Top 5 Most Practical Trade Schools
By Susan Landis-Steward
, last updated December 22, 2011
Looking for a well-paying job in the trades and wondering what schools to go to? There are still trade jobs available, particularly in the electrical and electronics industries. Unlike many trades, you don't have to get into a highly competitive apprenticeship program to learn this field. Many community colleges and trade schools offer training that will qualify you for a job.
If you want a job in electronics repair, the best school is probably Central Arizona College
in Coolidge, Arizona. They offer an Associate of Applied Science in Manufacturing Engineering and a Manufacturing Electronics Certificate. Central Arizona College is a member of the Quality Improvement program of the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, meaning they have committed to work on continuous improvement. This is a two-year school outside of Phoenix and is a public institution.
Another good trade job is automotive mechanic and the top-rated school for that is American River College
in Sacramento, CA. A two-year public college, the automotive technology curriculum is accredited by the National Automotive Technology Foundation and is part of the Professional Automotive Training Center partnership which helps student intern with automotive dealerships. They offer degrees in Automotive Analysis, Automotive Component Service Technician, Automotive Technology, and Diesel Mechanics.
Plumbing can be a lucrative trade and there are three schools rated at the top for this field. These include Vattertot College
, the Professional Career Development Institute
, and the National Institute of Technology
. Vattertot has several locations in Dallas, Memphis, and other areas of the south. They offer classes at the campus and some classes are available online. Professional Career Development Institute (PCDI) offers an accredited online program in plumbing. The National Institute of Technology has become Everest Institute with many campuses around the country. They offer a Plumbing Technology program at some campuses.
If you have some construction background, you might want to consider becoming a construction and building inspector or a construction manager. While you can train on the job, many employers are now looking for inspectors with higher levels of education and training. A degree assures the employer that you have been trained in the latest methods and technology. Lawrence Technological University
offers six different programs in the field of construction management. The University of Denver
also has programs in construction management as does Southern Polytechnic State University
Telecommunications and networking are important to the IT industry and the job outlook is good. Although it is considered a trade, it usually requires a four-year degree. The top schools for this field are Boston University, Syracuse University
, and the University of Oklahoma
. This is a field with many opportunities. For the best jobs, many candidates go on to get advanced degrees.
Be aware that many of the career schools that advertise heavily are often not the best opportunity to learn a trade or skill. Be sure to look carefully at any program that is privately run. Many of these schools do not deliver what they offer, leaving the students uncompetitive and heavily in debt. Make sure any school you attend has a good reputation, a high rate of placement in lucrative positions, and is fully accredited by national agencies.