15 Best Trade Schools in Illinois | Costs, Requirements, and How to Apply

In Illinois, trade schools offer career-focused instruction in fields like allied health, skilled trades, and technology. 

Radiation technicians, respiratory therapists, and occupational therapy assistants are among the careers available to graduates of trade schools. 

Additionally, they have the option of becoming mechanics, electricians, paralegals, or cosmetologists. 

Through the practicum, lab, and clinical requirements, vocational programs integrate classroom learning with practical experiences. 

Students in paramedic programs, for instance, develop their skills through hands-on training in hospitals and ambulances. 

In comparison to four-year academic programs, vocational programs have a number of advantages. 

A vocational certificate or degree can usually be earned in one to two years, allowing students to enter the workforce sooner than those enrolled in four-year programs. 

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 

professionals with occupational credentials enjoy a higher employment rate than those with academic credentials.

For people who want to learn new skills but cannot afford to devote four years to their education, trade schools are an excellent and underappreciated option. 

A post-secondary education called vocational education teaches specific skill sets for a variety of cutthroat industries. 

This form of education has the additional advantage of being significantly less expensive than traditional universities. 

You can use our list to find the top trade schools in Illinois that can help you on the road to a rewarding career.

See Also: 15 Best Trade Schools in Delaware | Costs, Requirements, How to Apply

Are there Trade Schools in Illinois?

To assist students in choosing the best vocational program for their needs and goals, this page ranks the top vocational schools in Illinois. 

Additionally, it introduces scholarship opportunities for trade school students in Illinois as well as career and salary information for related occupations.

  1. HVAC Technical Institute
  2. Illinois Plumbing Consultants
  3. Illinois Dental Careers
  4. Symbol Training Institute
  5. Chicago Film School – Film Connection
  6. Dental Assistant Academy Of Chicago
  7. Midwest Technical Institute
  8. Illinois Welding School
  9. Roofing School of Illinois
  10. Chicago Recording Connection Audio Producing School
  11. CAAN Academy of Nursing
  12. Capri Beauty College
  13. Estelle Medical Academy
  14. Rosel School of Cosmetology
  15. National Latino Education Institute

How Much Does Trade School Cost in Illinois?

A vocational certificate or degree can be less expensive by selecting an affordable trade school. 

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, private universities in Illinois cost over $32,000 per year in tuition and fees, compared to Illinois public universities’ average of nearly $14,000. 

In contrast, community colleges in Illinois charge less than $4,000 annually.

What are the Requirements for Trade Schools in Illinois?

There are no unique prerequisites. All are encouraged to apply. 

You must pass the admission test with a score of at least 70% if you don’t have a high school diploma or GED.

What are the Best Trade Schools in Illinois | 2023?

In Illinois, vocational and technical schools provide courses in a variety of in-demand fields, including allied health, skilled trades, and technology.

 Popular trade school programs are introduced in this section. 

Students can look into courses for other trade school careers, such as HVAC technician, cosmetologist, and occupational therapy assistant, in addition to these choices.

1. HVAC Technical Institute

The most well-known and sought-after HVAC school in the immediate area is HVAC Technical Institute. 

They put a lot of effort into teaching students all necessary practical skills and preparing them for real-world employment. 

The school’s policy of maintaining 20-student maximum class sizes is fantastic. 

Since not all students learn at the same rate, that is very advantageous for getting personalized advice. 

Less crowded classrooms have been found to be more productive than larger ones. 

They have received accreditation and approval for their programs from the IBHE, the COE (Council of Education), HVAC Excellence, and NCCER. 

Students say the HTI staff is very compassionate and understanding. 

They have also been in the business for a while, which enables them to provide special insight and provide valuable lessons to students.

The school offers the following courses:

  • HVAC/R
  • Electrical
  • LCR – Light Commercial Refrigeration
  • HVAC

Visit school here 

2. Illinois Plumbing Consultants

For anyone who wants to master plumbing, Illinois Plumbing Consultants is another excellent institution. 

They differ due to their educators. 

They take pride in employing the top plumbers in the industry. 

IPC is a school that only hires the best people to teach because they believe that a good education is a key to having a successful career. 

Their programs are very thorough, place a strong emphasis on practical knowledge, and actually get students ready for future business endeavors. 

With a maximum of 40 students per class, everyone will have the opportunity to receive individualized assistance. 

Former students laud this institution for providing a comprehensive curriculum and the opportunity to obtain a license.

See Also: 15 Best Trade Schools in Kansas City | Costs, Requirements, How to Apply

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3. Illinois Dental Careers

Illinois Dental Careers provides cutting-edge educational opportunities for everyone. 

Although dentistry may appear to be a challenging area of study, its knowledgeable staff makes it very approachable and understandable. 

They offer real-world dental office experience and utilize cutting-edge technology. 

Everyone who must balance work and school will find it ideal because of the low prices and flexible attendance. 

IDC additionally provides online courses with full access to the course materials.

Being a plumber can be a very lucrative career because there are fewer and fewer young professionals out there.

Make sure not to miss out on this opportunity.

The following courses are provided by the school: 

  • Orthodontic Assisting Program: The course, which covers advanced dental and oral anatomy and physiology, orthodontic chairside assisting materials and supplies, instruments and procedures, appliances, Invisalign, radiology, and impressions,
  • Dental Assisting Program: This program includes topics such as dental and oral anatomy and physiology, chairside assisting, radiology, impressions, digital intraoral scans, instrument identification, restorative materials and procedures, lab materials, and techniques. 

Coronal polishing, the application of pit and fissure sealants, infection control, sterilization, and assistance in dental specialties are all included in the program.

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4. Symbol Training Institute

Students can learn how to operate CNC machines from Symbol Training Institute. This is one of the best trade schools in Illinois.

The most well-liked CNC training facility in Chicago has many happy students and excellent reviews. 

Their program has been approved by the Illinois Board of Higher Education’s Division of Private Business and Vocational Schools. 

Additionally, it has received national accreditation from the National Institute of Metalworking Skills and NCA CASI. 

The staff at STI has over 40 years of combined experience in the field and offers a wide range of courses.

The school offers the following courses:

  • Programming Setup and Operation (CNC 203)
  • Advanced Programming (CNC 204)
  • Technology with Lab (CNC 303)
  • Technology with Lab (CNC 304)
  • Quality Control for Manufacturing (QC 101)
  • Technology with Quality Control Manufacturing (CNC 205)
  • Precision Machine Technology (MFG 501)
  • Applied Quality Control for Manufacturing Program (QC 302)
  • Advanced Quality Control Inspection for Manufacturing (QC 201)

Visit school here 

5. Chicago Film School – Film Connection

The Chicago Film School is one of the area’s most cutting-edge universities. 

They possess the top technology that is employed by numerous renowned film studios. 

Students will have the chance to pick up practical knowledge in a real production studio. 

They can use that opportunity to learn more about their potential jobs. 

The education program offered by CFS is mentor-style, making it more individualized and practical. 

The fact that you are not left on your own after graduation is arguably the best feature of this school. 

After finishing their studies, students can use their Stay Connected Program to find jobs. 

After completion, this option is accessible for an entire year. Many of their outstanding trainees are also hired.

The school offers the following courses:

  • Film Production and Editing
  • Cinematography

Visit school here 

6. Dental Assistant Academy Of Chicago

Amazing dental assisting courses are offered by Dental Assistant Academy Chicago. 

The Division of Private Business and Vocational Schools of the Illinois Board of Higher Education has approved the courses even though they are not accredited by the US Department of Education. 

Their team is made up of seasoned professionals eager to impart their wisdom and instruct a new generation of dental assistants. 

There are eleven weeks in the course. 

Students will have the chance to attend engaging lectures and gain practical experience in a real dental office. 

Additionally, the Dental Assistant Academy in Chicago provides helpful assistance with job placement. 

They will aid all of their graduates in locating a position that suits them after graduation. 

Overall, the course is well thought out and will successfully teach all students how to be proper dental assistants.

Visit school here 

7.  Midwest Technical Institute

The educational facility Midwest Technical Institute provides a wide range of programs in the fields of mechanical trades and health careers. 

All of the courses have a great future and a good chance of being financially rewarding. 

This institution has produced a large number of field and industry experts since its 1995 founding. 

Because they want to be adaptable and accessible to students from all backgrounds, they provide a variety of schedule options. 

The Accrediting Commission of Career Schools & Colleges has granted Midwest Technical Institute accreditation. 

Additionally, it takes part in the Federal Financing Aid Program run by the US Department of Education. 

While the HVAC/R program has the HVAC Excellence accreditation, the medical assisting programs are also CAAHEP-accredited.

The school offers the following courses:

  • Dental Assisting
  • Phlebotomy course
  • Medical Assisting
  • Basic nursing assistant
  • Pharmacy technician
  • Medical coding specialist
  • Massage therapy
  • Journeyman welder
  • Journeyman welder II
  • HVAC/R-MAR technician
  • CDL Training Course
  • Professional truck driving
  • Cosmetology
  • Continuing education

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8. Illinois Welding School

The best education programs in the welding industry are offered to students by Illinois Welding School, which is proud of this accomplishment. This is one of the best trade schools in Illinois.

The curriculum was thoughtfully designed with the goal of maximizing students’ training in important areas. 

Given the high demand for welders and the dearth of qualified workers in this field, welding may be a lucrative career path. 

IWS is a member educational institution of the American Welding Society and has received accreditation from the Illinois Board of Higher Education.

The school offers the following courses:

  • Program 102 Structural Welding Specialist
  • Program 103 Pipe Welding Specialist
  • Program 104 Combination Structural / Pipe Welding Specialist
  • Program 201 Brush Up/Refresher Welding
  • Program 202 Basic Welding

See Also: 15 Best Trade Schools in Brooklyn | Cost, Requirements, How to Apply

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9. Roofing School of Illinois

One of the best is the Roofing School of Illinois, which has assisted more than 865 individuals in passing the Illinois Roofing License Exam. 

Del Beard, the instructor, has more than 20 years of experience in the field. 

He focuses on imparting knowledge about crucial areas of the construction and insurance industries. 

This school is unique in that it is incredibly diverse. 

Students from all backgrounds are welcome at Dal Beard, where staff members take pride in working with students for whom English is a second language.

The following courses are provided by the school: 

  • Residential Class – A residential roofing contractor is a business that focuses on installing, repairing and building roofs for residential properties. 
  • Unlimited class – A roofing contractor who specializes in the installation, maintenance, and repair of residential, commercial, and industrial roofs belongs to this class. This encompasses dwellings, establishments, and factories (4 units or more are considered commercial – townhomes, condos, etc.)

Visit school here 

10. Chicago Recording Connection Audio Producing School

In the music industry, there is a school by the name of The Recording Connection. 

Each of their courses has been thoughtfully created to incorporate the most recent market trends. 

They are prepared to accept motivated students who want to pursue a career in music and have cutting-edge facilities and tools at their disposal. 

Many of their students will have the opportunity to tour renowned recording studios and experience life in the real world. 

Additionally, students will have the opportunity to learn from engineers and music producers who work with a variety of famous people, including Kendrick Lamar, Deadmau5, Taylor Swift, Snoop Dogg, and many more.

The school offers the following courses:

  • Audio Engineering & Music Production
  • Advanced Audio Engineering & Music Production
  • Hip Hop & Beat Making
  • Live Music
  • Logic Pro Electronic Music Production
  • Ableton Electronic Music Production
  • Advanced Ableton Electronic Music Production
  • Music Producing
  • Live Dj
  • Music Business

 Visit school here 

11. CAAN Academy of Nursing

  • Type: Private not-for-profit
  • Cost: $20,960
  • Location: Matteson, Illinois

Programs for registered nurses and practical nurses are available through the CAAN Academy of Nursing. This is one of the best trade schools in Illinois. 

Four out of the last eight years have seen a 100% NCLEX-PN pass rate, according to the program. 

A 100% job placement rate for licensed graduates is also reported by CAAN. 

The Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools has granted accreditation to the academy.

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12. Capri Beauty College

  • Type: Private for-profit
  • Cost: $8,657
  • Location: Oak Forest, Illinois

Capri Beauty College, which was established in 1960, boasts a 100% licensure rate for its graduates. 

The college provides a thorough cosmetology curriculum. A list of student scholarship opportunities is also provided by Capri. 

The college holds accreditation from the National Accrediting Commission of Career Arts & Sciences.

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13. Estelle Medical Academy

  • Type: Private for-profit
  • Cost: $8,800
  • Location: Skokie, Illinois

Learners can enroll in massage therapy, medical assisting, and vocational English language programs at the Estelle Medical Academy. 

To enroll in the program, candidates consult with an admissions representative and a financial aid advisor. 

The Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools has granted accreditation to the academy.

Visit school here 

14. Rosel School of Cosmetology

  • Type: Private for-profit
  • Cost: $5,932
  • Location: Niles, Illinois

Programs in cosmetology, esthetics, massage therapy and nail technology are available at the Rosel School of Cosmetology. 

Students can also pursue instructor training. Candidates must possess a GED or high school diploma. 

The National Accrediting Commission of Career Arts & Sciences has granted the school accreditation.

Visit school here 

15. National Latino Education Institute

  • Type: Private not-for-profit
  • Cost: $18,558
  • Location: Chicago, Illinois

Students who attend the National Latino Education Institute are prepared for careers in business and healthcare. 

Medical office specialists, bilingual certified medical assistants, and business development professionals are among the available programs. 

For students, NLEI also provides employment services. The institute holds accreditation from the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools.

Visit school here 

How Much do Traders Make in Illinois?

The average yearly salary for technical and trade school occupations is $55,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), though it varies depending on the industry, region, and level of experience. 

On average, personal care and service jobs pay $33,000 per year, while management jobs bring in over $96,000. 

The average salary for technical and healthcare practitioner jobs is $55,000. 

Salary is also affected by location.

 According to occupational wage data for Illinois, paralegals make close to $60,000 per year and radiation therapists make an average salary of over $84,000.

How do I become a Trader in Illinois?

In many in-demand fields, trade schools in Illinois offer career-focused training. 

Students can advance their education and increase their earning potential by selecting a top-rated vocational program. 

To assist potential students in finding the program that best suits their objectives and interests, we rank the top vocational schools in Illinois.

Best Paying Jobs In Illinois with Salary 

  • dental hygienists earn a median annual salary of over $76,000
  • mechanics earn a median pay of $42,000
  • Paralegals earn a median annual pay of nearly $52,000
  • Radiology technicians earned a median annual income of over $62,000

Frequently Asked Questions

Is financial aid available for trade school? 

Yes. Financial aid options for trade school students include loans, grants, scholarships, and other financial aid programs. 

Credits from trade schools are transferred? 

Yes. Trade school credits frequently transfer to other universities. But a lot of colleges only accept credits from recognized institutions.

What distinguishes a trade school from a technical school? 

Both trade schools and technical schools offer career preparation in industries like healthcare, skilled trades, and legal services. 

What profession earns the most money?

Jobs like dental hygienist, respiratory therapist, construction manager, and plumber are just a few of the trade school positions that pay significantly more than the national average. To learn more, prospective students can research earnings by industry.


CNBC reports that between 1988 and 2018, the price of a traditional four-year college education rose by a startling 13. 

Trade schools, in contrast to the aforementioned institutions, are extremely inexpensive and can provide the same amount of value across a variety of industries. 

Fortunately, there are many reputable vocational schools in the state of Illinois that are eager to welcome new students into their communities.

There are numerous scholarships available for Illinois trade and vocational school students. 

Scholarships are available from private foundations, governmental organizations, and trade associations for students pursuing a vocational certificate or degree.

 In addition to the scholarships listed below, students can look into opportunities specific to their field or institution.


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