Trade Schools in California

LearnHowToBecome Team
Joshua Cox-Steib
November 3, 2021

LearnHowToBecome.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Some of the best trade schools in California draw people because they can graduate with less debt and still find a high-paying job. Another perk is the ongoing growth of skill and expertise involved in many of these professions.

Numerous careers that require vocational schooling involve highly-skilled work and include ongoing training. It's not uncommon for these career paths to utilize skill growth, further training, and education to advance within the profession.

Click on a city close to you to find trade schools near you:

Facts About Trade School and Trade Jobs in California

When planning for a career in California, it helps to understand how different jobs in the area pay. For instance,plumbers in California are the highest paid in the entire country. And of all the metro areas in the U.S., San Francisco is the highest paying forelectricians.

There are over 200 trade schools in California, with an incredibly diverse selection of programs to choose from. Vocational schools offer a combination of one-year certificate programs and two-year associate degrees. Trade schools in California are associated with some of the lowest student-debt outcomes in the nation.

Trade School Job Outlook in California

When considering what to study with your continuing education, some critical metrics to be aware of are the expected job growth and average salaries. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects there to be nearly 850,000 jobs requiring a trade school.

When comparing careers that require trade school versus college, you'll see that, despite how much more you'll spend on education, you won't earn a whole lot more with a four-year degree.

Trade school average salary
$64,908
Bachelor's degree average salary
$99,160

Average Cost of Trade School in California

Trade schools in California can cost as much as $30,000 or more for the entire program. In contrast, four-year colleges can cost $100,000 or more before you earn a bachelor's degree.

Based on average salaries for trade school jobs in California, a trade school's return on investment (ROI) is much better than that of a bachelor's degree job. That said, depending on the program you choose, you might not need to take out any loans if you attend trade school. But students take out on average $30,000 in student loans to attend university.

Accreditations in California

Attending an accredited trade program comes with many benefits, not least of which is a much higher chance of having your training and expertise recognized by the industry you aim to work in. When a trade school is accredited, a third party recognizes that it meets educational standards.

The Department of Education must recognize these third parties. Another important perk of going to an accredited school is having access to federal student loans and aid programs.

You should check that the program you plan on attending is state-accredited and has the proper national accreditations. One important trade school accreditor is the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).

Financial Aid for Trade School in California

Cal Grant

California offers six different grants for students attending California schools. The requirements of each vary, so check their website for the details.

Automotive Hall of Fame Scholarship Program

The AHF offers scholarships to students at universities, community colleges, and trade schools. This program is designed for students studying and training for an automotive career.

For more information on paying for trade school, visit our guide toVocational Education Financial Aid.

FAQs About Continuing Education in California

How soon do I need to decide whether to go to a trade school or a four-year college?

People of all ages attend continuing education programs, and it's never too late to learn or improve your skills and expand your expertise. That said, many people choose to pursue certifications or degrees within a few years of finishing high school. In part, this is because the sooner you earn your certificate or degree, the sooner it can open career doors for you.

What are the best trade schools in California?

Considering that there are over 200 trade schools in California, it can seem overwhelming at first. But it's important to remember that many of these schools have different specialties. The first step in choosing the best trade school for you is determining what skills and career most interest you. Once you know that, the best trade schools in California will have high graduation rates, low costs, and proper accreditation.

Do credits carry over in-between different trade schools and colleges?

Some trade school programs have partnership agreements with local colleges and universities to transfer credits toward a higher degree. The best way to be sure is to check with the school in question and ask if they will recognize credit from your previous school or program.

California Trade Schools and Colleges

The following trade schools in some of the biggest California cities all meet the following criteria:

Trade Schools in Oakland, CA

Trade Schools in Los Angeles

Trade Schools in Long Beach, CA

Trade Schools in Fresno, CA

Trade Schools in Sacramento, CA

Trade Schools in Anaheim, CA

Trade Schools in San Francisco, CA

Trade Schools in San Diego, CA

Trade Schools in Bakersfield, CA

Trade Schools in San Jose, CA
Become Team
Joshua Cox-Steib
Contributing Writer

Latest Posts

LearnHowToBecome.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

View the most relevant programs for your interests and compare them by tuition, acceptance rate, and other factors important to you.