10 Best Trade Schools inMadison, WI

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If you live in Madison, Wisconsin and you’d like to start a career in skilled trades, this page is for you.

Here we will compile information about the best trade schools in the region and the programs they offer.

A variety of career paths are available, from medical assisting to welding to cosmetology.

Most programs can be completed in less than two years and prepare students for entry-level employment in their field of choice and/or licensure exams.

If you’d like to learn the skills needed for a new career through a combination of on-the-job and classroom training, the region also offers a variety of apprenticeships.

1Madison Area Technical College

About the School

Madison Area Technical College provides career training in 11 areas of study, from architecture to welding.

Students also have access to transfer options to UW-Madison and beyond.

Opportunities are available for high school students as well.

Courses Offered

The college provides a wide range of programs, including:

  • Accounting
  • Accounting Assistant
  • Addiction Studies
  • Agricultural Equipment Service Technician
  • Auto Collision Repair & Refinishing Technician
  • Barbering Apprentice
  • Facilities Management
  • Fire Protection Technician
  • Healthcare Management
  • HVAC Apprentice
  • And many more

Program duration varies depending on the pathway and the credential it leads to.

The Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning apprentice program includes 16 credits and lasts four years.

Courses include blueprint reading, mathematics, electrical code requirements, and safety and first aid practices.

The Associate Degree in Air Conditioning, Heating, & Refrigeration Technology can be earned in two years and includes 63 credits.

Contact Information

2Aveda | The Institute of Beauty and Wellness

About the School

Aveda | The Institute of Beauty and Wellness provides students with real-world experience through a clinic lab and externship opportunities.

The curriculum combines business and social medial training to prepare students for a profitable career in the industry.

Courses Offered

The following programs are available at the institute:

  • Ayurveda Esthetics- this program combines the modern practice of esthiology with ancient traditions
  • Barbering- this 1,000-hour program includes training in current grooming techniques in cutting, shaving, texture, detail, and precision
  • Cosmetology- a 1,600-hour program that prepares students with skills in styling, coloring, texturing, makeup application, and more
  • Esthiology- this program covers from body treatments and facials to hair removal and makeup
  • Manicuring- students learn Aveda’s natural manicure and pedicure techniques as well as trends in nail art, gels, and acrylics
  • Massage Therapy- a 750-hour program that teaches students about the complexity of the human body and various massage techniques used to heal and restore balance.

Contact Information

  • Address: 353 E Campus Mall, Madison, WI 53715
  • Phone: 608.250.3100
  • Website: https://ibw.edu

3Wisconsin Technical College System

About the School

Wisconsin Technical College System offers more than 500 programs that award two-year associate degrees, one and two-year technical diplomas short-term technical diplomas, and certificates.

The college provides the following educational opportunities: apprenticeships, dual credit, HSED and GED, English Language Learners, and Re-Entry from Correctional Institutions.

Courses Offered

More than 270,000 people enroll each year.

Training programs are available to prepare students for the following career paths:

  • Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources
  • Architecture and Construction
  • Business, Management, and Administration
  • Health Science
  • Hospitality and Tourism
  • Human Services
  • Manufacturing
  • And more

Students who want to start a career in manufacturing have plenty of career paths to choose from, including Advanced Gas Metal Arc Welding, Advanced Industrial Maintenance Certificate, Advanced Manufacturing Technology Appliance Technician, Automation, Basic Industrial Maintenance Certificate, Basic Machining, and more.

The Health Science pathway includes a variety of programs that can lead to an Associate in Applied Science, including Anesthesia Technology, Biotechnology Laboratory Technician, Community Health, and Nutrition Navigator, Dental Hygienist, Diagnostic Medical Sonography, Echocardiography, and more.

Certificates are also available for those who want to start careers in the healthcare field or want to advance to a better-paid position by learning new skills.

Contact Information

  • Address: 4622 University Avenue, PO Box 7874, Madison, WI 53707-7874
  • Phone: (608) 266-1207
  • Website: https://www.wtcsystem.edu

4East-West Healing Arts Institute, Inc.

About the School

With campuses in Madison and Milwaukee, East-West Healing Arts Institute provides training programs that can be completed in as few as 10 months.

Students learn from a dedicated faculty with years of experience in the industry.

Full-time and part-time programs are available to accommodate students’ schedules.

Courses Offered

The curriculum covers topics on both Eastern theory and modern Western science.

Eastern theory classes include Introduction to Chinese Medicine and Herbology, Acupressure Point Location, Tuina and Therapeutic Massage, and more.

Western science classes include Clinical Pathology, Practical Anatomy, Kinesiology and Body Structure Assessment, Anatomy and Physiology, and Pathology.

The full-time program consists of five terms, eight weeks each, and can be completed in 10 months.

The part-time program consists of ten terms that equal 64 weeks of coursework and can be completed in approximately 16 months.

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

They are also qualified to sit for the MBLEx- the Massage and Bodywork Licensing Exam.

Contact Information

5Chanell Ardor School of Beauty and Culture

About the School

Chanell Ardor School of Beauty and Culture provides students with training programs that prepare students for employment in the field of cosmetology, barbering, esthetics, and manicuring, as well as instructor training.

Courses Offered

The Cosmetology program available at Chanell Ardor School of Beauty and Culture covers hair, skin, and nail training.

The program can be completed in 11 months by full-time students and in one year and eight months by part-time students.

Tuition, fees, and the student kit cost for this program are $11,429.

The Barbering program can be completed in seven months by full-time students and in 14 months by part-time students and includes 1,000 hours of training.

This program costs $7,680 and includes tuition, fees, and a student kit.

The 300-hour Manicuring program covers the basic manipulative skills of manicuring, including technical skills, safety practices, professional appearance, work habits and attitudes, and more.

Full-time students can graduate in as few as 17 weeks.

The total tuition for this program is $3,380.

Contact Information

6Neway Directions

About the School

Neway Directions provides high-quality services to individuals and businesses in Madison.

The school is a regional leader in Computer and Clerical education, CNA classes, and career services.

Courses Offered

The following courses are available:

  • CNA Classes
  • Computer Courses: Computer Training, Office Training & Clerical Courses, Office Equipment Training, as well as Office Proficiency Assessment & Certification

The CNA program consists of a full-time three-week training or a part-time six-week evening program.

The maximum class size is 14 students to ensure each student receives individualized attention from the instructors.

Clinical training takes place at reputable sites in the Madison area.

The school’s instructors have a combined experience of more than 100 years.

Graduates may find employment in assisted living facilities, community-based residential facilities, home health care, hospices, hospitals, medical clinics, or nursing homes.

Contact Information

7Academy of Beauty Professionals

About the School

The Academy of Beauty Professionals provides training programs for students who want to start careers in barbering, cosmetology, esthetics, and nail technology.

The school has campuses in Appleton, Green Bay, Madison, and Raymore.

The school provides a small student-to-instructor ratio so each student has access to individualized instruction.

Students learn in a hands-on environment and prepare for situations when they have to interact with clients in a professional setting.

The school also provides exclusive lessons on people skills and the salon business.

Courses Offered

Students learn in a salon/spa atmosphere and receive a student kit.

The program duration varies depending on the pathway.

The Barbering program can be completed in 29 weeks while the Esthetician program is 22 weeks long.

The Nail Technician program can be completed in 15 weeks.

The programs prepare students for the licensure exams that allow them to practice the profession of their choice.

Contact Information

8ABC Wisconsin

About the School

ABC (Associated Builders and Contractors) of Wisconsin provides apprenticeship programs that prepare students for new careers.

The programs are designed to prepare inexperienced individuals for careers through a structured, on-the-job curriculum and classroom instruction.

The programs last from three to five years, depending on the pathway.

Programs are available for high school students as well as individuals who graduate from college.

The school provides apprenticeships, construction education, management education, as well as safety education.

Apprentices are paid both for the on-the-job training part and to attend classes.

The pay increases as students advance in their training.

The ABC Apprenticeship Program is certified by the state’s Bureau of Apprenticeship Standards.

Contact Information

9Elite Nail School

About the School

Elite Nail School is the first nail art school in Wisconsin to provide a part of the curriculum online.

The program focuses on providing students with the skills they need in order to be successful in this industry.

The school provides extensive hands-on training that immerses students in a real salon environment.

Courses take place on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Spring, Summer, and Fall classes are available.

The first step in the admissions process consists of an application by email.

Afterward, the applicant receives an email with the information needed for enrollment.

Then, prospective students receive a contract via email.

The next step in the application process is to pay the application fee to secure your enrollment.

Afterward, the student receives a welcome email with course information.

Contact Information

10Quality CNA Training

About the School

Quality CNA Training provides students with the opportunity to learn the art of caregiving from registered nurses and graduate in as few as two weeks.

Courses Offered

The following programs are available:

  • Nurse Aide Training Course
  • AHA Basic Life Support
  • AHA Heartsaver First Aid
  • CBRF Fire Safety
  • CBRF First Aid with Choking
  • CBRF Medication Administration
  • CBRF Standard Precautions

The Nurse Aide training course includes 75 hours of instruction that takes place over the course of two to four weeks.

Ideally, students should be at least 16 years of age, with a reading comprehension of at least an eight grade level.

The Nurse Aide Training Course costs $650.

The fee includes everything except the students’ personal scrubs, personal immunizations, and state exam fees which cost $125.

Financial assistance is frequently available to students.

According to the school’s website, 97 percent of their students have successfully completed the State of WI NNAAP Exam.

Contact Information

Salary Information for Popular Trade Careers

CareerEmployedAvg. Annual SalaryAvg. Hourly PayTop 10% Annual SalaryBottom 10% Annual Salary
Paralegals and Legal Assistants830$56,470$27.15$81,320$35,640
Medical Records Specialists590$55,430$26.65$74,010$36,750
Nursing Assistants2,920$38,910$18.71$46,890$31,130
Dental Assistants760$44,910$21.59$57,160$38,300
Medical Assistants1,730$43,050$20.7$48,550$36,770
Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters1,130$74,690$35.91$105,010$42,390
Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics1,380$50,420$24.24$74,680$30,960
Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers890$65,390$31.44$103,500$41,600
* Salary information based on the May 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Madison, WI metropolitan statistical area, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Final Thoughts

Whether you’re a high school student, a new graduate, or an adult who wants to learn new skills or change careers, trade schools provide a variety of training options for you.

Now that you have read our selection of the best available options, the next step is to continue the research and choose the program that best meets your career aspirations, learning style, budget, and schedule.

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