15 Best Trade Schools in Chicago | Costs, Requirements, and How to Apply

This article explores the best trade schools in Chicago.

Chicago is a fantastic place to live because of its incredible economy. 

The city has fantastic trade schools that will help you easily launch a successful career. 

To be honest, there have long been different schools of thought regarding trade schools and what they entail. Many young people are torn between going to university and doing something else. You simply need to weigh your options, which this article will assist you with.

These trade schools in Chicago provide students with the opportunity to begin a new job in a matter of months.

Many top trade schools in Chicago offer programs ranging from vocational studies to medical healthcare and the tech world. It is true that jobs requiring hands-on and technical skills are increasing by the day in Chicago. As a result, technical schools are a boon to the people of Chicago.

See Also: 15 Best Trade Schools in Delaware | Costs, Requirements, How to Apply

Are there Trade Schools in Chicago?

Yes, there are wonderful trade schools in Chicago where you can enroll to study your desired program some of these schools include;

  1. HVAC Technical Institute
  2. West Chicago Professional Center
  3. Lincoln College of Technology
  4. Dental Academy of Chicago
  5. I Love Real Estate School
  6. Chicago School of Shoemaking
  7. Chicago Professional Center
  8. Roofing School of Illinois
  9. Americare Technical School
  10. Illinois Dental Careers
  11. Oakton Community College
  12. Universal Technical Institute, Chicago
  13. Elgin Community College
  14. Empire Beauty School
  15. Midwestern Career Center

How Much Does Trade School Cost in Chicago?

The tuition fee greatly differs based on the program and schedule of your choice and on your financial aid eligibility. To have an overall idea regarding the tuition, the average tuition price for Schools in Chicago is around 14000 USD.

Attending a trade school in Chicago will cost you money, but it will be nothing compared to the cost of attending a university. 

A degree from a trade school will typically cost you $33,000, though this varies depending on your program of choice. Programs as low as $600 are available at some schools. The National Center for Education Statistics provided a breakdown of average tuition for various public and private trade schools.

Most trade schools in Chicago offer financial aid, grants, and scholarship to students, sometimes based on merits and other factors. This also helps to reduce the cost implications for students

What are the Requirements for Trade Schools in Chicago?

If you have finally decided on going to a trade school in Chicago, you have crossed the first hurdle. The next is meeting the requirement for the trade school.

Most trade schools in Chicago do not require you to take the Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) or the American College Testing Program Test (ACT). All you need do is take a Technical Aptitude Test.

Some of the requirements are listed below.

The admission process is very simple and it consists of submitting your application form, paying the tuition, submitting your ID/driver’s license, and having a high school diploma or equivalent.

What are the Best Trade Schools in Chicago | 2024?

In this article, you will learn about the 15 best trade schools located in Chicago as well as the courses offered and tuition costs. Let’s get this started:

1. HVAC Technical Institute

HVAC Training Institute, which was founded in 1994, is one of the best places in the Chicago area to begin a new career in the field of residential and commercial refrigeration. All of the programs available at this institute are very short and intensive, with the main goal of getting you into the workforce as soon as possible. 

The school is state accredited, and your diploma will be recognized throughout the country, giving you the opportunity to take your skills and career dreams across the country.

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Furthermore, all of the trainers and educators are respected and active refrigeration technicians who will share all of their tips, tricks, and knowledge with you. Furthermore, all of the equipment and materials used are cutting-edge.

Visit school here

2. West Chicago Professional Center

West Chicago Professional Center is one of the friendliest and most welcoming places to begin a new career and future. The teachers are very friendly and professional, and they can teach in English, Spanish, Russian, and Ukrainian, making this school an excellent choice for students who are not native English speakers. 

The programs emphasize hands-on skills and knowledge that will help you get a new job in a matter of weeks. There are also special admission and payment options for military students, as well as numerous funding options. The materials, textbooks, and resources are up to date, and you will have full access to all campus resources throughout your studies.

Visit school here 

3. Lincoln College of Technology

Lincoln Tech, with over 75 years of experience and expertise, is an excellent place to begin your education and pursue a new career. Aside from traditional degree programs, the college also provides some of the most intensive and professional trade programs, allowing you to start a new career in just a few weeks of training. 

The campus in the Chicago area is well-known for its study and recreation facilities, as well as the opportunity to study in both English and Spanish. Students will benefit from some of the most skilled and approachable educators and teachers, as well as extremely modern practice areas and materials. Furthermore, at the conclusion of your studies, you will be supported during the state exam period and with job hunting.

Courses offered

  • Automotive technology
  • Collision Repair and Refinishing Technology
  • Electrical and Electronic Systems Technology
  • Medical Assistant
  • Welding technology

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4. Dental Academy of Chicago

If you are interested in the field of dentistry and want to begin a new career as soon as possible, the Dental Academy of Chicago is the place for you. This is one of the best trade schools in Chicago. The school is well-known for its adaptable curriculum and for training some of the most respected and skilled dental assistants in the area. 

The program schedule is very flexible, and you will have the opportunity to select the best study method for your needs. Furthermore, the school provides some additional short programs to help you fine-tune your skills. Financial aid is available at this school, and students from a variety of backgrounds are eligible to apply. 

You will also be helped at the end of your studies.

See Also: 15 Best Trade Schools in Kansas City | Costs, Requirements, How to Apply

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5. I Love Real Estate School

I Love Real Estate School is the ideal place to pursue your passion and love for the world of real estate on a professional level. According to the name, the school is very friendly and passionate about real estate, and it is also regarded as one of the best places in the Chicago area to begin a career in this field. 

The trainers and instructors are experienced real estate agents or appraisers who will share their knowledge and secrets with you and teach you everything you need to know about the real estate industry. Students who are unable to attend live sessions can also complete their program partially or entirely online. 

You will also have the opportunity to meet your trainers.

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6. Chicago School of Shoemaking

If you are interested in leather crafts, the Chicago School of Shoemaking is the ideal place to begin a new and prosperous career in this beautiful and amazing field. Aside from the incredible teachers and educators with extensive experience in this field, you will also benefit from some of the best materials in this craft. 

The school has excellent practice facilities that will teach you everything you need to know about the field of leather making and take you from beginner to professional level. In addition, after graduation, the school offers special classes for special products, giving you the best opportunities to build an amazing career.

Visit school here 

7. Chicago Professional Center

The Chicago Professional Center is an excellent place to begin a new and exciting career in electrical crafts and HVAC. The programs are very diverse, and their goal is to provide you with a new profession as soon as possible. Aside from this incredible benefit, you can also benefit from numerous scholarships, and military students have excellent facilities. 

READ ALSO:  15 Best Trade Schools In Oregon | Cost, Requirements, and How to Apply

The school is well-known for its incredible materials, resources, and practice booths, which will help you quickly build amazing skills and learn the best techniques. The trainers are very friendly and dedicated, and they are motivated to help every student acquire all of the skills and knowledge necessary to obtain a high-paying job or start their own business.

Courses offered

  • HVAC
  • Maintenance
  • Electrician and many more

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8. Roofing School of Illinois

Roofing School of Illinois addresses the need for knowledge in one of the fastest-growing fields by providing students with the opportunity to prepare for the certification exam in just three days. The school is well-known throughout the state and country, allowing you to work wherever you want. 

Some of the best professionals in this field have contributed to the curriculum. It contains techniques, safety precautions, and all the skills required to quickly obtain all of the opportunities in this dynamic field or to begin a new career as an independent contractor. 

The school will also assist you during the exam period, as well as provide you with all the necessary information and support during the job-search process.

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9. Americare Technical School

Americare Technical School is an excellent place to hone your nursing and medical skills and launch a new career. This school provides all students with the opportunity to easily and quickly begin a new career, regardless of previous career experience or job. 

The school is accredited by the state of Illinois and also offers national recognition, ensuring that you can work in the city of your choice. This school’s graduates are well-respected professionals who are among the best in the field of nursing. 

This school’s resources are cutting-edge, and they perfectly simulate the challenges and situations you will face during your career.

Visit school here 

10. Illinois Dental Careers

Illinois Dental Careers is an excellent place to begin a new career in dentistry because it takes a very modern and contemporary approach to the field. The school guarantees the highest quality for your tuition fee and also provides financial assistance and special scholarships. 

All of the trainers and educators are active professionals in this field, and they will teach you all of the tips, tricks, and knowledge required to care for any type of patient. Students will also have the opportunity to practice their skills in close proximity to the patient and under the supervision of their dedicated teachers.

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11. Oakton Community College

If you are a high school graduate, or you have your GED, and you are looking for a top trade school in Chicago to have a career in the medical world, be an emergency medical technician, or study the liberal arts, then getting a degree from the Oakton Community College is something you should consider.

The programs offered by the trade school include:

  • Medical Coding and Billing Certificate
  • Nursing
  • Medical Assistant
  • Health information technology

See Also: 15 Best Trade Schools in Brooklyn | Cost, Requirements, How to Apply

Visit school here 

12. Universal Technical Institute, Chicago

We can’t make a list of the top trade schools in Chicago without saving Universal Technical Institute a spot. The school is located worldwide but in Chicago, it is in Lisle.

The school offers both online and physical programs. The duration of completion of the programs can take months to a year and a half.

We know the trade school for its expertise in training students to be professionals in many areas including:

  • Automotive technician
  • Diesel technician
  • Welding technology

The tuition fee varies according to the courses. There is no doubt that you will be leaving the school as an expert in your chosen field as the lecturers and tutors will teach you the nitty-gritty of the course.

Furthermore, you can get an ASE certificate when you are done and pass the test.

Visit school here 

13. Elgin Community College

This school is one of the top trade schools in Chicago in that it offers a variety of programs. With over 130 programs to choose from, getting started in a career of your choice won’t be so hard.

Affordability is one major factor in choosing a trade school in Chicago and Elgin Community College understands this, hence they tend to decrease the tuition fee as they deem fit.

READ ALSO:  Best Culinary Schools in Houston | Cost, Requirements, How to Apply

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14. Empire Beauty School

Stone Park in Chicago is another top trade school. The Empire Beauty School offers young bright individuals a pathway into the beauty world.

Becoming a professional cosmetologist is very easy after graduating from the Empire Beauty School. You can choose to go the academic way and become a cosmetology educator yourself or you can just start up your business yourself.

Imagine a fun-filled program full of colors, dye, and human models to learn with. Yes, at Empire Beauty School, you get to train on both mannequins and real humans. I’m sure if you have something for beauty, this school will ignite your passion more, and you will be a professional in no time.

Grants, scholarships, and loans are also available for students.

Visit school here 

15. Midwestern Career Center

One of the top trade schools in Chicago, and one with varieties of programs to offer to anyone interested. The Midwestern Career Center has a series of requirements for admission. Some of them include:

  • Filling out an online application
  • Visiting the school for an interview
  • Provision of certain documents like a valid ID, and a high school diploma or GED

Programs, where you can choose areas of study, include:

  • Health Sciences
  • Business and Information Technology
  • English Language Training

Visit school here 

How Much do Traders Make in Chicago?

According to Indeed Salaries, the average base salary for a skilled trader in Chicago is $80,086 per year. They can also expect to make an additional amount of around $5,000 per year. Professionals in this role can also earn benefits

How do I become a Trader in Chicago?

1. High school diploma

This or its alternative such as General Educational Development (GED), is another requirement. Some schools also consider the GPA before admission but it does not matter much.

2. Post-secondary school certificate

This can also be accepted in place of the high school diploma.

3. Assessment test

This test is required mostly at the point of admission. This is the assessment test that would test your knowledge of basic reading and writing.

4. Prior knowledge

Some programs will require you to have prior knowledge, which would be like a foundation for what you will be learning.

Best Paying Jobs In Chicago with Salary 

Chicago is rapidly growing and progressing in technology, applied sciences, health science, and information technology. There is significant growth in every industry and field, and the demand for skilled workers is increasing. The projections from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics also support the fact that the growth rate of trade jobs will be significantly higher. 

So you don’t have to be concerned about graduating from a Chicago trade school. There are exciting job opportunities available for you. The median salary for some of the highest-paying trade school jobs in Chicago is listed below.

1. Elevator Mechanic-$77,806

2. Radiation Therapist-$69,504

3. Geological and Petroleum Technician-$61,370

4. Web Developer-$58,448

5. Ultrasound Technician-$55,106

6. Plumber-$50,349

7. HVAC Technician-$44,604

There are lots of trade jobs that pay high in Chicago. One of these might just be enough to get you rolling in money.

Frequently Asked Questions

What qualifications does one need to get into a trade school in Chicago?

A high school diploma or GED is required by most. Some schools also require you to have prior knowledge of some courses before applying.

How long does it take to complete a program?

A trade school program takes two years, some less than a year, and you are out with your certificate.

Is going to a trade school worth it?

Yes, it is worth it.

Can I work and school at the same time?

Yes. Apply to a school that has flexible schedules.

What programs do trade schools offer?

They offer many programs such as medical assisting, automotive technology, information technology, and various also hands-on skills.


These are some of the top trade schools in Chicago and a great starting point.

There are lots of opportunities going to a trade school will afford you. Right from school, you will be open to various opportunities like meeting prospective employers during training, seminars, and workshops.

To start your journey, why not go through our list of best trade schools in Chicago, and set your dreams in motion right away

Choose the career that best suits you and good luck!


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