Top Ten California Trade Schools
by Genevieve Carlton
Trade schools, also known as technical schools or vocational schools, teach skills directly related to a specific career, such as electrician, machinist, carpentry, or medical assistant. They have become a great alternative to today’s expensive, non-job specific four-year college degree.
The top trade schools and some community colleges help students earn certifications and associate degrees that can lead to well-paying jobs and careers in as little as twelve months. They also offer year-round enrollment, flexible scheduling and even job placement.
Here’s our Top 10 list out of the near 300 trade and vocational schools in the Golden State. You can click on each college name for a link directly to the college website.
Top 10 trade schools in California, in alphabetical order.
American Career College, located in Anaheim, prepares students for a number of health care careers, including nursing, medical assisting, occupational therapy assisting, and dental assisting.
Cabrillo College, a short drive from Monterey Bay, offers a number of options in its Career Technical Education programs. These include construction energy management, digital media, nursing, and welding technology. Cabrillo has a community feel with a diverse range of trade programs.
Redwood City, CA
Cañada College is a community college that also offers a number of certificates in trades and vocations, including medical assisting, human services, and fashion design. For students who want a vocational education with a more traditional college feel, Cañada would be a great fit.
Carrington College offers a range of vocational degrees in health care and veterinary care, including nursing, dental assisting, and medical assisting. Carrington has multiple locations in California, including Oakland, Pomona, Sacramento, and San Jose.
Cypress College is a community college that offers a number of certificates in trades like air conditioning, aviation, automotive collision repair, court reporting, and more. For students who want to earn a vocational certificate in a community college setting, Cypress would be a great fit.
Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles Trade-Technical College, or LATTC, offers a range of technical and vocational programs, including transportation manufacturing, construction, culinary arts, cosmetology, and health care. With so many offerings and a central location in downtown Los Angeles, LATTC would be a good fit for a number of programs.
Cathedral City, CA
Mayfield College, located in the Palm Springs area, offers a range of technical and vocational programs, including computer support technician, medical assisting, and HVAC/R.
Mt. San Antonio College, or Mt. SAC, is a community college that offers a range of career education and vocational programs. These include programming, welding, health care, and manufacturing. Mt. SAC provides trade school education in a community college setting.
Pima Medical Institute prepares students for careers in health care, including certificate programs that take about 12 months in dental assisting, medical assisting, or as a pharmacy technician or phlebotomy technician. Pima Medical Institute has two California locations in Chula Vista and San Marcos.
San Diego, CA
San Diego Miramar College is a community college that offers a number of technical career programs and certificates, including accounting, automotive technology, paralegal, and diesel technology.