10 Best Trade Schools inBloomington, IL

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Bloomington is home to many trade schools that prepare students for rewarding careers in high-demand industries.

A good vocational program can get you ready for employment in less than two years by focusing only on the skills that are relevant to the job market.

Programs in skilled trades, cosmetology, allied health, and many other career paths are available in Bloomington.

If you’re a recent high school graduate or an adult who wants to start a new career, this page is for you.

1Bloomington Area Career Center

About the School

Bloomington Area Career Center offers career training programs that prepare students for employment in a variety of industries.

Courses Offered

The following courses are included in the Center’s catalog:

  • Automotive Technology- a program designed to equip students with the skills needed for an entry-level job or advanced training in automotive service and diesel technology
  • Barbering- a program with hours credited towards the completion of a 1,500-hour course and Barber licensure
  • Certified Nurse Assistant and Advanced CNA
  • Computer Technology and Networking
  • Construction Trades- students enrolled in this program can receive OSHA 10 Hour Certification and a National Center for Construction Education and Research credential
  • Cosmetology- a program that prepares students for employment as color/perm specialist, hair designer, make-up artist, salon manager, and other careers in the beauty industry.
  • Fire Science- a program that offers dual credit with Illinois Central College
  • Geometry in Construction
  • Health Careers and Medical Terminology
  • Robotics and Engineering- a program that covers topics on CAD and 3D printing, Vex Robotics, Excel Basics, Motorized Bike Kit, and more
  • Welding- a program that helps students receive certifications offered by the American Welding Society and covers a variety of welding techniques, including Shielded Metal Arc Welding
  • And more

Contact Information

2Hairmasters Institute of Cosmetology

About the School

Hairmasters Institute of Cosmetology provides training programs for those who want to start a career in the beauty industry.

Their Cosmetology and Barbering programs are available as daytime or nighttime courses.

According to the school’s catalog, total costs sum up to $17,600 for Cosmetology students and to $16,600 for Barbering students.

The curriculum covers both the theoretical and practical aspects of this profession and prepares students for work in a professional hair-styling salon.

The program is designed to be completed in 14 months with classes taking place Tuesday-Saturday 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

New classes begin every 5-6 weeks.

Classes usually include 20-30 students.

Before applying for one of their programs, it is recommended that applicants visit the College.

The Director of Admission should be called or e-mailed in advance to set up an appointment.

Hairmasters Institute of Cosmetology is accredited by the National Accrediting Commission of Career Arts and Sciences.

Courses Offered

The curriculum covers topics on:

  • Basic Training
  • Practical Chemical Application/ Hair Treatment
  • Hairstyling/ Dressing
  • Salon Management, Sanitation, and Interpersonal Relationships
  • Esthetics
  • Nail Technology
  • Electives

Contact Information

3United Association Plumbers & Pipe Fitters

About the School

United Association Plumbers & Pipe Fitters is offering an apprenticeship program approved by the US Department of Labor.

The association offers training in plumbing, pipefitting, HVAC, and the welding industry.

There is no tuition for the apprenticeship program.

Students have to purchase only the books.

Once the class is complete, the institute can provide referrals for contracting work in the graduate’s area of study.

The programs are five years long.

Applicants need to pay a $20 fee and they must:

  • Have a high school diploma or GED
  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Obtain a passing grade in Algebra
  • Be US citizens
  • Have a valid Driver’s License

Good work ethic and a willingness to learn are also needed.

Courses Offered

These are some of the subjects included in the curriculum:

  • Plumbing Waste Vent
  • Water Supply
  • Welding- a program that leads to a National Certification that is good anywhere in the US
  • HVAC Installation and Repair
  • Drawing Interpretation
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Green Awareness/Green Plumbing
  • And more

Contact Information

4Bloomington Normal Barber College

With a projected growth of 19 percent by 2020, barbers, hairstylers, and cosmetologists will continue to be in demand in the future.

As the population grows more barbers and cosmetologists will be needed to provide beauty services.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Illinois is one of the top-paying states for barbers.

The average annual wage for barbers in this state was calculated at $50,550 as of May 2020.

About the School

Bloomington Normal Barber College offers barber education to students located in Central Illinois.

Tuition for the 1,500 barber program is $6,500.

A 500-hour program is also available and it costs $3,500.

Tuition is $9,000 for the Barber Instructor 1000 and $7,000 for Barber Instructor 500.

The school also provides refresher courses.

Those interested are invited to contact Bloomington Normal Barber College to complete an enrollment application.

Courses Offered

Bloomington Normal Barber College offers a barbering course that covers the following classes:

  • Orientation to Barbering
  • The History of Barbering
  • Professional Image
  • The Practice of Barbering
  • Facial and Scalp Massage/Treatments
  • Shaving and Facial Hair Design
  • Men’s Haircutting and Styling
  • Chemistry
  • Electricity and Light Therapy
  • Properties and Disorders of the Skin
  • The Business of Barbering
  • Barbershop Management
  • And more

Contact Information

5Midwest Technical University

About the School

Midwest Technical University offers vocational training programs at its East Peoria campus.

The school offers hands-on training in mechanical trades, allied health, and other industries.

The programs focus on preparing students for entry-level employment in their profession of choice.

The university’s allied health programs give students the opportunity of working in labs that simulate real healthcare environments.

Midwest Technical University is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges.

Classes are kept small and students have the option of choosing between flexible class schedules.

Most programs are designed to be completed in less than one year.

Students learn from instructors with real-world experience.

Graduates who qualify receive lifetime job placement assistance.

Midwest Technical University offers financing options for students who qualify.

Courses Offered

The following programs are available:

  • Dental Assisting- a nine-month program that leads to a diploma
  • Medical Nursing- daytime and evening classes are available for this nine-month program
  • Massage Therapy
  • Journeyman Welder- students can become welding craftsmen in only seven months.
  • HVAC/R Technician- a nine-month program
  • And more

Contact Information

6Heartland Community College

About the School

Heartland Community College is offering degree and certificate programs in a variety of fields.

The college has four campuses in Illinois, namely in Lincoln, Pontiac, and Normal.

Tuition for the Summer 2022 term is $161 per semester hour for in-district students.

Out-of-district tuition is $322 per semester hour while out-of-state or out-of-country students pay $483 per semester hour.

Additional fees that apply to all students include:

A $2 per semester hour program development and facilities enhancement fee, and an $11 student life fee.

Some courses require special materials, supplies, or services, and the school charges course-specific fees.

The total cost depends on the number of credit hours.

For a 12-credit hour class estimated costs sum up to approximately $12,700 for in-district students who live with parents and to about $17,800 for in-district students who live away from home.

Heartland Community College is recognized by the Illinois Community College Board and accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Courses Offered

The following certificate programs are available:

  • Electrical Vehicle Service Advisor
  • Electric Vehicle Technology
  • EMT-Paramedic
  • Information Technology
  • Practical Nursing
  • Nursing Assistant
  • Pharmacy Technician
  • Shielded Metal Arc Welding Basics
  • And many more

Programs are also available at an Associate Degree or Bachelor’s Degree level.

Contact Information

7ETI School of Skilled Trades

About the School

ETI School of Skilled Trades is preparing students for careers in HVAC/R and the welding industries.

The total cost of attendance is approximately $16,000 which includes: tuition, registration fee, books, tools, Universal EPA Exam or AWS Welding Certification (depending on the program), and sales tax.

Before starting classes, students need to provide official transcripts, an original diploma that proves graduation from high school, or an equivalent certificate.

Students need to complete all admission paperwork before classes begin.

To receive a Certificate of Completion, students need a minimum grade percentage average of 2.0 of 4.0.

HVAC-R students also need to complete all sections of EPA Section 608 Federal Clean Air Act.

Programs are available in day and evening schedules.

Each of the two programs includes 906 hours of training.

ETI School of Skilled Trades is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges.

Courses Offered

The following programs are available at the campus:

  • HVAC/R Program- a program with classes in:
    • Sheet Metal, Conduit, and Electricity
    • Boiler Systems, Piping, and Applications
    • Gas Heating, System Design, and Controls
    • Air Conditioning, Refrigeration, and EPA
  • Welding Program- a program that covers:
    • Introduction to Welding
    • SMAW Plate
    • GTAW Plate

Contact Information

  • Address: 500 Joliet Rd Suite #100, Willowbrook IL 60527
  • Phone: (888) 830-7678
  • Website: https://eticampus.edu

8Illinois Central College

About the School

Illinois Central College is offering a variety of degree and certificate programs.

Tuition is $155 per credit hour for district 514 residents and $330 per credit hour for out-of-district students.

Illinois Central College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Courses Offered

Their catalog includes certificate programs in areas such as:

  • Computer-Aided Mechanical Drafting- a 25 credit program with classes in Introduction to the Tools of Technology, Manufacturing Processes, Industrial Fluid Power, Welding Processes, and more
  • Central Sterile Service Technician- a 10-credit program that includes Fundamentals of Sterile Processing, Principles, and Practices of Surgical Services, and more.
  • Licensed Practical Nurse- a 34-credit program that covers Anatomy, Physiology, Medical Terminology, Practical Nursing, and more.
  • Medical Assistant- a program that includes 26 credits and teaches Human Anatomy and Physiology, Clinical Procedures, Computer Skills, Practicum, and more
  • Medical Coder- a 26-credit program with classes such as Human Anatomy and Physiology, Medical Terminology, Computer Applications, and more.
  • Medical Office- Basic- a program that includes seven credit hours and covers topics on Introduction to Health Careers, Medical Terminology, Medical Assistant Administrative Skills, and Medical Office Computer Skills.
  • And many more

Contact Information

  • Address: Illinois Central College, 1 College Dr, East Peoria, IL 61635-0001
  • Phone: (309) 694-5422
  • Website: https://icc.edu

9Oehrlein School of Cosmetology

About the School

Oehrlein School of Cosmetology is offering training programs that prepare students for a career in the beauty industry.

Founded in 1973, the school focuses on teaching “why” as well as “how” things work in a beauty salon.

Their Cosmetology program is available Wednesday- Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The program is designed to be completed in 50 weeks.

The course will cost approximately $18,500 if it is completed within normal time.

The school is approved by the United States Department of Education to offer Federal PELL Grant and William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program.

Oehrlein School of Cosmetology is a Pivot Point Legacy Partner.

Courses Offered

The school provides a 1500-hour Cosmetology course that covers all aspects of salon service through classroom training and clinical practice.

The curriculum teaches topics on:

  • Tools and their use
  • Chemical safety
  • Haircutting, hair shaping, thinning, trimming
  • Esthetics- Skin assessment and care
  • Nail Technology- manicuring, pedicuring, artificial nails
  • Labor law, client relations, marketing
  • Electives
  • And more

A cosmetology teacher program is also available and it includes 500 or 1000 hours.

This teacher program is open only for those who have completed Cosmetology training and have a valid license.

Contact Information

10Synergy Flight Center

About the School

Synergy Flight Center is offering flight training for those who want to learn how to fly or to add a new rating.

The center provides a modern fleet and professional instructors that ensure an enjoyable learning environment.

The school’s flight training method incorporates real-world flying from day one of training.

The courses and the training schedule can be tailored to students’ specific needs.

Courses Offered

Synergy Flight offers training for students who want to earn the following:

  • Private Pilot License- to earn this students spend four to six months one-on-one with a Synergy flight instructor.
  • Add the Instrument Rating- this allows pilots to fully utilize the aircraft’s capabilities and travel in different weather conditions.
  • Recurrent Training- the center helps those who want to improve their skills and be prepared for different situations.

The following courses are also available:

  • Basic (VFR) Transition Training- a course designed for licensed pilots who would like to transition into flying a Cirrus.
  • Advanced (IFR) Transition Training- a course that takes more than five days and is designed for pilots who already have an instrument rating
  • Avionics Differences- a 1-2 day course that focuses on mastering PFD and MFD interpretation, flight management systems, autopilot usage, navigation, and more
  • Systems Differences- a 1-2 day course that teaches the differences between Cirrus airframes and powerplants for students who are already familiar with Cirrus

Contact Information

  • Address: Central Illinois Regional Airport (KBMI), 2823 E Empire Street, Bloomington, IL, 61704
  • Phone: (309) 828-4454
  • Website: https://synergyflightcenter.com

Salary Information for Popular Trade Careers

CareerEmployedAvg. Annual SalaryAvg. Hourly PayTop 10% Annual SalaryBottom 10% Annual Salary
Paralegals and Legal Assistants260$58,830$28.29$92,970$37,350
Medical Records Specialists40$45,290$21.77$58,510$29,120
Nursing Assistants740$33,720$16.21$36,080$30,180
Dental Assistants190$39,870$19.17$46,750$30,380
Medical Assistants250$38,660$18.59$46,610$30,300
Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters300$74,850$35.99$100,940$43,260
Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics430$48,310$23.23$72,860$28,620
Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers150$55,840$26.85$81,310$31,020
* Salary information based on the May 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Bloomington, IL metropolitan statistical area, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Final Thoughts

This page is designed to give you a more in-depth understanding of the trade programs available in the Bloomington, Illinois region.

Now that you have read our list, the next step is to continue your research and apply for the program that best meets your needs, budget, schedule, and career expectations.

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