Trade Schools, Colleges and Universities

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Trade Schools, Colleges and Universities
Join Over 1.5 Million Poeple We've Introduced to Awesome Schools Since 2001

Colleges & Trade Schools in California

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Vocational colleges and trade schools in California help prepare students to build futures in a region with endless possibilities. Business, technology, health care, and many other career sectors provide ample opportunities for reliable and meaningful employment.

Education & Training in California

Californians have the opportunity to choose from an extensive range of college and trade school programs. Many students in California benefit from generous financial aid and the region's incredible cultural diversity.

Key Benefits for Students in California

  1. Low student debt: The Institute of College Access & Success stated in a 2020 article that, on average, post-secondary students in California carry the fourth-lowest amount of education-related debt in the U.S.
  2. Greater potential for educational achievement: California's for-profit institutions and private non-profit four-year schools have lower ratios of students to instructors compared to the national averages. That means you have the chance to get more personalized instruction, which can lead to better learning outcomes.
  3. Enhanced personal growth and development: According to US News, California is home to seven of the ten most diverse cities in America (among cities with at least 300,000 people). Students in this state are in a prime location for engaging with people of many different backgrounds, which can help make them more empathetic, adaptable, and ready for today's diverse workplaces.


Yearly educational expenses vary significantly across California's post-secondary landscape. A lot depends on the kind of program you take as well as the type of college or trade school you attend. At four-year schools that grant degrees in California, the average tuition and fees in 2018-2019 were as follows, according to National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) estimates:

  • Public schools: $8,118 (in-state); $31,423 (out-of-state)
  • Private schools: $35,524

Students who attend two-year colleges or vocational schools in California often pay much less than the above amounts.

Based on the same NCES data, yearly on-campus room and board charges at California's four-year institutions totaled up to the following amounts, on average:

  • Public schools: $14,546
  • Private schools: $14,336

Trade School Accreditation

Student in CaliforniaTo receive federal financial aid, you must attend a post-secondary school accredited by a national or regional organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

Accreditation means that a school upholds particular quality standards based on the evaluation of an independent accrediting body.

Many career colleges, technical institutes, and trade schools in California are nationally accredited by at least one of the following organizations:

  • Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC)
  • Council on Occupational Education (COE)
  • Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES)
  • Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS)
  • Accrediting Council for Continuing Education & Training (ACCET)
  • Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC)

Many degree-granting institutions are regionally accredited by either the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC) or the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC).

Private colleges, universities, and vocational schools must be approved to operate by the California Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE).

Financial Aid for California Students

The California Student Aid Commission administers several programs that make post-secondary education more affordable for eligible state residents. Two of the most notable examples are grant programs, which award money for school that you don't need to pay back:

  • Cal Grants help cover tuition, fees, books, and other expenses for residents who attend public California institutions or eligible private technical colleges or career schools. The award amounts are based on financial need, and you have to meet minimum academic requirements.
  • The California Chafee Grant for Foster Youth is geared toward residents who were in the state's foster care system at any time from the age of 16 to 18. If you qualify, you can receive as much as $5,000 a year for your college education or vocational training. While you're a student, the funds can even be used to help pay for rent, transportation, and child care.

Other state-funded programs are geared toward military members, dependents of police officers and firefighters, and students pursuing teaching credentials.

Many California college students are also eligible for federal grants, loans, or work-study options. For most residents, applying for state or federal assistance requires completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). If you're an undocumented student, you can apply for state aid by submitting the California Dream Act Application (CADAA).

FAQs About Being a Student in California

How much will I pay for an off-campus apartment in California?

Trade Schools in CaliforniaOn a median basis, Californians pay $1,248 per month to rent a studio apartment, according to statewide estimates. For one-bedroom units, the median rent is $1,379. Both amounts are much higher than the respective national medians.

If you qualify for state and/or federal student aid, you may be able to use some of your funds to help cover basic living expenses while enrolled in school. Many California students also reduce the amount of off-campus rent they pay by splitting the cost with one or more roommates.

Is it better to drive or use public transit as a California college student?

The best transportation often depends on your school's location and how far you have to commute. The state's largest cities tend to have efficient and reliable public transportation options. Taking the bus or traveling via subway or light rail is generally much more affordable than paying for gas, parking, insurance, and vehicle maintenance.

More than 100 public transportation agencies operate throughout California. Most counties have some type of transit service. Most transit providers in the state don't offer direct discounts to college students. However, some colleges offer their own discounted rates on passes that they've purchased from area providers.

Metro in Los Angeles County and the Orange County Transportation Authority are two of the only transit providers offering reduced fares directly to college, university, and vocational school students.

Where can I get help with finding California internships or conducting my job search when I graduate?

Start with your school's career services department. Most post-secondary institutions, especially career-oriented trade schools and technical colleges, offer some form of job-search assistance for their students and alumni. Also, various websites list thousands of potential work experience opportunities across several different fields.

It's also worth checking out your local public library. In many cases, they offer access to free job resources and career guidance.

Colleges and trade schools in California can give you the advantage of learning valuable career skills in one of the world's most prosperous and exciting regions. This state is where millions of driven yet laid-back people interact and create bright futures for themselves. And it can be the place where you can start working toward your success.

It's easy to explore the colleges, universities, and trade schools in California that offer practical and convenient training. Look through the options below, or pinpoint a school and program by using our easy search tool!

Southern California Health Institute

  • North Hollywood
  • Massage Therapy
  • Medical Assistant
  • Medical Billing and Coding
  • Personal Fitness Trainer
  • Physical Therapy Aide/Sports Rehab

UEI College

  • Bakersfield
  • Chula Vista
  • Encino
  • Fresno
  • Garden Grove
  • Gardena
  • Huntington Park
  • Oceanside
  • Ontario
  • Riverside
  • Sacramento
  • Stockton
  • West Covina
  • Automotive Technician
  • Business Office Administration
  • Criminal Justice
  • Dental Assistant
  • Electrician Technician
  • Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning
  • Medical Assistant
  • Medical Billing and Insurance Coding
  • Medical Office Specialist
  • Pharmacy Technician
  • Welding

Platt College

  • Anaheim
  • Los Angeles
  • Ontario
  • Riverside
  • Business Management
  • Business Management - Online
  • Certified Nurse Assistant
  • Criminal Justice
  • Diagnostic Medical Sonography (Ultrasound)
  • Graphic Design
  • Health Care Management
  • Health Care Management - Online
  • Health & Fitness Trainer
  • Hemodialysis Technician
  • Information Technology
  • Medical Administrative Specialist
  • Medical Assisting
  • Occupational Therapy Assistant
  • Respiratory Therapy
  • Respiratory Therapy - Online
  • Veterinary Technology
  • Veterinary Technology - Online
  • Visual Communication (3D, 2D, and Web Design)
  • Web Development Programming

Fremont College

  • Cerritos
  • Massage Therapy
  • Paralegal Studies
  • Sports and Rehabilitation Therapy

San Joaquin Valley College

  • Atascadero
  • Bakersfield
  • Delano
  • Fresno
  • Fresno - Trades Education Center
  • Hanford
  • Hesperia
  • Lancaster
  • Madera
  • Modesto
  • Ontario
  • Porterville
  • Rancho Mirage
  • Santa Maria
  • Temecula
  • Visalia
  • Aviation Maintenance Technology
  • Business Office Administration
  • Construction Management
  • Criminal Justice: Corrections
  • Dental Assistant
  • Diagnostic Medical Sonography
  • Electrical Technology
  • Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration
  • Maintenance Technician
  • Medical Assistant
  • Medical Office Administration
  • Pharmacy Technology
  • Veterinary Assisting

Charter College

  • Lancaster
  • Oxnard
  • Dental Assisting
  • HVAC/R
  • Medical Assistant
  • Veterinary Assistant

University of Silicon Valley

  • San Jose
  • Business Administration
  • Computer Science
  • Digital Art & Animation
  • Digital Audio Technology
  • Game Design Art
  • Game Design Engineering
  • Software Development

Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology

  • Los Angeles
  • Riverside
  • Aviation Maintenance Technology

Blake Austin College

  • Vacaville
  • Administrative Medical Assisting
  • Clinical Medical Assisting w/Phlebotomy
  • Cosmetology
  • Dental Assisting
  • Dental Assisting - Continuing Education
  • Esthetician (Esthetics)
  • Make-Up Artistry
  • Nursing - Continuing Education
  • Spa Nail Technician
  • Vocational Nursing

Laurus College

  • Atascadero
  • Oxnard
  • San Luis Obispo
  • Santa Maria
  • Audio Production
  • Audio Video Production
  • Business Administration
  • Business Systems Management
  • Digital Arts & Computer Animation
  • Information Technologies & Network Systems
  • Medical Billing & Coding
  • Visual Design and Multimedia
  • Web Design
  • Web Design & Development

Carrington College

  • Citrus Heights
  • Pleasant Hill
  • Sacramento
  • San Jose
  • San Leandro
  • Stockton
  • Criminal Justice: Corrections
  • Dental Assisting
  • Massage Therapy
  • Medical Administrative Assistant
  • Medical Assisting
  • Medical Billing and Coding
  • Pharmacy Technology
  • Veterinary Technology

Universal Technical Institute

  • Long Beach
  • Rancho Cucamonga
  • Sacramento
  • Automotive Technology
  • Collision Repair & Refinish Technology
  • Diesel & Industrial Technology


  • Fairfield
  • Rancho Cordova
  • Riverside
  • West Covina
  • California Residents Only
  • Alcohol & Drug Counseling Studies
  • Business Administration
  • Business Office Administration
  • Computerized Accounting
  • Dental Assistant
  • Electrical Training
  • HVAC Technician
  • Medical Assisting
  • Mental Health Rehabilitation Technician
  • Pharmacy Technician
  • Substance Use Disorder Counseling

California has one of the world's largest economies, employing professionals across all kinds of different industries. Regardless of the sector you want to work in, you can probably find a variety of vocational trade schools, career colleges, or other training that can help you gain the required skills.

With thousands of opportunities open to people who've completed post-secondary training, trade schools in California play a major role in the success of countless students like you.