathway. The continuing and professional development pathway gives several options for individuals, workforce development and job training, community programs, and corporate training and consulting. What is also really amazing are the multiple campus locations, San Jacinto College has 6 locations in and around each campus providing the core mission of the institution, which is the enrichment of the community through education. The most popular degree programs are welding, business, and liberal arts, and humanities. Personal support resources include child care, food market, and mental health services to all students in need of support to complete their education. 

Net Price: $8,858.00


Sowela Technical Community College

Sowela Technical Community College is a one-stop shop and a best trades school for individuals in Louisiana. The campus is located in Lake Charles in the Calcasieu Parish and serves students in five of the surrounding parishes. Sowela Technical Community College is one of the largest and most progressive post-secondary technical colleges in the state. They offer several online options, offering business administration and culinary art degrees online. The workforce solution training programs offer some of the training online as well. This allows individuals to consider continuing education while they work. The community and student resources are endless. There are so many ways to learn and to become a part of a thriving community hub. There are advisors and financial aid opportunities for eligible students. Some of the most popular degree programs are Manufacturing Engineering Technician, Instrumentation Technician, and Electrician. Included in supporting students, they even have a career coach that helps students create or build pathways to accomplishing their educational goals.  

Net Price: $8,952.00


Western Technical College

Western Technical College is located in La Crosse Wisconsin and offers over 100 programs in associate’s degrees, certificates, and workforce development training. They use multiple pathways towards education depending on the individual, and their educational goals. They also offer apprenticeships so students will have the opportunity to learn while doing. Western Technical College is also one of the first technical colleges to offer on-campus housing. They are considered one of the best trade schools in Wisconsin, to foster a personal learning environment they promote smaller classroom sizes, with the student to teacher ratio staying around 9:1. The admission process may require ACT/ SAT test scores, yet there are several other pathways to enrollment beyond submitting test scores. Due to coronavirus, they are offering more online programs and courses than usual yet they have always offered programs online for the convenience of their community locally and abroad. 

Net Price: $9,122.00


Northeast Wisconsin Technical College

Northeast Wisconsin Technical College is a progressive institution helping students while being a service to their community is the primary core goal of this school. Out of 5,000 colleges that offer associate’s degrees, Northeast Wisconsin Technical College came out in the top 1% of best trades schools in the country. They offer over 200 associate degrees, technical diplomas, apprenticeships, and certificates. They have partnerships with over 40 schools and universities so students are in good hands if transferring to a four-year university is your interest. They are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. The most popular programs students pursue are nursing, Licensed Practical Nurse Training, an EMT paramedic. There are several student resources on campus, campus living, fitness center, mental health counseling, and financial support. 

Net Price: $9,164.00


Southwest Wisconsin Technical College

Southwest Wisconsin Technical College is one of the best technical colleges in Wisconsin. They are a small institution but their impact packs a punch as professionalism, fairness, and trust are their standards of excellence. Their enrollment is an open format. Individuals have multiple pathways to enrollment, with a 100% acceptance rate you can tell they are ready to help interested individuals qualify to take courses. To ensure success, they value the small classroom standard of 12:1 student to teacher ratio. Their most popular programs are nursing assistant, EMT paramedic, and welding. They also deliver a selection of programs and courses online, along with evening classes. Student resources are abundant here, from financial aid to daycare services, they support students to have a focused learning experience. Beyond providing associate programs and workforce training, they also empower a view of equity and access. 

Net Price: $9,629.00


Chippewa Valley Technical College

Chippewa Valley Technical College is located in the beautiful Eau Claire, Wisconsin, one of the country’s top 10 largest cities. They are considered one of the best technical colleges, offering over 115 programs, 38 certificates, 13 apprenticeships. The primary focus is preparing students to acquire gainful employment. They also have continuous learning options for professionals to take individual classes, seminars, and training to be promoted in their current position. From beekeeping to leadership training, there is a way for everyone to excel. Here they offer an opportunity to discover yourself and your educational goals. Adult learning and college prep is another huge offering. While most of their programs are delivered on campus, they deliver a selection of programs and courses online. They serve 11 counties in Eau Claire as one of 16 Wisconsin technical college systems located throughout the state. 

Net Price: $9,802.00


Minnesota State Community and Technical College

Welcome to one of the best trade schools in Minnesota, Minnesota State Community and Technical College has a war chest of resources to offer students. From high school dual credit programs to workforce development training, to associates transfer degrees, with over 40 university partnerships. Creating access to education is their mission to enrich their community. They also offer academic advisors to help students make good choices on track with their ultimate goals. Financial aid is a big part of your first steps toward education and Minnesota State Community and Technical College understands how important it is to not have amassed a huge debt when you complete a program. More than 87% of students receive financial aid each year. Among the vast number of student resources, they offer several programs online, across the entire range of pathways, so whether you are a transfer bound or a workforce development student, you will have the option of utilizing the online platform to attend class. 

Net Price: $9,813.00


Northcentral Technical College

Northcentral Technical College is an impressive institution in Wausau, Wisconsin. This best technical college offers several educational options to their surrounding community. With over 425k in scholarships awarded annually, they are an affordable option for individuals looking to begin their college journey. They are partnered with over 50 public and private universities in Wisconsin. They also offer other programs to those interested in learning an in-demand trade, in an industry. They have over 190 programs in general education, technical diplomas, and associate’s degrees. Along with seminars, workshops, and individual class options. They also offer programs delivered in an online format using a web-based platform called CANVAS. They have high employability 95% of graduates are employed within a year of graduation. Engaging with campus and student life is another draw for this program, with athletics and student clubs joining this community has major benefits. 

Net Price: $9,820.00

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Waukesha County Technical College

This best technical college has been a game-changer for over a century. Waukesha County Technical College offers over 150 program degrees, technical diplomas, and apprenticeships and certificates. All of these programs are structured to train individuals to enter the workplace. This technical college has long-standing partnerships, and transfer agreements with four-year colleges and universities. Students will have access to resources such as career development services, academic advising, student employment services, and a thriving campus environment. They also give dual credit to high school students. This program allows students to earn college credit before they graduate from high school. There are several ways to service the surrounding community including senior learning workshops and English as a second language program. A few of the most popular programs are nursing assistant, machine and metalworking, and EMT paramedic. They also offer online courses, to students with an in-depth orientation to ensure students are knowledgeable about how to use them. 

Net Price: $9,892.00


Cloud County Community College

Cloud County Community College lands on our best trade school list for obvious reasons. They have two campuses with the same drive and mission-driven focus, creating a learning environment around holistic health and well-being. This best trade school has several areas of study. Students will have access to training workshops, career development associate degrees and transfer programs, and also loads of student resources. What is unique about this institution is they are determined to do things differently from wind farms, cloud wellness, and go green programs. This Kansas City technical college is putting in place a strategic plan to enhance the lives of the community. They also provide comprehensive financial aid options for students. 86% of students receive financial aid each year. This small institution goes above the standard of success with 92% of graduates receiving employment less than a year after graduation. 

Net Price: $9,944.00


Kauai Community College

Kauai Community College, located in beautiful Kaua‘i, Hawai’i is part of a 10 campus University of the Hawai’i system. They have a pure mission. They understand education to have the power to uplift and enrich their community. With that in mind, they offer 34 degrees and certificate programs. They also offer non-credit courses for individuals that want to enrich themselves through learning. This best trade school is considered and open access to those looking for affordable education. This is a small institution, so students will encounter a small classroom environment. The most popular programs are liberal arts and humanities, culinary arts and food service, and licensed practical nurse training. Contributing to the value students will receive from this school is the campus experience that embodies the rich history and culture of their surroundings. Kauai Community College creates pathways to opportunity and education through a scholarship initiative. There are several scholarships awarded each year, academic advisors will assist in developing a financial plan to support individual education for the benefit of the community. 

Net Price: $10,118.00


North Dakota State College of Science

North Dakota State College of Science is one of the oldest two-year institutions in the country. What has always stood out about this school is that they offer residential housing for students. Yet their focus was on workforce development training. This is the best trade school for obtaining skills that can be used to obtain gainful employment. That promise is apparent today with 97% of it graduates each year obtaining a job or acceptance to a four-year university. They serve over 2000 students a year, providing over 16 million in scholarships and financial aid. Students can experience an on-campus collegiate experience without committing to four years. Individuals interested in Licensed Practical nurse training, diesel mechanics, or liberal arts can receive the experience of college with a trade school education. They also offer online courses for those that can not commute or live on campus. 

Net Price: $10,233.00


Gateway Community College

Gateway Community College is a heavy hitter in the technical college environment. This best technical college has it all, a history and a reputation to be proud of, they also have the trust of the industry. For the last 50 years, they partnered with businesses to provide a well-trained professional workforce that companies could depend on. They were the first to see the utility to shape their education around what was in demand for the industry. They offer 160 degrees, certificates, and trade technical, workforce training. Their mission is to help individuals make a better life for themselves through education. They have several campus locations available to students as well as web-based online education platforms that assist to create a flexible class schedule that works for their needs. They have a variety of enrollment methods, from high school students to adults who have never attended college before. Along with this open access format, they support students in creating financial freedom so as to learn without the pressure of worrying about how to pay for it. 

Net Price: $10,351.00


Southern Arkansas University Tech

The mission at Southern Arkansas University Tech is to provide for the community. This best trade school provides on-campus housing, transfer associate’s degrees, certifications, and workforce development training. Since 1968 they have supported the community by offering a campus life and culture that is safe and engaging. Fully accredited by the higher learning commission, they offer classes in person and online. Their online programs are run on a web-based platform called, Cengage and bright space. Students receive focused and individualized support from academic advisors. Shaping a curriculum and financial support around a formulated life plan. The campus experience is a real appeal for students, as it offers clubs, discounts, even daycare and preschool for families. Some of the most sought-after degrees are, police and criminal science, fire science and fire fighting, and liberal arts and humanities. If you are looking for a college experience that is personal and community orientated this is the school for you. 

Net Price: $10,375.00


Fox Valley Technical College

Ensuring the community they are being safe is a huge goal for this school. Their website has images of teachers, and students with masks and social distancing. Fox Valley Technical College is one of the largest technical colleges in the Wisconsin Technical College system. This best technical college serves over 500,00 people annually. They are accredited by the higher learning commission on a 10-year cycle, which means every 10 years they do a comprehensive assessment. They offer roughly 255 degrees, technical diplomas, and certificates. While their total programs include over 500 courses and instruction associated with workforce development, and apprenticeship training. It is a part of a 16 college system that supports students receiving employment upon graduation. Each year 93% of their graduates obtain employment 6 months after graduation. They are a huge community resource to not only individuals but businesses, small, large, existing, or imagined. These services build partnerships and trust that students can cash in on once they graduate. 

Net Price:$10,417.00


Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College

Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College is located among four campuses in Wisconsin. Considered one of the best technical colleges in Wisconsin, they offer over 100 programs, and certificates, in over 60 areas of study. They have a proficient faculty to guide students with a hands-on learning style that is necessary for a trade school environment. Several programs provide opportunities to transfer to a four-year university, yet workforce development training is the foundation of this school’s purpose. Another of the notable resources of this institution include the academic support resources available to the student body, on-campus or online. They have four centers that provide educational support: the learning resource center, educational technology, academic support, and the math and writing lab. Coupled with on-campus housing, student clubs, online learning options, and an open-access enrollment process, individuals that choose Wisconsin Indian Technical College are in good hands. 

Net Price: $10,723.00


Dakota County Technical College

Dakota County Technical College has a reputation students can build upon, known as one of the best trade schools, they have developed a trust that translates to a high chance of hireability of graduates of Dakota County Technical College. They offer flexibility that doesn’t interfere with the rigorous lifestyle of the average person. Some perks include multiple start times throughout the year and short-term course options that can be completed in as little as six weeks. They offer as many as 50 academic programs in Rosemount, Minnesota. Creating an innovative workforce is the caliber of professionalism this institution promotes. To continue to support the growth they have developed several select programs to be offered online. Some of the popular programs are nursing assistant, automotive mechanics, and the licensed practical nurse training program. They also prioritize financial support to students. 77% of the enrolled student body received financial aid. 

Net Price: $10,805.00


Ridgewater College

Ridgewater College is considered one of the best trade schools in Minnesota. They serve over 5,500 students a year, with more than 100 programs to offer. They are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and have garnered several awards and recognition for their dedication to education. They are so committed to ensuring their students are learning they have a program called learning effective plan for assessment to evaluate the effectiveness of instruction. The campus is a large beautiful area surrounding Foot Lake. They are recognized as an Aspen Prize Top 150 US community college. There is something for everyone at Ridgewater. High School students, senior citizens, whether you want to learn in-person or online, there is a place for you. Their community impact is an important aspect of what Ridgewater has to offer to a student. Along with academic advisement, educational resources, and technology training. 

Net Price: $11,111.00

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Mitchell Technical Institute

Mitchell Technical Institute is located on over 80 acres campus in Mitchell South Dakota. This institution is the nice guy of trade schools. It has everything you will ever need to be comfortable in this environment. This includes over 35 academic programs and 4 online programs as well. The faculty is the gem of this best technical college, with 70 full-time faculty members. Classroom environments are intimate with 13 students to 1 faculty ratio. What is amazing is the number of scholarships awarded annually, with 1,187 or more students enrolled each year. Mitchell technical institute awards over 100 scholarships. Accredited by the higher learning commission, so students can acquire financial aid. 90 % of enrolled students receive financial aid. The center for student success is an exceptional resource for students to aid them in accomplishing their career goals. From counseling services to coaching to academic tutoring and financial support they offer everything a student might need to be successful. 

Net Price: $11,382.00


Lake Area Technical College

Lake Area Technical College is located in Watertown, South Dakota on the Big Sioux River. This best technical college is the pride of the growing city of 21,000 citizens. They benefit from a space that can embody all the passion and professionalism of their community. They also offer 31 career programs and technical workforce development programs. The placement rate is impressive with 99% of graduates employed after completion. They also have 12 online programs, which they call E-degrees. There is also a comprehensive apprenticeship program that provides opportunities for students to learn hands-on in their industry. Popular programs include: Agricultural Business, ideal mechanics, welding, and licensed practical nursing. Enrollment is open with placement testing being the evaluating start point in this process ensuring students are placed correctly in their programs. They offer academic remediation support to students that need extra support. 

Net Price: $11,400.00


Central Lakes College

Central Lakes College is one of the best trade schools in Minnesota. They are one of the 32 colleges in the Minnesota state college and university system. They are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. They have a vast variety of program options for students who are interested in workforce training, associates transfer degrees, or continuing education courses for in-house advancement. Online learning has become a touchstone this past year, they use Brightspace to offer web-based instruction. They have 70 plus academic programs plus a number of student services including online courses, in several different career areas. Central Lakes College offers a comprehensive campus life with several student resources. The testing center, performing arts center, and the athletic facilities to name a few. They have been around since 1938 starting out on the third floor of a high school, and have dedicated themselves to impacting the community with innovative teaching and cutting-edge techniques. 

Net Price: $11,790.00


North Kansas Technical College

North Kansas Technical College calls you out with their challenge to students to reinforce their stamina or grit. This best trade school is pumping up its students for the workforce. They have 24 programs offered across two campuses, yet they only offer housing at the Beloit campus. They offer programs with 9 to 18-month completion timelines. This quick turnaround for students is a real benefit to those working in apprenticeships or taking courses to qualify for a promotion. They understand the importance of education, so much that they have a foundation dedicated to providing scholarships to students for textbooks, technology, and housing. They promote a hands-on method in the training programs. Faculty work closely with students by providing a personalized experience for students and professionals. Job placement after completion is one thing they are sure about. 90% of graduates annually receive job offers within 6 months after program completion. 

Net Price: $12,006.00


Southeast Technical Institute

Southeast Technical Institute is one of the best technical colleges in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Affordability is a huge factor in a trade school, the effectiveness of joining a trade school is saving on the cost of the training. Southeast Technical Institute is considered one of the more cost-effective options in South Dakota. They are accredited by the higher learning commission. They have been around for 50 years and have established themselves as a career-relevant choice. They offer more than 70 career paths, associate’s degrees, and operate career services. They also offer technical diplomas, certifications, and applied associates science that usually takes 24 months. They help students with resume development, practice interviews, and career assessment.  The most popular business, licensed practical nursing, and computer system technician. They have all the tools to help individuals map out a career path and execute the training that inspires innovation, collaboration, and excellence. 

Net Price: $12,046.00


Johnson County Community College

Among the best technical college in Kansas City, Missouri is Johnson County Community College. They are fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and have been for the last 50 years. Their mission is to enrich the community through education and support the community. One of the benefits of attending a small school is to personalize experiences with students in the classroom. The student to teacher ratio is 17:1, this allows for intimate experience between the curriculum faculty and student. The networking and relationships made in the classroom will be instrumental in becoming an impactful professional in the community. They have a continuing education division that offers certificates and courses that will provide the training needed to break into the workforce in any industry. They serve over 13,891 students enrolled at Johnston County Community College. Their most popular programs are liberal art and humanities, nursing assistant, and ground transportation.

Net Price: $12,646.00


Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture

If you are looking for one of the best trade schools, Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture is one of the best technical colleges in Nebraska. To support students during the Covid-19 there is currently a tuition freeze. However, if you are interested in agriculture, veterinary technology, and related industries to join the workforce, this best technical college has a vast selection of programs to choose from. Their innovative technical curriculum resulting in associate degrees, certificates, and other credentials. They have made tuition one flat rate, so students from out of state will not have to pay a high price to take courses. There are online courses for students that need to craft their own schedules. They are offering these courses through the CANVAS web-based system. They are focused on serving their communities and the people within them. The way to maintain a cutting edge in the in-demand industries is by creating partnerships with local businesses and organizations. These programs are selected for the way education and career applied technical knowledge could be merged together. Discover what is the next chapter for your career with Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture.

Net Price: $12,865.00


Alexandria Technical & Community College

Alexandria Technical & Community College is a comprehensive two-year college that is dedicated to serving the community. This best technical college offers certificates, associate’s degrees, diplomas, and workforce development training. For those interested in starting their education at Alexandria Technical & Community College, then transferring into a four-year university an associate’s transfer degree pathway is a perfect option. The on-campus experience is an integral part of what this best trade school has to offer. The clubs, school events, and campus resources will act as tools for students to build their educational foundation. The workforce development and continuing education division of the college offers courses training, farm business management, truck driver school, and more. The school offers grants to eligible individuals to pay for these courses. They also have relationships with the organizations that aid them in structuring their education, so as to make sure students are learning up-to-date industry knowledge. 

Net Price: $13,175.00


White Mountains Community College

Education can seem like a huge climb that never ends. White Mountains Community College is dedicated to making the climb with you. They value the utility of obtaining an associate, as the first step toward a four-year university. There aren’t any limitations with transfer degrees completed at White Mountain, their courses transfer to universities all over the country. This best technical college is one of seven schools in the Community College System of New Hampshire. They offer 78 programs associates, technical diplomas, online and evening courses along with continuing education and workforce development programs. They also provide students with a substantial amount of financial aid; 81% of students enrolled receive financial aid. Enrolling students will have access to a virtual information session to explain the resources available to them. This is just one type of informational support available to individuals. White mountain understands that community resources can only be a resource if you know about them. 

Net Price: $13,703.00


Ohio State University Agricultural Technical Institute

This best technical college focuses on educating individuals in the most important trades to our society, Agriculture. Ohio State University Agricultural Technical Institute provides a new version of education; the focus is not on solely good outcomes, but the development of individuals that are accountable self-reliant members of the community. The goal is to shape life-long innovative learners, by offering associates of science, associates of applied science degrees, and certificates in general education, and technical courses. To support individual progress for students they uncover educational possibilities by facilitating programs that include non-credit continuing education and workforce development opportunities. Although the focus is curated around agriculture, it is equally important to impart the importance of technical proficiencies, problem-solving and critical thinking, and building a whole learner, to help invest in the success of their industry. They are fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Their popular programs are animal science and husbandry, agricultural business, and crop and soil science. 

Net Price: $17,606.00

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Why Should I Go to Trade School or Technical College?

The trade industry is full of the blue-collar foundation society jobs that move our communities forward. The benefits of attending a trade school or technical college lie squarely within the situational and educational abilities that exist within each person. Each of us embodies an identity of self and those ideas are shaped by socioeconomic and cultural obstacles. More than books and classrooms, trade schools and technical colleges help identify citizens in their communities. Most trade schools were built based on the needs of each individual county, town, city. They offer a plethora of resources most of the time for free. To not just high school students, but the elderly, business owners, and the disadvantaged. The reality is attending a four-year university is still not as accessible to some individuals right out of college. So, why go to trade school? I don’t know, you tell me. Are you a high school student, single mother, over the age of 55, or maybe you just want to access affordable education? The answer to why you should go to trade school depends on your educational aspirations. Not to mention, if you know you want to use your hands, and you know what you want to do, trade school is the perfect next step. Why waste time with the academics that are not relevant to your trajectory. 

How Do I Choose a Trade School?

If you are thinking about a trade school, the best option is to find an accredited program in your area. Although there is a chance that a community college or technical college may not offer the resources you need to be successful. Which is a huge deciding factor for how you choose a trade school. Location, most city towns have two-year colleges or community colleges. The big question is are there any accredited trade schools? Trade school accreditation is important for those interested in transferring credits to another institution. Most four-year universities will not accept credits from a school that does not hold accreditation. Accredited technical colleges are evaluated by a third party to assess their curriculum and methodology to the standard that will allow for students to use that knowledge to be well prepared in their fields. 

What Can I Do with a Trade School Degree?

Depending on the trade for which you have invested, you can find many best jobs from trade schools. In many cases, you will have to achieve some kind of hands-on training prior to securing a position. This can include internships or apprenticeship programs, some of which can be accomplished while you are in school. There are many high-paying jobs from trade schools out there, so keep an eye out for some of the fields that might be of interest to you. Best trade school jobs can include IT technician, boilermaker, power utility technician, among many others.

Can I Get a Technical Degree Online? 

On your search, you will probably find there are many best trade schools online, however, it’s important to note that not every trade can be studied online. There are, however, many technical/ IT degrees that can be accomplished online. An online technical degree can be achieved at a myriad of institutions of higher learning. There are many fields you can invest in that will give you the bang for your buck you are looking for.


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