10 Best Trade Schools inWest Virginia

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This page includes information about some of the best trade schools in West Virginia.

While a 4-year college may seem the natural step for most high school graduates, vocational training is a viable alternative for those who want to learn hands-on the practical skills needed to get a job.

Trade school are also a great option for adults who are seeking a better job, want to switch professions or are simply looking to learn a new craft.

West Virginia trade schools prepare students for a variety of high-demand jobs, such as dental assisting, carpentry, mechanics and much more.

We invite you to read further and see what The Mountain State has to offer.

State FlagTrade Schools by City

1Ben Franklin Career Center

For over 30 years, Ben Franklin Career Center is providing technical education for high school students and adults.

The training programs are designed to help students gain an entry-level position in their field after graduation.

The school’s adult programs are accredited by the Council on Occupational Education.

Enrollment. Adult applicants need a high school diploma, GED or TASC completion certificate and a driver’s license/ID.

Prospective students must interview with the instructor of their chosen program.

Students must pass a drug screen/background check.

The one-year high school programs are for 10th, 11th and 12th graders, while the two-year programs are for 10th and 11th graders only.

Fees. Adult students have to pay a $25 registration fee.

Tuition for adult students is $3,713 – for 11-month courses- and $2,970 – for 9-month courses.

Courses offered:

Adult programs:

  • Heavy Equipment Operations and Preventive Maintenance (11 months)
  • Diesel Technology (9 months)
  • HVAC (9 months)
  • Electrical Technician (11 months)
  • Surgical Technology (11 months)
  • Welding (11 months)

High school programs:

  • CISCO Networking Activities (1 year)
  • Computer System Repair Technology (1 year)
  • Early Childhood Education (1 year)
  • Electrical Technician (1 year)
  • Law Enforcement (1 year)
  • Robotics (1 year)
  • Automotive Technology (2 years)
  • Carpentry (2 years)
  • Diesel Equipment Technology (Blended Program) – 2 years
  • Energy & Power (2 years)
  • Health Occupations (2 years)
  • HVAC (2 years)
  • Machine/ Metal Technology (2 years)
  • Medical Assisting (2 years)
  • Pre-Nursing (2 years)
  • Sheet Metal (2 years)

Contact information:

2James Rumsey Technical Institute

James Rumsey Technical Institute is providing career and technical education for West Virginia high school students and adult learners.

The Institute also provides online courses where students can choose from quick classes that take only a few weeks to complete or career training that can be completed in up to 18 months.

James Rumsey Technical Institute is accredited by the Commission of the Council on Occupational Education.

Enrollment. Applicants to the adult programs must be at least 18 years of age and have a high school diploma or equivalent.

High school students should complete an online application and attend an interview with the Program Instructor (if required).

Fees. Tuition for adult programs varies between $1,500 and $9,141, depending on the program.

Courses offered:

Post-secondary programs:

  • Automotive Technology
  • Culinary Arts
  • Electrical Technology
  • Electromechanical Technology
  • HVAC & Refrigeration
  • Licensed Practical Nursing
  • Surgical Technology
  • Truck Driving
  • Massage Therapy

High-school programs:

  • Advanced IT (Informatics)
  • Automotive Technology
  • Carpentry
  • Cisco
  • Diesel Technology
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Electrical Technician
  • Fire Science/Emergency Services
  • Graphic Design
  • Coding, App, & Game Design
  • Law and Public Safety (Criminal Justice)
  • Masonry
  • Multimedia Publishing
  • Pro-Start (Culinary Arts)
  • Robotics
  • Therapeutic Services
  • Welding

Contact information:

3Ross Medical Education Center

The Ross Medical Education Center Charleston and Morganstown campuses offer training programs for future professionals in the allied health field.

Program duration ranges between 30 – 42.5 weeks, depending on the course and the program schedule.

All Ross Medical Education Center and Ross College Campuses are institutionally accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools.

Enrollment. Each applicant has to complete an evaluation that measures general ability.

Applicants must have graduated from a high school or equivalent.

Dental Assistant and Pharmacy Technician Program students must be over 18 years of age.

Students entering the Pharmacy Technician Program must also pass a required background check.

All other students must be at least 18 years of age at the time they begin externship.

Fees. The total cost is $15,990, including tuition, books, supplies, and lab fees.

Courses offered:

  • Medical Assistant
  • Medical Insurance Billing and Office Administration
  • Dental Assistant
  • Pharmacy Technician – only at Charleston campus

Contact information:

  • The Charleston campus is located at 5707 MacCorkle Avenue Southeast #20 Charleston, WV 25304
  • The Morganstown campus is located at 1064 Suncrest Towne Centre Dr. Morgantown, WV 26505
  • Phone: (866) 815-5578
  • Website: https://rosseducation.edu/campus/wv/charleston.php

4Carver Career and Technical Education Center

Carver Career and Technical Education Center provide Certificate programs and short-term education programs designed to prepare secondary students and adult students for employment, career advancement, and/or continued education.

The Center was established in 1970 and was the first vocational school in the state of West Virginia.

Carver Career Center is accredited under COE (Council on Occupational Education).

Enrollment. Secondary students need to obtain an application from their high school guidance counselor.

Adult applicants must have a high school diploma, GED or transcripts.

Fees. Tuition is 2.75/hour for full-time adult programs and $3/hour for part-time adult programs.

The registration fee for adult students is $35 for one-year programs and $55 for two-year programs.

Financial aid is also available to qualifying students.

Courses offered:

Some of the secondary programs offered at the Education Center are:

  • Advanced Manufacturing
  • Allied Health Sciences
  • Automotive Technology
  • Carpentry
  • Collision Repair Technology
  • Electrical Technician
  • Emergency and Firefighting Management Services
  • Graphic Design
  • Pet Grooming and Plant Systems
  • Plumbing
  • Welding

Adult programs:

  • Barbering (1200 hours)
  • Cosmetology (1800 hours)
  • Culinary Arts
  • Electrical Technician (1250 hours)
  • HVAC Technician
  • Respiratory Technician
  • Surgical Technology
  • Veterinary Technology

Contact information:

5BridgeValley Community & Technical College

BridgeValley Community & Technical College provides higher education, workforce development, and training for industries ranging from healthcare to manufacturing.

BridgeValley College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Enrollment. Applicants need a high school diploma or GED/TASC.

High school students should request an official high school transcript to be sent to the Office of Admission.

Fees. Tuition varies between $184 and $2,207 for West Virginia residents and between  $438 and $5,225 for non-WV residents.

Financial aid is available for qualifying students.

Courses offered:

The College offers the following certificate program:

  • Accounting
  • Advanced Manufacturing
  • Banking and Finance
  • Chemical Operations
  • Computer Maintenance and Networking
  • Criminal Justice
  • Diesel Technology
  • Drafting and Solid Modeling Technology
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Emergency Medical Services – Emergency Medical Technician
  • Entrepreneurship
  • General Education
  • Health Sciences
  • Human Services and Rehabilitation: Addictions
  • Human Services and Rehabilitation: Youth Development
  • Machine Tool Technology
  • Mechatronics
  • Medical Coding
  • Pre Engineering
  • Technical Studies
  • Welding Technology

Contact information:

  • The Montgomery Campus is located at 619 2nd Ave., Montgomery, WV 25136
  • Phone: (304)734-6600
  • South Charleston is located at 2001 Union Carbide Drive, South Charleston, WV 25303
  • Phone: (304)205-6600
  • Website: http://www.bridgevalley.edu

6Garnet Career Center

Garnet Career Center provides career and technical programs for adult learners.

The Career Center offers training in many different occupational areas: healthcare, business, and automotive technology.

Program duration varies: the Phlebotomy Technician program can be completed in 12 weeks, while the 675-hours programs (Business Education and Automotive Technician) can be completed in six months.

Students can graduate from the Practical Nursing program in one year.

Garnet is fully accredited through the Council on Occupational Education (COE).

Enrollment. Applicants need to provide a high school diploma or transcript, GED/TASC certificate.

Students must be 18 years old before the program starts or prior to clinical rotations and/or on-the-job training.

Prospective students also need a copy of Driver’s License or photo ID.

Fees. Registration fee is $100 for the Practical Nursing program; the fee for the other programs is $20.

Total costs vary between $1,270 and $7,763, depending on the program.

Financial aid is available to qualifying students.

Courses offered:

  • Administrative and Business Support/Accounting
  • Automotive Technology (675 hours)
  • Practical Nursing (1,350 hours)
  • Phlebotomy Technician (174 hours)

Contact information:

  • Garnet Career Center is located at Garnet Career Center, 422 Dickinson Street, Charleston, WV 25301
  • Phone: 304-348-6195
  • Website: http://garnet.edu

7Putnam Career & Technical Center

Putnam Career & Technical Center provides training programs designed to produce career and college-ready graduates.

Program length varies between 10 and 22 months, depending on the course.

The Center is accredited by the Commission of the Council on Occupational Education.

Center instructors are certified by the West Virginia State Department of Education and have work experience in their field.

Enrollment. Applicants need a high school diploma or TASC.

Additional requirements may include pre-entrance testing, physical exams, vaccinations, etc.

Fees. Tuition ranges from 3,225 to 5,182; books and supplies cost between $30-$805.

Financial assistance is available to qualifying students.

Courses offered:

  • Automotive Technology
  • Cisco Networking Academies
  • Masonry
  • Electrical Technician
  • Carpentry
  • HVAC
  • Welding
  • Plumbing
  • Diesel Equipment Technology
  • Collision Repair Technology
  • Dental Assisting/Allied Health Sciences
  • Graphic Design
  • ProStart (Culinary)
  • Dental Lab Technician
  • Drafting
  • Practical Nursing
  • Emergency Medical Technician
  • Direct Care Worker
  • Patient Care Technician

Contact information:

  • Putnam Career & Technical Center is located at 300 Roosevelt Blvd. PO Box 640, Eleanor, WV 25070
  • Phone: 304.586.3494
  • Website: http://www.pctc.edu

8Fayette Institute of Technology

Fayette Institute of Technology is offering career and technical programs designed to help students integrate academics with technological skills.

The Institute offers vocational training for those who want certification and programs for secondary students who want to supplement their high school program of study.

Fayette Institute of Technology was founded in 1973 and has been recognized as a significant educational institution in Southern West Virginia ever since.

FIT has recently received the West Virginia School of Excellence Award.

Programs offered at the Fayette Institute of Technology are approved by the West Virginia Department of Education and accredited by the Council on Occupational Education.

Fees. Tuition cost varies by program; financial aid is available to qualifying students.

Courses offered:

Some of the programs offered by the Fayette Institute of Technology are:

  • Adult Education
  • Automotive Technology
  • Collision and Repair
  • Business Technology
  • Carpentry
  • Computer-Aided Drafting
  • Computer Maintenance
  • Electrical Technology
  • Forestry
  • Health Science Technology
  • HVAC
  • Masonry
  • Parks and Recreation
  • Plumbing
  • Welding
  • and more

Contact information:

9Clarksburg Beauty Academy

Clarksburg Beauty Academy is training future cosmetologists, nail technicians, and massage therapists.

The beauty training facilities consist of spacious classrooms equipped with the latest technology.

The school also has a full-service clinic where students can work at individual workstations in an atmosphere that mimics the salon experience.

The area dedicated to the massage therapy course has been transformed into a spa with private massage rooms.

After graduation students are qualified to take the National Certification Exam in their field to be licensed by the State of West Virginia.

Clarksburg Beauty Academy is accredited by the National Accrediting Commission of Career Arts & Sciences.

Enrollment. Students must be at least 18 years of age when they begin classes; a copy of current driver’s license or state ID is required.

Applicants need a copy of high school diploma or equivalent, a copy of their Social Security Card and 4 passport-style pictures.

Ability-to-benefit students must take a test that measures the applicant’s aptitude to successfully complete the course.

Additional requirements vary by program.

Fees vary by program.

The total cost of the Cosmetology program is $16,090 while the Manicuring program costs $3,350.

The total tuition cost for the Massage Therapy program is $7,650.

The Hairstyling program costs $11,060.

Courses offered:

  • Cosmetology
  • Nail Technology
  • Massage Therapy
  • Hairstyling

Contact information:

10Blue Ridge Community and Technical College

Blue Ridge Community and Technical College offer associate degrees, certificates, and certification training for future professionals in information technology, culinary arts, engineering, liberal arts, business administration, and allied health fields.

Certificate programs prepare students for future careers typically in half the time it takes to achieve an Associate Degree.

Many of the College’s Certificate programs allow students to earn credit toward a future degree.

The Certification Programs are designed to speed student’s entry in professional fields such as technology and healthcare.

Certification Programs also allow students to earn credit toward a future degree.

Blue Ridge CTC is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.

Fees. Tuition for the 12-month Certificate Programs is $4,128.

Courses offered

Some of the Certificate programs offered by Blue Ridge are:

  • Bookkeeping
  • Small Business Development
  • Baking and Pastry
  • Computer-Aided Design
  • Robotics
  • Medical Assisting
  • Medical Coding Specialist
  • Legal Office Assistant
  • Applied Laboratory Technician
  • Digital Media Specialist
  • Welding

The College offers many Certification programs, including:

  • Procter & Gamble Certification Program
  • Dental Assisting
  • EKG/Cardiovascular Technician
  • Medical Billing and Coding
  • Pharmacy Technician
  • Phlebotomy Technician

Contact information:

  • The Blue Ridge CTC is located at 13650 Apple Harvest Drive, Martinsburg, WV, 25403
  • Phone: 304-260-4380
  • Website: http://www.blueridgectc.edu

Salary Information for Popular Trade Careers

CareerEmployedAvg. Annual SalaryAvg. Hourly PayTop 10% Annual SalaryBottom 10% Annual Salary
Paralegals and Legal Assistants1,990$50,380$24.22$77,230$28,760
Medical Records Specialists1,240$42,470$20.42$62,000$27,960
Nursing Assistants8,290$32,470$15.61$37,110$27,540
Dental Assistants1,440$37,510$18.04$49,560$28,860
Medical Assistants3,740$32,300$15.53$37,120$26,860
Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters1,240$55,100$26.49$82,460$32,760
Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics3,900$38,020$18.28$60,350$23,230
Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers1,660$44,060$21.18$61,530$29,560
* Salary information based on the May 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for West Virginia, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Final Thoughts

Choosing the professional path you want to pursue it’s a very important decision; one that takes a lot of time and self-analysis.

If you decided that vocational training is the path you want to follow the next step is to make a list of all the trade schools that offer training in your chosen field.

Then you have to compare them by taking into account all the relevant factors: tuition, schedule, instructors, accreditation, graduation rate, student reviews, etc.

So, start early and take your time!