15 Best Trade Schools in the Bay Area |Cost, Requirements, How to Apply

This article explores the best trade schools in the Bay Area.

Graduates of trade schools are prepared for professions in the legal profession, technology, healthcare, and skilled trades like plumbing and welding. For many students, trade school is a wise investment because many of these occupations provide decent pay and room for advancement.

Students in a vocational program take classes in their chosen subject while also receiving hands-on training through internships or fieldwork. 

For instance, veterinary technicians take labs and complete an internship at an animal hospital while dental hygienists develop their abilities through clinical hours.

Students looking for a targeted workforce training program are drawn to trade schools. Graduates are prepared for the workforce by completing a one-year certificate or a two-year associate degree at a vocational school in The Bay Area. 

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, professionals with occupational credentials enjoy a greater employment rate than those with an academic certificate.

In The Bay Area, there are lots of trade and technical schools with less tuition and expedited or self-paced programs. Researching online trade schools is another option for those looking for more flexibility.

To help prospective students learn more about vocational programs, this page describes trade schools in The Bay Area and provides a list of the best-ranked programs. 

Additionally, it offers details about well-liked vocational courses, the earnings potential of trade school graduates, and financial aid options for trade school students.

Are there trade schools in the Bay Area? 

Students are prepared for in-demand occupations by trade schools throughout Southern California, the Bay Area, and other regions of the state. Graduates can boost their careers and increase their earning potential by enrolling in a top-ranked program.

To assist potential students in finding the institution that best suits their interests and objectives, we rank the top vocational and trade schools in The Bay Area.

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

What are the requirements and Licensing process for Trade Schools in the Bay Area? 

Prior to applying, prospective trade school students should always confirm the institution’s accreditation status. 

Students gain from accreditation in a variety of ways. An accredited degree satisfies more requirements for professional licensure and certification, and credits earned there are more likely to transfer. Additionally, students attending approved institutions are eligible for government financial aid.

High standards are met by accredited institutions while awarding diplomas and degrees. Schools voluntarily submit to a thorough evaluation from a separate certifying entity in order to become accredited. 

This review assesses the academic mission, faculty credentials, and student learning results of the institution. For continued accreditation, accredited institutions go through the procedure again and again.

Universities, colleges, and trade institutions in The Bay Area may be regionally or nationally accredited. The highest level in postsecondary education continues to be regional accreditation, which is normally pursued by community colleges and research institutions.

In The Bay Area, two-year colleges are accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges whereas four-year institutions are accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission.

Vocational and trade schools frequently seek national accreditation from a body like the United States-recognized Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges. The Distance Education Accrediting Commission is one of several specialized accreditation organizations. It certifies online schools, including online vocational schools in The Bay Area.

Private trade schools should be state-licensed in addition to being accredited. Private vocational and trade schools are governed in The Bay Area by the Bureau for Private and Postsecondary Education.

What is the cost of trade schools in the Bay Area? 

In The Bay Area, trade and vocational institutions frequently have lower tuition costs than four-year colleges and universities. 

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, private universities in The Bay Area cost more than $33,000 a year in tuition and fees, whereas public universities in The Bay Area cost about $8,000 annually.

Community colleges, on the other hand, cost Bay Area students about $1,200 a year. Students can save thousands on their certificate or degree by selecting a reasonably priced vocational program. Additionally, trade school students are eligible for a number of financial help programs. 

By submitting the FAFSA, students enrolled in an accredited institution can qualify for federal financial help. The recipients of this federal financial aid program have access to loans, grants, and work-study options. Not every technical college in The Bay Area satisfies the requirements for federal financial aid. 

To find out if their students qualify for federal financial help, prospective students can contact the schools.

What are the best trade schools in The Bay Area 2022? 

1. Cerritos College 

Cerritos College, which opened its doors in 1955, enrolls over 22,000 students yearly. The institution, one of the best trade colleges in The Bay Area, provides 87 degree and certificate programs in more than 180 subject areas.

At Cerritos College, first-generation college students make up 55% of the student body. This is one of the best trade schools in the Bay Area.

The University of The Bay Area, Los Angeles admits students from the school’s honors program at a rate of 92%. With a starting price of $46 per credit, students can afford a quality education. 

Access to student services, such as academic and personal counseling, emergency financial help, and career services, is available through the school’s online portal, Cerritos Cares.

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Medical assistance, architectural technology, general automobile collision repair, and plastics manufacturing are just a few of the subjects covered in the associates and certificate programs offered by Cerritos College. 

An apprenticeship program in the building trades is also provided by Cerritos College.

The Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges has granted Cerritos College accreditation.

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2. Southwestern College 

Southwestern College, which opened its doors in 1961, enrolls over 19,000 students yearly. 

More than 300 programs are available at SWC in 11 different disciplines of study, such as business, education, the arts, media, and design.

SWC manages a number of government financial aid schemes, including the Federal Emergency Relief Grant and The Bay Area Dream Act. This is one of the best trade schools in the Bay Area.

Students can also take advantage of support services like tutoring, career counseling, opportunities for employment and internships, and assistance for those with disabilities. 

SWC offers workshops and transfer fairs all during the academic year to help students who want to enroll in four-year programs after earning their associate degree.

The Southwest Regional Apprentice Program is one in which the college partakes. 

For a range of civil occupations involving the upkeep and repair of American infrastructure, apprentices are hired. Navy vessels. 

The Western Association of Schools and Colleges Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges has granted Southwestern College accreditation.

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3. Long Beach City College 

Long Beach City College was established in 1927 and today enrolls more than 33,000 students annually.

 The institution provides approximately 70 associate and certificate programs in a variety of subject areas, such as public health science, advanced transportation technology, communication studies, and digital media arts. This is one of the best trade schools in the Bay Area.

For students wishing to enroll in a bachelor’s program at Cal State University after completing their associate degree requirements, LBCC provides associate degree transfer (ADT) programs. 

If a student applies to Cal State University after completing an ADT program, their application will be given preference.

Students enrolled both online and on-campus can benefit from a variety of academic resources, including extra education, computer labs, tutoring services, and career counseling.

 A construction trades apprenticeship program is also provided by LBCC. The apprenticeship program complies with Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulations.

The Western Association of Schools and Colleges Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges has granted Long Beach College accreditation.

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

4. Palomar College 

Palomar College, which was established in 1946, enrolls approximately 30,000 students yearly, serves a region of 2,555 square miles, and provides over 300 programs via five academic divisions.

For its career and technology students, Palomar College provides job placement help as well as apprenticeship programs that are approved by The Bay Area Division of Apprenticeship Standards. 

Students have access to group and one-on-one tutoring sessions, career and academic counseling, and behavioral health counseling services. This is one of the best trade schools in the Bay Area.

The Transfer Admissions Guarantee Program, which Palomar College runs in conjunction with six campuses of the University of The Bay Area system, is open to students. 

Scholarships are also available for Palomar alumni at a few The Bay Area universities, such as San Diego State University and The Bay Area State University San Marcos.

The Western Association of Schools and Colleges Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges has granted Palomar College accreditation.

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5. Ventura College 

As a junior college division of Ventura Union High School, Ventura College was founded in 1925. 

The college relocated to its current 112-acre property and changed its status to community college in 1955. Currently, 14,500 students a year are enrolled at Ventura College. This is one of the best trade schools in the Bay Area.

Along with certificates of completion and competence awards in 61 subject areas, Ventura College also provides an associate of science and associate of arts degree in 33 majors. 

Programs in a variety of disciplines, including water science, diesel mechanics, criminal justice, and construction technology, are available to students. 

Several four-year state universities, notably the University of The Bay Area in Santa Cruz and The Bay Area State University Northridge, have transfer guarantee arrangements in place with the school.

Tutoring sessions, career counseling, an online job board with internship and volunteer opportunities, and the Educational Assistance Center for students with impairments are just a few of the services offered to students.

 Students can participate in internship and on-the-job training opportunities that are specifically connected to their field of study through Ventura College’s career education programs.

The Western Association of Schools and Colleges Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges has granted Ventura College accreditation.

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6. Oxnard College 

The 118-acre Oxnard College is located on the Central Coast of The Bay Area and was founded in 1975. 

More than 7,000 students are served annually, and it provides 60 different academic fields through its 37 associate degrees and 18 certificate programs. 

Additionally, the school provides 18 associate degrees that can be transferred to four-year colleges. This is one of the best trade schools in the Bay Area.

Junior and senior high school students who meet the requirements may enroll in Oxnard College concurrently for free.

The range of student services provided by Oxnard College includes tutoring sessions, career counseling, and employment opportunities. 

The college provides several distinctive learning opportunities. Students can explore touch tanks and sign up for classes in oceanography, marine biology, resource management, and environmental studies, for instance, at the OC Marine Center and Aquarium.

 Many of the school’s culinary arts students work as wait staff at both the Condor Café and the gourmet restaurant, where they gain practical culinary knowledge.

The Western Association of Schools and Colleges Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges has granted Oxnard College accreditation.

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7. Santa Rosa Junior College 

Santa Rosa Junior College, which opened its doors in 1918, has over 27,000 students enrolled each year.

 In a number of academic fields, such as engineering and applied technology, agriculture and natural resources, biological sciences, and industrial and trade technology, SRJC provides associate’s and certificate degrees.

Students who want to continue their studies at one of the Bay Area State University campuses can get help from the Transfer Center at SRJC. This is one of the best trade schools in the Bay Area.

Students who successfully finish an associate degree at SRJC are given priority admission and junior standing at a CSU school that offers a course of study identical to theirs.

Academic and career counseling, clinical and mental health services, and a career hub where students can look for on-campus employment and internship possibilities are all available as student resources. 

Along with a range of academic awards, SRJC offers financial aid to students who require assistance with non-academic costs including rent, electricity, and food.

The Western Association of Schools and Colleges Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges has granted Santa Rosa Junior College accreditation.

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8. De Anza College 

This trade school, founded in 1967, enrolls over 21,500 students annually in 71 associate and 95 certificate programs spread throughout 11 academic divisions. 

They also provide associate transfer degrees in subjects like political science, early childhood education, business administration, and communication studies. This is one of the best trade schools in the Bay Area.

Every year, Transfer Day is sponsored by De Anza. Students from De Anza meet with representatives from a number of participating private and public in-state and out-of-state institutions to go over their transfer requirements. 

The Student Success Center runs a number of initiatives to supplement traditional classroom instruction and online learning, such as a writing and reading center, skill seminars, and online peer tutoring using Zoom.

The De Anza College Promise program provides eligible students with a $1,000 (or $500 per year) stipend for books and other supplies in addition to a two-year waiver of tuition and fees.

The Western Association of Schools and Colleges Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges has granted them accreditation.

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9. Bakersfield college 

Bakersfield College was established in 1913 and now enrolls around 31,000 students annually in the certificate, associate, and bachelor’s programs.

 To assist students in achieving their academic and career goals, BC divides its academic programs into 10 learning and career tracks. This is one of the best trade schools in the Bay Area.

As a Hispanic Serving Institution, BC offers a program called English for Multilingual Students that helps students improve their English communication abilities. 

Important academic skill workshops, tutoring sessions, transfer aid, and academic, career, and personal counseling are other student support offerings. 

Additionally, students might look into plumbing, electrical, sheet metal, and carpenter apprenticeship options.

BC maintains articulation agreements with three private Golden State colleges as well as a number of UC and CSU universities. 

Additionally, BC provides funding for undocumented students through The Bay Area Catalyst Grant.

The Western Association of Schools and Colleges Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges has granted Bakersfield College accreditation.

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10. Fullerton College 

When Fullerton College first opened its doors in 1913, there were only 26 students enrolled. 

Today, the institution offers 110 certificates, and 122 associate, and 25 transfer associate programs, serving around 23,000 students yearly. This is one of the best trade schools in the Bay Area.

More students from Fullerton College than from any other community college in The Bay Area transfer to four-year universities. 

The institution grants associate’s degrees in subjects like anthropology, business administration, journalism, and math for transfer.

Students have access to academic, professional, and personal counseling as well as tutoring programs. 

Along with providing students with internship opportunities, Fullerton College also collaborates with local businesses and institutions including Disneyland Resort and the Orange County Electrical Training Trust.

The Western Undergraduate Exchange program includes Fullerton College as an active participant. 

Graduates are exempt from paying the full out-of-state tuition while enrolling in a university or college in another participating state.

The Western Association of Schools and Colleges Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges has granted Fullerton College accreditation.

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

11. Orange Coast college 

Orange Coast College, established in 1947, provides more than 135 academic and career programs in nine departments. 

Each year, OCC enrolls more than 25,000 students, many of whom transfer to four-year institutions.

One of the greatest programs of its sort in the nation, is OCC’s extensive nautical curriculum. This is one of the best trade schools in the Bay Area.

Associate and certificate programs in a variety of disciplines, including aviation science, neurodiagnostic technology, respiratory care, and commercial food service management, are also available to students.

Through internships, mentorship programs, directed practice, and apprenticeships, OCC offers students many chances to participate in work-based learning outside of the classroom. 

Peer and professional tutoring, academic and career counseling, individual counseling, and interactive job boards for on-campus employment are just a few of the services offered to students.

The Western Association of Schools and Colleges Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges has granted Orange Coast College accreditation.

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12. American River College 

American River College, which opened its doors in 1955, currently has 30,000 students enrolled. 

After completing their studies at ARC, students who intend to transfer to four-year universities can select from more than 40 associate transfer degrees in fields like early childhood education, math and statistics, economics, and social justice studies.

ARC offers apprenticeship programs in trades like plumbing, electrical, and carpentry through collaborating with union organizations and businesses throughout the region. This is one of the best trade schools in the Bay Area.

Students have access to assistance programs such as academic counseling, academic advice, and tutoring sessions.

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The school’s Beacon program, a peer-facilitated group where students discuss learning practices in areas including graphic organizing, questioning strategies, note-taking, and exam preparation, is another resource for learners.

The Western Association of Schools and Colleges Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges has granted American River College accreditation.

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13. Imperial Valley College 

Since its founding in 1962, Imperial Valley College has grown to enroll nearly 7,000 students per year in its more than 50 associate’s, certificate, and transfer programs.

 Alternative energy, emergency medical services, and building construction technologies are just a few of the many fields of study available to students. This is one of the best trade schools in the Bay Area.

IVC also runs a number of apprenticeship programs that train students for jobs as generation mechanics, instrument technicians, and electricians, among other professions. 

The apprenticeship programs at IVC are supported by the Imperial Irrigation District.

Students have access to a variety of services and tools from the Study Skills Center and the Student Support Programs Trio Program, including academic tutoring, career counseling, personal counseling, and other services.

The Western Association of Schools and Colleges Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges has granted Imperial Valley College accreditation.

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14. Foothill College 

Foothill College, which opened its doors in 1957, now has 13,600 students enrolled annually. 

More than 130 associate and certificate programs, 27 associate transfer degrees, and a dental hygiene bachelor’s degree are all available at the institution.

 Associate transfer degrees are available in a variety of disciplines, including biology, environmental science, philosophy, and art history. This is one of the best trade schools in the Bay Area.

A resource center for veterans, students with disabilities, and Dream Act recipients is maintained by Foothill College.

 Other student services include academic and career counseling, private and group tutoring, and mental health assistance. 

Additionally, Foothill College keeps a food pantry and an emergency fund for its students.

Foothill College provides apprenticeship opportunities in the fields of sound and communication, pipe trades, steamfitting, and pipefitting technologies through partnerships with regional educational institutions.

The Western Association of Schools and Colleges Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges has granted Foothill College accreditation.

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15. Modesto Junior College 

The Modesto Junior College, established in 1921, enrolls over 18,000 students each year. 

Along with 28 associate degrees for transfer, MJC provides more than 150 associate and certificate programs. At MJC, students can also study for a bachelor’s degree in respiratory care.

Students enrolled both online and on-campus can benefit from a variety of student support services, such as academic and career counseling, tutoring, and counseling sessions. This is one of the best trade schools in the Bay Area.

Additionally, students get access to Jobspeaker, a message board with a special page just for MJC students.

MJC offers students apprenticeship programs in disciplines such as machinery repair, calibration and instrumentation, and electro-mechanical technology through partnerships with numerous regional manufacturing and maintenance businesses. 

MJC has numerous scholarship programs designated specifically for students studying careers and technology.

The Western Association of Schools and Colleges Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges has granted Modesto Junior College accreditation.

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How Do I Become a Trader in the Bay Area?

Anyone wishing to engage in trading in the Bay Area should take a few important measures.

  • Establish a solid foundation of understanding about financial markets because they can differ in terms of risk and needed approach.
  • The next step is to develop a trading strategy that will enable you to make money in the market of your choice and specify the precise steps you will take to enter and exit deals.
  • Taking the jump and trading for yourself is the last step in the trading process. However, there is no finish line because you may continually improve your market understanding and trading approach.

Conclusion 

Trade schools in the Bay Area provide you with a wide range of possibilities if you’ve determined that a career in education is what you want to do.

It is crucial to confirm the school’s reliability and government-issued accreditation before selecting a certain training program.

Before selecting a trade school, consider all of your possibilities and take your time!

Frequently Asked Questions 

What is trade school? 

For occupations in high-demand fields like healthcare, law, technology, and others, trade schools offer work training. Usually lasting one to two years are trade programs.

Can I get financial aid for trade school? 

Yes. Federal financial help as well as other types of financial aid, such as scholarships, are available to students in The Bay Area attending authorized vocational institutions.

Can trade school credits transfer? 

Yes. Transfer credits from other schools are commonly accepted by trade schools. The likelihood of transferring credits from a school with regional accreditation is generally higher.

What are people saying about vocational & technical schools in San Francisco Bay Area, CA? 

Review of a technical and vocational school in the San Francisco Bay Area, The Bay Area
“The program is very resourceful and accommodating; during my course, I was dealing with a serious family emergency, and the administrative staff was gracious enough to transfer me to another Semester.
 However, the Highlight of my review is about the one and only Mrs. Heather Thompson. She made this course incredibly easy and enjoyable; she is very kind and understanding. 
Her words of wisdom and acts of kindness have helped me immensely.

What are three vocational trades located in the Bay Area?

Automotive Technology.
Construction Management.
Culinary Arts.
HVAC.
Vocational Training.
All Associate Degrees.

References 

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