10 Best Trade Schools inSarasota, FL

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Sarasota trade schools can get you ready for employment in industrial trades, healthcare, hospitality, and many other in-demand fields.

Vocational programs focus on teaching only the skills that are directly relevant to the student’s future profession.

This allows students to graduate in less than two years.

If you live in the region, we invite you to read our list of top trade schools in Sarasota and find out more about the educational alternatives available.

1Suncoast Technical College

Suncoast Technical College offers over 40 technical programs that prepare students for careers in business & IT, criminal justice, health & public services, industrial technologies, and many other in-demand industries.

Courses Offered

The College offers adult technical education programs that prepare students for employment in the following fields:

  • Business & IT- Digital Design, Accounting Operations, Digital Video Technology, Medical Administrative Specialist, and more
  • Criminal Justice- programs are available for Correctional Officers, Florida Law Enforcement Academy, Crossover from Correctional Officer to Law Enforcement, as well as advanced training
  • Health & Public Services- students can prepare for careers as Emergency Medical Technician, Paramedics, Firefighters, Practical Nurses, Nursing Assistants, and Surgical Technologists
  • Hospitality Services- training programs in Cosmetology, Facial Specialty, and Professional Culinary Arts & Hospitality
  • Industrial Technologies- programs are available in the field of Automotive Service Technology, Heating, Ventilation, AC/Refrigeration, Carpentry, Plumbing, and many other in-demand fields

Apprenticeships are available in the following sectors:

  • Culinary- ACF Sarasota Bay Area Chef’s Association
  • Electrician- The Technical Education Council
  • Fire Science
  • Plumbing- Manasota Plumbing Apprenticeship Program, Inc.
  • HVAC- Manasota Air Conditioning Contractors Association

The following fast-track programs that take only four months to complete are also available:

  • HVAC Installation & Maintenance- a tuition-free program
  • Auto Electrical
  • Auto Lube Technician
  • Manufacturing
  • Marine Service

Contact Information

2Meridian College

About the School

Meridian College offers a variety of vocational programs at its Sarasota campus.

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

Courses Offered

The following programs are available at the school:

  • Cosmetology Program- a diploma program that teaches students haircutting, styling, perming, coloring, and bleaching, as well as facials, chemical waving, scalp treatments, manicures, and pedicure
  • Dental Assisting Program- a diploma program that prepares students with useful skills such as preparing patients for treatments, assisting dentists during procedures, preparing tray setups, sterilizing and disinfecting instruments, taking x-rays, and obtaining dental records
  • Diagnostic Medical Ultrasound Program- a program that leads to an Associate of Science Degree and prepares students for careers as Sonographers in a variety of settings
  • Medical Administration Program- an Associate Degree program
  • Medical Assistant Program- a program that can lead to a Diploma or Associate Degree, depending on the path chosen
  • Medical Insurance Billing & Coding Program- a Diploma program that covers Billing Basics, ICD-10 coding, Advanced clinical coding, inpatient coding, coding from operative reports, health information technology, and more.

Contact Information

3Building Trades Education Services

About the School

With over 40 years of experience in the field, Building Trades Education Services offers classes that help students prepare for the state and county exams for HVAC technicians, contractors, and many other professions that require a license.

Live classes, workbooks, and home study guides are also available.

Home preparation guides are written clearly and designed to help students pass the Florida state or county examination.

Live classes follow a curriculum created by teachers who work directly with students.

Virtual classes allow students to prepare for licensure exams from the comfort of their homes.

According to the BTES website, its students have a pass rate higher than 95 percent.

Courses Offered

  • State exam prep in the following fields: Air Conditioning & Mechanical, Electrical & Alarm, General Contractor, Glass & Glazing, Gypsum Drywall, Marine Contractors, Plumbing, Pool Residential & Commercial, Pool & Spa Service, Roofing, Solar, Specialty Structure, and Underground Utilities
  • The following courses are also available to prepare students for County exams: Air Conditioning A/B or Mechanical, Business & Law, Electrical- Low Voltage, General Contractor, Irrigation Sprinkler, Plumbing & Underground Utilities, Roofing, Swimming Pool Builder & Maintenance

Contact Information

4Fashion Focus Academy

About the School

Fashion Focus Academy offers beauty training programs.

Tuition costs vary depending on the program.

The 1,500-hour Cosmetology program costs $9,900 while the 260-hour facial skincare program costs $6,100.

The 240-hour Nail Technician program costs $4,150.

To qualify for admission, applicants must be at least 16 years of age and have a high school diploma, or GED.

Attending an interview with an Admissions Representative is also required.

Courses Offered

The following programs are available:

  • Cosmetology- a program that can be completed in 64 weeks by full-time students and in 112 weeks by part-time students
  • Facial Specialist- a program designed to be completed in 11 weeks by students who attend 35 weeks per week and in 20 weeks by those who attend 20 hours per week
  • Nail Specialist- a 10-week program if students attend 35 hours per week
  • Refresher Classes- classes are available in Hair Cutting, Coloring, Styling, Facials, Microdermabrasion, Facial Sculpting, Manicuring, Pedicuring, and more.
  • Pivot Point Lab- a lab that combines best-in-class educational content, creativity, and a collaborative environment.

Contact Information

5Sarasota School of Massage Therapy

About the School

Sarasota School of Massage Therapy prepares students for rewarding careers in massage therapy.

The program can be completed in eight months by students who attend five afternoons per week.

Students who attend the program three nights per week graduate in 12 months.

Those who attend five mornings per week can graduate in seven months.

Tuition is $13,500.

Applicants also pay a $25 fee.

To qualify for admission, applicants must:

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Have a high school diploma, GED, or college credit
  • Have received at least one professional massage by a licensed massage therapist or in the Sarasota School of Massage Therapy student clinic.

Sarasota School of Massage Therapy is nationally accredited and approved by the US Department of Education to administer student federal aid.

Courses Offered

The three-trimester program offered by Sarasota School of Massage Therapy covers topics on:

  • Swedish Massage Therapy
  • Swedish Massage Practicum
  • Swedish Massage Clinic
  • Swedish Massage Refinement
  • Neuromuscular Therapy
  • Advanced Student Clinic
  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Ethics
  • Florida Massage Law
  • And more

Contact Information

6Manatee Technical College

About the School

Manatee Technical College offers 50 career programs that help students start a new career in less than 12 months.

Some programs are available in both day and evening schedules.

Most programs are held on campus, but there are also classes, such as Medical Assisting, Pharmacy Technician, Practical Nursing, and Applied Cybersecurity are also available in a hybrid format.

Manatee Technical College is accredited by the Commission on Occupational Education.

Financial Aid is available for students who qualify.

Program length varies depending on the curriculum.

For example, the 1,500-hour Electrician program can be completed in 12 months, while the Digital Video Technology program lasts seven months.

Some programs are also available in part-time schedules.

The Massage Therapy program, which includes 750 hours of training, can be completed in 10 months part-time.

Courses Offered

The following programs are included in the College’s catalog:

  • Medical Coder/Biller
  • Medical Assisting
  • Automotive Collision Technology Technician
  • Marine Service Technology
  • Advanced Manufacturing and Production Technology
  • Electrician
  • Welding Technology
  • Professional Culinary Arts & Hospitality
  • Dental Assisting Technology and Management
  • Massage Therapy
  • Cosmetology
  • And many more

Contact Information

7Universal Flight Training

About the School

Universal Flight Training offers training programs that prepare students for careers as pilots.

Courses Offered

The following programs are available:

Flight Training- for the following Certificates and Ratings:

  • Sports Pilot
  • Private Pilot
  • Instrument Rating
  • Commercial Pilot
  • Multi-engine Rating
  • Certified Flight Instructor
  • Airline Transport Pilot
  • Cast Testing

Ground School:

  • Private pilot ground school classes take place in cycle rotation Monday from 5-7 p.m. and cost $250.
  • Instrument ground school takes place on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and costs $300.
  • CFI Academy- a four-week course with classes that take place Monday-Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and cost $5,200.
  • CFII Academy- a two-week course with classes taking place from Monday to Saturday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.- this course costs $3,999.

Aircraft rental is also available with rates varying depending on the type of aircraft.

A 2012 Cessna Scycatcher costs $135 per hour with an additional $60 per hour for instruction

A 2000 Cessna Skyhawk 172s costs $169 per hour with an additional $60 for the instructor.

Contact Information

8Suncoast Polytechnical High

About the School

Suncoast Polytechnical High gives its students the opportunity of participating in specialized career-oriented programs starting in the freshman year.

The high school limits the total enrollment for students grades 9-12 to 600.

SPHS offers acceleration for career technical education students beginning in the 9th grade.

The high school has two signature programs: Animation/Gaming/Simulation and Engineering/Robotics.

Students can choose between 44 different pathways.

Courses Offered

The following career paths are available:

  • Animation, Game Arts & Simulation- a program designed to prepare students for careers in visual arts or computer game or film development.
  • E-commerce (Business Technology)- a pathway that focuses on topics related to management, human resources, legal administration, bookkeeping, and more.
  • Future Educators- a program that covers current, historical, philosophical, and social perspectives regarding education
  • Practical Nursing- students enrolled in this program learn how to care for patients in hospitals, physician’s offices, health care agencies, and other similar settings
  • Emergency Medical Services and Fire/EMT- students enrolled in this program gain experience through patient simulators, local emergency rooms, and fire department rescue units
  • Engineering and Robotics- a program that covers content related to mechanical, electrical, civil, and environmental engineering

Contact Information

9Now College of Florida

About the School

Now College of Florida offers degree and certificate programs in a variety of fields.

The programs are tailored to each student’s academic interests, learning style, and career aspirations.

The student-to-faculty ratio is 7:1

New College of Florida is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award baccalaureate and master’s degrees.

Courses Offered

The following certificate programs are available at Now College of Florida:

Certificates in Business and Finance

  • Bloomberg Market Concepts- a self-paced e-learning course that provides an introduction to financial markets- this takes approximately eight hours to complete and leads to a Certificate of Completion
  • Chartered Financial Analyst- New College has an official affiliation with the Chartered Financial Analyst Institute, which gives students the opportunity of taking the CFA certification exam

Certificates in Technology

  • Geographic Information Systems- a program that teaches students how to collect and analyze geolocated data, explore datasets and maps, and more
  • Innovative Digital Media- students who achieve this certificate can produce media, videos, code, podcasts, art, software, sound installations, interactive platforms, and public events.

Contact Information

  • Address: 5800 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota, FL 34243
  • Phone: (941) 487-5000
  • Website: https://www.ncf.edu

10Magnolia School of Real Estate

About the School

Magnolia School of Real Estate offers training programs for students who want to start a career in real estate.

The school offers courses specially designed to help students meet the state licensure requirements while helping develop the skills that will make them succeed in their future careers.

Their 63-hour pre-licensing course is updated annually, so it stays current and relevant.

The online course includes images, charts, and examples to help students understand complex concepts.

Quizzes are available at the end of each unit so students can prepare for the exam and reinforce key concepts.

Courses Offered

The following programs are available online:

  • 64-hour Sales Associate Pre-License Course
  • 72-hour Broker Course
  • Post License & Continuing Education

The school also offers a 63-Hour Sales Associate Pre-License Course.

The Pre-License classroom course costs $449 and can be completed in seven days.

The online Florida Real Estate Principles, Practices & Law v45 costs $209.

A Post-Licensing Education for Florida Real Estate Sales Associates program is also available and costs $189.

The course is designed to help students prepare for the Florida state licensing exam.

Contact Information

Salary Information for Popular Trade Careers

CareerEmployedAvg. Annual SalaryAvg. Hourly PayTop 10% Annual SalaryBottom 10% Annual Salary
Paralegals and Legal Assistants760$52,630$25.3$73,290$35,560
Medical Records Specialists590$47,770$22.97$77,860$32,200
Nursing Assistants3,450$33,310$16.01$40,030$27,420
Dental Assistants930$43,770$21.04$50,720$36,050
Medical Assistants2,250$39,970$19.22$47,220$33,450
Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters1,420$48,770$23.45$61,810$32,970
Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics2,070$48,110$23.13$74,060$29,700
Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers1,640$48,410$23.28$62,890$34,720
* Salary information based on the May 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, FL metropolitan statistical area, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Final Thoughts

Now that you have read our list of top 10 trade schools in the Sarasota region, we invite you to continue the research and decide where to enroll.

This is an important step so take your time and gather information about all the facts that are relevant to you.

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