Best Trade Schools inOakland

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Trade schools are a viable option for many high school graduates and adult students because that are usually less expensive than a traditional four-year college and require less than two years to complete.

Vocational training can get you employment-ready in many high demand fields, such as allied health, skilled trades, technology and beauty industry.

This page compiles information about 10 of the best trade schools in Oakland, California.

The aim is to help you decide what path you want to follow and choose the school that will offer you the best education.


1International College of Cosmetology

International College of Cosmetology is offering Cosmetology, Esthetics and Manicure classes.

The programs combine an innovative curriculum and hands-on training with extensive preparation for the State Board exam.

The Cosmetology program covers haircutting & styling, coloring, chemical texturing, manicuring/pedicuring, facials, makeup, hair removal, product knowledge, and retail sales.

Students in the Esthetics program learn about skin analysis, facials & exfoliation, hair removal, makeup application, salon management, state board training and business skills, health and safety practices.

The Manicuring program teaches students about nails, acrylic nails, nail art, anatomy and physiology, nail disorders and diseases, business management and Success Skills, and state board training.

The school is accredited by the National Accrediting Commission of Career Arts & Sciences.

Enrollment. Applicants must possess a high school diploma or equivalent.

A picture ID, a Social Security Card, and a Resident ID card are also required.

Prospective students must successfully complete the pre-enrollment process.

Fees. Total costs vary between $2,150-$13,700, depending on the program.

Financial aid is available to qualifying students.

Courses offered:

  • Cosmetology Program – 1,600 hours
  • Esthetics Program – 600 hours
  • Manicure Program – 400 hours
  • Makeup Artistry Program
  • Eyelashes Extension Course

Contact information:

  • International College of Cosmetology: 3701 International Blvd,
    Oakland, CA 94601
  • Phone: 510-261-8256
  • Website: https://www.icoc.edu

2Moler Baber College

Moler Baber College has been training barbers for over 100 years.

The College now offers training programs for barbers, barber instructors, and a Cosmetology cross-over course.

The Oakland campus occupies approximately 4,000 square feet of space divided into a theory classroom and practical room.

The theory classroom is equipped with 32 student chair desks, a blackboard and sets of informational charts.

The practical room is equipped with 32 barber chairs, 4 handwashing sinks, 32 mirrors/barber stations, and benches to accommodate clients.

Course duration varies by program: the Cosmetology program can be completed in 46 weeks, while the Barbering program is 43 weeks long.

Moler Baber College is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges.

Enrollment. Applicants need a high school diploma or GED.

They must also have a picture I.D., a Social Security Card, and two photographs.

Fees. Total costs vary by program.

The Barbering program costs $20,924; the Barbering Instructor program costs $5,691

The school also offers financial aid to qualifying students.

Courses offered:

The following courses are offered at the Oakland Campus:

  • Barber Program
  • Barber Instructor
  • Barber Re-Enrollment
  • Barber Refresher
  • Cosmetology Cross-Over

Contact information:

  • Moler Baber College: 3815 Telegraph Avenue, Oakland, CA 94609
  • Phone: 510-652-4177
  • Website: https://moler.org

3Cypress Mandela, Inc.

The Cypress Mandela Training Center, Inc. offers a 16-week pre-apprenticeship program for Bay Area residents.

The free pre-apprenticeship training is both hands-on and in the classroom and prepares students for skilled trades jobs that are relevant in the construction industry.

The Training Center is housed in a 71,000 plus square foot facility.

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

Courses offered:

The curriculum includes classroom and hands-on training in:

  • Applied math for construction purposes
  • Environmental training
  • Introduction to cement work
  • Introduction to framing, form and foundation work
  • Introduction to structural steel and ironwork
  • Job safety
  • Orientation to the construction industry and the apprentice structure
  • Tool and material identification
  • Site surveying
  • Blueprint reading
  • Electrical fundamentals
  • Plumbing fundamentals
  • Introduction to operating engineers
  • Fundamentals of Solar
  • Solar Installation
  • Solar Techniques and Training
  • Life skills: time management, budgeting, nutrition, chemical dependency education, sexual harassment, job survival skills, mentoring, team building and relationships

Contact information:


4McKinnon Body Therapy Center

McKinnon Body Therapy Center has over 40 years of experience in educating bodyworkers in the Bay Area.

Students learn from skilled instructors through real-world experiences.

In California, 500 hours of education from an approved school and a passing score on MBLEx are required for the Certified Massage Therapist status.

The school also offers weekly practice sessions with McKinnon instructors.

Hands-on practice sessions are held every Sunday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. and give existing students and alumni the opportunity to hone their skills and get some valuable, out-of-class practice time.

Practice Sessions are free for current students and $10 an evening for former students.

McKinnon BTC is approved to operate by the Bureau for Private Post-Secondary Education (BPPE) in California.

The school is also approved by the California Massage Therapy Council.

Fees. The 500-hour Massage Therapy Program costs $8,105.

The 658-hour program costs $11,185 (including books).

The school offers flexible in-house, interest-free payment plans.

Courses offered:

  • 500-hour Massage Therapy Program
  • 658-hour Massage Therapy Program
  • Continuing Education

Contact information:


5Quest Nursing Education Center

Quest Nursing Education Center, a nursing school based in Oakland CA, has been offering health care training since 2008.

The Center is approved to operate by the Bureau of Private Postsecondary Education.

The school is also approved by the Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technician (BVNPT) to offer the LVN program.

Enrollment. Application requirements vary by program.

Applicants must be at least 18 years of age for the Medical Assisting program and over 17 for the LVN program.

They need a high school diploma, GED or equivalent and must have a valid Social Security Number.

MMR Vaccination (Measles Mumps Rubella) is required.

A TB Test- (Tuberculosis) within the past 6 months before the class start date is also required.

Fees. Total fees sum up to $15,600 for the Medical Assisting program.

Tuition for the LVN program is $27,500.

Courses offered:

  • Medical Assistant Program
  • Vocational Nursing Program
  • Nursing Assistant Course
  • Home Health Aide – HHA
  • IV Therapy and Blood Withdrawal
  • Emergency Medical Technician

Contact information:


6Hackbright Academy

Hackbright Academy offers software training education.

The school teaches full-stack, which means front-end, back-end, and database programming.

Hackbright grads are prepared to enter the tech industry as software engineers.

The core language in the curriculum is Python, one of the most in-demand languages.

The Software Engineer program covers core programming, data structures, and APIs, Web Technologies, Databases and Javascript, Data Modeling & Machine Learning, Projects & Project Technologies, Projects & Comp Sci / Data Structures.

The last four modules focus on Demo Week & Interview Prep and teaching students how to launch their career.

The school is teaching the newest technology while helping students develop a mindset that will help them succeed as software engineers.

Hackbright Academy also offers mentorship through industry partners, alumnae, and staff.

Enrollment. Prospective students can apply through the school’s website, where they can also schedule an admissions interview.

Fees. The full-time Software Engineer program costs $16,895.

The Prep Course costs $1,500.

Courses offered:

  • Software Engineering Prep Course
  • Software Engineering Program
  • Explore Python
  • Online Python 101

Contact information:


7Laney College

Laney College is offering degree and certificate programs.

The College provides a wide range of classes – online, daytime, evening, and weekend.

Enrollment. Students 18 years of age or older are eligible to apply.

Students under 18 may also enroll if they are high school graduates or have earned a GED or equivalent.

Course duration varies by program.

The Undergraduate Certificate in Baking and Pastry can be completed in 51 weeks, while the Cosmetology program is 68-week long.

Fees. Tuition fees vary by program.

For example, tuition and fees for the Cosmetology program sum up to around $2,500 for in-state students and to about $13,600 for out-of-state students.

Financial aid, loans, grants, and scholarships are available to qualifying students.

Courses offered:

Laney College is offering a variety of certificate programs, including:

  • Carpentry
  • Cosmetology
  • Baking & Pastry
  • Electrical Technology
  • Commercial HVAC Systems
  • Welding Technology
  • and more

Contact information:

  • Laney College: 900 Fallon St, Oakland, CA 94607
  • Phone: (510) 834-5740
  • Website: https://laney.edu

8National Cosmetology Beauty School

National Cosmetology Beauty School offers educational programs for beauty professionals.

The school also offers refresher training, tutoring and brush up training to get students prepared for the State Board Exams.

School staff works closely with students to assess their strengths and weaknesses and design a custom plan using a combination of intensive practical exercises, computer-based training, organizational skills and the best kits available.

The school offers full time, part-time and custom schedules for all classes.

All programs offered are approved by the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education as well as the California Board of Barbering and Cosmetology.

Enrollment. The National Cosmetology Beauty School requires a high school diploma or official high school transcripts, G.E.D., or equivalent for admission.

Fees. Total tuition costs vary between $700-$4,500, depending on the program.

Courses offered:

  • Cosmetology – 1,600 hours
  • Barbering – 1,500 hours
  • Esthetician – 600 hours
  • Manicure – 400 hours
  • Massage Therapist – 500 hours
  • Permanent Makeup
  • Barber Crossover
  • Cosmetology Crossover

Contact information:


9Future Light Digital

Future Light Digital offers training programs for photographers at all levels.

The Lightroom Workshops cover every aspect of mastering Adobe Lightroom, from importing and organizing, to editing and sharing your images.

Photoshop Workshops tackle concepts such as retouching, multi-image composites, and working with layers and filters.

Photography Workshops teach students how to master their camera in a supportive hands-on environment.

Classes combine both technical review, and exploration of the creative aspects of the camera system, regardless of whether you’re using a smartphone or the most advanced digital SLR.

Class sizes are strictly limited so that students have time to work one on one with the instructor.

Fees. The fee for the hands-on Digital Photography Workshop is $95.

The two-day Adobe Lightroom Workshop is $245.

Adobe Photoshop classes cost $95.

Courses offered:

  • Lightroom Workshops
  • Photoshop Workshops
  • Photography Workshops

Contact information:


10Bay Area Medical Academy

Bay Area Medical Academy (BAMA) provides healthcare career training programs created in partnership with employers.

The Academy maintains a student-centered philosophy and uses both traditional and innovative means to train students.

Courses are taught by a knowledgeable staff of registered nurses, clinical laboratory technicians and other healthcare professionals, each with more than twenty years of experience in the field.

Bay Area Medical Academy is accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools.

The Academy is a private institution approved to operate by the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE).

Enrollment. To qualify for admission in most programs, students must be at least 18 years of age.

They must have graduated from high school or possess a GED.

Other requirements may apply, depending on the program.

Fees. Tuition fees vary by program.

The Pharmacy Technician program costs $10,325, while the Medical Assisting program costs $14,758.

Tuition for the Phlebotomy Technician course costs $3,000.

Courses offered:

  • Medical Assistant with Phlebotomy
  • Pharmacy Technician
  • Phlebotomy Technician
  • CPR

Contact information:

  • Bay Area Medical Academy: 530 Bush St., Suite 201, San Francisco, CA 94108
  • Phone: 415-217-0077
  • Website: https://www.bamasf.com

Final Thoughts

Through small class sizes and hands-on training, the right trade school can get you ready for employment right after graduation.

From medical assisting to cosmetology and construction, Oakland trade schools offer many vocational paths.

You have to choose the program that best fits your skills and interests.

When deciding on a trade school, don’t forget to take into account important factors, such as accreditation, completion rate, placement rate, and student reviews.


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