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

Trade Schools in Tennessee provide career-focused programs that help students develop technical skills and prepare them to perform specific tasks required in a skilled profession. 

Also, Auto repair, cosmetology, computer programming, and dental hygiene are all standard trade school programs. 

Students who attend trade or vocational schools represent a diverse group. Many students are recent high school graduates but It does not prepare them to begin a four-year educational journey. 

Professionals changing careers or wanting to refresh their skills also enroll in vocational programs. 

Someone typically completes trade school programs in less than two years. Graduates enter the workforce sooner because they have the skills and training to perform the tasks required for a specific occupation.

Vocational schools are typically less expensive than traditional four-year colleges and prepare students for employment in months. 

Choosing the best trade school can be difficult with so many options available. 

So, continue reading and see what Tennessee trade schools offer you.

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Are there Trade Schools in Tennessee?

To assist you, we have compiled a list of ten of the best trade schools in Tennessee, along with pertinent information about each of them. 

  1. North American Lineman Training Center
  2. Ross Medical Education Center
  3. Baker’s School of Aeronautics
  4. SAE Institute Nashville
  5. Franklin Academy
  6. Nashville Software School
  7. Tennessee College of Applied Science
  8. Mind Body Institute
  9. The Salon Professional Academy
  10. Douglas J. Aveda Institute
  11. Nashville State Community College
  12. Dyersburg State Community College
  13. Motlow State Community College
  14. Tennessee College of Applied Technology-Pulaski
  15. Tennessee College of Applied Technology-Livingston

How much does a Trade school cost in Tennessee?

Tuition fees for Trade Schools In Tennessee cost around $9,400.

Associated costs (equipment and first aid certification) total $2455.

Financial aid is available to students who qualify.

What are the Requirements for Trade Schools in Tennessee?

Applicants must be 18 years old by the first day of class and hold a high school diploma or GED.

Prospective students must have a valid driver’s license, sign the Doctor’s Release Form and pass the Department of Transportation physical exam.

What are the Best Trade Schools in Tennessee | 2024?

Besides the accreditation status of a school or program, be sure to find out about other important aspects such as retention and completion rates, online or on-campus options, and any available scholarship or grant programs.

The following section includes a list of top-ranked vocational schools in Tennessee. Although the list does not cover all the trade schools in Tennessee, it is an excellent place to begin the search.

1. North American Lineman Training Center

The North American Lineman Training Center is a trade school in Tennessee that offers high-quality training to aspiring linemen. 

Students at the Center learn through hands-on experience with highly experienced journeymen linemen. 

Furthermore, Personal Protection Equipment and Procedures, Electrical Systems, Basic Electricity, Transformers, Personal Protective Grounding, Rigging, Knot Tying, Underground Transformers, Career Planning, and Field Instruction are just a few topics covered in the curriculum. 

The school will provide graduates with a list of electric companies and unions to assist them in their job search. 

The Tennessee Higher Education Commission has granted the North American Lineman Training Center permission to operate as a postsecondary educational institution.

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2. Ross Medical Education Center

Ross Medical Education Center Knoxville Campus, which opened in 2015, is a trade school in Tennessee that provides healthcare training for future medical and dental assistants, pharmacy technicians, and medical billers and coders. 

The school provides hands-on courses to prepare students for entry-level positions in their field. 

The Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools has accredited the entire Ross Medical Education Center and Ross College Campus (ABHES).

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Courses offered:

  • Medical Assistants
  • Medical Insurance Billing and Office Administration
  • Dental Assistant
  • Pharmacy Technician

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3. Baker’s School of Aeronautics

Baker’s School of Aeronautics, located just 20 miles east of Nashville International Airport, is a trade school in Tennessee that trains future aviation mechanics. 

The school has its center testing room, which provides test results within one minute of the exam’s completion. 

To take the FAA exam, you must have experience in the field. 

Applicants for the power-plant mechanic rating must have at least 18 months of experience working with tools on any aircraft engine. 

They require a minimum of 18 months of experience working with tools on any airframe type for the airframe mechanic rating. 

Applicants seeking both ratings must have 30 months of experience.

Courses offered:

  • A&P Mechanics
  • A&P Refresher
  • Inspection Authorization
  • IA Renewal

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4. SAE Institute Nashville

The SAE Institute is a trade school in Tennessee that provides dynamic training in audio and the entertainment industry. 

The Institute, founded in 1976, now has over 50 campuses in 25 countries. 

Traditional classes, as well as hands-on training, are part of the programs. 

Graduates will become members of the SAE Institute’s International Alumni Network, which comprises industry professionals worldwide. 

The Tennessee Higher Education Commission has permitted the SAE Institute of Technology Nashville to operate. 

The Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges has granted accreditation to the Institute (ACCSC).

Courses offered:

They offered the following programs at the Nashville campus:

  • Entertainment Business Associate Degree (16 months)
  • Entertainment Business Diploma (12 months)
  • Audio Bachelor of Applied Science (32 months)
  • Audio Associate of Applied Science (16 months)
  • Audio Diploma (12 months)

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5. Franklin Academy

Franklin Academy provides aesthetician and cosmetician training programs. 

Students at the Academy learn more than just the information required to pass the State Board exam; 

They also understand the skills necessary for long-term success in their chosen careers, such as social media marketing, retail sales, building a business book, etc. 

School instructors are certified professionals who provide student-centered instruction. 

The Tennessee State Board of Cosmetology has accredited and approved Franklin Academy.

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6. Nashville Software School

Nashville Software School is a trade school in Tennessee that prepares students for new careers in software development, UI/UX design, data analytics, and data science. 

The school prepares students for entry-level software developer jobs in just six months. 

School instructors are Nashville-based technology professionals who want to give back to the community by assisting others in getting a foothold in the technology industry. 

They can complete programs in three weeks, while Bootcamp programs can last anywhere from six to twelve months, depending on the agenda. 

The Tennessee Higher Education Commission has approved Nashville Software School. 

Nashville Software School is one of the first five coding boot camps in the United States to be approved to accept veterans’ GI Bill benefits (and their dependents).

Courses offered:

  • Web Development Jumpstart
  • Analytics Jumpstart
  • Full Stack Web Development Bootcamp: Full-Time and Part-Time
  • Font-End Web Designer/Developer Bootcamp
  • Data Analytics Bootcamp
  • Data Science Bootcamp
  • UI/UX Digital Product Design

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7. Tennessee College of Applied Science

Tennessee College of Applied Technology is a trade school that offers technical education and industry training. 

Former Tennessee College of Applied Technology students passed the licensure exam in 99% of cases. 

Depending on the program, course lengths range from 12 to 20 months. 

The Council on Occupational Education Commission (COE) accredits the Tennessee College of Applied Technology.

Courses offered:

  • Administrative Office Technology
  • Administrative Office Technology- Medical Coding
  • Automotive Technology
  • Building Construction Technology
  • Computer Information Technology
  • Cosmetology
  • Dental Assisting
  • Diesel Powered Equipment Technology
  • Digital Graphic Design
  • Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning/Refrigeration
  • Industrial Electrical Maintenance/Mechatronics
  • Machine Tool Technology
  • Mechatronics
  • Pharmacy Technology
  • Practical Nursing
  • Welding Technology

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8. Mind Body Institute

Mind Body Institute, LLC is a trade school in Tennessee that offers clinical-based training to aspiring massage therapists. 

The Institute also offers educational seminars for licensed therapists who want to improve their practice and meet continuing education requirements. 

The program lasts 36 weeks and classes are from Monday through Thursday. 

Students gain a lot of hands-on experience during the program. 

The school provides a day class from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and an evening class from 6 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. 

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Students can apply to the state for their license and take the competency exam after completing the program and receiving their diplomas (MBLEx). 

The Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges has granted Mind Body Institute, LLC (ACCSC) accreditation.

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9. The Salon Professional Academy

This is also a trade school in Tennessee, and Cosmetology courses are available at the Salon Professional Academy for aspiring beauty professionals. 

They keep class sizes to a minimum at the Academy to ensure that students receive the required attention. 

Students study in an 8,500-square-foot educational facility outfitted with innovative technology. 

New classes begin in January, April, July, September, and November. 

Students can complete the Cosmetology program in ten and a half months. 

Students work five days a week for the first eight weeks from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Following that, they give each class a schedule that includes one day of course from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., two days/evenings from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m., and two days from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 

The National Association of Salon Professionals has accredited the Salon Professional Academy.

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10. Douglas J. Aveda Institute

The Douglas J. Aveda Institute is another excellent school in Tennessee for aspiring beauty professionals. 

Cosmetology students learn salon skills and business management techniques during their 1500 hours of training.

The 750-hour cosmetology program teaches students practical skincare techniques, customer service, retail sales, and digital marketing. 

Cosmetology instructors have 18 years of teaching experience and over 54 years of experience in the beauty industry. 

Cosmetology educators have over 57 years of industry experience and 17 years of teaching experience. 

Students can practice skills and techniques on proper guests, not just dummies, at the Institute. 

The Institute also assists students in gaining exposure and job placement through a network of salons and spas.

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11. Nashville State Community College

Nashville State Community College (NSCC) has over 8,000 students. It operates a main campus, which it shares with TCAT-Nashville, and four satellite campuses in Dickson, Waverly, Cookeville, and southeast Nashville. This is one of the best trade schools in Tennessee.

Over 80 programs of study are available at NSCC, covering significant industries such as healthcare, technology, education, and construction.

 Students can pursue one-year technical certificates or two-year AAS or transfer degrees. 

Technical certificate programs in music technology, mechanical, medical coding, and computer programming are available at NSCC. 

Paralegal studies, healthcare management, accounting, and culinary arts are some of the AAS concentrations. In addition, NSCC offers transferable AS, AA, and AST degrees in varied various. 

Tutoring, childcare and transportation help, and career services are among the student support services available. Students can take distance education courses through NSCC Online or TN CAMPUS.

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12.  Dyersburg State Community College

Dyersburg State Community College (DSCC) in Dyersburg, Tennessee, has served students since 1969 and offers workforce development and degree programs. 

Working students who want to learn new skills or advance their careers benefit from DSCC’s shorter-term certificate, training, and continuing education programs. 

Meanwhile, students who plan to transfer to bachelor’s programs frequently choose one of DSCC’s many TTP degree options. 

Career certificates in healthcare and advanced manufacturing are available from DSCC. TTP associate degrees include AS, AA, and AST in agriculture, education, healthcare, and information technology. 

Students pursuing a transfer degree at DSCC can select from philosophy, foreign languages, mathematics, and physical sciences programs. 

Distance education at DSCC includes online, hybrid, interactive television, and TN CAMPUS courses. DSCC provides TRIO student support services.

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13. Motlow State Community College

The Motlow State Community College was named after the college’s land donor, Senator Reagor Motlow, who serves over 5,000 students in an 11-county radius. Motlow has a main campus in Tullahoma, Tennessee, as well as several other learning centers and teaching locations in southern and central Tennessee. 

Motlow College provides both vocational and academic associate degrees. 

The AS, AA, AFA, and AST are all transferable associate degrees. Students at Motlow can earn an AA in areas such as mass communications, pre-law, economics, and general studies, as well as an AS in pre-health, speech and theater, concrete management, and finance. 

Some Motlow students study music or early childhood education at the AFA level. 

Motlow also provides certificates and two-year AAS degrees for students interested in careers that do not require a bachelor’s degree.

Motlow tuition and fees prove comparable to other Tennessee community colleges. This school permits students in three neighboring Alabama counties to attend Motlow at in-state tuition prices. 

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Motlow offers financial aid and scholarships for eligible students.

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14. Tennessee College of Applied Technology-Pulaski

Tennessee College of Applied Technology-Pulaski, one of the state’s 27 applied technology colleges, contributes to local economic and community development by providing workforce training and vocational programs of study. 

This Tennessee technical college also offers veteran students special services, dual enrollment programs for high school students, and student job opportunities. 

TCAT-Pulaski accepts open-entry students, but all students must take placement tests. 

Advanced manufacturing education, welding, pharmacy technology, computer operating systems, and network technology are among the program areas. 

Students at TCAT-Pulaski can also study trades like heating, ventilation, air conditioning/refrigeration, electrical and plumbing construction, industrial maintenance, and building construction. 

It sometimes grants prior learning credit to students based on previous work experience or training. Scholarships and grants are available to eligible students.

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15. Tennessee College of Applied Technology-Livingston

Tennessee College of Applied Technology-Livingston, part of the nation’s most extensive public college system, offers day and evening vocational courses and programs. This is one of the best trade schools in Tennessee.

 Students can enroll full- or part-time, and TCAT issues diplomas to validate program completion. 

All full-time day program options are power line construction and maintenance, administrative office technology, cosmetology, and collision repair.

 Day programs in healthcare include practical nursing, pharmacy technology, and patient care technology/medical assisting. Part-time day students can study welding, machine tool technology, and transportation and logistics. 

Part-time evening students can enroll in emergency medical technology programs or nursing aides. 

Students at TCAT-Livingston can participate in National Technical Honor Society and SkillsUSA local chapter programs and activities, which include community service and leadership development.

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How much do Traders make in Tennessee?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), only about jobs require a postsecondary non-degree credential. In 2017, the median annual salary for traders was $37,690. 

Most vocational schools provide these types of programs in various professional fields. 

Tennessee vocational schools can lead to lucrative degrees. According to the BLS, electrical and electronics repairers earn a median annual wage of $78,410. 

Their salary is more than all other occupations’ $37,690 median annual salary. 

Some states also hire a higher proportion of trade school graduates than others. Indiana (196,740), Tennessee (190,390), Alabama (130,840), Louisiana (129,370), and Iowa are the five states that hire the most workers with postsecondary non-degree education (108,690). 

Completing non-degree postsecondary programs offered by accredited vocational schools can open the door to lucrative occupations.

How do I become a Trader in Tennessee?

Learn about CTE certification in Tennessee at the high school level and beyond at the Tennessee Department of Education’s career and technical education page.

Tennessee’s public two-year schools are all organized under the College System of Tennessee, which offers loads of information on community colleges and colleges of applied technology in the state.

Once your training is done and ready to hit the workforce, check out Jobs4TN — the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development’s portal for employment opportunities and job market info — to help get your career going.

Best Paying Trade Jobs in Tennessee with Salary

  • Electricians earn a median annual salary of ($56,180)
  • HVAC Technicians earn an annual median salary of $48,730
  • Dental Hygienist earn almost twice the median yearly wage for all workers ($76,220)
  • Mechanics earn an annual median salary of $42,090
  • Physical Therapists earn a median yearly salary of $48,990

Frequently Asked Questions 

How long is a vocational course?

Vocational degrees take around two years to complete, whereas a bachelor’s degree takes four years, a master’s degree takes six years, etc. It is valuable for students looking to get into a trade and start working quickly.

Are vocational courses good?

Advantages of vocational education training. Pursuing a vocational education has its benefits. By learning and focusing on a specific trade, students immerse themselves in the business, allowing them to build an exciting career in a new field.

What is the difference between professional and vocational courses?

Profession refers to the career one opts for, getting extensive training and gaining special skills to become eligible for a job. Work requires training and qualification, whereas vocation is an individual’s innate ability towards a particular occupation.


Tennessee trade schools provide a variety of hands-on training programs for aspiring professionals in fields such as beauty, healthcare, mechanics, technology, and more. 

The right trade school can teach you everything you need to know to start a career in some of the most in-demand industries. 

Please list all the schools that offer programs in your desired domain and compare them based on relevant factors such as tuition, programs, educators, job placement rate, graduation rate, and accreditation.


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