10 Best Trade Schools inTacoma, WA

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If you want to start a career in healthcare, skilled trades, or the beauty industry, this page is for you.

Here we have selected information about the top trade schools in Tacoma, Washington.

Trade school training programs are usually intensive and combine classroom with hands-on education to help students become ready for employment right after graduation.

Typically classes last a few months which makes career training programs viable options for those who don’t afford four years of college.

Many schools offer flexible schedules, thus allowing students to keep a full-time job while preparing for their future careers.

1Bates Technical College

About the School

Bates Technical College offers programs that lead to associate in applied science degrees, certificates of competency, or certificates of training.

To be considered full-time, a student must register for a minimum of 12 credits.

You can apply for a course using the college’s website.

Bates Technical College is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

Courses Offered

The College offers training in the following fields:

  • Advanced Manufacturing
  • Business and Communication
  • Hospitality
  • Education and Public Safety
  • Health Sciences
  • Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math
  • Transportation and Trades
  • Child Studies

The Advanced Manufacturing division includes a Machinist program that can lead to the following credentials:

  • Machinist AAS – 99 credits
  • CNC Operator-Certificate of Training – 14 credits
  • Toolmaking Technology- Certificate of Training- 15 credits

Their Health Sciences division offers training for:

  • Administrative Medical Assistants
  • Biomedical Service Technicians: Clinical Engineering
  • Certified Medical Assistants
  • Dental Assistants
  • Dental Lab Technicians
  • Denturists
  • Nursing Assistant Certified
  • Occupational Therapy Assistants
  • Phlebotomists
  • Practical Nurses

Programs in Cabinet Making, Carpentry, Automotive Technology, Welding, and many other trades are also available.

Contact Information

2Tacoma Dental Assistant School

About the School

Tacoma Dental Assistant School offers a training program that helps students become dental assistants in only nine weeks.

The school provides online and hybrid courses that prepare students for careers in dental offices.

Each week includes a series of pre-recorded lectures, online learning activities, and hands-on lab training.

The lab training sessions take place on Saturdays.

Lectures and online activities can be completed by students at their own pace, during the week.

Tuition for this class is $3,690 if paid in full.

The tuition includes a set of scrubs, supplies, and materials.

A textbook will have to be purchased by the student separately.

The school also offers a 40-hour externship program that provides students with real-world experience.

Tacoma Dental Assistant School is licensed and regulated by the Washington Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board.

Graduates receive a Certificate of completion.

The program also leads to BLS Certification.

Courses Offered

The curriculum includes courses such as:

  • Sterilization and Infection Control
  • Personal Protective Equipment
  • Moisture Control
  • Radiology
  • Proper Oral Hygiene
  • Preventive Care
  • CPR and Pain Management
  • And many more

Contact Information

3Toro Trucking Academy

About the School

Toro Trucking Academy helps students start a career in the trucking industry through their Professional CDL training programs.

With more than 40 years of experience in the industry, Toro Trucking Academy, the school offers training at three locations, namely in Tacoma, Kent, and Troutdale.

Courses Offered

Their Class A CDL program is structured as follows:

  • Week One- 40 hours of classroom learning that covers topics such as control systems, vehicle inspection, vehicle systems, basic control, speed management, skid control, fifth wheel, special rigs maintenance, and more.
  • Week Two includes 40 hours of field training and lab; during this time students learn how to do straight line backing, offset, and right and left 90 degrees alley dock.
  • Week Three- students continue with their laboratory work, range and road training.
  • Week Four- a week dedicated to solidifying pre-trip planning and in-cab inspections and helps students work on major driving skills, such as entering and exiting freeways, lane control, speed management, backing skills, measured turns, and more.

Classes in Hazmat and Bus Endorsements are offered at the Tacoma and Kent campuses.

The Hazmat endorsement requires 16 hours of additional training, while the bus endorsement needs 30 additional hours of training.

Contact Information

4BJ's Beauty & Barber College

About the School

BJ’s Beauty & Barber College is offering education for those who want to start a career in hair care and beauty.

Classes combine lectures with live demonstrations, guest speakers, videos, and practical applications.

If you want to enroll in one of their programs, you need a high school diploma, transcript, or GED.

A Social Security Card, Driver’s License, or picture ID are also needed.

You must be at least 17 years of age to begin training.

Costs vary between approximately $7,000-$17,600, depending on the program.

BJ’s Beauty & Barber College is accredited by the National Accrediting Commission of Cosmetology Arts & Sciences.

Courses Offered

The following programs are available at BJ’s Beauty & Barber College:

  • Cosmetology – this 1,600-hour program exposes students to practical, theoretical, and hands-on experience, safety and sanitary precautions, state laws, management, and first aid
  • Esthetics – a 750-hour program that can be completed in 25 weeks.
  • Manicurist – a 600-hour program
  • Barbering – this program includes 1000 hours of training
  • Teacher Training – a program designed to prepare teacher trainees for a teaching position in the beauty industry.

Contact Information

5Summit Salon Academy

About the School

Summit Salon Academy provides a program that covers the technical skills needed for a career as a Cosmetologist or Esthetician, but also the business and customer service skills needed for this profession.

The Academy was founded in 2006.

The school’s curriculum is assessed constantly to keep up with the changes that occur in the beauty industry.

The registration fee is $200 and is due when signing the Enrollment Agreement.

Tuition for the Cosmetology program is $17,000.

The books and the kit cost an additional $2,400.

Tuition for the Esthetician course costs $11,900.

Financial assistance is available for students who qualify.

Graduates have the skills needed to pass the state board licensing exam and to start a career in the beauty industry.

The day esthetician program can be completed in 27-28 weeks.

Nighttime classes are also available and can be completed in 54 weeks.

Courses Offered

The following courses are available:

  • Cosmetology – an 1800-hour curriculum that covers styling, cutting, chemical services, basic facial knowledge, manicures, makeup application, and more.
  • Esthetics – a 750-hour program that teaches students how to diagnose, treat and revitalize their clients’ skin.
  • Instructor – a 500-hour program

Contact Information

6Flagship Maritime

About the School

Flagship Maritime offers captain’s license training classes.

The school has been designated a Center of Excellence for Domestic Maritime Workforce Training and Education in 2021 and 2022.

The school’s instructor is a retired naval officer with a USCG Master’s License and decades of real-world experience of service on the water.

Program costs vary between $40-$900, depending on the programs.

Other fees include: $145 USCG evaluation and issuance fees, TWIC – $125.25, medical exam- $125, first aid and CPR- $74.95

Flagship maritime licensing programs lead to a USCG-approved completion certificate, but this is not enough for students to earn a license.

This program is presented at the school’s main training facility in Tacoma, at Foss Harbor Marina.

Flagship graduates work in maritime industries all around the world.

They work in a variety of fields, including vessel delivery, marine photography, Northwest explorations, marine law enforcement, private fishing charters, commercial dive boats, tugboat/towing companies, and more.

Courses Offered

The following license training programs are available:

  • Operator of Uninspected Passenger Vessels
  • Upgrade to Master 100 Tons
  • Commercial Assistance Towing
  • Auxiliary Sall Endorsement
  • License Renewal Courses
  • FCC Marine Radio Operator Permit

Contact Information

7Blossom Health Care LLC

About the School

Blossom Health Care LLC is a nursing assistant training school.

The school is licensed by the Department of Social and Health Services, the Aging and Disability Services Administration, Washington State Workforce Training and Educational Coordinating Board.

To be eligible for enrollment you have to:

  • Pass an English test
  • Provide proof of negative two-step TB test
  • Have the ability to lift at least 50 pounds
  • Pass a Washington state background check

Their CNA training program costs $775- which includes registration and tuition.

An MA bridge program is also available and costs $700.

If you find employment with a long-term facility within one year of completing your training, your employer is required to pay your tuition and testing fees by state laws.

Courses Offered

The school’s CNA program covers topics such as:

  • Roles and Responsibilities of a Certified Nursing Assistant
  • Technical and personal skills
  • Non-delegation diabetes
  • Legal issues
  • Understanding long-term care
  • And more

A Homecare Aid Training program is also available and it covers:

  • Orientation and Safety
  • Core Basic Training
  • Nurse Delegation Core
  • Non-Delegation Diabetes
  • Dementia Level 1
  • Mental Health Level 1
  • Hands-on Skill Training

Contact Information

8New Sound Trucking School

About the School

New Sound Trucking School offers CDL courses for Class A and Class B.

NSTS covers the Tacoma region.

Students obtain the education and behind-the-wheel training that will prepare them to obtain the Commercial Driving Licenses from Washington’s Department of Licensing.

The school’s owners have over 25 years of combined experience in the trucking industry.

Instructors have between 10-30 years of combined training and transport experience.

Courses offered

New Sound Trucking School provides a Class A (Manual and Automatic Transmission) course that includes:

  • 40 hours of theoretical training
  • 120 hours for practical parts

The Class B course requires 80 hours of practical training.

Classroom instruction covers trucking basics, vehicle safety, vehicle control systems, logbooks, bridge formula, hours of service, and more.

CDL Class A requires approximately three weeks of practical training, while CDL Class B requires two weeks of practical training.

The practical part covers range driving and city driving.

The range driving part includes:

  • Pre-trip inspection
  • Shifting
  • Coupling and backing maneuvers
  • And more

A Refresher Course is also available.

Students can obtain Passengers Endorsement, Tanker, or Hazmat Endorsement in addition.

Contact Information

9Alexandar School of Natural Therapeutics

About the School

Alexandar School of Natural Therapeutics is a massage therapy school founded in 1979.

The school offers a 722-clock hour massage program that prepares students for massage licensure in Washington.

Students learn from instructors who have many years of experience in the field in which they specialize.

To be eligible for enrollment you need:

  • A high school diploma, GED, or pass and ability-to-benefit test
  • To be at least 18 years of age
  • To be in a physical condition appropriate for practicing massage.

Tuition for this program is $13,000.

Tuition aid programs and in-house financing is available for students who qualify.

The enrollment process includes a few steps:

  • Step 1: School tour and interview with the school director
  • Step 2: Apply and pay a $100 application fee
  • Step 3: Being accepted into the program
  • Step 4: Enrollment appointment- where you sign the agreement and review the financial arrangements

Courses Offered

The 11-month program covers topics such as:

  • Orientation
  • Swedish Massage
  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Ethics
  • Hydrography
  • Geriatric Massage
  • Assessment and Pathology
  • Reflexology
  • Internship Clinical Practice & Business Practice
  • And more

Contact Information

10Health Professionals Institute

About the School

Health Professionals Institute offers affordable hands-on programs since 2003.

The classes are kept small, and students also have access to technological learning aids.

The following requirements apply to all their medical programs:

  • A background test
  • Tuberculosis test

Materials, such as uniforms, gait belts, and more may also be required, depending on the program.

Tuition for medical programs varies between $510-$17,000 depending on the program and its duration.

Specialty courses are also available and cost between $150-350.

Courses Offered

The following programs are available at the institute:

  • Medical Assistant- a program that includes 200 hours of real-world experience in healthcare settings
  • Medication Assistant- a curriculum that prepares students for MACE
  • Nursing Assistant- a 118-hour program that prepares students for the state exam
  • Bridge Programs- Medical Assistant Bridge to Nursing Assistant, Home Care Aide to Nursing Assistant
  • Home Care Aide- a 75-hour program that can be completed in approximately two weeks
  • ECG Technician- a six-week program that includes 183 hours of training
  • Phlebotomy Technician- a 10-12 week course with 300 hours of training
  • Online CNA Class
  • Online Medical Assistant
  • Continuing Education

Contact Information

Salary Information for Popular Trade Careers

CareerEmployedAvg. Annual SalaryAvg. Hourly PayTop 10% Annual SalaryBottom 10% Annual Salary
Paralegals and Legal Assistants5,590$78,230$37.61$106,510$50,410
Medical Records Specialists2,250$63,460$30.51$90,630$46,290
Nursing Assistants15,890$44,520$21.4$53,040$37,750
Dental Assistants6,050$53,330$25.64$63,550$37,180
Medical Assistants10,360$54,010$25.97$63,340$44,410
Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters5,880$86,230$41.46$135,560$46,320
Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics5,960$59,670$28.69$79,720$38,530
Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers3,800$70,410$33.85$101,660$47,090
* Salary information based on the May 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA metropolitan statistical area, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Final Thoughts

Trade schools offer training programs that can prepare you for your dream career in only a few months.

This page provided you with information about the top trade schools in the Tacoma region.

We invite you to continue with your research and choose the program that best meets your needs and professional aspirations.

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