10 Best Trade Schools inMilwaukee, WI

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Milwaukee is home to many trade schools that can prepare you for careers in high-demand fields such as medical assisting, welding, truck driving, cosmetology, and many other fields in less than two years.

The programs lead to Certificates, Associate Degrees, or Diplomas and prepare students for licensing exams and entry-level employment in the field.

The curriculum usually combines classroom instruction with hands-on education to prepare students for real-life work scenarios.

If you live in the region and you’d like to start a rewarding career but cannot afford to spend four years in higher education, we invite you to take a look at our selection of the best trade schools in Milwaukee.


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1Milwaukee Area Technical College

About the School

Milwaukee Area Technical College offers flexible alternatives to the traditional classroom experience.

Classes are available at five locations and students also have access to a 24/7 virtual campus.’

Students can earn an affordable degree and land a job right away or complete the first two years of college and continue with a four-year university.

Courses Offered

Programs are available in a variety of career paths, including Business & Management, Community & Human Services, Creative Arts, Design & Media, Healthcare, Manufacturing, Construction & Transportation, and more.

The Manufacturing, Construction, & Transportation path includes programs such as:

  • Associate Degrees in:
    • Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Technology
    • Automotive Technology
    • Landscape Horticulture
    • Welding Technology
  • Technical Diplomas:
    • Advanced Metal Fabrication
    • Auto Collision Repair and Finish Technician
    • Automotive Maintenance Technician
    • Carpentry
    • Dental Technician
    • Truck Driving
    • And more
  • Certificates in:
    • Automotive Express Lube Technician
    • Aviation Maintenance Technician- General Cert
    • Boiler Operator
    • CNC Setup and Operations Certificate
    • Welding Fundamentals

Contact Information

  • Address: 700 W. State Street, Milwaukee, WI 53233
  • Phone: (800) 720-6282
  • Website: https://www.matc.edu

2Milwaukee Career College

About the College

Milwaukee Career College prepares students for careers as Dental Assistants, Medical Assistants, Veterinary Assistants, or Veterinary Techs.

The college has been providing career training programs since 2002.

By attending classes at the college, students can prepare with marketable skills in months, not years.

Flexible training options are available to accommodate any busy schedule.

Milwaukee Career College is accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools.

Courses Offered

The following programs are available at Milwaukee Career College:

  • Dental Assistant Training
  • Medical Assistant Training
  • Veterinary Assistant Training
  • Veterinary Technician Training

Students can start a new career in an entry-level position in the Dental Assisting field in less than one year.

The program also includes a six-week externship that takes place in a real dental office.

Milwaukee Career College is also fully accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association.

The Veterinary Technician program includes a 12-week externship at a real veterinary practice.

Contact Information

  • Address: 3077 N. Mayfair Rd. Suite 300, Milwaukee, WI 53222
  • Phone: 1-414-626-9617
  • Website: https://mkecc.edu

3National Personal Training Institute

About the School

The National Personal Training Institute prepares students for rewarding careers as personal trainers.

The Institute provides a diploma in personal training.

Hands-on and virtual classes are available at the institute.

Courses Offered

The following diploma options are available at the National Personal Training Institute:

  • 1,500-Hour Hybrid Personal Training Diploma Course
  • 2,500-Hour Virtual Personal Training Diploma Course

The 1,500-hour program curriculum consists of 300 hours of theory and allows students to apply the theory at a local NationalPTI gym with 200 hours of practical experience.

The theory parts cover topics such as Anatomy & Physiology, Posture/Movement Analysis, Nutrition, Business Practices, Program Design, and more.

The 2,500-hour program asks that students go over the practical applications in each class session after the lecture.

New classes start every six weeks.

Six- and 12-month schedules are available with day, evening, and weekend classes to accommodate students’ lifestyles.

Students receive a State Licensed Personal Training Diploma that does not expire, a Nutrition Certificate, lifetime job placement assistance, and after successfully completing the program, a NASM CPT and NASM ACD (Academic Hands-on Certificate of Distinction).

Contact Information


4Aveda | 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 school follows a curriculum that combines business and social medial training to prepare students for a profitable career in the industry.

The institute has two campuses: Milwaukee and Madison.

Courses Offered

The following programs are available at Aveda | The Institute of Beauty and Wellness:

  • Ayurveda Esthetics- this program combines the modern practice of Esthiology with ancient traditions
  • Barbering- this 1,000-hour program covers current grooming techniques in cutting, shaving, texture, detail, and precision
  • Cosmetology- a 1,600-hour program that includes classes on styling, coloring, texturing, makeup application, and many other related topics
  • Esthiology- this program covers topics that range 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: 327 E St Paul Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53202
  • Phone: 414.227.2889
  • Website: https://ibw.edu

5Vici Beauty School

About the School

Vici Beauty School prepares students for a variety of career paths in the beauty industry, from hair stylists to makeup artists.

The school is accredited by the National Accrediting Commission of Career Arts & Sciences.

Courses Offered

The following programs are available at the school:

  • Cosmetology Program
  • Esthiology Program

The Cosmetology program includes 1,800 hours of extensive hands-on learning that provides students with a complete understanding of beauty and wellness.

Classes take place full-time, Thursday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Students learn hair cutting, texture services, nail care, makeup application, business development, as well as retail knowledge.

Graduates are prepared for the Wisconsin State cosmetology practitioner licensing exam.

The Esthiology program includes 600 hours of training and covers the international trends and specialized techniques to purify, balance, and renew skin, as well as makeup application techniques.

Contact Information


6Professional CDL Training

About the School

Professional CDL Training prepares students for careers as professional truck drivers.

Class A and Class B to A training programs are available.

Courses Offered

The curriculum covers topics on:

  • Orientation
  • Control systems/dashboard
  • Pre- and post-trip inspection
  • Basic Control
  • Shifting/ operating transmissions
  • Backing and docking
  • Coupling and uncoupling
  • Vehicle communications
  • Space management
  • Night operation
  • Extreme driving conditions
  • Hazard perception
  • Railroad Emergency Notifications Systems
  • Identification and diagnosis of malfunctions, including out-of-service violations
  • And more

The behind-the-wheel training part consists of driving exercises related to skills and maneuvers necessary to safely operate the vehicle, including:

  • Vehicle inspection pre-trip, en route, and post-trip
  • Straight line backing
  • Off-set backing
  • Parallel parking blindside
  • Coupling and uncoupling
  • And more

The Class A online theory course costs $300.

The Class A vehicle training fee is $125 per hour.

Contact Information

  • Mailing Address: P.O. Box 18690, Milwaukee, WI 53218
  • Phone: 414-218-0093 | 414-463-2955
  • Website: https://www.procdl.net

7Empire Beauty Schools- Milwaukee

About the School

Empire Beauty School- Milwaukee prepares students for careers as licensed cosmetologists.

The program prepares students for the Wisconsin state licensing exam, required in order to obtain a Cosmetologist license.

Students learn how to use a variety of brands and new products, thus expanding their employment options.

Courses Offered

The school provides Cosmetology, Esthetics, Nail Technology, and Instructor training programs.

The Cosmetology program provides 1,550 hours of training that consists of hands-on instruction in haircutting, hair coloring, chemical services, nails, skincare, and more.

The 600-hour Esthetics program includes facials, spa services, body treatments, waxing, and makeup.

The hands-on program includes instruction on facial and microdermabrasion tools and equipment.

The Nail Technology program covers manicuring and pedicuring, gel manicuring, acrylic and 3D Acrylic enhancements, and more.

Empire Beauty Schools are accredited by the National Accrediting Commission of Career Arts and Sciences.

Some programs are available for financial aid assistance if they are over 300 hours.

Contact Information


8Quality Healthcare Options

About the School

Quality Healthcare Options offers classes and training programs for those who want to start careers as Certified Nursing Assistants.

Courses Offered

The Certified Nursing Assistant program available at Quality Healthcare Options is approved by the Department of Health Services and meets the 75 hours requirement.

The program combines theory, lab, group activities, games, and video learning experiences.

Students also receive the required hands-on clinical experience working with clients.

Classes have built-in practice time for the state exam as well as extra practice.

Students learn skills such as hygiene care, transfer skills, nutrition skills, vital signs, emergency preparedness, pathophysiology, hospice care, resident rights, medical/surgical skills, and more.

Tuition is $1,045.

The program includes more than 75 hours that consist of classroom and lab training and 16 clinical hours.

Contact Information


9Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design

About the School

Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design provides degree and non-degree programs for students who want to start careers in the fields of art and design.

Courses Offered

The institute provides degree programs such as:

  • Communication Design Major
  • Illustration Major
  • Interior Architecture and Design Major
  • Animation Track
  • Product Design Major
  • Liberal Studies
  • And more

Continuing education classes are also available to help students keep up with the latest advancements in their field.

Students get to create a professional portfolio of work in their specialty.

The curriculum and the topics covered depend on the pathway.

The programs also teach students how to critically analyze problems and find innovative solutions, how to meet deadlines, and other personal skills.

Tuition is $41,335 per year and includes tuition, FYE fee, Student Services Fee, Technology/Software Fee, and Studio Mini-Kits.

Contact Information

  • Address: 273 E. Erie Street, Milwaukee, WI 53202
  • Phone: 888‑749‑MIAD
  • Website: https://www.miad.edu

10East-West Healing Arts Institute Inc.

About the School

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

Students who attend classes at the institute learn from a dedicated faculty with years of experience in the industry.

Full-time and part-time programs are available to accommodate different student 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.

Classes related to Western science include Clinical Pathology, Practical Anatomy, Kinesiology and Body Structure Assessment, Anatomy and Physiology, and Pathology.

The full-time massage therapy 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 ready to sit for the MBLEx- the Massage and Bodywork Licensing Exam.

Contact Information


Salary Information for Popular Trade Careers

CareerEmployedAvg. Annual SalaryAvg. Hourly PayTop 10% Annual SalaryBottom 10% Annual Salary
Paralegals and Legal Assistants2,090$58,300$28.03$83,000$39,320
Medical Records Specialists1,340$53,420$25.68$66,260$36,820
Nursing Assistants8,410$37,290$17.93$42,470$30,790
Dental Assistants1,900$44,600$21.44$55,580$35,720
Medical Assistants4,000$42,660$20.51$49,290$33,600
Phlebotomists870$40,870$19.65$47,550$35,060
Electricians2,990$75,200$36.15$106,320$44,090
Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters1,860$74,080$35.62$107,730$39,570
Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics3,320$52,580$25.28$74,590$32,310
Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers1,650$69,590$33.46$104,860$45,930
* Salary information based on the May 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI metropolitan statistical area, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Final Thoughts

Now that you have read our list of the best trade schools in Milwaukee and the programs they offer, the next step is to continue the research and apply for the program that best meets your needs, learning style, budget, and schedule.

This is an important step so take your time and gather information about all the relevant factors before filling out the application form.


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