Best Trade Schools in Michigan

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by Doug Wintemute

Published on June 30, 2022

Edited by Kelly Thomas
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Best Trade Schools in Michigan
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Trade schools offer career-based technical training in specialized skilled trades. These programs typically take less than two years to complete, cost less than full degrees, and provide direct access to the workforce.

According to the College Navigator from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), Michigan has more than 60 schools that offer two-year or less programs. Here, we look at the available trade jobs and best trade schools in Michigan.

Trade Jobs and Salaries in Michigan

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the following jobs have some of the highest employment numbers in the state. These careers can be accessed without a postsecondary degree education. We also outline the projected growth rates and median annual salaries for each position.

Dental Hygienist

Cardiovascular Technician

Truck Driver

Trade Schools in Michigan

Trade school programs feature more specialized and career-focused training than traditional postsecondary programs. The studies omit general education coursework in favor of hands-on training for a specific trade. Tradespeople provide us with many essential services, including automotive, construction, plumbing, and HVAC work.

According to NCES, there are 63 Michigan trade schools, including institutions for cosmetology, boat building, aviation, and medical education. The Center for Economic and Policy Research's most recent Blue Collar Job Tracker reported that Michigan had the fifth-highest percentage of blue collar jobs in the country in 2016, a positive sign for prospective tradespeople.

Average Cost of Trade School in Michigan

To get an average cost of trade schools in Michigan, we looked at programs lasting less than two years. These schools have an average annual tuition of $12,735, as per the Education Data Initiative. Comparatively, the average annual tuition at four-year schools was $13,315 in Michigan's public schools and $29,405 in private schools in 2019-20, as per NCES data.

According to the BLS, professionals with some college but no degree made a weekly average of $877 in 2020, whereas bachelor's graduates made $1,305. That suggests that trade school graduates take about 14-29 weeks to earn what they paid for their training, depending on the program length. Conversely, bachelor's graduates need between 40-90 weeks to earn what they paid for their training, depending on whether they attended public or private school.

Financial Aid for Trade Schools in Michigan

Michigan trade schools offer several financial aid options for their students, including federal aid programs, loans, and scholarships. Scholarships usually offer awards to promising students or those with financial need. The following are just a few of the available scholarship programs for Michigan students.

Scholarships for Trade Programs

Scholarships for Welding Programs

Scholarships for Construction Programs

In most cases, scholarship funds do not require repayment, and some programs offer renewable funds for multiple semesters or years. Scholarships may come from the government, private organizations, or schools. Applicants should pay close attention to the application requirements, as they vary by program.

For more information on paying for trade school, check here: Vocational Education Financial Aid

Accreditations in Michigan

Trade schools in Michigan have several accreditations depending on their field. Some possible organizations include the Council on Occupational Education, the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training, and the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges.

Other institutional accreditation organizations specialize in certain fields, such as the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities and the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools. Institutional accreditation in trade schools helps assure students that they will receive a high-quality education recognized by the industry.

Programmatic accreditation or recognition may also be available and required by certain industries. For example, accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs or approval from the Federal Aviation Administration may be required for postgraduate licensure.

Apprenticeships in Michigan

In addition to trade schools in Michigan, aspiring tradespeople can pursue apprenticeships. These programs combine on-the-job training and coursework to help provide practical and career-specific skills. The MI-Apprenticeship program connects students with employers and mentors in many industries, including healthcare, automation, and information technology.

Trade high schools and programs for high school students are also available in Michigan. These programs and institutions help prepare students for career and technical training or allow them to access the workforce directly after high school.

Frequently Asked Questions About Technical Schools in Michigan

true How much does trade school cost in Michigan?

The cost of training in Michigan trade schools can vary considerably by institution and program. According to NCES, 53 of 63 trade schools in the state have tuition below $20,000. Eight of the schools have tuition that falls below $10,000.

Trade school students can justify the training costs with the combination of short training and near-instant workforce access. They can also access several financial aid options to help pay for their studies.

true What skilled trades are in demand in Michigan?

Michigan's Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity projects more than 530,000 jobs in the professional trades by 2028, plus nearly 50,000 annual job openings. The most in-demand trade fields include construction, healthcare, information technology, energy, and manufacturing.

In response to the growing demand, many trade schools in Michigan offer targeted programs for these fields. For example, prospective students can find programs in construction, medical assisting, robotics, and energy technician.

true What is the highest-paying trade job in Michigan?

According to the BLS, the highest-paying trade job in Michigan is likely an airplane pilot or copilot. These professionals made annual mean wages of $214,640 in May 2021. While they may need years of experience to acquire these salaries, learners can get basic training from trade schools.

Other high-paying trade jobs in Michigan include nuclear power plant operators, nuclear technicians, medical dosimetrists, and construction managers. While the job requirements vary by employer, each of these professions earned mean annual wages above $100,000 in May 2021.

Best Michigan Trade Schools

Each program on the list will meet our criteria, being:

Rankings Methodology:

  • Must offer less than one-year certifications
  • Accredited
  • Less than 18-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio
  • Less than $35,000 in tuition
Abcott Institute true
  • Type: Private for-profit
  • Cost: $2,846
  • Location: Southfield, Michigan
  • Admission requirements: Applicants need a high school or GED diploma.
  • Graduation requirements: Graduates must complete 39-60 credits and the certification exams if applicable.
  • Accreditation: The school is accredited by the Council on Occupational Education.

About the Program:

Abcott Institute enrolls nearly 150 undergraduate students in its medical assistant, practical nurse, surgical technician, and HVAC/R systems technician programs. The school also serves as a medical testing center for various assessments and examinations.

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Carnegie Institute true
  • Type: Private for-profit
  • Cost: $14,771
  • Location: Troy, Michigan
  • Admission requirements: Applicants need a high school or GED diploma, plus completed entrance examinations if applicable.
  • Graduation requirements: Graduates must complete the course and clinical requirements, plus their licensure examinations if applicable.
  • Accreditation: The school is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges, and the programs are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs.

About the Program:

Carnegie Institute enrolls more than 120 students and offers 11 programs, including massage therapy, cardiology technician, medical assistant, and medical business specialist.

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Great Lakes Boat Building School true
  • Type: Private not-for-profit
  • Cost: $26,050
  • Location: Cedarville, Michigan
  • Admission requirements: Applicants need a high school or GED diploma and an interview for admission.
  • Graduation requirements: Graduates must complete the required number of credits and instruction hours while also demonstrating mastery over the material.
  • Accreditation: The school is accredited by the Accrediting Council for Career Schools and Colleges.

About the Program:

The Great Lakes Boat Building School enrolls about 20 students and offers three programs. They include a comprehensive career boat building program, a marine service technology program, and a small engine program.

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Irene's Myomassology Institute true
  • Type: Private for-profit
  • Cost: $30,382
  • Location: Southfield, Michigan
  • Admission requirements: Applicants need a high school or GED diploma for admission.
  • Graduation requirements: Graduates must complete 700 instructional hours to graduate, including 75 clinical hours.
  • Accreditation: The school is accredited by the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training.

About the Program:

Irene's Myomassology Institute enrolls more than 250 students in its massage therapy and therapeutic massage programs. The school also provides continuing education courses for professionals to maintain licensure.

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L'esprit Academy true
  • Type: Private for-profit
  • Cost: $16,076
  • Location: Canton, Michigan
  • Admission requirements: Applicants need a high school or GED diploma for admission.
  • Graduation requirements: Students must complete the required instruction hours to graduate.
  • Accreditation: The school is accredited by the National Accrediting Commission of Career Arts and Sciences.

About the Program:

L'esprit Academy enrolls about 200 students in its programs for manicuring, esthetics, and cosmetology. The school offers part-time and full-time courses, plus distance learning options.

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Michigan Career and Technical Institute
  • Type: Public
  • Cost: $8,590
  • Location: Plainwell, Michigan
  • Admission requirements: Applicants must be at least 18 years old, have a documented disability, and complete a career assessment for admission.
  • Graduation requirements: Students must complete the required number of hours to graduate.
  • Accreditation: The school is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities.

About the Program:

The Michigan Career and Technical Institute enrolls more than 100 learners with disabilities and features 13 programs. Examples include automotive technology, construction, machine technology, and retail marketing.

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Northwestern Technological Institute
  • Type: Private for-profit
  • Cost: $31,716
  • Location: Southfield, Michigan
  • Admission requirements: Applicants need a high school or GED diploma for admission.
  • Graduation requirements: Students must complete 10.5 months of training and the required lab work to graduate.
  • Accreditation: The school is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges.

About the Program:

Northwestern Technological Institute enrolls more than 850 students in its HVAC program, which covers training in heating, electrical, refrigeration, and air conditioning and may lead to four certifications.

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Ross Medical Education Center-Davison
  • Type: Private for-profit
  • Cost: $18,695
  • Location: Davison, Michigan
  • Admission requirements: Applicants need a high school or GED diploma for admission.
  • Graduation requirements: Students must complete the required number of modules and externship hours to graduate.
  • Accreditation: The school is accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools.

About the Program:

Ross Medical Education Center-Davison enrolls over 50 students in its medical programs, including medical assistant, medical office management, and medical billing administrative specialist. Online programs are available.

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School of Missionary Aviation Technology
  • Type: Private not-for-profit
  • Cost: $13,141
  • Location: Ionia, Michigan
  • Admission requirements: Applicants need a high school or GED diploma, plus medical clearance if applicable.
  • Graduation requirements: Students must complete the course training plus the required number of lab, simulation, and/or in-flight hours to graduate.
  • Accreditation: The school is accredited by the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training.

About the Program:

The School of Missionary Aviation Technology enrolls more than 20 students in its flight training and maintenance training programs. Both programs are approved by the Federal Aviation Administration.

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The Michigan Barber School
  • Type: Private not-for-profit
  • Cost: $7,275
  • Location: Detroit, Michigan
  • Admission requirements: Applicants need a high school or GED diploma and must submit an essay for admission.
  • Graduation requirements: Students must complete the required courses and practical hours and demonstrate mastery of barber skills to graduate.
  • Accreditation: The school is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges.

About the Program:

The Michigan Barber School enrolls more than 170 students in its barber styling and barber instructor programs.

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Other Notable Michigan Trade Schools

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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