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

In high-demand industries like healthcare, law, and emergency services, trade schools in Washington offer career-focused training. This article explores the best trade schools in Washington.

Students can obtain degrees and vocational certificates to get ready for careers as dental hygienists, occupational therapy assistants, paramedics, and medical assistants. 

Graduates from trade schools can also find employment as paralegals, cosmetologists, mechanics, HVAC technicians, and electricians.

Compared to four-year academic programs, trade schools have a number of advantages. 

A vocational certificate or degree can be obtained in one to two years, allowing students to enter the workforce more quickly. Compared to academic degrees, vocational training frequently costs less.

The National Center for Education Statistics reports that in 2009, the employment rate for professionals with an occupational credential was 4% higher than for those with an academic degree. 

To accommodate hectic schedules, many vocational schools offer self-paced or accelerated programs. 

A growing number of institutions also provide online vocational programs, which can be perfect for professionals who are already employed. 

These institutions provide training for a range of professions, including cosmetology, massage therapy, welding, and dental assisting. 

You must first decide what profession you want to pursue, then carefully research every school that offers training in your chosen field to make sure you select the best program. 

Read on to learn more about what Washington trade schools have to offer.

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Are there Trade Schools in Washington?

We outlined the various options in the article for students who want to study or work in a particular trade or industry in Washington State.

  1. Perry Technical Institute
  2. West Coast Training
  3. Evergreen Beauty College
  4. Divers Institute of Technology
  5. Commercial Driver School
  6. The Northshore Dental Assisting Academy
  7. Alexandar School of Natural Therapeutics
  8. Radiance Dental Assisting Academy
  9. Health Professionals Institute
  10. Aveda Institute Portland
  11. Spokane Community College
  12. Spokane Falls Community College
  13. Olympic College
  14. Edmonds Community College
  15. Bates Technical College

How much does Trade School cost in Washington?

The total cost over a 12-month period varies by program, from $19,500 to $21,845. 

The 18-month Business Technology & Accounting program costs $32,506. 

Program fees for two years range from $41,210 to $46,335 overall. 

Financial aid is also available to students who meet the requirements.

What are the Requirements for Trade Schools in Washington?

Candidates must hold a high school diploma or a GED. 

Potential students will be interviewed before the course. 

High school seniors may enroll in this course while still enrolled in school if they submit a letter from their guidance counselor attesting that they are on track to graduate.

What are the Best Trade Schools in Washington | 2024?

Trade schools in Washington provide specialized training that prepares students for specific career paths. 

By enrolling in a reputable vocational program, students can advance their education and increase their earning potential.

The ranking below includes all of Washington’s top trade schools.

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1. Perry Technical Institute

There are 13 specialized technical training programs offered by the private, for-profit Perry Technical Institute. 

The Institute, which was established in 1939, offers courses that prepare students for jobs that are in high demand. 

The accreditation of Perry Technical Institute has been granted by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges.

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2. West Coast Training

Construction businesses and workers can enroll in heavy equipment training and certification programs offered by West Coast Training. 

WCT students participate in training programs that last four to eight weeks per class. 

The school offers small class sizes and practical, hands-on training programs. 

The National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) curriculum is followed by the school’s Heavy Equipment Operation course, which satisfies all of the training requirements. 

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Additionally, seminars and refresher courses are offered by West Coast Training. 

The National Commission for Crane Operator Certification certifies graduates of crane operator courses (NCCCO). 

West Coast Training is an accredited training unit by the National Center for Construction Education and Research and is licensed by the State of Washington.

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3. Evergreen Beauty College

Students who want to work in the beauty industry can receive an education at Evergreen Beauty College. 

The College has five campuses in Washington State: Mount Vernon, Everett, North Seattle, Renton, and Yakima. 

Students who enroll in one of Evergreen’s institutions receive all the training necessary to pass the licensing exam for their particular area of study. 

The courses combine in-class learning with practical experience in student salons and spas. 

The College additionally offers a training course that instructs students in the basics of business. 

Evergreen has received accreditation from the National Accrediting Commission of Cosmetology Arts and Sciences.

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4. Divers Institute of Technology

This Washington trade school has been educating top-notch divers since 1968. 

Veterans have always owned and operated the Institute. 

A 7-month Commercial Diver program is offered by the Divers Institute of Technology. 

The CSA International Certification is offered by only four programs in the United States, including Divers Institute. 

The institution offers a rigorous, practical, and quantifiable curriculum, as well as instructors with professional backgrounds.

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5. Commercial Driver School

In Washington state, this trade school, Commercial Driver School is a privately held institution that offers four campuses: Auburn, Lakewood, Olympia, and Port Orchard. 

Instructors with plenty of experience can provide classroom and on-the-road training to people who want to obtain or renew their Class A, B, or C CDLs. 

Depending on the program, the course’s length varies: 

Students in a CDL program receive 160 hours of instruction throughout the Class. 

While Class B “Truck” only needs 80 hours of training, Class B “Bus” needs 110. 

94 training hours are required for class C.

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6. The Northshore Dental Assisting Academy

Training programs for dental assistants are offered by the Northshore Dental Assisting Academy. 

Over the course of 22 weeks, this Washington trade school helps students acquire the knowledge necessary to begin a new career as a dental assistant in the state of Washington. 

The Dental Assisting course lasts for 22 consecutive Fridays or Saturdays and is divided into two parts: classroom lectures and hands-on training. 

The school offers an open lab on Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. in addition to regular classes. 

Students will gain practical experience treating mannequins, fellow students, and student-supplied volunteer patients. 

Students who successfully complete all of their coursework will receive a Certificate of Achievement. 

Additionally, the school provides job placement and referral services.

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7. Alexandar School of Natural Therapeutics

Alexandar School of Natural Therapeutics has been educating aspiring massage therapists in Washington since 1979. 

The school has received a license from the Washington Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board. 

The Alexandar School of Natural Therapeutics only allows 20 students per class, and there is a student-to-instructor ratio of 10:1 for hands-on activities and 40:1 for lectures. 

The MBLEx, which is necessary for licensure in Washington and most other states, can be taken by graduates of the 722-hour massage program after they have received their certification. 

The Washington State Department of Health’s Board of Massage has approved the school for veterans benefits, and it is also an NCBTMB-assigned school.

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8. Radiance Dental Assisting Academy

Since its establishment in 2008, Radiance Dental Assisting Academy has helped hundreds of students begin their careers as dental assistants. 

In addition to classroom instruction, the Academy lets students watch actual dental procedures at a nearby dental practice that is affiliated with the school. 

144 hours of classroom instruction and practical training make up the program. 

Small classes and one-on-one instruction are offered by the school. 

Students can choose to attend classes in the evenings or on the weekends. 

The school’s head teacher has more than 25 years of professional experience. 

Students can finish their required 32-hour internship at the on-site dental practice after completing the 144 hours of training. 

Each student is allowed to help out twice to support a family member. 

Families of every student enrolled All enrolled students’ families are given a 30% discount on treatment at the on-site dental practice.

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9. Health Professionals Institute

Future caregivers can enroll in training programs at the Health Professionals Institute.

The programs at this Washington trade school combine cutting-edge methods and technology with the spirit and compassion of caregivers. 

The school has two locations in Washington: one in Kent and one in Federal Way.

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10. Aveda Institute Portland

Future professionals in the beauty industry are trained by the Aveda Institute. 

The school offers a 1600-hour cosmetology program and a 600-hour esthiology program at its Vancouver campus. 

For cosmetology students, both part-time and full-time schedule options are available. 

There is only one full-time Esthiology Program available. 

Aveda Institute has received accreditation from the National Accrediting Commission of Career Arts and Sciences. 

All instructors at schools are required to hold a license from the State of Washington to practice as well as teach in their respective specialties.

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11. Spokane Community College

  • LOCATION: Spokane, WA
  • TUITION: $5,124

In its first year of operation in 1963, Spokane Community College had 1,298 students enrolled. 

SCC, one of Washington’s largest community colleges today, admits more than 20,000 students annually and provides more than 120 programs of study in eight academic fields. 

Students can pursue an associate degree or an occupational credential in a variety of fields, including business, healthcare, public services, and building trades. 

The Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care has granted SCC’s four-year bachelor of applied science in respiratory care program accreditation. 

Students can apply for professional certifications in the field after completing the program.

This Washington trade school currently runs 18 apprenticeship programs in a variety of industries, including plumbing, cement masonry, electrical, and elevator construction mechanics. 

Participation in SCC’s Destination Eastern program is open to students who intend to pursue a bachelor’s degree at Eastern Washington University (EWU) after earning an associate degree. 

Participants in the program work closely with advisors from both institutions to stay on track until they complete their degrees at EWU and SCC.

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12. Spokane Falls Community College

  • LOCATION: Spokane, WA
  • TUITION: $6,017

Beginning in 1967 as a division of Spokane Community College, separated in 1970 and now enrolls about 5,000 students every year. 

Six fields of study, including education, social and behavioral sciences, health, visual, performing, and applied arts, are available for students to pursue a degree or certificate in. 

Information systems and technology, applied management, and cybersecurity all have bachelor of applied science degrees offered by SFCC. 

Candidates must possess an associate degree in the subject area or a profession that is closely related. 

For admission and college credit, applicants without an associate degree can ask to have their professional background, prior education, or military service evaluated.

Examine the apprenticeship programs offered by SFCC if you’re a student looking for options for professional development. 

Currently, the college offers apprenticeships in bricklaying, heat and frost insulation, aerospace, and ironwork. 

Application candidates must ascertain their eligibility because the requirements for admission to apprenticeship programs vary.

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13. Olympic College

  • LOCATION: Bremerton, WA
  • TUITION: $5,626

Olympic College, which was established in 1946 and now has three campuses, enrolls 13,000 students on average yearly. 

More than 150 programs in a variety of subjects, such as atmospheric science, elementary education, office administration and technology, and public service, are available for students to choose from. 

A bachelor’s in applied science is available from Olympic College in information systems, digital filmmaking, and organizational leadership and technical management. 

Registered nurses with an associate’s degree can apply to the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education-accredited RN-to-BSN program.

Three universities—Old Dominion, Washington State, and Western Washington—with whom the college has partnerships—allow associate degree holders to finish a bachelor’s degree program on an Olympic College campus. 

Olympic College provides an apprenticeship in industrial trades technology in partnership with the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard (PSNS) and the Naval Intermediate Maintenance Facility (IMF). 

Currently, the program only accepts applications from PSNS and IMF federal employees. The program’s and Olympic College’s admission requirements must be met by applicants.

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14. Edmonds Community College

  • LOCATION: Lynnwood, WA
  • TUITION: $$7,782

Since its founding in 1967, Edmonds College has grown to enroll about 10,300 students each quarter and now provides over 120 programs in 12 different academic fields. 

In disciplines like engineering and manufacturing, human services and behavioral health, and environmental science and horticulture, students can pursue an associate degree or an occupational credential. 

A bachelor of applied science in child, youth, and family studies is available from Edmonds College. 

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180 quarter credits make up the program, which uses a cohort model of instruction and combines online and on-campus learning.

A completed associate degree in one of the following areas is required of applicants: addiction studies, early childhood education, family support studies, or human services. 

The college also provides a program for certified safety specialist apprentices. 

Students who successfully complete the program receive Edmonds College college credits that can be applied toward an associate’s degree in occupational safety and health. 

A journey-level certificate from the state is also awarded to graduates. This program’s courses are widely available online.

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15. Bates Technical College

  • LOCATION: Tacoma, WA
  • TUITION: $4,278

Bates Technical College, which began by holding classes in an elementary school’s basement in 1940, now has three campuses in Tacoma, Washington. 

Over 7,000 students are currently enrolled at Bates each year. In a variety of fields, including business, finance, personal services, advanced manufacturing, education, human services, and engineering technology, students can pursue an associate degree or an occupational certificate. 

Bates currently provides state-approved apprenticeship training programs in nine different professions, such as construction trades, welding, and sheet metal technology. 

Graduates receive a journeyman-level certificate after completing programs that range in length from one to five years. Additionally, Bates offers an associate’s degree in apprenticeship studies.

Many four-year institutions in the area have direct transfer agreements with the college. 

For graduates who intend to pursue a bachelor’s degree after completing their program at Bates, these agreements simplify the transfer procedure. 

Transfer advisors help students choose their courses and majors, find internship and job-training opportunities, and meet admission requirements for receiving institutions.

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How much do Traders make in Washington?

Many trade school programs lead to professions with high demand and above-average salaries. Graduates of trade schools earn a range of salaries depending on their experience, location, and industry. 

The average annual salary for trade school graduates is $55,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). But salaries differ significantly by industry and job. 

Personal care and service professionals, for instance, make an average salary of $32,000 annually, whereas managers typically make more than $96,000. 

The average yearly wage for healthcare practitioners and technical occupations is over $55,000, compared to about $45,000 for healthcare support professionals.

How do I become a Trader in Washington?

Washington’s vocational and trade schools provide certificates and degrees in a variety of in-demand fields. 

Less than two years are typically required for programs to become a radiology technician, mechanic, or dental hygienist. 

Students can enroll in vocational programs to prepare for careers as cosmetologists, HVAC technicians, pharmacy technicians, and assistants in occupational therapy.

Best Paying Trade Jobs in Washington with Salary

Dental hygienists in Washington make an average salary of more than $93,000 a year, and respiratory therapists in the state make an average salary of almost $72,000 a year, according to BLS statistics. 

Paralegals in Washington make, on average, about $61,000 a year, and electricians in the state make, on average, over $71,000 a year. 

When selecting a field and program, prospective trade school students can research the pay rates for various occupations. 

Additionally, many professions for graduates of trade schools in Washington report rapid job growth. 

Dental hygienists, HVAC technicians, and paralegals are predicted by the BLS to experience much faster job growth than the national average between 2018 and 2028. 

Careers in allied health, skilled trades, and STEM fields are also expected to grow, according to the BLS.

Frequently Asked Questions

What distinguishes a trade school from a college? 

Trade schools offer programs that combine classroom instruction with hands-on training to prepare students for a variety of career paths. Both academic and vocational programs are provided by many colleges. 

Can credits from trade schools be transferred? 

Yes. Transferable credits from trade schools are available at other universities. The likelihood of transferring credits from a school with regional accreditation is highest. 

What distinguishes a trade school from a technical school? 

Career-focused courses are available at trade and technical schools in fields like allied health, skilled trades, and STEM. Both types of institutions offer classroom instruction and practical training through their vocational programs.

What is the price of a trade school? 

Each program’s price for trade school is different. Washington has a large number of trade schools that provide certificate and degree programs in the vocational field for less than $4,000 per year, tuition and fees included.


You have a lot of options if you’ve decided that a career in vocational training is what you want to do. 

Make sure the school is reputable and accredited by governmental organizations before enrolling in a particular training program. 

Take your time and make a wise decision when picking a trade school because it could be the key to a rewarding career.


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