With the current state of our economy, more and more people are realizing that they need to go back to school. From trade schools to community colleges, there are plenty of options for you to choose from. But which ones are the best?
We’ve compiled a list of the top trade schools in Florida so you know what schools have a stellar track record. We know this is an important decision, so we hope our list helps you make an informed decision about your future! 15 Best Trade Schools in Florida in 2024
Florida is a great place to find a really good and high-paying job. It has the third largest population in the United States, and there are many different industries that exist to meet the needs of Florida’s citizens.
The cost of living is much lower than in many other states, so it’s not difficult to find a competitive salary for any position you’re looking for. And with all of these reasons why Florida is such an awesome place to live, it should also be on your list of places to find the perfect trade school.
What is a Trade School?
Trade school. It’s a term that’s thrown around, but what does it actually mean? In essence, trade schools are technical schools where students can learn skills needed in the workplace. Trade schools often offer hands-on training with opportunities to get on the job experience.
So, what is a trade school? You might be surprised to find that it is not only for blue collar work. These types of schools offer courses in many different fields such as advanced manufacturing, nursing and much more. If you’re looking to make changes or if you just want to learn new skills, this article will give you all the information you need to know about trade schools.
A trade school is a post-secondary institution created to give students the needed technical skills.
At a trade school, you can get a degree in fields like plumbing, nursing, health sciences, automotive technician training, wielding, and a whole lot more. Program lengths vary, but typically, they can range from anywhere from eight months to two years.
Acquiring a professional trade at a vocational or trade school may be the perfect way to realize one’s dream of a high-paying job and personally rewarding career.
Upon completion of the program, you’ll receive a diploma or trade certificate acknowledging you successfully finished. For some programs, you can earn an associate degree, which is the degree you get from a two-year college.
What Are The Benefits of Attending A Trade School in Florida?
Florida offers a lot of opportunities to those who aim for a brighter and secure future through its technical schools. Residents are encouraged to invest in vocational education that can build knowledge and skills necessary for good-paying jobs in trades.
The trade schools in Florida offers the following benefits;
It requires less time to complete
Unlike the other colleges where you spend four years and above learning, trade schools offer the best practical education to students in less than two years.
Less time in school allows you to get more job experience and progress faster in your career. Furthermore, if you’re not in school, you won’t have to pay for those additional years of college tuition.
It is Highly Affordable
Due to the lesser number of years to be spent in a trade school, the educational cost is drastically reduced and made pocket friendly. You won’t have to spend a whole lot on tuition and other academic exercises.
Furthermore, a good number of trade schools offers a good number of financial aid programs.
Focuses On Direct Practical Job Preparation
Trade schools in Florida trains aspiring students in any career of their choice allowing them to head straight to employment in a lesser period of time.
Unlike four-year college programs, trade schools equip the students with hands-on practicals relevant in the particular field. Thus, making it easier to initially find a job in that field. Also, many trade school programs are geared toward fields in which there is a high demand for workers.
Availability of Lucrative Jobs
According to local news reports, contractors in Florida find it challenging to fill the spots of several trade-skilled jobs, including construction jobs that are integral to the state’s flourishing construction sector. This alone points to the high demand for skilled workers that trade and vocational schools produce. In a nutshell, in Florida, there’s a higher demand for technically skilled workers.
Easy Application Process
Potential trade school students can say goodbye as well to the rigorous, neck-twisting admissions requirements and processes set by colleges and universities. However, trade and vocational schools will usually require a high school diploma, GED, or its equivalent to be accepted.
Afterward, the testing often comes shortly after the completion of the program, when students are expected to undergo industry-set exams and certifications to prove their ability and capacity to carry out their preferred profession; it’s also an efficient way of testing whether your trade school was able to properly equip you with the proper skills and knowledge you need!
Smaller Class Size
Trade schools are arranged in such a way that students are easily supervised. These manageable teacher-to-student ratios of these schools give the student excellent individualized learning experience. This is especially important, as trade schools often have programs that require closely supervised, hands-on learning with equipment and tools.
What Can You Do With A Trade Certificate?
After completing a trade school certificate program, you can get a job directly related to the field you studied in your vocational school program. For example, if you complete a program in plumbing, you can get a job as a plumber.
Here are some of the jobs you can do with a degree from a trade school:
- Dental hygienist
- Brick masons
- Graphic Designer
- Computer technician
- Aircraft mechanic
- Marine mechanic
- Construction manager
- Massage therapist
- Pharmacy technician
How to Apply to a Trade School in Florida?
The application process of trade schools in Florida is relatively simple. They have a central online application on their websites, or you can contact the school for admissions information. Also, there tend to be no application deadlines. You can apply at any time, but you may need to wait for the beginning of your program of interest before you can register.
Additionally, after you fill out the application, you may have to interview or speak with an admissions representative.
Trade schools aren’t selective, and most are open enrollment. Most schools and programs don’t ask for SAT/ACT, and you don’t need to write an essay.
Admittance to a technical or vocational school usually requires a high school diploma, GED, or state-approved homeschooling. Furthermore, trade schools won’t ask for references or consider your extracurricular activities when determining admission.
How Long Does it Take to Complete A Trade School Course in Florida?
For those who don’t necessarily have four (or more) years to invest in college, attending a trade school may be the way of obtaining the needed skills and knowledge that will pave the way towards stable and well-paying work.
In trade schools, students are imbibed with the best of knowledge in less than two years.
Less time in school allows you to get more job experience and progress faster in your career.
How much Does A Trade Schools In Florida Cost?
Some technical and vocational schools offer as low as $800 for tuition and fees.
Also, most of the trade schools in Florida offer scholarships, grants, and other forms of financial aid. One of such is the Florida Gold Seal Vocational Scholars, with applicants required to complete three full credits in a single career/technical education program in order to qualify.
How Many Trade Schools Are in Florida?
There are over 129 trade schools and career centers to choose from across various locations in Florida that provide career-technical education in various fields ranging from healthcare to construction. In addition, for those intending to or are already taking programs in trade schools; Florida also records a high demand for jobs requiring technical skills that are not precisely covered by four-year degrees.
Finding the most suitable trade schools in The Sunshine State may prove to be quite challenging for students. However, we’ve carefully selected a list of 13 Best Accredited Trade Schools in Florida based on certain criteria.
Our selection criteria for these programs are;
- Quality of education offered
- Accreditation status
- Graduation rate
- Total programs offered
- Tuition rate and financial assistance opportunities
- Student-faculty ratio, and several other relevant factors.
15 Best Trade Schools in Florida
Are you looking for a new career that pays well? Trade schools might be the answer! It’s time to brush up on your skills and find the best trade school for you.
Florida has a lot of schools to offer for trades, so make sure to do your research before picking one. Here are our 15 favorite trade schools in Florida.
Florida has taken significant steps to ensure the state will be able to secure its economic future through the provision and development of technical institutions otherwise called trade schools. Vocational schools offer students various opportunities to gain advanced skills and knowledge that will help them find meaningful work and build productive careers.
Vocational and trade schools in Florida give students an option to attending a four-year college or university, while still providing the quality education students need to get ahead. Technical training is delivered to students on the secondary and post-secondary levels—and in both cases, many are taking advantage of programs that will give them practical and technical skills employers are looking for.
Here’s a rundown of the best trade schools in Florida with information on the types of programs available to students, the career outlook for graduates, and resources for finding the right program.
- Hillsborough Community College
- Tallahassee Community College
- Charlotte Technical College
- Traviss Technical College
- North Florida Community College
- Florida Technical College
- Florida State College at Jacksonville
- Altierus Career College
- Atlantic Technical College
- Tampa School of Real Estate
- IFREC Real Estate Schools
- Florida Tech
- Bryan University
- Southern Technical College
- Lively Technical College
Hillsborough Community College
Since 1968, Hillsborough Community College is dedicated to creating an engaging learning environment through its five campuses. Currently, it offers more than 190 academic options which are supported by over 2,200 dedicated faculty and staff members. They continuously work to help students achieve their full potential by giving them access to affordable, innovative, high-quality, and practical education.
One of the most distinguished achievements of the college is ranking 5th in the awarding of postsecondary adult vocational certificates of completion in the state of Florida. Students who complete apprenticeship programs with Hillsborough Community College have experienced a 100% placement rate.
Some of the programs offered include Certificates for Electronics Technician, Industrial Pipefitter, Welding Technology, and Water Quality Technician. There are also available apprenticeship programs for construction and electrical training.
The average tuition rate for students is $104.39 per credit hour for Florida residents and $379.61 per credit hour for those out of state. Post-secondary Adult Vocation Non-Credit Programs are only around $78.98 per credit hour for in-state students and $314.68 per credit hour for out-of-state students.
The school provides financial aid through grants and scholarships. Hillsborough Community College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Tallahassee Community College
Founded in 1996, Tallahassee Community College offers high-quality post-secondary education for the residents of Leon, Gadsden, and Wakulla counties for decades. As one of the consistently top-ranked community colleges in the US, this school is a fitting choice for many students who want to complete an associate degree or certificate and launch their career to success at a lesser amount of time.
Furthermore, students who want to learn trade skills can choose among many options, including an associate degree in building construction management, building construction specialist certificate; engineering technology, air conditioning, refrigeration and heating technology, career and technical certificate; industrial machinery maintenance, career, and technical certification, and many more.
In addition, those who want to follow the Building Construction Management track are expected to build a rewarding career in the construction industry as foreman, superintendent, assistant project manager, estimator, and building inspector.
Typically, this college enlists more than 24,000 credit and noncredit students per year. They are prepared to take on real-world problems in the industry of their choice through high-quality education and training.
Post-secondary education is made available for residents of Florida and beyond through affordable tuition rates and financial aid in the form of scholarships, grants, and student loans.
Charlotte Technical College
Originally built to provide vocational training to the community of Charlotte County in Florida, Charlotte Technical College has grown into a reputable learning center where students and learning adults can learn the needed skills to embark on a trade. It is their aim to provide an effective, innovative technical education to prepare their graduates for the future.
With more than 20 programs offered, Charlotte Technical College provides solid knowledge for the student’s chosen field. Their education does not end in acquiring knowledge but is a part of their training to hone their practical skills and mindset for their future endeavors.
Students who wish to enroll in this college have a number of options to choose from, including career programs in architecture and construction; arts AV technology, and communication; health science; hospitality and tourism, information technology; and automotive, transportation, distribution, and logistics.
They also have the option to achieve evening career programs like A/C Refrigeration and Heating Technology, Emergency Medical Technician, Fire Fighter, and Patient Care technician.
At Charlotte Technical College, students acquire the necessary skills in less than a year. Also, they administer high tech, hands-on training using tools and technology that meet and sometimes even surpass industry standards. To ensure that students receive individual attention, classes are kept small.
For ease of access, this school offers reasonably priced tuition fees as well as various financial aid in the form of loans and scholarships.
Traviss Technical College
Traviss Technical College has a good track record in providing technical training that will help students prepare for a sustainable future. It is their goal to provide local businesses with a highly-skilled workforce.
Students who want to take on the challenge of learning an in-demand technical trade is in the right place at Traviss Technical College. It is one of the cheapest technical colleges in the state, with workforce Education Certificate Programs assessed at a rate of $2.88 per hour for residents and $11.52 for non-residents. They can also offer financial aid through scholarships and grants.
TTC administers dozens of career programs, including Administrative Office Specialist, Automotive Collision Technology Technician, Cosmetology, Building Trades, and Construction Design, Commercial Driving, Computer Systems, and Information Technology, Diesel System Technician, Fire Fighting, Energy Technician; Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration; Welding Technology, and Practical Nursing, among many others.
Most of these professional training and certifications can be completed within one year, making it the right choice for students who want to get started on their career right away.
North Florida Community College
Found in Madison, Florida, North Florida Community College essentially solves the educational needs of its six-county districts. They aim to provide accessible education, lifelong learning opportunities, and professional growth for their students and surrounding communities.
For students who want to get specialized hands-on training and career development, NFCC Career and Technical Education Center is the ideal place to be. This center specializes in trades, applied sciences, modern technologies, and career preparation.
In this educational path, students are required to complete academic and career-oriented courses where they gain valuable skills and benefit from the on-the-job training and industry-certification opportunities.
NFCC offers college credit certificates in the following courses; Paramedic, Lean Manufacturing, Engineering Technology Support Specialist, and Pneumatics, Hydraulics, and Motors for Manufacturing. Career and technical certificates like Advanced Manufacturing and Production Technology, Practical Nursing, and Child Care Center Operations are also available.
North Florida Community College is one of the most affordable schools in Florida. They make education convenient to many students by helping them set up tuition payment plans, financial literacy workshops, and student employment opportunities. Financial aid is also available for qualified students in the form of scholarships, loans, and grants.
Florida Technical College
Located in Orlando, Florida, Florida Technical College has been in existence since 1982 to provide post-secondary training in specialized business fields. Their programs are dynamic, evolving as years go by to meet the needs of students and the market.
Florida Technical College also offers education and training for trade careers for more than 30 years. They have Electrical diploma programs for students who want to gain technical skills and practical knowledge needed to perform installation tasks, provide service, and troubleshoot and repair residential, commercial, and industrial electrical systems.
There is also the HVAC/R with PLC diploma program that teaches technical and practical knowledge and skills for performing installation tasks, and service and repairs in heating, refrigeration, and air conditioning situations.
The school also has available programs for healthcare and information technology careers. Students who want to complete courses online can choose from the following programs: diploma for medical and coding specialist and associate in science degrees for Network Administration and Medical Billing and Coding Specialist.
Florida Technical College is one of the schools that offers career assistance to their students through advising and job search networks.
Florida State College at Jacksonville
Florida State College at Jacksonville (FSCJ) is currently home to nearly 50,000 students. It has four major campuses within Jacksonville.
FSCJ offers excellent practical education in various programs like; aviation, architecture and interior designing, construction and manufacturing, dentistry, business, and a whole lot more.
Lower Division College Credit Course Tuition and Fees is $104.88 per credit hour for in-state residents; $401.27 per credit hour for non-residents; $218.55 per credit hour for non-residents online courses;$218.55 per credit hour for Eligible Georgia Residents. However, costs can still be brought down, as a variety of financial aid is available to students under the program.
Altierus Career College
Altierus Career College has campuses in three different states: one in Tampa, Florida, one in Atlanta, Georgia, and one in Houston, Texas. Its programs are aimed at providing students with opportunities and practical knowledge in in-demand careers in the fields of trade, healthcare, and technology.
Altierus Career College offers programs such as; Dental Assistant, Medical Assistant, Medical Billing & Coding, Nursing, Pharmacy Technician, Surgical Technologist, HVAC programs, and Electrical programs.
As for tuition and fees, Altierus has an all-inclusive tuition system, which includes not just the tuition but also other necessities like books, school scrubs, and CPC testing fees. An iPad is also provided to all students for their online coursework use, which the student can keep upon graduating. Come and explore Altierus difference yourself.
Atlantic Technical College
Atlantic Technical College (ATC) in Coconut Creek, Broward County, has a catalog of around 30 instructional and vocational programs in areas like Architecture & Construction, Health Science, Information Technology, and Business Management & Administration.
ATC offers over 30 challenging instructional programs in high wage, high skill, and high demand occupations. All of the career and technical programs are arranged with state and national standards. You will have the opportunity to earn industry credentials and articulated college credit to our state college system upon completion of your program.
Students will earn a diploma with credentials surpassing the state requirements in academics, enabling them to be competitive in the college admission process.
In addition, technology is blended into every aspect of the educational program fostering an innovative learning environment.
Teachers promote critical thinking and employ diverse teaching methodologies such as the adoption of a small class size allows for personalization among students, teachers, and parents. In addition, students have the chance to earn certification in a technical program of study and nationally recognized industry certifications.
Tampa School of Real Estate
The Tampa School of Real Estate was established in 2007 with the vision of rendering an educational experience that focuses on student success. With their mission to provide their students with the best Florida real estate education online or in the classroom, they ensure that their students will get their Florida real estate license. They offer on-campus and online courses, exam preps, and guides.
They offer the following courses:
- Real Estate Pre-License Courses, a 63-hour course that enables one to get a Florida Real Estate Sales Associate License.
- Post-License Courses, a 45-hour post-licensing course that must be completed within 18-24 months from the issued date of the license.
- Real Estate CE Courses, which are continuing education required by the Florida Real Estate Commission. This must be taken every two years after completing the post-licensing.
The Tampa School of Real Estate also offers cutting edge online real estate courses. They have a team of dedicated instructors. Their administration office is located at 18101 Highwoods Preserve Parkway Suite 220, Tampa, Florida.
IFREC Real Estate Schools
The IFREC Real Estate Schools has been an established leader in real estate education since 1983. They are the oldest and largest privately-owned real estate school in Central Florida. They are also the only private school in Florida that is authorized to offer NAR/REBAC designation courses to real estate professionals.
IFREC offers classroom and online courses that apply to every level of the real estate industry. Their faculty houses the most respected licensed and professional practitioners in the real estate industry. For their real estate sales associate course, they offer pre-license and post-licensure classes.
Their useful pre-licensing course is the Real Estate Principles & Practices FREC Course. This is a 63-hour comprehensive study of the theoretical, practical, and legal aspects of real estate. Students can take this knowledge and be able to complete the pre-licensing course, end-of-course exam, and State exam.
Aside from real estate, they also offer courses for a mortgage loan originator, a home inspector, and a community association manager.
Florida Institute of Technology
Florida Tech was established in 1958, and it was first called Brevard Engineering College. Flo Tech is a comprehensive and research-intensive and technical national university. They offer undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral degrees. Also, they a research-driven, high-tech, and hands-on educational approach.
Through their Air Traffic Control program, students learn about the weather, flight planning, physical sciences, safety, and more. They also have in-depth learning into the National Airspace System. This allows them to understand the particular details in the system and get practical experience through Air Traffic Control courses and training labs.
Being one of the best trade schools in Florida, Bryan University has been providing exceptional educational experiences since 1940. They are a leading university when it comes to solving complex challenges in online education.
Their solutions include research-based strategies and industry partnerships, which are innovative and revolutionary methods of providing online learning to students.
At Bryan University, you have the opportunity to broaden your solar energy knowledge by applying the technical knowledge you learn in the classroom to real-world situations.
Here, students will obtain knowledge and experience in a variety of different aspects of solar energy including photovoltaic markets and installations, safety protocols, electrical knowledge, system components, photovoltaic sizing, electrical/mechanical design, photovoltaic performance analysis, and maintenance and troubleshooting techniques.
In addition, this training is supplemented with additional training in solar sales, sustainable building practices, and business knowledge relevant to positions in solar sales, installation, management, supply, and manufacturing.
Southern Technical College
The private Southern Technical College specializes in providing diploma and associate degree programs in a variety of medical and technical areas.
STC offers more than just technical skills, students are exposed to the necessary business and technology programs used in today’s current job market. Students gain the essential knowledge to operate, oversee, and assist with operations. Upon graduation, with these new skill sets, students have an edge in today’s competitive workplace!
- Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning/Refrigeration
- Electrical Trades Technology
- Welding Technology
- Electrical Technology
These exciting career programs consist of hands-on instruction and training from industry-experienced professionals and offer flexible scheduling options, to fit around your busy lifestyle!
Lively Technical College
Lively Technical College (LTC) can trace its roots back to 1937 when it was established as a vocational school by businessman Lewis M Lively. Its headquarters is located at N. Appleyard Drive in Tallahassee, while also maintaining a campus intended mainly for aviation-related programs at the Tallahassee Regional Airport.
Lively houses thousands of students annually, with a faculty and staff of 85. While designated by the Florida State Board of Education to serve primarily Leon, Gadsden and Wakulla counties, Lively welcomes students from throughout North Florida, neighboring South Georgia & Alabama, and around the world, including the Americas, Africa, Asia, Australia, and Europe.
Lively utilizes a variety of technology-based educational delivery methods, including classroom lectures, computer-assisted instruction, audio-visual instruction, hands-on learning opportunities, one-on-one instruction, externships.
Additionally, some courses require students to achieve competency in skills within a specified timeframe, while many other courses are individualized, self-paced programs that allow students to progress and achieve competency in skills according to their abilities.
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According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics construction, health care and personal care will account for 1/3 of all new jobs through 2022. The US. Department of Education reports there will be 68% more job openings in infrastructure-related fields in the next five years than there are people training to fill them. This is a good reason why technical education is the best bet.