10 Best Trade Schools inLos Angeles, CA

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Trade schools, also known as vocational schools, technical schools or career centers, are a great alternative for those who want to build a successful career but can’t afford a four-year college.

This page compiles information about the best vocational schools in Los Angeles.

L.A. is home to many reputable trade schools that get you ready for employment in high demand industries, such as allied health, film industry, electric trades or transportation.

If you want to build a career in a skilled trade you have many options to choose from.

Take your time and explore all your alternatives.

1East LA Skills Center

East LA Skills Center is part of Los Angeles Unified School District’s Division of Adult and Career Education.

The Center has been providing high-quality, low-cost education and training since 1966.

Students receive short-term, hands-on training that prepares them for careers in high demand industries.

East LA Skills Center is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Schools, Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

Enrollment. Applicants must be at least 16 years of age.

If under 18, you need approval from a parent.

Fees. Program costs are between $50-$910, depending on the course.

Courses offered:

The Center offers Career Technical Education programs, including:

  • Graphic Design 1-4
  • Video Production 1-3
  • Building and Grounds worker
  • Hospital Maintenance Technician
  • Maintenance Supervisor
  • Solar Thermal
  • Energy Audit- PV
  • Certified Nursing Assistant
  • Home Health Aide
  • Medical Assistant
  • Physical Therapy
  • Insurance Billing
  • Diagnostic Coding
  • Cosmetology
  • Hairstyling
  • and more

Contact information:

  • East LA Skills Center: 3921 Selig Place, Los Angeles, CA 90031
  • Phone: (323) 224-5970
  • Eastside Learning Center: 4355 Michigan Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90022
  • Phone: (323) 729-1800
  • Website: https://www.eastlaskillscenter.org

2Cinema Make-up School

Cinema Make-up School is offering diploma programs and individual makeup classes.

The school offers two Comprehensive tracks: a  Complete Track and an FX Track.

The Comprehensive track programs can be completed in 28 weeks by daytime students and in 49 weeks by evening students.

The school also offers two Diploma programs and individual make-up classes.

Enrollment. Applicants are encouraged to visit the Cinema Make-up School in order to meet with an admissions representative.

Fees. Tuition is $23,175 for the Complete Track program and $20,175 for the FX Track.

Lab fees are $4,075 for the Complete Track and $3,825 for the FX Track.

The Master Makeup Diploma program costs $12,600 with a $2,100 lab fee.

The High Fashion/Photographic program costs $4,500; students have to pay an additional $150 lab fee.

The Core classes fees are between $3,000-$4,800.

Scholarships are available to qualifying students.

Courses offered:

Comprehensive Programs:

  • Complete Track
  • FX Track

Diploma Programs:

  • Master Makeup Program
  • High Fashion Makeup Program

Individual Makeup Classes:

  • Special Effects Makeup
  • Creature Maquette Sculpting
  • Advanced Beauty Theory
  • Advanced Lab Techniques
  • Prosthetic Makeup
  • Character Makeup
  • Digital FX
  • Airbrush
  • ZBrush

Contact information:

  • Cinema Make-up School: 3780 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 202, Los Angeles, California 90010 USA
  • Phone: 213-368-1234
  • Website: https://www.cinemamakeup.com

3Los Angeles Film Connection

Los Angeles Film Connection offers externship-based, mentor-taught programs for those who want to work in the film industry.

Students learn directing, producing, editing, camera, screenwriting or general production as externs in an actual Los Angeles film production company.

Film Connection is the mentored-externship alternative to the school of film.

The Institute pairs each student with a mentor who provides one-on-one training on real film sets, or TV stations and production companies.

Students have the opportunity to acquire industry connections that often lead to future work.

Enrollment. Potential students can apply through the school’s website.

There are no age limits for enrollment.

Fees. The total cost is $13,040 for the Film Connection for Film Production & Editing program and $12,750 for the Film Connection for Cinematography program.

Financing is available to qualifying students.

Courses offered:

  • Film Production & Editing
  • Cinematography


  • Screenwriting
  • Film Editing

Contact information:

  • Recording Radio Film Connection & CASA Schools Film Connection: 6300 Wilshire Blvd. Suite #640, Los Angeles, CA 90048
  • Phone: (310) 456-9623
  • Website: https://www.filmconnection.com

4Los Angeles Training Institute for Alcohol & Drug Counseling

Los Angeles Training Institute for Alcohol & Drug Counseling offers a certificate program for those who want to become alcohol & drug counselors.

Certified alcohol & drug counselors work within a variety of settings, such as treatment centers, hospital, colleges, churches, and government agencies.

The certification program consists of 11 modules of instruction, 45 hours of supervised practice and a minimum of 255 of on-site clinical instruction.

Students are able to complete the program in 11-12 months.

Classes are held on alternate weekends or alternative weekdays, to accommodate students’ schedules.

After completing the program students and CCAPP requirements, students are eligible to take the Written Exam to become a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor.

Los Angeles Training Institute for Alcohol & Drug Counseling is a CCAPP approved institute.

Enrollment. Applicants must have completed high school or have a GED.

Prospective students must complete an application form and write a 1-2 page essay on why they are interested in becoming an Alcohol & Drug Counselor.

Contact information:

  • Los Angeles Training Institute for Alcohol & Drug Counseling, LLC is located at 1612 W. Manchester Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90047
  • Phone:  (323) 758-8266
  • Website: https://www.training4aod.org

5Maxine Waters Employment Preparation Center

Maxine Waters Employment Preparation Center offers career & technical education, adult secondary & basic education, and English as a Second Language training.

Enrollment. Applicants must be at least 18 years of age.

Those under 18 who are currently enrolled as high school students must have their high school’s administrative approval.

Other requirements may apply, depending on the class.

Fees. Tuition varies by program.

The cost of the Chef Assistant program is $140 with a $20 weekly material fee.

The Electrician programs (1,2 & 3) sum up to $960 with a $25 weekly fee due for the Electrician 3 program.

The Pharmacy Technician program costs $1,115.

Courses offered:

The Center offers career training in the following fields:

  • HVAC program
  • Plumbing
  • Administrative Assistant
  • Computer Technology
  • Residential Electrician program
  • Medical Assistant
  • Certified Nursing Assistant
  • Pharmacy Technician
  • Vocational Nurse
  • Culinary Arts Program
  • Welding
  • Maintenance Supervisor Program
  • Automotive Technician Program

Contact information:

6California Electrical Training

California Electrical Training is offering a simple and flexible Electrical Trainee Program designed to help students accomplish their professional and financial goals after 30 months of training.

The school offers flexible schedules; the course can be completed on-campus or online, depending on the program.

California Electrical Training Inc is approved by the State of California as school #151 to implement Electrical Training.

Students in the English online Electrical Training program must complete 30 hours of online training and one onsite lab lasting 8 hours each quarter.

Students in the Spanish-assisted onsite Electrical Training program must complete 10 hours of onsite class each month and one onsite lab lasting 8 hours each quarter.

Students attend a minimum of one lab class every quarter for a more personalized instruction, one-on-one training, and hands-on application of the things they learn during the different training quarters.

Fees. The Electrical Training Online English program costs $300/ per quarter; the Spanish onsite program costs  $350/per quarter

Courses offered:

  • English online Electrical Training program
  • Spanish-assisted onsite Electrical Training program
  • Lab classes:
    • Conduit Bending
    • Basic Electricity
    • Rigging and Plans
    • OSHA 10 Spanish
    • Basic Lighting Controls 2
    • Residential Wiring
    • Motor Controls
    • Basic Lighting Controls
    • OSHA 10
    • Advanced Lighting Controls
    • Commercial Wiring 1
    • First Aid
  • Continuous Education
  • State exam preparation classes

Contact information:

7Career Development Institute, Inc.

Career Development Institute is an accredited nursing school.

Students can graduate from the accelerated vocational nursing program in as few as 13 months.

A licensed vocational nurse is an entry-level position in the nursing field.

Vocational nurses provide basic care and work under the supervision of a registered nurse or physician.

The school offers small class sizes, free tutoring services, and one-on-one training.

Upon graduation, students are ready for the NCLEX exam.

Career Development Institute students have a pass rate on the NCLEX-PN exam of nearly 100%.

The Institute is accredited with the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES).

Enrollment. Applicants must be at least 17 years of age, possess a high school diploma or GED, and be in good physical and mental health.

Fees. The total program cost is around $29,800.

Tuition includes ATI NCLEX-PN training/tutoring computer program, NCLEX-PN review course, all textbooks, two nurse uniforms, stethoscope and blood pressure cuff, tutoring services and job placement.

Financial aid is available to students who qualify.

Courses offered:

  • Licensed Vocational Nurse Program

Contact information:

  • Career Development Institute, Inc.: 1830 South Robertson Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90035
  • Phone: 1-310-559-0225
  • Website: https://cdi.edu

8Angeles College

Angeles College offers training programs that prepare students for a career in healthcare.

Class sizes are kept small in order to provide students with plenty of individual attention.

The school offers Certificate and Degree programs.

Angeles College is accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES).

The College is licensed by the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE) and certified by the U.S. Department of Education as an eligible participant in the federal student financial aid (SFA) programs.

Enrollment. For most programs applicants must hold a high school diploma, transcript, GED certificate or equivalent.

Passing an entrance exam is also a requirement for some programs.

Prospective students also need a Signed Health Report from a physician stating they can participate in the program without any limitations.

Fees. Tuition costs for the Certificate programs are between $1,725-$27,324.

Financial aid programs are also available to qualifying students.

Courses offered:

The school offers the following certificate programs:

  • Massage Therapy
  • Medical Assistant
  • Vocational Nursing
  • Nurse Assistant
  • Phlebotomy Technician

Contact information:

9GSF Driving & Truck Training School

GSF Driving & Truck Training School is offering one-on-one CDL professional training and instruction.

The school is licensed under the California Department of Consumer Affair’s Bureau of Private Postsecondary Education.

After completing the program applicants can take the exam to obtain a Commercial Driver License (CDL) and be eligible for entry-level positions in the transportation industry.

Enrollment. Applicants must provide a completed Application.

An approved medical form completed by a licensed Doctor of Medicine (M.D.), osteopathy (D.O.), licensed physician assistant (P.A.), a nurse practitioner (N.P.), advance practice nurse, or chiropractor is required when you apply for a driver license or instruction permit.

Prospective students also need an ID and Social Security Card.

You have to be over 18 years of age to drive for hire in California; you have to be over 21 to drive a commercial vehicle across state lines or to transport passengers or hazardous materials or waste.

Fees. Total costs are between $2,269 – $5,769, depending on the program

Courses offered

  • Professional Combination Course
  • Professional CDL A Course
  • Professional CDL B-P Course
  • Complete CDL A Course
  • Complete CDL B-P Course

Contact information:

  • GSF Driving & Truck Training School: 731 East Slauson Avenue · Los Angeles, CA 90011
  • Phone: (323) 231-3311
  • Website: http://gsfschools.com

10ABC Bartending Schools

ABC Bartending Schools have 40 years of experience in training and placing bartenders nationwide.

The schools offer one week, two-week, and three-week programs that cover all of the techniques used by a professional bartender.

ABC is the largest privately owned bartending school system in the U.S., with locations from Seattle to South Beach.

Students learn bartending skills through hands-on training in facilities that have completely equipped bars, using blenders, soda guns, sinks, glassware, speed racks, ice bins, and bottles.

Students learn about techniques of speed, equipment, and bar set up, mixology, liquors, garnishes, and fruit cutting, profit pouring, wines, beer, alcohol awareness, cash register procedures and cash handling, and much more.

ABC Bartending Schools Los Angeles are located throughout the LA Basin.

ABC also offers lifetime job placement assistance and free refresher courses.

Fees. Training fees for the Bartending program start at $199.

Courses offered:

  • Bartending/Mixology program

Contact information:

  • West Los Angeles: 9229 Venice Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90034,
  • Los Angeles County: 2235 North Lake Avenue, Suite 205
    Altadena, CA 91001
  • Phone: 562-596-7009
  • Website: https://www.abcbartending.com

Salary Information for Popular Trade Careers

CareerEmployedAvg. Annual SalaryAvg. Hourly PayTop 10% Annual SalaryBottom 10% Annual Salary
Paralegals and Legal Assistants16,530$75,850$36.46$105,670$48,460
Medical Records Specialists8,290$67,880$32.63$101,120$37,120
Nursing Assistants39,710$42,620$20.49$51,260$36,480
Dental Assistants20,160$44,020$21.16$58,780$36,080
Medical Assistants36,770$43,880$21.1$59,090$35,370
Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters11,830$71,650$34.45$124,120$40,180
Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics17,560$56,220$27.03$77,930$31,990
Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers10,780$68,680$33.02$106,030$40,080
* Salary information based on the May 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA metropolitan statistical area, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Final Thoughts

Los Angeles offers a lot of opportunities for those who want to learn a new trade.

In order to give you an idea about the variety of programs available, on this page we have selected 10 of the best trade schools in the region.

The list also includes relevant information about each school, such as tuition costs, course duration, school accreditation, etc.

Don’t forget to do your own research before choosing the school that best fits your educational needs and professional aspirations.

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