10 Best Trade Schools inSan Jose, CA

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This page compiles information about the best trade schools in San Jose.

Trade schools, also called vocational schools or career centers, are a great alternative for those who want to build a fulfilling and rewarding career but can’t afford a four-year college.

San Jose, the third-most populous city in California, is offering a wide variety of vocational programs, designed to prepare students for rewarding and exciting careers in high-demand industries, such as technology, beauty industry, allied health and more.

We invite you to read our list to find out more about some of the best trade schools in the region.

1Contractors State License School

Contractors State License School offers classes designed to help students pass the California Contractors License Exam.

For over 25 years CSLS has helped more than 120,000 students prepare and pass the Contractors License Exam.

The founder and CEO of Contractors State license Service, David Mizener, holds both a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Science degrees in Education and has 40 years of experience in teaching students.

Contractors State License Services (CSLS) is the largest school in California devoted to the Construction professional.

Fees. Training costs vary by program.

The school also offers the John Baker Contractor Scholarship every month which gives students one free program.

Courses offered:

Licensing programs:

  • ISLT – In-School Law and Trade
  • Law & Business Online
  • HSLT – Home Study Law and Trade
  • Crash Course
  • Test Taking Skills
  • Construction Math Review

Other programs:

  • Home Inspection Courses
  • Estimating for Construction
  • Blueprint Reading
  • ICC Certification
  • EPA – RRP Certification

Contact information:

2The Salon Professional Academy

The Salon Professional Academy offers beauty education programs designed to train students to pass the state board exams and to develop technical ability, business & marketing and guest handling skills.

The Academy offers a Cosmetology program, designed to be completed in 48 weeks and an Esthetics program, which can be completed in 18 weeks.

Licensing requirements for cosmetology in California include students completing 1600 hours of approved training, graduating from a state-approved school and passing the state board licensing exams.

Those who want to become licensed Estheticians in the state of California must complete 600 hours of approved training, graduate from a state-approved school and pass the state board licensing exams.

The Salon Professional Academy is accredited by the National Accrediting Commission of Career Arts and Sciences.

Enrollment. Applicants need a copy of the high school diploma, GED or equivalent along with a copy of an ID.

Fees. The cosmetology program costs $21,268, if completed within normal time.

The Esthetics program costs $12,134, assuming the normal time of completion.

The Academy is approved by the Department of Education to offer financial aid to those who qualify.

Courses offered:

  • Cosmetology
  • Esthetics

Advanced Training

  • Make-up Designory Course

Contact information:

3Cosmotek College

Cosmotek College is offering training classes that prepare students for a variety of careers.

School programs can be completed in less than a year.

The College offers flexible schedules.

Cosmotek College is approved by the California Bureau of Private Postsecondary Vocational Education and is licensed by the California Board of Barbering and Cosmetology.

Enrollment. Applicants must be at least 17 years of age and provide a copy of his/her high school diploma, GED or school transcripts.

Students who don’t have a High School Diploma or its equivalent must have completed the 10th grade level of education or its equivalent as required by the Board of Barbering and Cosmetology and pass an Ability to Benefit exam.

Fees. The total costs vary between $300 – $16,200, depending on the program.

The school promotes scholarships and grants for qualifying students.

Courses offered:

  • Barbering
  • Beauty Educator Training
  • Cosmetology
  • Esthetics/Skin Care
  • Massage Therapy
  • Real Estate
  • Permanent Makeup
  • Manicuring
  • Microblading & Shading Workshop
  • Microblading, Browns & Lips Permanent Makeup
  • Computer Network Administrator

Contact information:

4Tony & Guy Hairdressing Academy

Located inside San Jose’s Eastridge Center, Tony & Guy’s 8,400 square-foot cosmetology school offers educational programs for those who want to build a career in the beauty industry.

The Cosmetology course covers a variety of topics, such as cutting and coloring techniques, State Board Prep, building client relationships, resume workshops, photoshoots and much more.

The training program ends with a flex week when students have the opportunity to participate in advanced techniques, TIGI product knowledge, creative projects, field trips, and photoshoots.

TIGI Creative School is a private institution, that it is approved to operate by the California Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education.

TIGI Creative School is a candidate school with the National Accrediting Commission of Career Arts & Science.

Enrollment. Applicants must be high school graduates or holders of high school graduation equivalency certificates.

Prospective students must complete a personal interview with the admission’s team prior to registration.

Fees. The total cost for the Cosmetology program is around $18,000.

This includes tuition, application fee, kit & equipment costs, ebooks and supplies.

Contact information:

  • Tony & Guy San Jose campus: 2200 Eastridge Loop, Unit #1004
    San Jose, CA 95122
  • Phone: (408) 531-9036
  • Website: https://sanjose.toniguy.edu

5Unitek College

Unitek College is an accredited, private institution that provides education in the areas of healthcare and nursing.

Along with healthcare training, the College also offers professional development, clinical placement, and employment assistance to its graduates.

Unitek College’s campuses in Fremont, Hayward, San Jose, Sacramento, Concord, South San Francisco, and Bakersfield are accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).

Unitek College is approved to operate by the California Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education.

Enrollment. All admitted students must be able to read, write and understand English and be able to meet the physical demands of their chosen educational program.

Applicants must be at least 17 years of age and provide proof of high school completion.

All applicants must complete a personal interview with an Admissions Representative.

Fees. Total program costs vary between $12,225-$36,294, depending on the program.

Financial aid is available to qualifying students.

Courses offered:

  • Vocational Nursing Program
  • Medical Assisting
  • Medical Office Administration
  • Dental Assisting

Contact information:

6The Barbering Academy of San Jose

The Barbering Academy of San Jose is offering educational programs for future barbers.

Students learn from a team of experts with more than 30 years of combined experience in the field.

The school offers a Barber 1A program for those who have little or no experience in cutting hair and a Barber Crossover 2A for licensed cosmetologists who want to become barbers.

The Barbering Academy also offers one-on-one classes for licensed barbers and cosmetologists who want to learn new techniques.

The Barbering Academy of San Jose is licensed by the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE).

Enrollment. Students must have graduated from high school or possess a GED equivalent.

Fees. Tuition is $8,200 for the Barber 1A program and $2,000 for the Barber Crossover 2 A program.

Courses offered:

  • Barber 1A
  • Barber Crossover 2A
  • One-on-one

Contact information:

7Silicon Valley Surgi-Tech Institute

Silicon Valley Surgi-Tech Institute is offering educational programs in Sterile Processing and Surgical Technology in San Jose.

The school offers hands-on teaching experience that prepares students for the CBSPD certification test.

SVSTI offers blended programs that combine hands-on on-campus learning for core competencies in combination with an online course platform.

A sterile processing technician is someone who cleans and sterilizes used surgical instruments and other medical supplies.

A surgical technologist is an allied health professional who helps prepare the operating room and assists in operations, under the supervision of surgeons, registered nurses, or other surgical personnel.

Enrollment. Applicants for Surgical Technology Program need two reference letters, an interview with the program director, Certified SPT, and a high school diploma or equivalent.

Students may be required to have a background check and/or a drug test before placement.

Fees. The Sterile Processing program costs $2,500.

The Surgical Technologists program costs $18,000.

Courses offered:

  • Sterile Processing/Central Service
  • Surgical Technology

Contact information:

  • Silicon Valley Surgi-Tech Institute: 1040 Park Ave. #C San Jose, CA 95126
  • Phone: (408) 883-9171
  • Website: https://svsti.com

8Silicon Drafting Institute

Silicon Drafting Institute provides practical, instructor-led Integrated Circuit layout training.

The program can be completed in 32 weeks; it includes 256 hours of lectures and 512 lab hours.

Students learn through a combination of technical lectures, demonstrations, and hands-on projects based on a sub-micron, multi-layer metal BiCMOS technology.

The curriculum is designed to meet the most competitive needs in the semiconductor industry.

The program covers topics such as CMOS/BiCMOS Circuit Theories, Layout Techniques, Cadence Opus Software Training and Linux Training.

The school’s program is approved by the Bureau for Private
Postsecondary Education (BPPE).

After completing the course, students will receive a Certificate.

Enrollment. Applicants need to have graduated from high
school, and be able to speak, read and write simple English.

Ability-To-Benefit students have to take an independently administered examination.

Fees. The total cost of tuition is $8,050.

Contact information:

  • Silicon Drafting Institute: 1879 Lundy Avenue, Suite 189, San Jose, CA 95131
  • Phone: +1 (408) 828-2323
  • Website: http://silicondrafting.com

9AeroDynamic Aviation

AeroDynamic Aviation is offering flight training in San Jose since 1960.

The flight school offers training to all levels of pilots, from beginners to advanced.

The school’s facilities are located at Reid Hillview airport in San Jose, Salinas Municipal Airport in Salinas, and at Monterey Regional Airport in Monterey.

Most aspiring pilots start with their Private Pilot license, which allows you to fly small aircraft with friends or family.

The next step is the instrument rating.

After acquiring at least 250 hours of flight time, a Commercial Pilot’s license is the next step.

If you want to begin teaching, you can then take your Flight Instructor exam.

In order to get your Multi-engine Airline Transport License, which allows you to fly for airlines, corporate or other large-aircraft operators, you will first need to acquire 1500 hours of flight time.

Fees. Aircraft rental fees vary between $104/hr-$259/hr.

The Simulator hourly fees are $40-$45.

Instructor hourly fees vary between $50-$75.

Courses offered:

  • Ground School
  • Sport Pilot
  • Private Pilot- Cessna
  • Private Pilot- Tailwheel
  • Instrument Rating
  • Commercial Pilot
  • Multi-engine Rating
  • Tailwheel Endorsement
  • Aerobatics, spins, and upset recovery
  • Flight Instructor
  • Airline Transport Pilot
  • Mountain Flying

Contact information:

10National Holistic Institute

National Holistic Institute helps students get the skills they need to become professional massage therapists.

The Insitute has 10 campuses in California and offers some of the most comprehensive massage therapy programs.

The school offers an 800-hours Massage Therapy Program and a 450-hour Advanced Neuromuscular Therapy Program.

Students can choose between flexible school schedules.

National Holistic Institute is a private institution approved to operate by the California Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE).

The Institute is accredited by the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training.

Enrollment. The first step is to call or fill out a form on the school’s website and schedule a personal interview with an Admissions Representative.

Fees. Tuition is $7,794 for the Advanced Neuromuscular Therapy Program and $15,588 for the Massage Therapy Program.

Financial aid is available to those who qualify.

Courses offered:

  • Core Massage Therapy Program
  • Advanced Neuromuscular Therapy Program

Contact information:

  • San Jose Massage Therapy School: 3031 Tisch Way, Suite 1 Plaza South
    San Jose, CA 95128
  • Phone: 408.423.8004
  • Website: https://nhi.edu

Salary Information for Popular Trade Careers

CareerEmployedAvg. Annual SalaryAvg. Hourly PayTop 10% Annual SalaryBottom 10% Annual Salary
Paralegals and Legal Assistants1,770$96,460$46.37$140,520$62,600
Medical Records Specialists1,070$71,090$34.18$105,370$44,500
Nursing Assistants5,230$51,600$24.81$70,700$40,380
Dental Assistants3,700$61,130$29.39$76,840$46,020
Medical Assistants6,420$55,980$26.91$73,630$38,890
Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters2,330$96,870$46.57$167,310$50,940
Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics2,600$77,830$37.42$127,740$42,710
Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers2,310$88,990$42.79$148,370$48,830
* Salary information based on the May 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA metropolitan statistical area, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Final Thoughts

San Jose trade schools prepare students for some of the most in-demand jobs.

All you have to do is decide what path you want to follow and start searching for the institution that best meets your educational needs and professional aspirations.

Review all your options before deciding on a trade school.

Make sure the institution you choose is trustworthy and accredited by government institutes.

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