10 Best Trade Schools inWisconsin

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This page compiles information about 10 of the best trade schools in Wisconsin.

While a four-year college may seem the natural next step for most high-school graduates, trade schools are a viable alternative for students who can’t afford to pay for a traditional college and want to learn hands-on the skills needed to get a job.

The list below offers general information about some of the best career-training options that are available to Wisconsin students.

We invite you to read our list and explore all your options.

State FlagTrade Schools by City

1Southwest Wisconsin Technical College

Southwest Wisconsin Technical College provides apprenticeship, certificate, technical diploma, and associate degree programs.

The College helps students develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed for building a successful career.

Southwest Tech also provides continuing education opportunities for District workers and residents.

The College aims to make high-quality, affordable education accessible to a diverse population.

All programs that Southwest Tech offers have been approved by the
Wisconsin Technical College System Board.

Southwest Tech is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Enrollment. Application requirements vary by program.

Fees. The application fee is $30.

Tuition for the technical and certificate programs varies between $470-$9,770.

Financial aid, scholarships, and veteran education benefits are available to qualifying students.

Courses offered:

  • Automotive Technician
  • Building Trades- Carpentry
  • Construction Electrician Apprenticeship
  • Dental Assistant
  • Industrial Mechanic
  • Medical Assistant
  • Medical Coding Specialist
  • Pharmacy Technician
  • Welding
  • and many more

Contact information:

  • Southwest Tech  is located at 1800 Bronson Boulevard, Fennimore, WI 53809
  • Phone: 608.822.3262
  • Website: https://www.swtc.edu

2Academy of Beauty Professionals

The Academy of Beauty Professionals is offering courses for future cosmetologists, barbers, nail technicians, and estheticians.

The school has three locations in Wisconsin: in Appleton, Green Bay and Madison.

The Academy offers hands-on, interactive learning and a small student-to-instructor ratio.

The Academy of Beauty Professionals received national accreditation through the National Accrediting Commission of Cosmetology Arts and Sciences in 1986.

After graduating from one of the Academy’s programs, students will be able to take the State Board Exam to get their license.

Enrollment. The first step is to fill out a form on the school’s website.

Prospective students will then be contacted by a member of the school staff who will schedule a career planning session.

Then students will complete the application process with their admissions representative.

Applicants need a high school diploma, GED or equivalent.

Fees. Tuition varies by program.

Financial aid is also available to qualifying students.

Courses offered:

  • Cosmetology (1550 hours)
  • Barbering (1000 hours)
  • Nail Technology (300 hours)
  • Esthetics (600 hours)
  • Instructor Training (150 hours)

Contact information:

  • Appleton: 525 Westhill Boulevard, Appleton WI, 54914
  • Phone:  920-815-3375
  • Green Bay:  2575 West Mason Street, Green Bay WI 54303
  • Phone:  920-857-1081
  • Madison: 6414 Odana Road, Madison WI 53719
  • Phone:  608-709-5204
  • Website: https://www.academyofbeautyprofessionals.com

3The Salon Professional Academy

Another great school for those who want to build a career in the beauty industry is The Salon Professional Academy in Appleton.

The Cosmetology program provides students with hands-on training in innovative and advanced, Redken-infused styling, cutting and coloring techniques.

The Aesthetics program teaches students specialized techniques and theoretical principles for skin analysis and conditions, facials, chemical treatments, skin and body treatments and much more.

The beauty school helps students develop great technical ability, business and marketing aptitude, and guest handling skills, thus getting them ready for the state board exam and for a successful career in the beauty industry.

Enrollment. Prospective students can apply by downloading an Enrollment Application from the school’s website and return it to the Academy via mail or in person.

Applicants need a high school and post-high school transcripts.

Fees. The registration fee is $100.

Tuition for the 13-month Cosmetology program is $15,800.

For the 5-month Aesthetics, program tuition is $7,950.

Financial aid and scholarships are also available to qualifying students.

Courses offered:

  • Cosmetology
  • Aesthetics

Contact information:

  • The school is located at 3355 West College Avenue Appleton, WI 54914
  • Phone: 920-944-2758
  • Text: 920-931-0090
  • Website: https://www.tspaappleton.com

4Wisconsin Dental Assistant School

Wisconsin Dental Assistant School trains future dental assistants and prepares them for entry-level employment in the field of dentistry.

The accelerated course takes place on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The State Certified dental assistant course can be completed in 10 weeks.

With small class sizes, the course is half lecture and half hands-on training conducted in an Oconomowoc dental office.

The school is certified, authorized and approved by the State of Wisconsin.

After graduation, students will receive a Dental Assisting Achievement Certificate.

Enrollment. The first step is to complete an application that can be found on the school’s website.

Applicants will then be invited to visit the school and participate in a personal interview.

Fees. Tuition for the Dental Assistant program is $3,495.

This price includes 80 hours of classroom and laboratory training, a textbook, uniform, CPR certification, and the Achievement Certificate.

Tuition financing is also available to qualifying students.

Contact Information:

  • The Wisconsin Dental Assistant School is located at 819 Summit Ave, Oconomowoc, WI 53066
  • Phone: 262-567-7224
  • Website: https://wdas.info

5Today's Dentistry Assisting School

Today’s Dentistry is a state-approved Dental Assisting school near Milwaukee.

The school provides students with a pathway to a rewarding dental assisting career in just 11 weeks of Saturday classes.

The classes are held onsite at Today’s Dentistry Cedarburg dental office.

Students learn from working professionals with over 40 years of combined dental experience.

The dental assisting school provides state-of-the-art dental equipment and technology at its real-life dental office.

Classes are held for 8 hours every Saturday; morning lectures are followed by afternoons of hands-on dental assisting training in a clinic setting.

The school offers small class sizes of 10-12 students and a student-to-teacher ratio of 5:1.

After graduation students receive a Certificate of Achievement in dental assisting.

Fees. Tuition is $3,450, including Syllabus, course textbook, lab fees, clinic materials, scrubs, CPR training, resume and interview training, course completion certificate and a teeth whitening kit.

The school also offers in-house financing.

Contact information:

  • Today’s Dentistry Assisting School is located at W68 N101 Evergreen Blvd., Cedarburg, WI 53012
  • Phone: 262-674-0260
  • Website: http://todaysdentistry.us

6Western Technical College

The Western Technical College provides hands-on training and education to help students start a successful career.

Western Technical College is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.

The college is a member of the American Association of Community Colleges, the American Technical Education Association, and the American Vocational Association.

Enrollment. Application requirements vary by program.

For most programs, students need a High School Transcript or GED/HSED.

Prospective students have to pass the ACCUPLACER, a computer-based, online assessment that measures their abilities in reading, sentence skills, and arithmetic.

Fees. The application fee is $30, while tuition varies by program.

The estimated program cost for the Refrigeration, Air Conditioning & Heating Service Technician is $6000, while the Nursing Assistant program costs approximately $500.

Courses offered:

The College offers many training programs, including:

  • Dental Assistant
  • Medical Coding Specialist
  • Nursing Assistant
  • Pharmacy Technician
  • Basic Welding
  • Electromechanical Technology
  • Mechanical Maintenance
  • Refrigeration, Air Conditioning & Heating Service Technician
  • Automotive Technician
  • Diesel & Heavy Equipment Technician

Contact information:

  • The College is located at Western Technical College, 400 7th Street North, La Crosse, WI 54601
  • Phone: 608-785-9200 / 800-322-9982
  • Website: https://www.westerntc.edu

7Fox Valley Technical College

Fox Valley Technical College provides technical education and training for future skilled workers in many high-demand trades.

The College offers more than 200 hands-on, career-centered Degree, Certificate and Diploma Programs.

The Certificate-level educational programs provide students with the skills and knowledge necessary in their future careers, from job-entry to advanced certification.

Fox Valley Technical College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Enrollment. Prospective students can apply for admission through the College’s website.

Fees. Tuition costs vary by program.

The approximate tuition is $6,000 for the Dental Assistant program, 5,200 for the Medical Assistant program, and $5,800 for the Welding/Metal Fabrication program.

Financial aid is available to students who qualify.

Courses offered:

The College is offering a variety of Certificate and Apprenticeship programs, including:

  • Truck Driving
  • Auto Collision Repair & Refinishing Technician
  • Diesel Equipment Mechanic
  • Dental Assistant
  • Medical Assistant
  • Pharmacy Technician
  • Phlebotomy Technician
  • Welding/Metal Fabrication
  • Wood Manufacturing Technology
  • Electrician Apprentice
  • Plumbing Apprentice
  • Pipe Fabricator Apprentice

Contact information:

  • Fox Valley Technical College is located at 1825 N. Bluemound Drive, P.O. Box 2277 Appleton, WI 54912-2277
  • Toll-Free: 1-800-735-3882
  • Website: https://www.fvtc.edu

8West Healing Arts Institute

Founded in 2000, West Healing Arts Institute is providing therapeutic massage education specializing in the integration of Eastern and Western methods.

The school has a 7:1 students-to-teacher ratio.

The 800-hour program includes classroom lecture as well as hands-on experience and can be completed in approximately 10 months by full-time students.

A part-time program is also available.

The Institute has two locations: one in Madison and one in Milwaukee.

East-West Healing Arts Institute is institutionally accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools.

After graduation students will receive a diploma that certifies the completion of 800 hours of training.

Graduates will be qualified to apply for Wisconsin Licensure for Massage Therapy and Bodywork Therapy and take the Laws and Statutes Exam.

Graduates are also qualified to sit for the MBLEX, the Massage and Bodywork Licensing Exam.

Fees. The total charges vary between 14,025-15,025, depending on the payment plan.

East-West Healing Arts Institute offers Title IV Federal Student Aid to students who qualify.

Contact information:

  • Madison Campus is located at 6425 Normandy Lane, Madison, WI 53719
  • Phone: (608) 240-1600
  • Milwaukee Campus: 4601 N. Oakland Ave, Suite 218 Milwaukee, WI 53211
  • Phone: (414) 312-7929
  • Website: https://acupressureschool.com

9Milwaukee Area Technical College

Milwaukee Area Technical College is a public computer school in the Milwaukee area.

The College provides Industry Certification programs, Associate Degree Programs, one semester Certificates, as well are IT Support Classes at its 4 campuses: in West Allis, Oak Creek, Mequon, and Downtown Milwaukee.

The IT Service Center Technician Pathway Certificate helps students start a career in information technology in just 15 weeks.

After completing the IT Service Center Technician program students can prepare for key industry certifications, such as CompTIA A+ Certification, HDI-SCA, HDI-DTS and ITIL Foundation.

Courses offered:

The one-semester certificate programs offered by Milwaukee Area Technical College are:

  • IT Service Center Technician Pathway Certificate
  • Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Support Specialist Certificate
  • Level 2- Service Center Technician Pathway Certificate

Contact information:

  • The College is located at 700 W. State Street, Milwaukee WI. 53233
  • Phone: (414) 297-MATC (6282)
  • Website: https://matcitsupport.org

10160 Driving Academy

160 Driving Academy offers a four-week training course that prepares students for the Class A CDL exam.

The school has a 4:1 student-to-instructor ratio.

The school helps over 85% of its students cover their tuition costs.

160 Driving Academy works with many trucking companies who are willing to cover 100% of a student’s tuition if he or she meets certain conditions and accepts a job after graduation.

The Academy has 25+ campuses across Midwest, including two in Milwaukee.

The CDL Training program consists of classroom instruction, which takes up to one-quarter of the four-week course, and behind-the-wheel training.

The classroom instruction portion teaches students the rules and regulations of truck driving, helping them get ready for the written portion of the Class A CDL exam.

During the 120 hours of behind-the-wheel training, students will also practice driving on local roads, streets, and highways.

Interstate routes will also be included in the training to prepare students for their exam.

Courses offered:

  • CDL Class A Training
  • CDL Refresher course

Contact information:

  • 9545 South 20th Street, Oak Creek WI 53154
  • Phone: (414) 269-5594
  • 3732 W Wisconsin Ave, Milwaukee WI 53208
  • Phone: (414) 455-6687
  • Website: https://www.160drivingacademy.com

Salary Information for Popular Trade Careers

CareerEmployedAvg. Annual SalaryAvg. Hourly PayTop 10% Annual SalaryBottom 10% Annual Salary
Paralegals and Legal Assistants4,840$54,880$26.39$78,420$37,460
Medical Records Specialists4,040$52,010$25.01$65,470$36,340
Nursing Assistants26,690$36,750$17.67$42,370$30,630
Dental Assistants6,550$44,140$21.22$54,560$36,410
Medical Assistants12,860$42,110$20.24$48,270$34,290
Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters6,890$71,220$34.24$102,890$39,540
Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics12,570$49,350$23.73$72,080$30,620
Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers5,930$64,250$30.89$101,390$41,600
* Salary information based on the May 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Wisconsin, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Final Thoughts

Trade schools offer students the chance to become job-ready in a matter of months.

Wisconsin trade schools provide many hands-on training programs to high school graduates and adults who want to learn a new craft.

The information presented on this page is meant to help you choose the school that best meets your schedule, budget, and educational needs.

Don’t forget to do your own research and explore all your options before making a decision.