10 Best Trade Schools inTennessee

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Trade schools, also known as vocational schools or career centers, give students practical, hands-on training for careers such as dental assisting, welding or mechanics.

Vocational schools are usually less expensive than a traditional 4-year college and help students become job-ready in a matter of months.

With so many options out there, choosing the best trade school can be a difficult task.

In order to help you, we compiled a list of 10 of the best trade schools in Tennessee along with relevant information about each one of them.

So, we invite you to read further and see for yourself what Tennessee trade schools have to offer.

State FlagTrade Schools by City

1North American Lineman Training Center

North American Lineman Training Center provides high-quality training for future linemen.

At the Center, students learn through hands-on experience from highly experienced journeymen linemen.

The curriculum includes many important topics, such as Personal Protection Equipment and Procedures, Electrical Systems, Basic Electricity, Transformers, Personal Protective Grounding, Rigging and Knot Tying, Underground Transformers, Career Planning, and Field Instruction.

To help graduates in their job search, the school will provide them with a list of electric companies and unions.

North American Lineman Training Center is authorized for operation as a postsecondary educational institution by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission.

Enrollment. Applicants must be at least 18 years old by the first day of class and hold a high school diploma or GED.

Prospective students must have a valid driver’s license, sign the Doctor’s Release Form and pass the Department of Transportation physical exam.

Fees. The Application Fee is $100 while tuition is $9,400.

Associated costs (equipment and first aid certification) sum up to $2455.

Financial aid is available to students who qualify.

Contact information:

  • The school is located at 490 Gravelly Run Road, McEwen, TN 37101
  • Mailing address: PO Box 522, McEwen, TN 37101
  • Phone: 931-582-4161
  • Website: https://naltc.com

2Ross Medical Education Center

Opened in 2015, Ross Medical Education Center Knoxville Campus is providing healthcare training for future medical and dental assistants, pharmacy technicians and medical billers and coders.

The school offers hands-on courses, designed to prepare students for employment in entry-level positions in their field.

All Ross Medical Education Center and Ross College Campus are accredited by The Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES).

Enrollment. The first step is to schedule an appointment with an Admissions Representative to visit the school.

Each student will then take a test that measures general ability.

Applicants must have graduated high school, hold a GED or equivalent.

Those who apply for the Dental Assistant and Pharmacy Technician Program must be at least 18 years of age to enroll, all other students must be at least 18 at the time they complete classroom training and begin externship.

Students entering the Pharmacy Technician Program will also have to pass a background check.

Fees. Tuition ranges between $14,990 and $15,990, depending on the program.

Courses offered:

  • Medical Assistants
  • Medical Insurance Billing and Office Administration
  • Dental Assistant
  • Pharmacy Technician

Contact information:

  • The Knoxville campus is located at 206 North Seven Oaks DriveKnoxville, TN 37922
  • Phone: (866) 815-5578
  • Website: https://rosseducation.edu

3Baker's School of Aeronautics

Located just 20 miles east of the Nashville International Airport, Baker’s School of Aeronautics is designed to prepare future aviation mechanics.

The school has its own computer testing room and test results are given within one minute of finishing the exam.

In order to take the FAA exam, you need to have some experience in the field.

Those who want to apply for the powerplant mechanic rating need to have a minimum of 18 months of experience working with tools on any type of aircraft engine.

For the airframe mechanic rating, a minimum of 18 months of experience in working with tools on any type of airframe is required.

Applicants who want both ratings need a total of 30 months experience.

Enrollment. To be enrolled in Baker’s School applicants must first meet the F.A.A. experience requirements.

Fees. The total tuition for the A&P program is $1,575 (plus oral and practical exams fees).

Courses offered:

  • A&P Mechanics
  • A&P Refresher
  • Inspection Authorization
  • IA Renewal

Contact information:

  • Baker’s School of Aeronautics is located at 100 Glidepath Way, Lebanon, Tennessee 37090
  • Phone: (615) 784-4212
  • Website: https://www.bakersschool.com

4SAE Institute Nashville

SAE Institute offers dynamic training in audio and the entertainment business.

Established in 1976, the Institute now has more than 50 campuses in 25 countries.

The programs include both traditional classes and hands-on training.

Graduates will join the SAE Institute’s International Alumni Network, comprised of industry professionals all over the world.

SAE Institute of Technology Nashville is authorized to operate by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission.

The Institute is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).

Enrollment. Applicants must pass the Entrance Evaluation, provide a photo ID and high school diploma, GED or equivalent.

Prospective students must be at least 17 and be U.S. citizens or eligible non-citizens.

Fees. Tuition is between $24,154 – $34,298, depending on the Program.

Financial aid is also available to qualifying students.

Courses offered:

The following programs are offered at the Nashville campus:

  • Entertainment Business Associate Degree (16 months)
  • Entertainment Business Diploma (12 months)
  • Audio Bachelor of Applied Science (32 months)
  • Audio Associate of Applied Science (16 months)
  • Audio Diploma (12 months)

Contact information:

5Franklin Academy

Franklin Academy offers training programs for future aestheticians and cosmeticians.

Academy students receive more than just the information needed to pass the State Board exam, they also learn the skills needed to have long-term success in their chosen careers: social media marketing, retail sales, building a book of business, etc.

School instructors are licensed professionals who provide a student-center training.

Franklin Academy is accredited and approved by the TN State Board of Cosmetology.

Enrollment. The first step in applying at Franklyn Academy is to visit the school.

During a school tour, you will see the classrooms where you will learn hands-on procedures and the student-run salon where you will get to practice on clients.

Fees. The Cosmetology 1500-hour program costs $17,175 (including tuition and fees).

The Aesthetics 750-hour program costs $10,100 (including tuition and fees).

Scholarships, financial aid, and grants are also available to students who qualify.

Courses offered:

  • Aesthetics
  • Cosmetology

Contact information:

6Nashville Software School

Nashville Software School helps students learn the skills needed to begin new careers in software development, UI/UX design, data analytics, and data science.

The school helps its students become ready for an entry-level software developer job in just 6 months.

School instructors are Nashville technology professionals who want to give back to the community by helping others to get a start in the technology industry.

The Jumpstart programs can be completed in 3 weeks while Bootcamps last between 6 and 12 months, depending on the program.

Nashville Software School is authorized by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission.

Nashville Software School is one of the first five coding boot camps in the U.S approved to accept GI Bill benefits from veterans (and their dependents).

Enrollment. Applicants for the Jumpstart programs must be at least 18 years old and have a personal laptop.

Fees. The two Jumpstart programs cost $650 each.

Courses offered:

  • Web Development Jumpstart
  • Analytics Jumpstart
  • Full Stack Web Development Bootcamp: Full Time and Part-Time
  • Font-End Web Designer/Developer Bootcamp
  • Data Analytics Bootcamp
  • Data Science Bootcamp
  • UI/UX Digital Product Design

Contact information:

7Tennessee College of Applied Science

Tennessee College of Applied Technology is providing technical education and industry training.

99% of former Tennessee College of Applied Technology students have passed the licensure exam.

Courses duration varies between 12 and 20 months, depending on the program.

Tennessee College of Applied Technology is accredited by the Commission of the Council on Occupational Education (COE).

Enrollment. Program enrollment is based on a first-come, first-served basis by date of a completed application.

Applicants must, among other things, be at least 18 years of age or have a high school diploma or equivalent.

Other program-specific requirements also apply.

Fees. Tuition varies between $247 and $1,312 per trimester, depending on the number of trimester hours.

Courses offered:

  • Administrative Office Technology
  • Administrative Office Technology- Medical Coding
  • Automotive Technology
  • Building Construction Technology
  • Computer Information Technology
  • Cosmetology
  • Dental Assisting
  • Diesel Powered Equipment Technology
  • Digital Graphic Design
  • Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning/Refrigeration
  • Industrial Electrical Maintenance/Mechatronics
  • Machine Tool Technology
  • Mechatronics
  • Pharmacy Technology
  • Practical Nursing
  • Welding Technology

Contact information:

8Mind Body Institute

Mind Body Institute, LLC is providing clinical-based training for future massage therapists.

The Institute also provides educational seminars for licensed therapists who want to improve their practice and meet the requirements for continued education.

The program is 36 weeks long with classes scheduled Monday through Thursday.

During the program, students gain plenty of hands-on experience.

The school offers a day class that meets from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and an evening class from 6 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.

After finishing the program and getting their diplomas, students can apply to the state for their license and take the competency exam (MBLEx).

Mind Body Institute, LLC is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).

Enrollment. Prospective students must be at least 18 years old and provide official transcripts from high school, colleges and all the other academic institutions previously attended.

Applicants must schedule personal interview and tour with the Director of Education.

Fees. Total program cost is $9,475, including tuition and fees.

Financial aid is also available for qualifying students.

Contact information:

  • The school is located at 2416 Music Valley Drive, Suite 119, Nashville, TN, 37214
  • Phone: (615) 360-8554
  • Website: https://mindbody.edu

9The Salon Professional Academy

The Salon Professional Academy offers cosmetology courses for future beauty professionals.

At the Academy class sizes are kept to a minimum to ensure that students receive the attention they need.

Students learn in an 8,500 square foot educational facility with state-of-the-art equipment.

New classes start in January, April, July, September, and November.

Students can complete the Cosmetology program in 10 months and a half.

Students begin with a schedule of five days 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for the first 8 weeks. After that, each class is assigned a schedule that
includes 1 day of class 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., 2 days/evenings 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. and 2 days 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The Salon Professional Academy is accredited by the National Accrediting Commission of Career Arts & Sciences and has State Authorization by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission.

Enrollment. Applicants must be at least 16 years of age, have completed 2 years of high school and have received a high-school diploma or equivalent.

Fees. The tuition for the cosmetology program is $19,990.

The cost of the instructor training is $4,190.

Financial aid is available to students who qualify.

Courses offered:

  • Cosmetology
  • Instructor Training

Contact information:

10Douglas J. Aveda Institute

Another great school for future beauty professionals in Tennessee is the Douglas J. Aveda Institute.

During 1500 hours of training, Cosmetology students learn not only salon skills but also business management techniques.

The 750-hour Esthiology program provides students with practical training of skincare techniques and also teaches them about customer service, business, retail sales, and digital marketing.

Cosmetology teachers have a combined teaching experience of 18 years and over 54 years in the Beauty Industry.

Esthiology educators have a combined teaching experience of 17 years and over 57 years in the Industry.

At the Institute, students can practice skills and techniques on real guests, not just mannequins.

The Institute also helps students get exposure and access to job placement through a network of salons and spas, across the United States and around the world.

Douglas J. Aveda Institute is a NACCAS accredited school.

The Institute is authorized for operation as a postsecondary educational institution by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission.

Fees. Total tuition is $17,500 for the Cosmetology program and $11,500 for the Esthiology program.

Financial aid is also available to students who qualify.

Courses offered:

  • Cosmetology
  • Esthiology

Contact information:

  • The Institute is located at 516 S. Gay Street, Knoxville, TN 37902
  • Phone: 877.751.3940
  • Website: https://douglasj.edu

Salary Information for Popular Trade Careers

CareerEmployedAvg. Annual SalaryAvg. Hourly PayTop 10% Annual SalaryBottom 10% Annual Salary
Paralegals and Legal Assistants4,740$54,290$26.10$82,600$34,330
Medical Records Specialists4,510$48,890$23.51$74,130$30,990
Nursing Assistants24,940$31,600$15.19$36,810$25,580
Dental Assistants6,760$40,990$19.71$50,380$30,450
Medical Assistants18,870$36,520$17.56$46,600$29,140
Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters6,860$55,110$26.50$76,180$38,210
Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics16,610$46,880$22.54$72,130$29,090
Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers9,940$49,820$23.95$70,260$34,790
* Salary information based on the May 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Tennessee, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Final Thoughts

Tennessee trade schools offer many hands-on training programs for future professionals in various domains, such as beauty, healthcare, mechanics, technology and more.

The right trade school can help you learn all the skills needed to begin a career in some of the most in-demand industries.

Your school-seeking quest should start with making a list of all the schools that offer programs in your chosen domain and compare them based on some relevant factors, such as tuition, programs, educators, job placement rate, graduation rate, and accreditation.