10 Best Trade Schools inMontana

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Trade schools are an alternative for those who want to learn the skills they need to build a successful career but can’t afford to pay for a 4-year college.

From cosmetology to auctioneering and saddle building, there are many trades you can learn with just a few months of hands-on training.

In this page, we compiled a list of some of the best Montana trade schools to help you decide what profession you want to pursue and choose the school that best fits your educational needs.

State FlagTrade Schools by City

1Western College of Auctioneering

Western College of Auctioneering is providing students with the training and tools they need to become professional auctioneers.

The College serves all niches of the auction industry: from automotive and livestock to charity and online auction.

Western College of Auctioneering is an approved auction school in the state of Montana.

The College was founded in 1948 by two highly regarded auctioneer in their time: Bill Hagen and Norm Warsinske.

Over the past 71 years, Western College of Auctioneering has trained over 5,600 graduates from nearly every state in the United States, multiple provinces in Canada and many foreign countries.

At Western College of Auctioneering, the entry-level course is a 92 credit hour course.

Auctioneer license requirements vary from state to state. In Montana there is no state required auctioneer license. Some counties and municipalities may require a permit or license.

Fees vary by program and number of hours of training. Tuition for the entry-level course ranges between $1,895 and $3,195, while the advanced course costs are between $1,595 and $1,995.

Courses offered:

  • Entry-Level Course
  • Intermediate & Advanced Course

Contact information:

2Montana Academy of Salons

Montana Academy of Salons is offering training for future cosmetologists, barbers, estheticians, nail technicians, and massage therapists.

Montana Academy of Salons is an 11,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility with spacious hair, nail, skincare, and massage educational areas.

The facility includes 4 classrooms for theory and practical instruction, a student lounge, a student library, a conference room, and staff offices.

The school’s goal is to get students prepared to successfully pass the licensing exams and to get them ready for employment in their specific field.

Montana Academy of Salons is accredited by National Accrediting Commission of Career Arts & Sciences.

The school is acknowledged by the Montana Board of Massage Therapy and certified through National Certification Board of Therapeutic Massage.

Enrollment. Applicants must have a valid high school diploma or GED certificate. Educational background checks are done prior to enrollment.

Fees. The registration fee is $200. Total costs are between $1,160 and $18,900, depending on the program. Financial Aid is also available to students who qualify.

Courses offered:

  • Barbering
  • Cosmetology
  • Esthetics
  • Manicuring
  • Massage Therapy
  • Microdermabrasion
  • Teacher Training

Contact information:

3Sage Truck Driving School

SAGE Truck Driving Schools have provided high-quality professional tractor-trailer driver training for 30 years.

Instructions are conducted on a private, one-on-one basis on the road.

There is never more than one student in a truck during road time.

SAGE offers a wide variety of truck-driving and CDL training programs. Each training program is designed after the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Proposed Minimum Standards for Training Tractor-Trailer Drivers.

Sage’s Lebanon school is accredited by ACCSC. The SAGE Corporation is a member of the American Trucking Associations, the National Safety Council and the Truckload Carriers Association.

Enrollment. All applicants are required to complete an Enrollment Application. They need a copy of a valid driver’s license and a copy of a physical examination on a DOT form. Students must be able to pass a drug screen if administered. Admission is open to high school graduates/GED (or those who complete an ability-to-benefit test). Applicants must possess a driving record free of current serious violations. Those who satisfy these criteria are asked to sign an Enrollment Agreement.

Fees. Tuition varies by location and program. Loans, financial aid, and scholarships are available to qualifying students.

Courses offered:

  • Comprehensive Tractor-Trailer Driver Basic
  • Commercial Drivers License Essentials
  • Tractor-Trailer Driver Advanced
  • Tractor-Trailer Driver Refresher
  • Tractor-Trailer Driver Externship
  • Straight Truck Class B Driver

Contact information:

  • The Montana school is located at SAGE Technical Services, Truck Driving School, 5236 Holiday Ave, Billings, MT 59101
  • Phone: 406-652-3030
  • Website: https://www.sageschools.com

4Montana Horseman Saddle Building School

Montana Horseman Saddle Building School is integrating instruction with a hands-on, learn-by-doing approach.

During 5 weeks of detailed instructions, each student learns how to design and layout a top-quality Western saddle.

Students graduate with the knowledge and preparation to continue and be productive in saddle building.

Graduates become members of the Montana Horseman family of saddle builders and can rely on continual support from the school.

Both classes offered by the school, the Advanced Saddle Building Class 1 and the Advanced Saddle Building Class 2, have been approved for Veterans benefits by the State Approving Agency.

During the Level 1 Course, each student will help build one or two new demonstration saddles before designing and building a saddle of their choice.

Enrollment. An enrollment form is available on the school’s website. A $500 non-refundable deposit is required with your application.

Fees. Tuition is $6000 for the Level 1 Course and $6750 for the Level 2 Course.

Courses offered:

  • Level 1 Course: Introduction to Saddle Building
  • Level 2 Course: Advanced Western Saddle Building

Contact information:

5Flathead Valley Community College

Flathead Valley Community College offers an outstanding education for future professionals in high-demand industries.

The College offers over 100 academic programs: Associate of Arts or Associate of Science, Associate of Applied Science, Certificate, Certificate of Applied Science and Licensure/Certification Training.

Flathead Valley Community College is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities and is reviewed on a 7-year cycle.

Enrollment. Anyone 16 years of age or older can apply for admission. Prospective students can apply online on the school’s website or can bring a signed registration form into the registration office located in Blake Hall, room 111.

Fees. Tuition varies by program. Financial aid options are also available to qualifying students.

Courses offered:

The Flathead Valley Community College offers the following certificate programs:

  • Geospacial Technology C.T.S.
  • Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)
  • Advanced Baking and Pastry
  • Electrical Apprentice C.T.S.
  • Heavy Equipment Operator C.T.S.
  • HVAC & Refrigeration Apprentice C.T.S.
  • Welding Technology C.T.S.

The College is offering the following Licensure/Certification Training programs:

  • Certified Nurse Assistant
  • Emergency Medical Technician
  • Phlebotomy
  • Commercial Drivers License

Contact information:

  • The Flathead Valley Campus is located at 777 Grandview Drive, Kalispell, MT 59901
  • Phone: (406) 756-3822/(800) 313-3822
  • Lincoln County Campus is located at 225 Commerce Way, Libby, MT 59923
  • Phone: (406) 293-2721
  • Website: https://www.fvcc.edu

6Crevier's School of Cosmetology

Crevier’s School of Cosmetology helps people of all ages and backgrounds build rewarding careers as stylists, manicurists, estheticians or instructors.

The school has a 6,000 square foot facility with 48 cosmetology/manicuring stations, semi-private esthetics room, freshman training room, break room, large classroom and library.

Crevier’s Academy of Cosmetology Arts has been licensed and bonded since 1958.

Crevier’s School has a great variety of clientele year-round.

This gives students hands-on experience that prepares them for future job placement.

Enrollment. Applicants need proof that they are beyond the age of compulsory education. A certificate of graduation from a high school or secondary education or equivalent is also requested. Prospective students must also have a copy of the birth certificate and picture ID.

Fees. The registration fee is $125. The application fee is $50 and $325 must be paid for education software.

The total costs range between $500-$14,800, depending on the program. Financial aid is also available to students who qualify.

Courses offered:

  • Cosmetology
  • Manicuring
  • Esthetics
  • Teacher Training
  • Microdermabrasion

Contact information:

7Academy of Cosmetology

The Academy of Cosmetology’s mission is to provide a quality post-secondary education, that prepares the graduate for licensure and job entry-level skills.

The Academy of Cosmetology, Inc. has been accredited since 1989 by NACCAS (National Accrediting Commission of Career Arts and Sciences).

The Academy of Cosmetology, Inc. has been Montana-licensed and bonded with the Montana State Board of Barbers and Cosmetologists since 1983.

The Academy of Cosmetology offers a 1500-hour Cosmetology course to be completed in 49 weeks.

Enrollment. Applicants need to complete an Application Form and pay a $165 application/registration fee. They also need a typed essay addressing all the topics requested on the application. A copy of the certificate of graduation from a school providing secondary education or the equivalent is also requested.

Prospective students also need a copy of high school transcripts or GED transcripts and two letters of professional recommendation (no family or friends) along with a copy of the driver’s license, passport or birth certificate.

Fees. Tuition for the Cosmetology course is $11,840. Financial aid is available to those who qualify.

Contact information:

8PIMA Medical Institute - Dillon Campus

PIMA Medical Institute is offering the veterinary technician associate degree and veterinary assistant certificate program through collaboration with the University of Montana Western.

In the spring of 2017, PIMA’s veterinary technician program received American Veterinary Medical Association accreditation, making it the only accredited program in Montana.

Students who enroll in one of the two programs have access to the University of Montana Western’s facilities, including dining, recreation, and the library.

The Certificate Veterinary Assistant Program can be completed in about 9 months.

The objective of the program is to provide students with training in preparation for entry-level employment.

The program teaches students about Animal Life Stages Nutrition and Husbandry, Animal Nursing and Diagnostic Imaging, Pharmacology and Principles of Anesthesia but also Aseptic Technique and Surgical Assisting.

The Associate Veterinary Technician program can be completed in approximately 18 months.

Enrollment: Potential students should have a high school diploma or recognized GED equivalent. Applicants under the legal age must have written approval of a parent or legal guardian. Prospective students must take an entrance exam and pass with a minimum score.

Fees. Total costs vary from $14,663 for the Veterinary Assistant program to $18,737 for Veterinary Technician program.

Courses offered:

  • Associate Veterinary Technician
  • Certificate Veterinary Assistant

Contact information

9Advanced Taxidermy Training Center

The Advanced Taxidermy Training Center offers a complete six-week course which trains students in all areas of taxidermy.

Students learn in 1400 square ft. of classroom area and in a 480 square ft. painting/finishing/drying area.

The school also has a showroom, a salting/freezer room, and storage/drying rooms. Each student has a minimum of 5 ft. of table space, as well as ample floor space.

The Advanced Taxidermy Training Center is equipped with all the modern tools & equipment necessary to run an efficient taxidermy studio. In addition, students also receive their own set of personal tools to keep.

Along with taxidermy techniques, students also learn about business setup and client interaction, about habitat and tanning. Graduates are qualified to do taxidermy for paying customers.

Enrollment. Students can enroll by filling out a form that can be found on the school’s website.

Fees. Tuition for the 6-week Complete Taxidermy Course is $6,295. Qualifying students may use their GI Bill® to pay for taxidermy school.

The taxidermy school tuition includes all Specimens and Supplies needed to complete your training.

Contact information:

10Montana Air Adventures

A division of Red Eagle Aviation, Inc., Montana Air Adventures is a full-service FBO and flight school.

The flight school is offering training on Private, Instrument, Commercial CFI, CFII, Multi-Engine, Complex and Rotorcraft.

FAA minimum requirement for the Private Pilot classes is 40 Hours. Students must be at least 16 years old and have an FAA Medical/Student License before starting classes.

Applicants must be at least 17 years old to get their license.

In order to enroll in the 150-hours Commercial Pilot class or the 40-hour Instrumental Pilot class, applicants must have the Private Pilot License.

Fees vary by program. The cost for the Helicopter Flight Training – Private Pilot is $15,740 while Helicopter Flight Training for Commercial Pilot costs $40,215. Training fees for the Airplane Single Engine Land Training course are between $5,575 – $23,165.

Courses offered:

  • Helicopter Flight Training: Private Pilot, Instrumental Pilot, Commercial Pilot, Certified Flight Instructor
  • Airplane Flight Training: Private Pilot, Instrumental Pilot, Commercial Pilot, Certified Flight Instructor
  • Mountain Flying Course
  • FVCC Aviation Course
  • Multi-Engine Training
  • Instrument Training
  • Certified Flight Instructor Training

Contact information:

Salary Information for Popular Trade Careers

CareerEmployedAvg. Annual SalaryAvg. Hourly PayTop 10% Annual SalaryBottom 10% Annual Salary
Paralegals and Legal Assistants1,320$58,190$27.98$79,520$41,900
Medical Records Specialists790$46,530$22.37$63,680$32,500
Nursing Assistants4,990$37,710$18.13$48,770$29,550
Dental Assistants1,420$40,670$19.55$49,400$30,920
Medical Assistants1,920$40,780$19.61$49,420$32,220
Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters2,020$69,450$33.39$83,890$42,830
Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics2,370$48,860$23.49$73,210$26,640
Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers1,230$53,180$25.57$76,400$38,460
* Salary information based on the May 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Montana, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Final Thoughts

Montana trade schools offer a variety of educational alternatives for those who want to build a new rewarding career.

Many schools offer high-quality hands-on training to prepare students for the most in-demand professions.

This is why you have to choose your education provider very carefully.

We compiled this list in order to help you make an informed decision.

Don’t forget to do your own research before deciding to enroll at a trade school.