Trade Schools in San Diego

Trade schools are sometimes referred to as vocational schools or career centers. They are a fantastic alternative for people who wish to launch a successful career but cannot pay for 4-year university courses.

Best Trade Schools in San Diego

Thus, you must consider your educational requirements and career goals when selecting the ideal training program in a trade school. However, when choosing the right training program and institution, one of the crucial considerations is accreditation.

If you are from San Diego and confused about which trade school to enroll in, don’t worry, we’ve got your back. Here, we have gathered 11 best trade schools in San Diego. So, without much ado, let’s get into it.

1. Associated Technical College

Associated Technical College is a vocational school established in 1984. The college assists residents of San Diego and the surrounding regions in acquiring the technical skills needed for employment in the IT sector.

There are courses in microcomputer technology and communications technology you can opt for depending on your career choice. In addition, by keeping in touch with several businesses, the institution strives to assist its alums with finding employment.

The Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges has given Associated Technical College “free-standing” status.

2. Eastlake Medical College

Eastlake Medical College is motivated by the conviction that every person can develop skills at any stage of life. Thus, the institute accepts enrolment at various periods to help students progress in their careers. The California Department of Public Health has granted clearance to Eastlake Medical College.

Your identity paper or driver’s license must be shown as identification verification before you seek admission into this trade school. Also, a physical exam may be necessary, if one is available, along with a TB clearance. You must also submit your social security card along with your enrollment fee.

You will have to pay $975 as the total tuition fee plus a $185 registration fee. The tuition fee includes two sets of uniforms, the state test review, the exam fee, the textbook and training manual, and preparation for the state examination.

Besides, the institute houses a live scan fingerprint scanner to record each class’s attendance.

3. San Diego Medical College

The California Department of Public Health Licensing and Certification has approved San Diego Medical College as a nursing assistant program. It provides a 22-day nursing assistant program and other programs, including home health aid and EKG instruction. The courses for nursing assistants run every day from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday to Friday.

Aside from having a wealth of professional expertise, teachers also keep up with the most recent developments in EMS, nursing, and rescue training theory and techniques. The institution has been authorized as a Regional Testing Center for the National Nurse Aid Assessment Program. Thus, every program of the school has its enrollment standards.

One must be at least 16 years old to apply to the Nursing Assistant program. A copy of a physical exam and TB test results is required, along with an ID. Besides, students must pay a fee of $975 to enroll in the nursing assistant program. Also, they must pay a registration fee of $185.

4. The Riggins Urban Barber College

San Diego Students at Riggins Urban Barber College receive the fundamental instruction necessary to pass the Board of Barbering and Cosmetology exams. The trade school helps students pick up skills in barbering, shop management, business principles, and success psychology.

The 1500-hour barbering course covers a wide range of topics, including the barber/cosmo act and regulations, barbering chemistry, disinfection and sanitation, hairstyling, curling, blow drying, shaving, facials, and more.

The school’s website has an enrollment form that prospective students may fill out. For the Barber Course and the Barber/Cosmo Crossover, the total fee is $16,000. However, candidates must have a picture ID and a high school diploma, GED, or equivalent to enroll in the school.

Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE) has granted Riggins Urban Barber College approval. The California Board of Barbering & Cosmetology (BBC) has also approved the school’s barbering programs.

5. California Institute of Arts & Technology

Operating since 2008 is the California Institute of Arts & Technology. The college functions with the assumption that employers are looking for applicants with skills.

Due to their flexible timetable, many students choose this college. Also, you have the option of attending classes in person or online. These classes are more slanted toward using technology so that students can use it even while studying.

The Accrediting Council for Continuing Education & Training has granted accreditation to this school. Also, the Veterans Administration and the Workforce Investment Act have approved their programs. However, an online application kicks off the enrolling procedure.

An admissions adviser from the institution will get in touch with you as soon as your application and supporting documents are received. They will provide you with further information about the program. Moreover, you can obtain financing schemes with the assistance of the college.

6. Fast Track Medical Training Center

The Fast Track Medical Training Center offers high-quality education to individuals considering professions in the healthcare sector. In addition to learning the skills and information necessary to care for patients, students also learn how to conduct themselves in a way that is proper for their line of work.

CNA training and a certificate in pharmacology are among the courses available. These programs can last between 3 weeks to 9 months.

However, the Fast Track Medical Training Center charges $1,500 in tuition for its courses. Although there is no registration charge, applications require a $500 deposit.

7. Center for Employment Training

Center for Employment Training is a private postsecondary university in San Diego that serves people in the neighborhood metro area. It has provided training in various fields for over 50 years, including medical support, green building, and welding fabrication.

Students who desire to work as solar framers, maintenance technicians, carpenters’ assistants, solar technicians, or plumbers’ helpers should enroll in the school’s green construction program.

It also provides resume and interview-writing assistance to its pupils. Additionally, it aids migrants and seasonal farmworkers as a part of the National Farmworker Jobs Program. The Council on Occupational Education has granted CET accreditation to the school.

8. PhlebotomyU

One of the top vocational schools in San Diego is PhlebotomyU, which specializes in phlebotomy training. San Diego and the surrounding areas are served by this private institution, founded in 1986.

It provides courses that assist students in earning Certified Phlebotomy Technician I (CPT I) certifications and preparing them for entry-level and expert roles in clinics, hospitals, and laboratories. The courses contain basic and advanced didactic material and practical instruction. Besides, students are also allowed to do an externship in a partner clinic or hospital.

The trade school also offers a blood withdrawal course with practical training for hands-on experience. It is open to anyone working as a research assistant in non-diagnostic settings. San Diego’s PhlebotomyU has even received the support of the California Department of Public Health and the California Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education.

The programs offered by PhlebotomyU usually run from 120 to 220 hours. Also, weekend classes and flexible schedules are available. However, the average cost of a semester’s tuition is $2,900, which is relatively lesser than many 4-year university courses.

9. Concorde University

The San Diego branch of Concorde University provides career-focused healthcare degrees in disciplines like dental assisting, dental hygiene, medical assisting, nursing, and others. This campus has large classrooms, labs, a career/student center, and a learning resource center.

The institution primarily offers associate degree and diploma programs. However, depending on the curriculum, the length of the program may range from 8 to 21 months.

The Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC) has granted Concorde Career Colleges accreditation.

Besides, applicants must provide documentation of their high school diploma or an equivalent to enroll. Also, prospective students must attend a personal interview and campus visit. Fees for program expenses range from $16,554 to $81,068.

10. Accounting Academy of San Diego

The Accounting Academy of San Diego is a bookkeeping and accounting specialized trade school. It offers practical training in the workplace to students who want to enter the sector at entry-level positions.

You have 3 to 7 months to finish the programs. However, it usually takes between 6 and 8 months to complete a course at the Accounting Academy in San Diego, California.

In the programs, you will get a basic understanding of the ideas, practices, and techniques of accounting and bookkeeping. These are crucial for a business to retain accurate and timely financial information.

Besides, the institution helps students get jobs in various San Diego accounting firms. However, a $7,500 tuition fee is typically charged for a course.

11. Western Truck School

Western Truck School provides training to people interested in a profession in the transportation sector. For the commercial driver’s license test, this school offers thorough instruction.

Both new and state-of-the-art equipment are used at West Truck School to provide students with a great learning experience. To enroll in its course, you must be over 21 years old, even though you must be at least 18 to receive a Class A Commercial Driver’s License.

Besides, applicants must submit copies of their social security card, driver’s license, and transcripts of high school diploma or GED. Prospective students must also provide a copy of their H6 (10-year DMV report). However, before joining the class, they must pass a Department of Transportation physical exam and a drug test.


You must research about the institution to substantiate the claims made by a vocational college. Verifying the accuracy of the information on employment opportunities, market wages, and any connections the college claims to have can help you avoid unnecessary consequences.

In addition, you must ask the college how many students have finished their degrees there. If there is a high dropout rate, it may be a sign that the program is not running well.

So, the 11 trade schools discussed above are reliable and well-reckoned in their respective industries. You can easily join any of them based on your career choices.