10 Best Trade Schools inRapid City, SD

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Four-year degrees can be expensive but luckily you can train for a career in a skilled trade for less than the cost of a semester at a private college or university.

Trade schools that can prepare you for careers as a medical assistant, esthetician, welder, or professional driver, among many other in-demand paths are available in Rapid City and at many other locations across South Dakota.

On this page, we will compile information about the best trade schools in your region and the programs available.

Our list includes programs that are available fully on-campus, fully online, or in a hybrid format that blends in-person with remote training.

Students may earn associate degrees, certificates, or diplomas, depending on the career path they choose.

Costs range from a few hundred dollars to more than $30,000, depending on the program, its duration, and the school.

By attending one of the schools on our list you may prepare for in-demand careers, in a variety of industries, including healthcare, skilled trades, transportation, or the beauty industry.

Our list includes hands-on on-campus programs as well as online training programs that can be completed by students at their own pace from the comfort of their homes.

1Western Dakota Technical College

About the School

Western Dakota Technical College was established in 1968 and is the only technical college that serves the western South Dakota region.

The college offers a personal, career-oriented education for students who want to start a new career.

Hands-on learning, simulations, internships, and industry partnerships are available.

Programs are available in the following areas:

  • Business and Computers
  • Construction and Manufacturing
  • Energy and Environmental Technologies
  • Health Sciences
  • Legal and Public Services
  • Transportation Technologies

Western Dakota Technical College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Courses Offered

The following programs are available at the college:

  • Accounting
  • Automotive Technology
  • Dental Assisting
  • Electrical Trades
  • HVAC & Refrigeration Technology
  • Medical Assisting
  • Paramedic
  • Welding And Fabrication
  • And more

Contact Information

  • Address: 800 Mickelson Dr. Rapid City SD 57703
  • Phone: (605) 718-2565
  • Website: https://www.wdt.edu

2Hot Rod Institute

The Hot Rod and Restoration School HRI, Inc. is a school accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges.

The school offers post-secondary education for more than 30 years.

Courses Offered

The following courses are available at Hot Rod Institute:

  • Hot Rod Chassis- this class teaches everything you want to know about the chassis of a project
  • Hot Rod Body- this class includes weld-on panels, fabrication, and metal shaping
  • Hot Rod Body Advanced- advanced metal shaping using power tools, custom body mods, chopping, sectioning, channeling, and a lot more
  • Hot Rod Upholstery- this class teaches about automotive upholstery, from the headliner to the carpet
  • Hot Rod Refinishing- finish bodywork, filler, primers, and pep for paint
  • Hot Rod Performance- all the mechanical needs to make the project car run.

Contact Information

  • Address: 2402 N Maple Ave Rapid City, SD, 57701
  • Phone: (605) 342-1195
  • Website: https://hotrod.edu

3Great Plains Welding Academy

About the School

Great Plains Welding Academy has a customized training facility in the heart of the Black Hills.

The facility welcomes students who want to learn the fundamentals for starting a successful and rewarding welding career.

Students learn the essentials for becoming a top-notch welder.

The school has a small student-to-teacher ratio to allow students to have more one-on-one time with instructors.

Trainees may become qualified welders in as little as three months.

They learn with instructors who have years of real-world experience and expertise.

The curriculum covers not only valuable lessons in the welding field but also in safety, work ethic, reading blueprints, and more.

Contact Information

4AETech Electrical Training Center

AETech Electrical Training Center offers apprentice, journeyman, and contractor electrical licensing classes.

Courses Offered

The following classes are available:

  • Electrical Apprentice Classes- a full-time day-time program that allows learners to spend their entire day studying the topics that help them achieve the goal of employment in a career as an electrician
  • Journeyman Classes- Journeyman License Exam Prep, NEC Code Changes, Grounding Vs Bonding
  • Master/Contractor Classes- Master Electrical License Exam Prep, NEC Code Changes, Grounding Vs. Bonding

The school is located in the Beautiful Black Hills of South Dakota and serves the electrical training needs of electricians in Wyoming, Montana, Nebraska, and South Dakota, among many other states.

Contact Information

  • Address: 320 East Blvd North, Rapid City, SD 57701
  • Phone: 605-342-9088
  • Website: https://aetech.com

5South Dakota Mines

About the School

South Dakota Mines offers fully STEM-focused programs.

Students learn by doing in maker spaces, labs, and through internships and co-ops.

They have access to great career opportunities through real-world experiences.

Courses Offered

Degree and Certificate programs are available.

Included in the catalog are Bachelor’ Degrees as well as Graduate and Certificate Programs:

  • Undergraduate Certificates:
    • Engineering Management and Leadership Certificate
    • Geospatial Technology
    • Global Engineering Greenbelt Certificate
    • Basic Spanish Language Proficiency
  • Graduate Certificates:
    • Construction Engineering and Management Certificate
    • Geospatial Technology
    • Mining 360
    • Occupational Safety Certificate
    • And more

Contact Information

  • Address: 501 E. Saint Joseph St. Rapid City, SD 57701
  • Phone: (605) 394-2414
  • Website: https://www.sdsmt.edu

6Southeast Technical College

About the School

Southeast Technical College offers more than 65 pathways in today’s most innovative fields.

Available are career-focused programs developed collaboratively with area industry leaders.

The college’s faculty bring real-world experience to their teaching and prepare students with the skills they need to jump-start their careers in two years or less.

The tuition fee at Southeast Technical College is $124 per credit hour.

Additional fees bring the total per-credit-hour cost to $255.

Courses Offered

Southeast Technical College offers the following programs:

  • Business Administration: Agriculture Emphasis
  • Veterinary Technician
  • Electrician
  • HVAC/R Technology
  • Plumbing Technology
  • Welding
  • Allied Health Certificate
  • Medical Assistant
  • Medical Lab Technician
  • Surgical Technology
  • And more

Program duration varies depending on the chosen pathway.

The 35-credit HVAC/R Technology program can be completed in one year and leads to a Diploma.

The Associate Degree in Diagnostic Medical Sonography takes 24 months to complete.

The three-credit Certified Nursing Assistant Course consists of 40 hours of lectures and 35 hours of hands-on labs plus 16 hours of clinical experience.

Contact Information

7Black Hills State University

About the School

Black Hills State University offers students the opportunity to earn a degree or certificate through a variety of academic programs.

A public university located in Spearfish, northern Black Hills South Dakota, offers a small campus and a personalized approach to education.

The 59,000 square feet building includes 21 classrooms, two science labs, two computer labs, a 100-acre lecture hall, seminar and conference rooms.

Courses Offered

Among many other programs, the university provides the following Associate’s Degree Programs:

  • Applied Health Sciences
  • Business Administration
  • General Studies
  • Human Services
  • Tourism and Hospitality

The college also offers Certificates in the following fields:

  • Accounting
  • Archives
  • Graphic Design
  • Management
  • Museums
  • Radio-Television Production
  • And more

Contact Information

  • Address: 4300 Cheyenne Blvd, Box Elder, SD 57719-9502
  • Phone: 605.718.4112
  • Website: https://www.bhsu.edu

8Lake Area Technical College

About the School

Lake Area Technical College offers 31 academic programs in high-demand fields.

14 e-degrees are available in a hybrid format that blends online and on-campus learning.

Lake Area Technical College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Courses Offered

The following e-degree programs are available at the college:

  • Agri-business
  • Entrepreneurship Option
  • Human Resource
  • Dental Assisting
  • Electronic Systems Technology
  • Law-Enforcement Virtual Academy
  • Practical Nursing
  • Precision Machining
  • And more

The college has also approved apprenticeships in the following programs:

  • Building Trades Technology
  • Diesel Technology
  • Welding Technology

To qualify for admission into an apprenticeship applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Have a high school diploma or GED
  • Be a US citizen, have permanent residency status, or possess a work visa
  • Meet admission requirements and satisfy the sponsor’s minimum requirements
  • Have a valid diver’s license for programs that require it

Contact Information

9Career & Technical Education Academy

About the School

Career & Technical Education Academy offers a variety of opportunities to students in Sioux Falls and the surrounding areas.

The courses offered at the school provide students with relevant, experience-based, career-oriented learning that aligns with each individual student’s future career plans.

The state-of-the-art academy offers courses that range from introductory level to highly advanced.

Courses Offered

The following programs are available at the school:

  • Natural Resources
  • Plant Science/Horticulture
  • Carpentry
  • Advanced Woodworking & Cabinet Making
  • Network Technologies
  • Digital Music Production
  • Digital Animation
  • Baking & Pastries
  • And more

Contact Information

10South Dakota School of Massage Therapy

About the School

South Dakota School of Massage Therapy offers a 700-hour program that prepares students for certification and employment in the massage therapy field.

Courses Offered

The Massage Therapy program includes Swedish massage, specialized massage techniques, and other subjects related to the healing arts.

Students also learn Anatomy, Physiology, Pathology, Kinesiology, and Zoologik Anatomy in Class Lab.

The course of study is completed in approximately eight months.

Students must also complete 50 hours at an approved internship site.

Tuition for this program is $8,200.

Additional fees include a $508.40 sales tax and a $100 application fee.

Other costs include books and First Aid & CPR training.

Contact Information

Final Thoughts

Now that you have read our selection of the best trade schools in Rapid City the next step is to discover what career path you want to pursue and choose the school and the program that will prepare you for entry-level employment in the field of your choice.

This is an important step, so make sure you gather information about all the factors that are relevant to you before deciding where to enroll.

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