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

This article explores the best trade schools in Seattle.

Seattle trade schools provide instruction that is focused on careers in high-demand fields like law, healthcare, and emergency services. 

Students can obtain vocational certificates and degrees to prepare for careers as paramedics, medical assistants, occupational therapy assistants, and dental hygienists. 

Trade school graduates can work as HVAC technicians, paralegals, cosmetologists, electricians, and mechanics. 

There are many benefits to trade schools over four-year academic programs. 

The typical time to earn a vocational certificate or degree is 1-2 years, allowing students to enter the workforce sooner. 

Vocational training frequently costs less than academic degrees.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, professionals with occupational credentials had an employment rate that was 4% higher than that of professionals with academic degrees in 2009. 

Many vocational schools offer self-paced or accelerated programs to accommodate hectic schedules. 

Vocational training can be a wise choice if you want to begin a rewarding career without spending four years in college. 

There are many trade schools and community colleges that offer courses that will get you job-ready in less than a year. 

These courses prepare students for careers in a range of sectors, including the beauty and automotive industries. 

This article is intended to assist those looking to enroll in a Seattle-based program in selecting the one that best suits their needs and career goals.

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Are there Trade Schools in Seattle?

This article lists Seattle’s top-ranked vocational schools to help prospective students find the institution that will best suit their career goals.

  1. Maritime Institute of Technology and Graduate Studies
  2. PIMA Medical Institute
  3. Divers Institute of Technology
  4. Seattle Dental Assistant School
  5. University of Washington Professional & Continuing Education
  6. Discovery Point School of Massage
  7. Aveda Arts & Sciences Institutes
  8. School of Professional Home Inspection
  9. Galvanize
  10. Seattle Central College – Wood Technology Programs
  11. South Seattle College
  12. North Seattle College
  13. Clark College
  14. Lower Columbia College
  15. Bellevue College

How Much Does Trade School Cost in Seattle?

Depending on the program, tuition ranges from $11,890-$75,600. 

There might be additional costs for supplies, uniforms, and textbooks. 

Also, for some programs, a $225 technology fee might be required.

What are the Requirements for Trade Schools in Seattle?

The following requirements must be met by applicants in order to be considered for admission: 

  • having a GED or the equivalent high school diploma 
  • a parent’s consent if the applicant is not of legal age 
  • taking and passing a test for admission 

Also, some programs may have additional requirements that are unique to them.

What are the Best Trade Schools in Seattle | 2024?

Trade schools in Seattle provide specialized training that prepares students for specific career paths. 

By enrolling in a reputable vocational program, students can advance their education and increase their earning potential.

The ranking below includes the best trade schools in Seattle.

1. Maritime Institute of Technology and Graduate Studies

Leaders in maritime training and simulation are the Maritime Institute of Technology and Graduate Studies. 

Numerous classes are available at the school, including 28-month apprenticeship programs. 

In an apprenticeship, you’ll spend 360 days at sea and 26 weeks in the classroom. 

Also, some apprentices might complete the course of study in just 24 months.

This program’s shore-based classes are strengthened by simulations and onboard maritime training. 

Students in the program are prepared for careers as deck officers. 

The Workforce Training, Education and Coordinating Board of the State of Washington, the Maryland Higher Education Commission, and the United States Coast Guard have all given their approval to the MITAGS MAP Deck program. 

Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. are the scheduled class times. 

Saturdays are used for some classes. 

Although there are different start times, the apprenticeship program typically begins in the spring or fall.

Courses Offered

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2. PIMA Medical Institute

PIMA Medical Institute combines a family environment with a true college experience. 

There are a total of eight healthcare programs offered at their Seattle campus. 

These programs result in four certificates and four associate degrees.

Courses Offered

There are available the following certificate programs: 

A program called “Dental Assistant” trains students to work as surgical dental assistants, orthodontic assistants, or assistants in oral surgery. 

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Students can work as medical administrative assistants, medical secretaries, medical receptionists, medical office specialists, medical records clerks, or office managers with a certificate in health care administration.

A career as a medical assistant can be attained in doctor’s offices, hospitals, clinics, or outpatient medical facilities after completing a program in this field. 

Also, graduates of the veterinary assistant program are qualified to work in private veterinary practices, animal shelters, animal hospitals, and other related settings.

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3. Divers Institute of Technology

Students at Divers Institute of Technology are being trained to become commercial divers. 

The Institute has a program for professional commercial divers. 

You must have the following in order to enroll:

  • upon graduation, be at least 18 years old. 
  • to have completed high school or its equivalent 
  • English language proficiency passing an ADCI dive physical 
  • 400-meter swimming proficiency without assistance Possession of a TWIC card 
  • unfinished application 
  • A rough estimate of the cost of attendance is $44,500, which covers tuition, room and board, transportation, meals, utilities, personal costs, and other costs. 

Also, according to the Institute’s website, 84 percent of students finish the program in about 28 weeks.

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4. Seattle Dental Assistant School

Through practical training programs, Seattle Dental Assistant School gives students the opportunity to pursue careers as dental assistants. 

The nine-week curriculum gets students ready for the workforce. 

If paid in full before the start of the class, the tuition is $3,350. 

All materials and supplies are included, as well as a set of scrubs. 

A textbook must be purchased or rented separately by students. 

The school now provides an online course that follows the same curriculum as its in-person courses. 

Both programs are taught by professors with extensive industry knowledge. 

Because of the flexible schedules, students can continue working while preparing for a new career as dental assistants. 

You must take the following actions in order to enroll at the school:

  • Complete and submit an online form 
  • Pay a deposit to reserve your place. 
  • Complete the registration forms 
  • Create a payment schedule and sign up for the course. 
  • A high school diploma, GED, or equivalent is required for applicants.

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5. University of Washington Professional & Continuing Education

Through its Professional & Continuing Education division, the University of Washington offers certificate programs that help students advance their careers. It is considered one of the best trade schools in Seattle.

More than 80 degrees and nearly 100 certificate programs are available at the university. 

Less than a year is required to finish a certificate program. 

Depending on the type of program, different fees apply. 

Regardless of how many classes you sign up for, there is a single, $55 registration fee. 

You must pay a $50 one-time application fee to apply for a certificate program.

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6. Discovery Point School of Massage

Professionals in therapeutic massage can pursue education through the Discovery Point School of Massage. 

A professional massage program that can be finished in a year is listed in the school’s catalog. 

The program’s tuition is $11,550. 

Massage tables (between $400 and 700), books (between 380 and 450), and supply costs of $150 are additional expenses. 

Additional electives are paid for by the students. 

The following requirements must be satisfied by applicants: 

  • by the start date, be at least 18 years old. 
  • possess a GED or high school diploma 
  • possess the necessary emotional and physical capacity for massage 
  • finish the application procedure 
  • The catalog for the school should be downloaded from their website as the first step in the application process.

Candidates must take a novice class after reading the catalog; this class costs $50 and will be deducted from your tuition. 

A subsequent application and admissions interview are required. 

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7. Aveda Arts & Sciences Institutes

In Seattle, Aveda Arts & Sciences Institutes offers practical cosmetology training. 

They provide training in the following fields through their cosmetology and estheology programs: 

Business Development for Body Care 

Skin Care Retail Skills Facial Makeup Artistry Wellness 

The cosmetology class costs $18,000 in tuition, while the esthetician class costs $11,500. 

The National Accrediting Commission of Career Arts and Sciences has granted accreditation to Aveda Arts & Sciences Institutes.

The cosmetology course combines classroom instruction with practical experience and covers a wide range of topics, including hair styling, nail care, makeup application, and many more. 

This program covers the technical, interpersonal, and business skills required for this profession and prepares students for the state cosmetology licensing examination. 

The esthiology course covers skincare theory, practice, and clinical research. 

The esthiology program’s graduates are ready to sit for their states’ license exams. 

Cosmeticians and estheticians are qualified to work in salons and spas that provide skincare services after obtaining a license. 

They are prepared for employment as Aveda educators, wellness consultants, waxing specialists, spa directors, or facial/skincare specialists.

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8. School of Professional Home Inspection

Students are prepared for a career as independent home inspectors by the School of Professional Home Inspection. This is one of the best trade schools in Seattle.

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Instructors who have conducted thousands of actual inspections teach classes. 

The home inspection program involves real-world projects for the students. 

The course combines lectures with practical instruction in a cutting-edge classroom. 

Students are prepared for the Washington State Home Inspection Exam in small, intimate classes.

In order to sit for your home inspection license exam in the state of Washington, you must be eligible and have completed a 120-hour Fundamentals of Home Inspection course and possess 40 hours of field experience.

 Following the completion of the educational requirements, you must submit an online application for the home inspection exam. 

For the state portion only, the examination fee is $125; for the national portion, $250; and for both portions, $300. 

The Fundamentals of Home Inspection course costs $2,500 to enroll in. 

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9. Galvanize

Galvanize offers flexible corporate training that incorporates practical applications and hands-on activities. 

Depending on the class, the length of the offered courses ranges from one day to twelve weeks. 

Full-time students can finish their software engineering program in as little as 12 weeks, and part-time students can finish it in 36 weeks. 

The course is offered online. 

An application is the first step in the application procedure. 

After passing a non-technical admissions test, you are prepared to start preparing. 

Precourse work and a technical admissions assessment make up the final two admissions steps. 

The cost of tuition varies by program. 

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10. Seattle Central College – Wood Technology Programs

For more than 80 years, Seattle Central College has offered technical training. 

Through the Wood Technology Center, they provide Associate of Applied Science degree programs in residential carpentry, boat building, and repair. 

Five quarters are required to finish the programs. 

The price of tuition varies by program. 

For instance, the cost of the carpentry program, which can be finished in 15 months, is $9,125 if it is finished on schedule. 

Pre-apprenticeship in the construction trades costs $2,271 and takes as little as three months to complete. 

In-state tuition, fees, books, and supplies are all included in the price range above. 

Additional fees for living expenses might apply.

Courses offered

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11. South Seattle College

The West Seattle and Georgetown campuses of South Seattle College, which were established in 1969, are home to more than 15,000 students. 

South University offers bachelor’s programs, professional certificates, and associate degrees for transfer in eight different fields of study. 

Students have the option of earning a bachelor of applied science (BAS) in hospitality management or sustainable building science technology. 

Applicants for the BAS programs at the college must have an associate’s degree and relevant professional experience. 

South offers associate degrees in transferable disciplines like environmental studies, public health, business, and nutrition science. 

Also, the Georgetown campus serves as the center for education and apprenticeship at South Seattle College.

The masonry, ironwork, aerospace, and construction trades are just a few of the industries where students can research apprenticeship programs. 

If an apprentice completes their program, the college issues the appropriate certificate. 

Also, by enrolling in a few more classes, graduates can build on their certificate credits to earn an associate in applied science degree that can transfer.

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12. North Seattle College

North Seattle College, which enrolls 6,000 students on average each quarter, is not far from the University of Washington. 

Currently, North offers 34 associate of applied science programs, five bachelors of applied science (BAS) degrees, 82 professional certificates, and six transfer degrees. 

The college also manages a number of noncredit learning opportunities for the benefit of the larger community, offers adult education and ESL courses, and runs programs for career training and college preparation. 

The college’s programs are divided into six career pathways, including business and finance, engineering and technology, and social sciences and education. 

The BAS programs at North give students the opportunity to intern while also crediting prior learning and relevant work experience.

Programs in business, the arts, and the environment result in associate degrees for transfer. 

The recent collaboration between North Seattle College and Central Washington University (CWU) allows holders of a BAS in international business or application development to pursue a master’s degree at CWU. 

Also, the university offers all of the required coursework for this unique program online.

 Visit school here 

13. Bellevue College

Bellevue College is the third-largest postsecondary institution in the state, enrolling over 32,000 students annually. 

Currently, students have access to more than 120 associate and bachelor’s degrees as well as professional and technical certificates. 

Robotics and artificial intelligence, computer and information systems, digital media arts, and allied health and nursing are a few examples of study areas. 

Bachelor of applied science programs is available through BC for students who already hold an associate degree. 

Data analytics, healthcare informatics, digital marketing, and molecular biosciences are some of the topics covered in BAS programs. 

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Thanks to a long-standing partnership with Eastern Washington University, BC also offers bachelor’s degrees in computer science and nursing.

These courses can be completed directly on the BC campus through Eastern. 

The college offers nine associate degrees that can be transferred to a variety of fields, including physics, business, bioengineering, and music. 

In order to prepare for employment after graduation, students can also complete an associate program.

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14. Lower Columbia College

Since its founding in 1934, Lower Columbia College has served more than 4,000 students each year, offering more than 70 programs in 15 different academic disciplines. It has risen to be one of the best trade schools in Seattle.

In a number of disciplines, including healthcare, criminal justice, the arts and communication, and computer science, students have the option of earning an occupational certificate or an associate or bachelor of applied science degree. 

As well as offering non-credit transitional studies and enrichment learning opportunities to community members, the college also maintains programs for workforce education and corporate training.

At the moment, Lower Columbia College is working with Grand Canyon, Warner Pacific, Washington State, and Western Governors Universities to offer some of their undergraduate and graduate programs at the Regional University Center on-campus. 

Without moving, candidates for admission to a four-year institution who meet the entry requirements can pursue a bachelor’s or master’s degree. 

Digital design, business administration, nursing, accounting, and special education are among the current fields of study.

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15. Clark College

Nearly 11,000 credit-seeking students are enrolled at Clark College, which was founded in 1933. First-generation college students make up 76% of the college’s total enrollment.

Clark College offers more than 100 programs in six pathways, including public service, society, and education; business and entrepreneurship; advanced manufacturing; and science, technology, and engineering. 

The college also offers pre-college courses, opportunities for workforce training, and adult education courses (transitional studies). 

Clark College maintains direct transfer agreements (DTA) with 25 four-year colleges and universities to make it easier for its graduates to transfer into their bachelor’s programs.

In general, a Clark College alumnus with an associate of arts DTA degree may transfer to a participating institution with junior standing. 

Not all of the college’s associate programs are offered. 

Brigham Young University, Warner Pacific College, and St. Martin’s University are a few of the institutions taking part. 

Also, any additional admission requirements set forth by the receiving college or university must be met by transfer students.

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How Much do Traders Make in Seattle?

There are numerous trade school programs that lead to careers with high demand and above-average pay. 

The salaries earned by trade school graduates vary according to their experience, location, and industry. 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, trade school graduates make an average of $55,000 per year (BLS). 

However, pay for the same job and industry can vary widely. 

For instance, managers typically earn more than $96,000 per year, whereas personal care and service professionals make an average of $32,000. 

Compared to about $45,000 for healthcare support professionals, the average annual salary for healthcare practitioners and technical occupations is over $55,000.

How do I become a Trader in Seattle?

You can enter a trade in a number of different ways. In some fields, businesses will hire entry-level workers and train them internally. 

For some, you’ll need to finish a formal apprenticeship, earn a diploma, an associate’s degree, or even both. 

When learning a trade, there are a few steps that are typically taken, though the process varies slightly depending on the career. 

The basic procedure for learning a trade is as follows: 

  • Obtain your GED or high school diploma. 
  • Obtain postsecondary education. 
  • Finish your apprenticeship.

Best Paying Jobs In Seattle with Salary 

  • The median annual salary for dental hygienists is over $76,000. 
  • The median annual wage for mechanics is about $42,000. 
  • The median yearly salary for paralegals is over $51,000. 
  • The median yearly wage for radiology technicians is over $62,000.

Frequently Asked Questions 

What distinguishes a trade school from a college?

Trade schools typically offer programs that combine classroom instruction with hands-on training to prepare students for a variety of career paths. Both academic and vocational programs are provided by many colleges.

Credits from trade schools are transferred?

Yes. Transferable credits from trade schools are available at other universities. The likelihood of transferring credits from a school with regional accreditation is highest.

What distinguishes a trade school from a technical school?

Career-focused courses are available at trade and technical schools in fields like allied health, skilled trades, and STEM. Both types of institutions offer classroom instruction and practical training through their vocational programs.

What is the price of a trade school?

Each program’s price for trade school is different. Washington has a large number of trade schools that provide certificate and degree programs in the vocational field for less than $4,000 per year, tuition and fees included.


With so many options available, picking the career path that best suits your interests and goals can be difficult. 

To help you, we’ve compiled information on the top trade schools in Seattle on this page. 

In conclusion, it’s now up to you to conduct additional research and gather information on all the factors that will be crucial to your decision-making after reading our list.


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