Best Trade Schools in Massachusetts

Massachusetts trade schools help students train for technical careers quickly and affordably. Find the best trade schools in Massachusetts.

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by Heather Mullinix

Published September 12, 2022

Edited by Kelly Thomas
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Massachusetts trade schools help prepare graduates for in-demand careers without a four-year college degree's high cost and time commitment. Trade schools provide applied skills for a specific job in a short timeframe. This allows learners to begin working faster, often with little to no student debt.

Trade schools can prepare students for many careers. As industries seek a skilled workforce, many employers look to Massachusetts trade schools and apprenticeships to meet their needs. A recent WBUR survey of 129 biotech companies found more than half would hire applicants without a bachelor's degree.

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The best trade schools in Massachusetts offer students affordable and flexible training programs. Programs range from a few weeks to less than two years.

Trade Jobs and Salaries in Massachusetts

Earning a credential can improve salary potential compared to high school graduates. A 2021 report from The Boston Foundation found individuals with a workforce credential earned 26% more than workers with just a high school diploma. The careers below represent fields with high employment rates in Massachusetts that do not require a college degree.

Paralegal


Firefighter


Hairstylist

Trade Schools in Massachusetts

Trade careers encompass a variety of jobs in almost every industry, from healthcare and personal care services to advanced manufacturing and STEM careers. As the state grapples with the impact of automation on employment, trade careers offer strong employment opportunities with ongoing demand and high wages.

According to the BLS, Massachusetts brick masons report the highest average salary in the nation at $90,360. Plumbers in Massachusetts earn an average of $84,090 a year, the third highest average salary for plumbers in the U.S. Licensed practical nurses have a projected employment growth of 9% from 2020-30 and report median annual earnings of $61,820, the fourth highest salary for LPNs in the country.

Unlike college degree programs, Massachusetts trade schools focus solely on career-specific skills. Programs require a few months to less than two years to complete. Students earn recognized industry credentials or complete state requirements for an occupational license. More than 50 trade schools in Massachusetts offer career-focused education.

Average Cost of Trade School in Massachusetts

The cost of trade school varies by school and program, but students often find the cost far lower than a four-year college. According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), Massachusetts students paid an average of $13,729 in tuition and fees at public four-year colleges in 2020.

Trade schools include public and private institutions. The type of school you choose can impact your total tuition costs. The Elizabeth Grady School of Esthetics and Massage Therapy, a private, for-profit school, charged $8,320 in tuition and fees for its five-month esthetician program in 2021-22. The commercial driver training program at New England Tractor Trailer Training School of Massachusetts charged $11,445 for its six-month program.

Middlesex Community College, which offers multiple certificate programs in addition to associate degrees, charged students $6,048 for in-state tuition in 2021-2022. The public school charges out-of-state students $12,120, about twice the amount of in-state students.

Financial Aid for Trade Schools in Massachusetts

Financial aid can help reduce your overall educational costs. Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) can determine your eligibility for federal aid programs, like the Pell Grant or subsidized student loans.

Submitting the FAFSA can also determine whether you qualify for state and school-based grants and scholarships. Employers may also offer tuition reimbursement programs that help employees cover educational expenses.

Scholarships for Vocational Programs

Massachusetts Elks Vocational Scholarship Program


Massachusetts AFL-CIO Scholarship


Grants for Vocational Programs

Massachusetts Community College Access Grant Program

Many financial aid programs support vocational education. Research scholarship and grant opportunities, and reach out to area civic organizations and employers on available programs.

Accreditations in Massachusetts

Massachusetts trade schools need accreditation to serve students. Schools may hold approval from the Massachusetts Office of Private Occupational School Education, Department of Higher Education, Department of Labor Standards, or Department of Public Safety.

Students who plan to enter a regulated industry such as healthcare or construction often need to meet specific educational standards. Schools authorized by these licensing agencies ensure their courses prepare students for licensing exams so that they can follow their career plans.

In addition to state authorization, Massachusetts trade schools can also seek accreditation from organizations such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges, the National Accrediting Commission of Career Arts and Sciences Inc., or the Council on Occupational Education. Accreditation ensures schools offer a relevant curriculum taught by qualified faculty. Many federal financial aid programs limit payments to accredited institutions.

Apprenticeships in Massachusetts

Many trades also offer hands-on experiences that place students in workplaces. Trade schools may arrange for short-term internships with local industry partners. Students can also take advantage of structured work-based training through apprenticeship programs.

Massachusetts offers a wide range of apprenticeship programs, from construction and electrical to healthcare and cloud computing. Participants earn a paycheck while learning their new skills.

The time required to complete an apprenticeship varies by program, with programs lasting 1-6 years. Apprentice graduates earn a recognized certificate of completion and report an average salary of $70,000.

Frequently Asked Questions About Technical Schools in Massachusetts

How many tech schools are in Massachusetts?

The NCES lists 56 schools in Massachusetts offering post-secondary certificate programs of two years or less. Massachusetts trade schools include public community colleges and technical schools, and private schools, both nonprofit and for-profit. High school students may also choose trade schools.

Program offerings include healthcare, education, personal services, construction, manufacturing, and aviation mechanics. Many schools offer part-time evening programs to accommodate students with career and family commitments.

What is the best vocational course?

The best trade schools in Massachusetts tailor their vocational training to the needs of employers in the state and region. These schools identify fast-growing career opportunities and work with industry representatives to design a curriculum that teaches essential skills for the field.

WBUR reported growth in industries such as biotechnology, software development, and advanced manufacturing in Massachusetts in 2021. Education providers offer programs for biotechnology technicians, computer programming, and advanced manufacturing.

What trades are always in demand?

Trade careers remain essential to a workforce. Many industries need workers to provide hands-on, skilled services. Short-term job growth projections from the BLS show high demand in Massachusetts for the following trade careers: roofers, crematory operators, and earth drillers. The BLS projects higher than average job growth from 2021-2023 for each career.

The BLS projects over 6,000 job openings for home health aids during that same period and about 1,500 nursing assistants each year. The agency also projects about 1,310 annual openings for construction laborers.

Best Massachusetts Trade Schools

Rankings Methodology:

  • Must offer less than one-year certifications
  • Accredited
  • Less than 18:1 faculty to student ratio
  • Less than $35,000 in tuition

Catherine Hinds Institute of Esthetics

  • Type: Private, for-profit
  • Cost: $13,625
  • Location: Woburn, Massachusetts
  • Admission requirements: Open admissions
  • Graduation requirements: 5-8 months
  • Accreditation: Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges

About the Program:

The Catherine Hinds Institute offers two esthetics programs that prepare students for state licensing: a core program and master esthetics program. Students can choose from full-time enrollment or part-time day or evening classes.

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EINE Inc.

  • Type: Private, for-profit
  • Cost: $15,200
  • Location: Online and Tewksbury, Massachusetts
  • Admission requirements: Open admissions
  • Graduation requirements: 6-9 months
  • Accreditation: National Accrediting Commission of Career Arts and Sciences, Inc.

About the Program:

EINE offers an online and hybrid distance learning program for electrology for permanent hair removal and skin care. The 1,100-hour program meets licensing requirements for Massachusetts and New Hampshire. The student clinic allows closely supervised students to offer treatments to the public.

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Elizabeth Grady School of Esthetics and Massage Therapy

  • Type: Private, for-profit
  • Cost: $8,320
  • Location: Medford, Massachusetts
  • Admission requirements: Open admissions
  • Graduation requirements: 5-6 months
  • Accreditation: National Accrediting Commission of Career Arts and Sciences, Inc.

About the Program:

The Elizabeth Grady School offers programs in esthetics, massage therapy, spa therapy and makeup artistry. The dual licensing program combines massage therapy and esthetics, with students graduating in 12 months.

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FINE Mortuary College

  • Type: Private, for-profit
  • Cost: $20,520
  • Location: Norwood, Massachusetts
  • Admission requirements: Open admissions
  • Graduation requirements: 70 credits
  • Accreditation: American Board of Funeral Service Education

About the Program:

Students complete an associate degree in funeral service, with some distance learning opportunities and hands-on, practical clinical experiences. Tuition includes textbooks and class materials.

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Lincoln Technical Institute-Somerville

  • Type: Private, for-profit
  • Cost: $19,924
  • Location: Somerville, Massachusetts
  • Admission requirements: Open admissions
  • Graduation requirements: 9-12 months
  • Accreditation: Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools

About the Program:

Lincoln Tech uses a blended learning format for its medical assistant program. Students complete some coursework online but participate in hands-on training on campus. The school also offers dental assistant and massage therapy programs.

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Millennium Training Institute

  • Type: Private, for-private
  • Cost: $17,750
  • Location: Woburn, Massachusetts
  • Admission requirements: Open admissions
  • Graduation requirements: 4-9 months
  • Accreditation: Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges

About the Program:

Millennium Training Institute offers flexible training for high-demand careers in network systems, medical administration, and clinical medical assistants. All students take a career development course that helps students prepare for their job search, interview, and starting their new job.

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Monty Tech

  • Type: Public
  • Cost: $11,878
  • Location: Fitchburg, Massachusetts
  • Admission requirements: Secondary school record, recommendations, standardized test scores
  • Graduation requirements: 10 months
  • Accreditation: Council on Occupational Education

About the Program:

This public vocational high school also offers a post-secondary practical nursing program to about 40 students each year. Classes meet during the evenings for students with work and family commitments. Graduates benefit from bridge nursing programs at Fitchburg State University.

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Motoring Technical Training Institute

  • Type: Private, for-profit
  • Cost: $18,500
  • Location: Seekonk, Massachusetts
  • Admission requirements: High school diploma, interview
  • Graduation requirements: 7 months
  • Accreditation: Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges

About the Program:

With a focus on education for employment, MTTI works with local employers and industry experts to design program curricula. The nine programs feature learning labs and internship opportunities.

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New England Tractor Trailer Training School of Massachusetts

  • Type: Private, for-profit
  • Cost: $11,445
  • Location: North Andover, Massachusetts
  • Admission requirements: Open admissions
  • Graduation requirements: 1-13 months
  • Accreditation: Not listed

About the Program:

NETTTS offers programs in entry-level truck driving and HVAC technology, with hands-on training, job placement assistance, and financial assistance. It serves about 200 students from its North Andover campus.

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Shawsheen Valley School of Practical Nursing

  • Type: Public
  • Cost: $12,920
  • Location: Billerica, Massachusetts
  • Admission requirements: Pre-entrance exam
  • Graduation requirements: 10 months
  • Accreditation: Council on Occupational Education

About the Program:

The school offers practical nurse training in weekend and evening sessions, with cohorts beginning each August. The school boasts a 3-to-1 student-faculty ratio and approval from the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing.

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Other Notable Massachusetts Trade Schools

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BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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