Best Trade Schools inVancouver

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If you want a rewarding career that requires only a few months of post-secondary training, this page is for you.

Trade schools design programs that prepare students for employment in in-demand industries, such as allied health, construction, or the beauty sector.

This page includes information about top training schools in Vancouver.

The programs included here combine classroom training with hands-on career-focused instruction and, depending on your career expectations, can be a viable alternative to four-year college programs.

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1Charter College

About the School

Charter College offers career training programs in business, health care, information technology, trades, and veterinary assisting.

The programs include hands-on training that follows industry-standard labs.

Students can choose between day, evening, online, and blended programs.

Classes are kept small, so each student receives the attention they need.

Charter College is nationally accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools.

Courses Offered

Charter College offers training in a variety of fields.

For example, their health care division includes programs such as:

  • B.S. in Health Care Administration
  • A.A.S. in Allied Health – a five-month fully online program.
  • A.A.S. in Medical Billing and Coding – a 14-month program that is available online
  • Medical Assistant – a 10-month blended program
  • Dental Assisting- a 10-month blended program
  • Certificate in Health Unit Coordinator
  • Certificate in Medical Office Administrative Assistant – an online program that can be completed in 10 months
  • Pharmacy Technician – a 10-month blended program

Skilled trades programs are also available:

  • A.A.S. in Applied Technology – a five-month online program that helps you transform your certificate into an Associate of Applied Science degree.
  • Certificate in HVAC
  • Certificate in Welding

The two certificate programs mentioned above last 10 months and are available in a blended learning format.

Contact Information

2Cascadia Tech Academy

About the School

Cascadia Tech Academy is a career and technical learning school.

The school is an opportunity for high school juniors and seniors to earn college credits as well as certifications and licenses that make them eligible for employment right after graduation.

The programs are tuition-free.

Graduates earn college credit and obtain industry certification.

Cascadia Tech is owned by nine local school districts and Educational Service District 112.

Sophomores and juniors enrolled in a high school that is a member of one of these districts are eligible to apply through their school counselor for their junior or senior year.

Courses Offered

Cascadia Tech offers in-demand programs in Applied Medical Sciences, Automotive Technology, Aviation Technology, Business Principles, Construction Technology, Dental, Hospitality & Tourism, Cosmetology, Diesel Technology, Information Technology, Criminal Justice, Fire Science, Medical Assisting, Culinary, Baking & Pastry Arts, Fashion Design, and Pre-Engineering Design Technology.

Some one-year courses give students the option of attending a second-year advanced class.

Depending on the program, after graduation, you may be eligible to sit for the licensing exam in your field.

Students also have the opportunity of gaining career experience through internships or on-site.

Contact Information

3Elite Dental Assisting Academy

About the School

Elite Dental Assisting Academy prepares students for careers as dental assistants.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the dental assistant profession will grow 11 percent from 2020 to 2030, faster than the average for all occupations.

Dentists need good dental assistants to complete a variety of tasks in the dental office, including:

  • Preparing patients and work areas
  • Sterilizing instruments
  • Handing instruments to the dentists during procedures
  • Using suction hoses and other equipment to dry patients’ mouths
  • Scheduling patients’ appointments
  • Working with patients on billing and payment
  • And more

According to their website, Elite Dental Assisting Academy students have a graduation rate of 80%.

Courses Offered

Elite Dental Assisting Academy offers a Dental Assistant program that gets students ready for employment.

Through their program, students can start a career in as few as 13 weeks.

Trainees learn in an upscale facility.

Each class consists of one hour of lectures, a 15-minute break, and two hours of hands-on lab.

The school offers three types of programs to fit students’ busy schedules:

  • Two days a week in the evenings
  • Two days a week in the mornings
  • Hybrid (one evening online, one evening in person each week)

Contact Information

4Vancouver Dental Assisting School

About the School

Vancouver Dental Assisting School prepares students for careers as dental assistants or dental front desk employees.

Their Dental Assistant program includes classroom and hands-on training, thus preparing students to enter this profession with confidence.

Classes are kept small, so each student receives direct feedback from instructors and dentists.

Financial assistance is available for students who qualify.

Tuition for the full 10 classes is $6,495.

The registration fee is $150, which can be paid through the school’s online portal to reserve the student’s spot in class.

Courses Offered

The following courses are offered:

  • Dental Assisting- a course that covers topics such as:
    • Introduction to Dentistry
    • Basic Dental Assisting Theory
    • Radiology
    • Assisting for Prosthodontics
    • Dental Specialties
    • Administrative Techniques, Interview Techniques, CPR Certification, and Graduation
    • And more
  • Dental Front Desk – this program includes classes for those who want to learn the basics of dental front desk work, for dental assistants who want to learn how to work at the front desk, and for those who currently work on a front desk but would like to learn new skills
  • Radiology Proficiency

Contact Information

5Northwest NAC Training

About the School

Northwest NAC Training provides a training program that prepares students for a career as a nursing assistant in 30 days.

The school is Washington state’s official CNA exam test site.

This exam includes two portions: a multiple-choice exam and a demonstration of the students’ skills.

The skills that are tested during the certification exam include:

  • Handwashing techniques
  • Taking and recording vitals
  • Assisting with daily living activities
  • Rehabilitation and incontinent care
  • And more

The application fee is $100.

Tuition for the CNA course is $1,150 and includes courses, TB test, workbook, stethoscope, access to presentations, access to videos before and after graduation, access to skills book in print and online, a $10 voucher for BLS (CPR) class, and more.

Courses Offered

Their training program includes 120 hours of instruction towards CNA certification- a credential that makes students eligible for employment anywhere in the United States.

Their training programs include clinical experience in a care facility.

The following are available at their campus:

  • HIV/AIDS Programs
  • CPR Certification
  • Nurse Delegation/Diabetes
  • Continuing Education
  • CNA Exam

Contact Information

6Pacific Northwest Massage Academy

About the School

Pacific Northwest Massage Academy offers a 725-hour education program in massage therapy.

Washington requires a minimum of 625 hours of education to become eligible for a massage therapy license.

Their curriculum is approved by the Department of Health, Washington State, and Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board.

The school offers day and night classes to accommodate students’ schedules.

The base tuition is $11,400.

To be eligible for admission applicants need:

  • A high school diploma or GED
  • A government-approved ID
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Be at least 18 years old by the time of graduation
  • Students have to be able to take tests in English

Courses Offered

Their massage program includes training in contemporary massage practices and techniques.

The curriculum also covers:

  • 80 hours of class instruction
  • 16 hours of training in Pregnancy and Sports massage
  • Kinesio Taping Cupping and Gua sha
  • Introduction to Spa theory and techniques
  • Extensive Deep Tissue and treatment
  • Eastern theory and energetic modalities
  • Body/mind concepts

CPR/First aid training is also included in this program.

Students also receive:

  • MBLEx exam preparation class
  • Career and job outreach
  • Student liability insurance

Contact Information

7Aveda Institute Portland

About the School

Aveda Institute Portland offers training programs for those who want to start a career in the beauty industry.

The school’s admission requirements include:

  • Attending an interview
  • Being at least 18 years of age
  • Having a high school diploma or GED

Total costs vary between less than $10,000 and more than $18,000, depending on the program.

For example, the Cosmetology program costs $18,055 while the esthiology program is $9,445.

The costs include tuition, kit fee, and a $100 registration fee.

Programs include between 22.5 and 35 hours of training per week.

Courses Offered

The following courses are available:

  • Cosmetology Program – a 1,600-hour curriculum that provides students with theoretical and hands-on instruction in hair design, nail technology, and esthetics.
  • Esthiology Program – a 750-hour program that covers skincare, body treatments, facials, makeup application, wellness and retail, as well as business development.
  • Hair Design Program – a 1,400-hour program that focuses on haircutting, coloring, and styling.
  • Barbering Program- a 1,000 program that covers the foundations of haircutting and esthetics as well as Aveda barbering techniques.

Contact Information

  • Address: 6615 NE Fourth Plain Blvd, Vancouver, WA 98661
  • Phone: (360)326-0567
  • Website:

8Elite School of Beauty

About the School

Elite School of Beauty educates and trains students in the skills needed for a career as a licensed cosmetologist.

Students enrolled in this program learn in an intimate family-oriented environment.

Their cosmetology program takes 10 to 11 months to complete and covers 1,600 hours of training.

Classes take place Tuesday thru Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

To be eligible for enrollment, applicants must be at least 17 years of age.

No high school diploma or GED is required.

Students learn in a small classroom setting, thus having the chance to receive one-on-one instruction.

The class costs $7,800 and includes the registration fee, kit fee, and tuition.

Flexible payment plans that start at only $365 per month are also available.

Classes start every two months.

Courses Offered

Their 1,600-hour Cosmetology training program includes classes in hair cutting, shaping, styling, chemical services, permanent waving, facials, make-up, manicures, sanitation, public health methods, occupational requirements, and more.

After graduation students are eligible to take the state licensing exam to become Licensed Cosmetologists.

The curriculum is structured in 300 hours of freshman instruction and 1,300 hours of clinical training.

Contact Information

9NorthWest Line JATC

About the School

Northwest Line JATC provides training for those who want to become journeymen in constructing and maintaining electrical systems.

The school offers a 400-hour line training program that is broken down into 10 weeks.

The VOLTA program costs $8,500- which includes a $150 enrollment fee.

Students have to bring their tools and are responsible for their lodging and meals.

The school also offers two apprenticeship programs.

These apprenticeships include a 4,000-hour on-the-job training program that can be completed in approximately two years.

Apprenticeship fees also apply.

Courses Offered

The following courses are available:

  • Line Apprenticeship – this program prepares students for a career in powerline construction
  • Tree Apprenticeship – a program that trains tree trimmers who know how to identify trees that pose a danger
  • Volta Line School – a program offered by the Vocational Outside Line Training Academy (VOLTA) and prepares students for a career in the outside line industry.

VOLTA is a private, non-profit vocational training school that is approved by the state.

Each session currently accepts 32 students.

Other classes are also available:

  • Industry Training
  • Journeyman Hot Stick Training
  • First Aid/CPR Certification
  • Traffic Control/Flagger Certification
  • Crane Training
  • Utility Apprentice Training

Contact Information

  • Address: 9817 NE 54th Street, Suite 101, Vancouver, WA 98662
  • Phone: 360-816-7100
  • Website:

10Cedar's Academy

About the School

Cedar’s Academy of Makeup Artistry is an award-winning makeup school that offers an accelerated program for those who want to learn makeup artists’ creativity, techniques, and professionalism.

Classes are available in English and Spanish.

Cedar’s Academy has won Vancouver’s Best Beauty School two years running.

The school’s founder has 12 years of experience as a freelance makeup artist and is a Certified Permanent Makeup Artist, a Certified Bellami Hair Extension Artist, a Certified MAC artist, and an entrepreneur.

All school’s artists have the opportunity of working at the school’s salon, CAMA Studios and have access to the academy’s job board.

Classes are available on Sundays, Saturdays, and Mondays.

If interested in enrolling in one of their classes, applicants can schedule a tour through the school’s website.

Courses Offered

The school offers a 12-week makeup certification course that covers airbrush makeup, special Fx makeup, glam makeup, bridal makeup, and more.

Graduates receive a fully-stocked professional makeup kit, help with internships, mentoring programs, and job placement.

The training programs also include freelancing how-to’s.

Graduates have everything they need to start earning money right away.

Contact Information

Final Thoughts

Now that you have read our list of top Vancouver trade schools, it’s time to continue with your research.

We know that choosing the right program can be difficult, and this list is meant to give you a headstart in your school search process.

Before deciding where to apply, make sure you gather all the information that is relevant to this decision, including costs, accreditation, curriculum, and schedule.

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