15 Best Online Trade Schools in California | Cost, Requirements, How to Apply

In an effort to persuade students to pursue vocational certificates rather than bachelor’s degrees, the state of California allocated a huge amount of money to fund online trade schools in California

This decision makes sense because most of the state’s leading sectors might benefit from skilled and well-trained staff.

Students also have the option of taking the required training and certification exams online in an online trade school in California.

For many people who are currently employed and do not have the luxury of time to attend the programs on campus, Online trade schools in California can be the best option. 

It might also cost more money. For working adults who are seeking to balance their obligations at home and at work while pursuing an education that can improve their skills, online trade schools in California provide a terrific alternative. 

Even those who live a long way from the city can benefit from the standard quality training dish out by online trade schools in California. To attend their classes, there is no need to move or go far.

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Are There Online Trade Schools in California?

The California Department of Industrial Relations has a list of more than 17 online trade schools.

How Much Do Online Trade Schools in California Cost? 

Online trade schools in California typically cost $33,000 in total. For comparison, that is nearly the same as the cost of one year of tuition at a four-year university.

Trade school students who enroll in programs lasting more than 15 weeks are just as eligible for federal financial aid as college students are.

What are the Requirements For Online Trade Schools in California?

A high school diploma or satisfactory GED results are often requirements for admission to online trade schools in California. The HiSET is also accepted at some schools. Candidates without a degree or the equivalent can investigate nearby GED preparation classes, which many community colleges provide for free or at a very low cost.

What are the Online Best Trade Schools in California?

Online trade schools in California offer numerous programs. The online approach offered by the best online trade schools in California provides ease and flexibility because students may typically work at their own speed. 

Online discussions and learning resources are both available. Students can attend class whenever and wherever they want as long as they have an internet connection.

1. Brownson Technical School

Brownson Technical School was founded in 1984 in the rear shop of Don Brown’s company and is based in Anaheim, California.

The plan is to structure the course around practical instruction so that students can quickly become proficient in this highly technical field. The school kept expanding and has developed into an educational leader in the HVAC vocational industry as a result of the demand from both the students and the employers as well as the market.

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They have the necessary flexibility thanks to the hybrid online and on-campus training to continue with their jobs and other commitments while earning their training certification. They only need to come in three evenings each week to attend their shop lessons; they may do the classroom section online.

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2. Sacramento City College

Nearly 22,000 students attend Sacramento City College, which opened its doors in 1916. With 212 degree and certificate programs, it takes pride in offering academic and practical training to Californians and others.

The same top-notch academics that instruct on-campus classes also teaches a variety of online courses. The structure of the course is quite adaptable. While there are set due dates for assignments and participation in class, students are allowed to finish their online courses whenever it is most convenient for them. A student only needs to come to campus once, to attend the course orientation at the start of the semester.

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3. Saddleback College

Saddleback College, which is based in Mission Viejo, California, has been meeting the community of South Orange County’s requirements for higher education and training since 1968.

The spring, summer, and fall semesters are when the online courses are provided. The online offerings are highly regarded academically and boast high success rates for its graduates. They are taught by the same dedicated professors who teach the on-campus classes. Additionally, online students receive a lot of assistance in addition to top-notch services like online counseling, online tutoring, and cutting-edge technology.

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4. Santa Rosa Junior College

Santa Rosa Junior College was founded in 1907 and includes four campuses in California: Santa Rosa, Petaluma, Windsor, and Forestville.

The college’s door is open to people who cannot physically attend classes through its online learning programs, in addition to its many varied on-campus programs. Cisco Certification Training, Real Estate, Adobe Certification Training in InDesign, and many other topics are among the online certificate programs.

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5. Universal Technical Institute

At its Rancho Cucamonga site in California, the Universal Technical Institute (UTI) provides both a program in automotive technology and a program in diesel technology on campus. The good news for interested students who might not always opt to enroll directly after graduation season is that both programs are offered every three to six weeks. Ford and Peterbilt, two well-known automakers, have also partnered with UTI to offer specific training programs that its students can enroll in after finishing their main curriculum.

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6. UEI College

In California, there are six locations where the private UEI (United Education Institute) College offers an Automotive Technician vocational training program: Bakersfield, Chula Vista, Gardena, Morrow, West Covina, and Sacramento. The venue that is most convenient for interested students might be chosen. Additionally, ACCET (Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training) and ACCSC have both granted the College accreditation (Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges).

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7. Cerritos College

Cerritos College, which is based in Norwalk, California, offers more than 80 different degrees and certificates. Its extensive array of Automotive Training programs, which have been running for more than 30 years and are accredited by the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation, is one of them (NATEF).

Programs offered by Cerritos in collaboration with businesses like Ford, Chrysler, and General Motors also include paid on-the-job training opportunities. These can be a huge financial help to students while also providing them with invaluable real-world experience. In most programs, 225 hours of work experience spread over nine weeks are required. The College also provides preparation courses for the Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) Certification.

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8. American River College

Potential automotive technology students should think about American River College (ARC), which has been around since 1955 if they live in or around Sacramento County, California, Foothill Farms. Those interested in a career in automotive technology can choose from a variety of associate degrees, certificates of achievement, and other credentials offered by the College. Because the learning materials and experiences span a wide range of automobile models and brands, its instructors and courses have earned Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certification. The typical length of a course is five weeks, with three possible start dates per semester.

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9. Lassen Community College

The Susanville campus of Lassen University is situated in a picturesque mountain village and currently provides associate degrees, certifications, vocational training, and even online and distant learning. The school’s 64-course, four-semester gunsmithing program typically takes two years to finish. Three times a week, lab classes are held, giving students the chance to put their theoretical knowledge to use. The College permits and encourages students who do not yet own these items to borrow equipment from friends or family to keep costs down. However, students are expected to provide their own firearms, tools, and parts for coursework use.

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10. Academy of Art University

Now a successful art school with several degrees offered in more than two dozen specializations and subjects, what was formerly a school that focused on advertising art. The Academy of Art University, which has its headquarters in San Francisco and has been around for approximately 90 years, takes pride in being “made by artists for artists.”

The Jewelry & Metal Arts degree is one of its numerous art degrees; it can be obtained as an associate, bachelor’s, or master’s degree and is also offered online. Through its specialized studios and facilities, the Associate of Arts (AA) degree option offers hands-on training with jobs like laser cutting, welding, and smithing while also beginning with design concepts like composition and technical components like color science and fabric technology.

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11. El Camino College

One university in California that offers a Jewelry Design and Fabrication Certificate of Achievement that consists of 18 units are El Camino. Introduction to Jewelry and Metalsmithing, Jewelry Fabrication, and Jewelry Casting are the three foundational courses. The following nine units are available for students to choose from: Small Business Entrepreneurship, Drawing Fundamentals, Two-Dimensional Design, Digital Art Fundamentals, and Art and Visual Culture: A Global Perspective.

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12. Gemological Institute of America

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) in Carlsbad, San Diego County, is dedicated to advancing gemology research as well as jewelry design and creation. Since its founding in 1931, it has grown significantly, building campuses, research centers, and laboratories on practically every continent. The 4Cs (Cut, Clarity, Color, and Carat Weight) and the patented International Diamond Grading System, which is widely regarded as the benchmark by which diamond quality is judged, were also developed by GIA.

Every prospective jewelry designer in California can profit from GIA’s decades of experience in gemology and jewelry.

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13. The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising

The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM) has four campuses located throughout California, including Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, and Orange County. Thanks to its stunning campus and cutting-edge studios and facilities, FIDM has also served as the backdrop for a number of fashion-focused reality shows. Numerous successful fashion designers, photographers, and other artists all attended the Institute as students.

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14. National Career College

Los Angeles, California is home to the for-profit institution known as National Career. 293 undergraduate students are enrolled, making it a tiny school. The admission percentage for the National Career is 100%. Medical Assistant, Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) Training, and Medical Office Management are popular majors. 68% of National Career students receive their degrees.

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15. Intercoast College-Anaheim Campus

In the Greater Los Angeles Area, in Anaheim, California, is InterCoast – Orange, a for-profit university. Twenty undergraduate students are enrolled, making it a small school. The acceptance rate for InterCoast – Orange is 100 percent. Popular majors include Psychiatric and Mental Health Services, Electrician, and Substance Abuse and Addiction Counseling. InterCoast – Orange graduates earn a starting salary of $20,300. 89% of them graduate.

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Best Paying Trade Job in California

It is true that some professions offer higher compensation than others. When you land your first job in the real world after attending a trade school, don’t anticipate starting at the top. Frequently, entry-level jobs give you the crucial experience you need to advance to the top, possibly into a management role.

The top five list include: 

  • Air Traffic Controller 
  • Construction Manager 
  • Radiation Therapist
  • Elevator Mechanic
  • Margin Department Supervisor

Scholarship Availability for Online trade schools in California

High school students can get scholarships from the Imagine America Foundation to aid with the cost of attending online trade school in California. They have so far given young adults more than $15 million to help them pursue further education and career training.

How Much Does Trader make in California?

In California, the average skilled trades pay is $55,497 per year or $28.46 per hour. Most experienced workers earn up to $55,575 per year, while entry-level roles start at $48,125 annually.


In just a few months, the appropriate online trade school in California can help you launch a lucrative career.

High-quality instruction is provided in a variety of academic subjects by online trade schools in California.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long do online trade schools take to complete? 

Depending on the kind of program you are in, the answer to this question will vary. Typically, Online trade schools last between three months and two years.

Is attending an online trade school in California a good idea?

Absolutely, yes. With the help of online trade schools in California, you can start working right away and earn a living more quickly than with a conventional, four-year degree.

Are there any disadvantages to going to an Online trade school in California?

There are a few drawbacks:
– At least in comparison to typical academic degree programs, financial aid may be scarce.
– It can be a demanding schedule because there will be a lot to learn in a short period of time.
– Possibly lower earning potential than people with college degrees. However, studies demonstrate that trade school graduates frequently outearn college graduates in terms of lifetime wages, particularly when they are later given promotions to supervisory roles.

Will I get a trade school “diploma” or a “certificate?”

Similar to high schools, trade schools often award diplomas to graduates. Although the terms “diploma” and “certificate” are also used interchangeably, certificates are typically awarded when you successfully complete a particular class. However, you will find that each school will refer to its graduating credentials by a different name.


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