Best Trade Schools inIllinois

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Trade schools are an amazing, underrated option for individuals who want to obtain new skills, but can’t afford to spend four years on their education.

Vocational education is a post-secondary education that teaches specific sets of skills in many competitive industries.

Another great benefit of choosing this form of schooling is the fact that it’s much cheaper compared to traditional universities.

Our list will provide you with the best trade schools in Illinois that can be a stepping stone in your journey towards a prosperous career.


1HVAC Technical Institute

HVAC Technical Institute is the most popular and sought-after HVAC school in the surrounding area.

They are focused on preparing students for real-world work and teaching them all relevant practical skills.

A great thing about this school is the fact that their class sizes are limited to 20 students.

That’s highly beneficial for receiving personalized advice since not all students learn at the same pace.

Classrooms with a smaller number of students have proven to be more effective than larger groups.

Their programs have been accredited and approved by IBHE, COE (Council of Education), HVAC Excellence, and NCCER.

According to students, HTI’s staff is very kind and understanding.

They have also been in the industry for years now, allowing them to offer unique insight and provide valuable lessons to students.

Enrollment: There aren’t any special requirements. Everyone’s welcome to apply. In case you don’t have a high school diploma or GED, you will have to take the admission test and pass with a score of at least 70%.

Fees: All tuitions include a non-refundable application fee, books, supplies, and a tool kit. The tuition fees go as follows:

  • HVAC/R – $16,000
  • LCR – $4,800
  • Electrical – $12,500

The school offers the following courses:

  • HVAC/R
  • Electrical
  • LCR – Light Commercial Refrigeration
  • HVAC

Contact information:

  • HVAC Technical Institute
  • Address: 4532 S Kolin Ave, (2nd Floor) Chicago, IL 60632
  • Phone: 773-927-9562
  • Website: https://www.hvac-tech.com/

2Illinois Plumbing Consultants

Illinois Plumbing Consultants is another great school for anyone who’d like to master plumbing.

What sets them apart are their educators.

They take pride in having the best professionals in the field of plumbing.

IPC is a school that believes that good education is the key to having a successful career, so they hire only the best to teach.

Their courses are very thorough, they focus on practical knowledge, and they really do prepare their students for future business endeavors.

The classes consist of 40 students maximum, so everyone will have a chance to get personalized advice.

Former students praise this school for offering a well-rounded program and the ability to get a license.

A career in plumbing can be very lucrative, as there are fewer and fewer young professionals out there.

Make sure not to miss out on this opportunity.

Enrollment: There aren’t any special requirements. Everyone’s welcome to apply.

Fees: The tuition fee is $1,300. Students will also have to buy the Illinois Plumbing Code that costs $40

The school offers the following courses:

  • IPC Plumbing Course

Contact information:


3Illinois Dental Careers

Illinois Dental Careers offers modern programs suitable for anyone and everyone.

Even though dentistry may seem like a complicated field of expertise, their qualified staff makes it very accessible and comprehensible.

They use state-of-the-art equipment and offer actual dental office experience.

The prices are very affordable, and attendance is flexible, making it perfect for everyone who has to balance work and school.

IDC also offers online classes with access to all learning materials.

Enrollment: All applicants must be at least 18 years old to apply for their courses.

Fees: Tuition fee for the orthodontic course is $1,785, while the dental assisting course costs $3,400. The fees include all printed learning material, training material, dental supplies, and a certificate.

The school offers the following courses:

  • Orthodontic Assisting Program – the course includes both theoretical and clinical components, covering advanced dental and oral anatomy and physiology, basic to advanced orthodontic chairside assisting orthodontic materials and supplies, instruments and procedures, appliances, Invisalign, radiology, and impressions.
  • Dental Assisting Program – the course covers dental and oral anatomy and physiology, chairside assisting, radiology, impressions and digital intraoral scans, instrument identification, restorative materials and procedures, lab materials, and techniques. The program also includes coronal polishing, pit and fissure sealants placement, infection control, sterilization, and assisting in dental specialties.

Contact information:


4Symbol Training Institute

Symbol Training Institute specializes in teaching students how to operate CNC machines.

It’s the most popular CNC training institute in Chicago with stellar reviews and an abundance of satisfied students.

The Division of Private Business and Vocational Schools of the Illinois Board of Higher Education has approved their program.

It’s also nationally accredited by NCA CASI, as well as by the National Institute of Metalworking Skills.

STI offers a wide variety of courses, and their staff has been in the industry for over 40 years.

Enrollment: Applicants should have a high school diploma or equivalent. They should also have basic knowledge of mathematics, mechanical drafting, industrial education, machine shop, and computers.

Fees: Tuition fees vary from $2,950 to $9,250, depending on the course.

The school offers the following courses:

  • Programming Setup and Operation (CNC 203)
  • Advanced Programming (CNC 204)
  • Technology with Lab (CNC 303)
  • Technology with Lab (CNC 304)
  • Quality Control for Manufacturing (QC 101)
  • Technology with Quality Control Manufacturing (CNC 205)
  • Precision Machine Technology (MFG 501)
  • Applied Quality Control for Manufacturing Program (QC 302)
  • Advanced Quality Control Inspection for Manufacturing (QC 201)

Contact information:

  • Symbol Training Institute
  • Location 1: 8151 N. Ridgeway Ave, Skokie, IL 60076
  • Location 2: 1413 Jeffrey Dr, Addison, IL 60101
  • Phone: 847-673-6500
  • Website: https://www.symboltraining.edu/

5Chicago Film School – Film Connection

Chicago Film School is one of the most modern schools in the area.

They have the best equipment which is used in many renowned film studios.

Students will have an opportunity to learn the tricks of the trade in an actual production studio.

That gives them a chance to really get a feel for their future jobs.

CFS offers a mentor styled education plan, making it more personal and hands-on.

Probably the best thing about this school is the fact that, once you graduate, you aren’t left fending for yourself.

They have a Stay Connected Program which helps students find employment upon the completion of their studies.

This option is available for a full year upon completion. Many of their stellar apprentices also get hired by their mentors.

Enrollment: There aren’t any special requirements.

Fees: The tuition fee for Film Production and Editing is $13,040, while the Cinematography course costs $12,750. They also offer different financing plans worth looking into.

The school offers the following courses:

  • Film Production and Editing
  • Cinematography

Contact information:

  • Chicago Film School-Film Connection
  • Location 1: 155 North Wacker Drive-4250, Chicago, IL 60606
  • Location 2: 233 South Wacker Drive 84th Floor, Chicago, IL, 60606
  • Phone: 312-878-4470
  • Website: https://www.filmconnection.com/

6Dental Assistant Academy Of Chicago

Dental Assistant Academy Chicago offers amazing courses in the field of dental assisting.

Although they aren’t accredited by the US Department of Education, the courses have been approved by the Division of Private Business and Vocational Schools of the Illinois Board of Higher Education.

Their staff consists of highly-experienced individuals eager to share their knowledge and educate a new generation of dental assistants.

The course lasts for eleven weeks.

Students will get a chance to hear interesting lectures and get hands-on practice in an actual dental office.

Dental Assistant Academy Chicago also offers beneficial job placement assistance.

They will help all their graduates in finding a suitable job upon graduation.

Overall, it’s a carefully thought-out course plan that will effectively teach all students how to be a proper dental assistant.

Enrollment: All students must have a high school diploma. Applicants will also have to pass a basic entrance exam that includes a manual dexterity test along with a written test.

Fees: Tuition fee is $5,700 and includes a non-refundable $200 registration fee.

The school offers the following courses:

  • Chairside Dental Assisting

Contact information:


7Midwest Technical Institute

Midwest Technical Institute is an educational facility that offers a wide variety of programs in the field of mechanical trades and health career.

All the courses are very prospective, with a high probability of being lucrative in the future.

Originally founded in 1995, this school created profuse amounts of field and industry experts.

They offer multiple schedule options because they want to be flexible and accessible for students from all backgrounds.

Midwest Technical Institute is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools & Colleges.

It’s also a participant in the US Department of Education’s Federal Financing Aid Program.

Their Medical Assisting Programs are also accredited by CAAHEP, while the HVAC/R program holds the HVAC excellence accreditation.

Enrollment: There aren’t any special requirement. Virtually all applicants are accepted.

Fees: Tuition fees for each course go as follows:

  • Basic Nursing Assistant (7 weeks) – $1,250
  • Dental Assisting Program (35 weeks) – $15,200
  • HVAC/R-MAR Program (35 weeks) – $15,200
  • Journeyman Welder Program (30 weeks) – $15,200
  • Journeyman Welder II Program (40 weeks) – $18,400
  • Massage Therapy (36 weeks) – $12,500
  • Medical Assisting Program (35 weeks) – $15,200
  • Medical Coding Specialist Program (35 weeks) – $15,200
  • Pharmacy Technician Program (35 weeks) – $15,200

 The school offers the following courses:

  • Dental assisting
  • Phlebotomy course
  • Medical assisting
  • Basic nursing assistant
  • Pharmacy technician
  • Medical coding specialist
  • Massage therapy
  • Journeyman welder
  • Journeyman welder II
  • HVAC/R-MAR technician
  • CDL Training Course
  • Professional truck driving
  • Cosmetology
  • Continuing education

Contact information:

  • Midwest Technical Institute
  • Address: 2731 Farmers Market Rd, Springfield, IL 62707, USA
  • Phone: 217-527-8324
  • Website: https://www.midwesttech.edu/

8Illinois Welding School

Illinois Welding School takes pride in providing students with the best education programs in the field of welding.

The curriculum was carefully thought-out, and it aims to maximize students’ training in critical areas.

Since the demand for welding is huge, and there aren’t many trained professionals, this can be a potentially-lucrative job option.

Illinois Board of Higher Education has accredited IWS and it’s also an Educational Institution member of the American Welding Society.

Enrollment: All applicants must be at least 18 years of age. All applicants must have a high school diploma or equivalent, a state-issued ID, as well as a copy of their social security card for programs 102, 103, and 104.

Fees: Tuition fees for each course go as follows:

  • Program 102 Structural Welding Specialist – $9,995
  • Program 103 Pipe Welding Specialist – $12,000
  • Program 104 Combination Structural / Pipe Welding Specialist – $15,500
  • Program 201 Brush Up/Refresher Welding – $850
  • Program 202 Basic Welding – $1,500

The school offers the following courses:

  • Program 102 Structural Welding Specialist
  • Program 103 Pipe Welding Specialist
  • Program 104 Combination Structural / Pipe Welding Specialist
  • Program 201 Brush Up/Refresher Welding
  • Program 202 Basic Welding

Contact information:

  • Illinois Welding School
  • Address: 1315 Enterprise Dr, Romeoville, IL 60446, USA
  • Phone: 888-632-9353
  • Website: https://www.ilws.edu/

9Roofing School of Illinois

Roofing School of Illinois is one of the best, as it has successfully helped more than 865 people pass the Illinois Roofing License Exam.

The instructor, Del Beard, has been in the industry for over 20 years.

He’s focused on teaching important aspects of the construction-contracting and insurance industries.

What’s special about this school is the fact that it’s very diverse.

Dal Beard takes pride in working with students who use English as their second language, and students from all background are welcome here.

Enrollment: There aren’t any special requirements. Everyone’s welcome to apply.

Fees: All interested applicants will have to contact their office to get further information about course prices.

The school offers the following courses:

  • Residential Class – A residential roofing contractor is a contractor who specializes in roof construction, repairs, and installments of residential homes.
  • Unlimited class – An unlimited roofing contractor is a contractor who specializes in residential, commercial and industrial roofing construction, repairs, and installments. This includes residential homes, businesses, and factories (4 units or more is considered commercial – townhomes, condos, etc.)

Contact information:


10Chicago Recording Connection Audio Producing School

The Recording Connection school is a renowned name in the music industry.

All their courses are carefully designed to follow all the latest industry trends.

They have state-of-the-art facilities and equipment, ready to take on motivated students who want to pursue a career in music.

Many of their students will get a chance to visit famous recording studios and get a feel of what’s it like in the real world.

Students will also get a chance to learn alongside engineers and music producers that work for many celebrities including Taylor Swift, Deadmau5, Snoop Dogg, Rolling Stones, Skrillex, Kendrick Lamar, and many more.

Enrollment: There aren’t any special requirements.

Fees: Tuition fees for each course go as follows:

  • Recording Connection for Audio Engineering & Music Production – $12,860
  • Recording Connection for Advanced Audio Engineering & Music Production – $13,360
  • Recording Connection for Hip Hop & Beat Making – $12,970
  • Recording Connection for Live Music – $12,860
  • Recording Connection for Ableton Electronic Music Production – $13,220
  • Recording Connection for Advanced Ableton Electronic Music Production – $16,220
  • Recording Connection for Logic Pro Electronic Music Production – $12,970
  • Recording Connection for Music Producing – $12,970
  • Recording Connection for Live DJ – $13,220
  • Recording Connection for Music Business – $12,750

Students who meet the criteria will have an opportunity to receive a scholarship or a grant.

The school offers the following courses:

  • Audio Engineering & Music Production
  • Advanced Audio Engineering & Music Production
  • Hip Hop & Beat Making
  • Live Music
  • Logic Pro Electronic Music Production
  • Ableton Electronic Music Production
  • Advanced Ableton Electronic Music Production
  • Music Producing
  • Live Dj
  • Music Business

Contact information:


Final Thoughts

According to CNBC, between 1988 and 2018, the cost of obtaining a traditional 4-year college education has increased by a staggering 2013.

Unlike the aforementioned institutions, trade schools are very reasonably-priced and can bring the same amount of value, but in different industries.

Luckily, the State of Illinois has an abundance of reputable vocational schools ready to accept new students into their community.

Find a School