Best Trade Schools in Nevada

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by Nalea Ko

Published September 7, 2022

Edited by Kelly Thomas
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Best Trade Schools in Nevada
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Las-Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, Nevada reported the third highest employment increase of nearly 8% in June 2021-June 2022, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The state experienced job gains in the hospitality, construction, and warehousing industries.

CDL drivers, aviation mechanics, and medical assistants need a high school diploma and vocational training or a two-year associate degree. Trade schools offer students a quicker route to a new career without the student loan debt that often comes with traditional education.

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Ready to start your journey?

Use this guide to learn about the best trade schools in Nevada and what they cost, how long they take, and how much graduates earn.

Trade Jobs and Salaries in Nevada

Nevadians can pursue high-skilled jobs making $36,890-$71,530 as CDL drivers, aviation mechanics, and medical assistants — positions that do not require advanced college degrees.

CDL Driver

CDL drivers may have an associate or a bachelor's degree but do not need them to earn their license. A college degree can help individuals who want to become administrators or hold executive-level positions, but employers do not require it.

Aviation Mechanic

Aviation mechanics may choose to earn a bachelor's degree in engineering or a related field to boost their future career prospects. However, they usually only need an associate degree to enter the industry.

Medical Assistant

Medical assistants earn a certificate after high school or gain work experience in the field. While not required, medical assistants can earn an associate or a bachelor's degree to become a registered nurse.

Trade Schools in Nevada

Power distributors and dispatchers — one of the top-paying jobs in Nevada that do not require a college degree — pay an average annual median salary of $110,470, according to the BLS.

Many in-demand jobs in Nevada do not require a college degree. For instance, solar photovoltaic installers, with 16% projected job growth from 2020-2022, do not require a four-year degree.

Nevada has 24 private two-year and less-than-two-year"trade schools that emphasize hands-on training to teach students in-demand trades, often in less than one year.

Trade schools offer associate degrees, certificates, and diplomas in dental assisting, cosmetology, electrical technology, massage therapy, medical assistant, plumbing, and welding. Students study in classrooms and work in labs, clinics, or externships at job sites.

Average Cost of Trade School in Nevada

Trade schools offer short-term programs that generally cost less than four-year colleges. The National Center for Education Statistics reports that Nevada's four-year colleges charge an annual average of $6,020 or a total cost of $17,990 for in-state tuition —14.49% less than the national average of $9,400 in the 2019-2020 school year.

Private four-year schools in Nevada charged a total cost of $40,470 during that time. Meanwhile, trade schools like the Nevada Career Institute cost $15,400 annually, and Carrington College's tuition starts at $8,630 a year.

Students in Nevada have an average student loan debt of $33,740. However, the benefits of a college degree and trade education often outweigh the costs. Bachelor degree holders in their lifetime make a million dollars more than people with only a high school degree, according to a report by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

Additionally, many high-skilled trades in Nevada offer wages far higher than the national average of $55,630. Electrical line installers and repairers make an annual mean salary of $71,090, and mechanical insulators earn an annual mean wage of $67,250, reports the BLS.

Financial Aid for Trade Schools in Nevada

You can pay for trade school upfront or apply for financial aid. Trade students qualify for federal financial aid if they attend a program for 15 weeks or longer. How much money in loans and grants students receive depends on their FAFSA. Nevada and private professional organizations also offer scholarships that need not be repaid.

Scholarships for Agriculture Programs

Nevada Farm Bureau Trade School Scholarship

Scholarships for Aviation Programs

Aircraft Electronics Association Pat Napolitano Memorial Scholarship for Aspiring Technicians

Scholarships for Cosmetology Programs

Arnold M. Miller 'Find-a-Way' Cosmetology Student Scholarship

Scholarships do not need to be repaid, and often students can renew their scholarship to receive additional aid the following year. For additional scholarship opportunities, students should consult their academic advisors or financial aid office.

Vocational Education Financial Aid

Accreditations in Nevada

Accreditation lets students identify legitimate trade schools and programs. Trade schools hold accreditation plus programs that lead to associate degrees, certificates, and diplomas.

Trade schools receive accreditation from agencies such as the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools, the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges, and the National Accrediting Commission of Career Arts and Sciences, Inc.

Accredited schools and programs help prepare students for their chosen fields. Accrediting agencies review schools' student recruiting and advertising practices, admissions policies, program requirements, and student achievement. Some licensing boards may require applicants to have graduated from an accredited program.

Apprenticeships in Nevada

Many trade schools offer pathways to apprenticeships. People can also get paid while they train through the Nevada State Apprenticeship Council, which oversees apprenticeships lasting 1-5 years. Applicants can find apprenticeships in construction, government, healthcare, tourism and gaming, and technology.

High school students can train for technical careers at institutions like the East CareerTechnical Academy, Southeast CareerTechnical Academy, and West Career and Technical Academy.

Frequently Asked Questions About Technical Schools in Nevada

Does Nevada have trade schools?

Yes. Nevada has 24 private two-year and less-than-two-year schools. Programs operate online or at locations throughout Nevada in Carson City, Las Vegas, Reno, and Sparks. Nevada only has private for-profit trade schools. Unlike nonprofit colleges that receive funding from the state government, for-profit schools generate revenue from higher tuition and private investors.

Trade schools in Nevada provide hands-on training in subjects like aviation maintenance, cosmetology, health information management, massage therapy, and welding and fabrication. Students can earn associate degrees, certificates, and diplomas from trade schools. Some accredited trade schools may allow students to transfer credits toward a higher degree.

What are the most common trade schools?

The most common trade schools in Nevada include cosmetology schools that teach students beauty arts, makeup design, hair design, and nail technology.

Schools such as the L Makeup Institute provide courses and diplomas that specifically train students in 6-8 months in makeup arts, while the Milan Institute in Las Vegas offers aesthetician-esthetician, barbering, cosmetology, dental assistant, and pharmacy technicians programs. Nevada also trains the next generation of aircraft technicians, aircraft mechanics, and helicopter mechanics at the Aviation Institute of Maintenance in Las Vegas.

None of the trade schools in Nevada offer bachelor's degrees. Still, students can earn associate degrees at Career College of Northern Nevada, Carrington College in Las Vegas and Reno, Nevada Career Institute, Northwest Career College, and Pima Medical Institute of Las Vegas.

Is vocational education better than college?

It depends on the person and their passion. A vocational education typically costs less than a college degree because students do not stay in school for as long.

BLS data shows that a higher degree often equates to higher earnings throughout a person's life. People with a high school diploma earn a median weekly wage of $809, while individuals with associate degrees make an average of $963 a week. Bachelor degree holders earn an average of $1,334 a week. The unemployment rates also decrease as people earn higher degrees.

Best Nevada Trade Schools

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

How We Rank Schools

Rankings Methodology:

Aviation Institute of Maintenance-Las Vegas

  • Private for-profit
  • Cost: $520-$610 per hour
  • Location: Las Vegas, Online
  • Admission Requirements: Complete a career readiness exam and an online application. Must have a high school diploma or GED certificate.
  • Graduation Requirements: Finish 55-78 credits over 15-21 months.
  • Accreditations: Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges

The Aviation Institute of Maintenance in Las Vegas offers aviation maintenance technician, aviation maintenance technician avionics, and maintenance technician programs. Students can also take online courses to earn a professional aviation maintenance certification.

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Career College of Northern Nevada

  • Private for-profit
  • Cost: $26,085-$29,000
  • Location: Sparks, Nevada
  • Admission Requirements: Take a three-minute career readiness quiz and complete an application. Candidates need a high school diploma or GED certificate.
  • Graduation Requirements: Complete 9-18 months of training and any externships hours
  • Accreditation: Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges

The Career College of Northern Nevada, located on the campus founded in 1984, features diploma and associate degrees. Students train in facility maintenance, health information management, HVAC/R technology, industrial electronic technology, information technology, medical assisting, and welding and fabrication.

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Carrington College-Las Vegas

  • Private for-profit
  • Cost: $8,630-$25,304
  • Location: Las Vegas, Reno, Online
  • Admission Requirements: Complete an application; pass an ATI TEAS Admission Assessment with a combined score of 58%
  • Graduation Requirements: Complete lecture, lab, and externships hours; certificates take about 7-10 months, and associate degrees require a minimum of two years
  • Accreditation: Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, Western Association of Schools and Colleges

Carrington College in Las Vegas features a large catalog of certificates and associate degrees, including dental, nursing, medical, veterinary, and trades and industrial programs. Students can also earn certificates in electrical technology, HVAC/R, and maintenance technician.

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Casal Institute of Nevada

  • Private for-profit
  • Cost: $15,849
  • Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Admission Requirements: At least 18 years old with ahigh school diploma or GED certificate
  • Graduation Requirements: The cosmetology program requires about 53.5 weeks; the esthiology, massage, and nail technology programs require 600 hours.
  • Accreditations: National Accrediting Commission of Career Arts and Sciences, Inc.

Casal Institute of Nevada provides training in cosmetology, esthiology, massage therapy, and nail technology with curriculum available on iPads 24/7. Throughout the year, the school hosts career fairs where students meet with employers. Students can also participate in charity events, editorial and fantasy photoshoots, and runway shows.

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International Academy of Style

  • Private for-profit
  • Cost: $12,718
  • Location: Reno, Nevada
  • Admission Requirements: High school diploma or a GED certificate
  • Graduation Requirements: Students need to complete 500-1,600 hours, depending on the program. They must complete at least 30 hours a week. It takes between 2.5-12.5 months to graduate.
  • Accreditation: National Accrediting Commission of Career Arts & Sciences

International Academy of Style teaches students aesthetician, cosmetology, hair design, and nail technology. Senior students experience working on clients in the onsite salon. They also have added perks: a coffee bar and computer lab. New classes begin the first Tuesday of every month. Students make their own schedules with added flexibility available to students who work.

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L Makeup Institute

  • Private for-profit
  • Cost: $19,201
  • Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Admission Requirements: Must be a legal citizen or permanent resident; at least 18 years old; high school diploma or GED certificate; and complete an interview.
  • Graduation Requirements: Programs require students to complete 845-1,072 hours over 25-32 weeks.
  • Accreditation: Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges

L Makeup Institute, founded in 2010 by accomplished professional makeup artist Lissette Waugh, provides continuing education courses and diplomas in makeup arts that only take 6-8 months to complete. Students have access to a photography studio to capture work for portfolios. Enrollment happens on a first-come, first-serve basis.

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Milan Institute-Las Vegas

  • Private for-profit
  • Cost: $27,867
  • Location: Reno and Las Vegas
  • Admission Requirements: High school diploma or GED certificate
  • Graduation Requirements: Depending on the program, students complete 600-900 classroom and practical experience hours over 36-40 weeks.
  • Accreditations: Council on Occupational Education and American Society of Health-System Pharmacists

The Milan Institute in Las Vegas, a family-owned school established in 1985 by the Yasuda family, focuses on long-term training in administrative medical assistant, aesthetician-esthetician, barbering, cosmetology, dental assistant-registered dental assistant, manicurist nail technology, massage therapy, medical assisting, and pharmacy technology. Students get a laptop and career services that include resume and job assistance.

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Nevada Career Institute

  • Cost: $15,395 per year
  • Location: Las Vegas and online
  • Admission Requirements: High school diploma or its equivalent; complete an admission tour and interview, and pass a standardized basic skills assessment
  • Graduation Requirements: Complete between 28-34 credits for diplomas over about 40-43 weeks and up to 60 credits over 80 weeks for associate degrees. Students need to complete classroom, lab, and internship hours.
  • Accreditations: Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools, Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs, and Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools

The Nevada Career Institute offers flexible day or evening courses for students pursuing associate degrees and diplomas. Majors include healthcare administration, business office administration, dental assistant, medical assistant, medical insurance biller and coder, pharmacy technician, and surgical technology.

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Northwest Career College

  • Private for-profit
  • Cost: $15,499-$26,988 for degrees and diplomas; certificates cost $3,999
  • Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Admission Requirements: High school diploma or the equivalent; identification documents; school administrator interview; and proof of proficiency in English
  • Graduation Requirements: Complete required credits over 9-18 months. Associate degrees require about 100-104 credits over 72 weeks, and diplomas and certificates require 21-61 credits over 12-38 weeks.
  • Accreditation: Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools

Northwest Career College, founded in 1997, features diplomas, associate degrees, and certificates. Students can take evening or morning courses to complete programs such as business administrative assistant, criminal justice, dental assistant, legal assistant, and phlebotomy technician. Programs may offer blended formats with online and on-campus courses and free laptops for students.

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Paul Mitchell the School-Reno

  • Private for-profit
  • Cost: $6,635-$21,099
  • Location: Reno, Nevada
  • Admission Requirements: Submit an application, moral verification form, and pay the application fee; complete an interview with the admission advisor; provide proof of identity; must have a high school diploma or GED certificate
  • Graduation Requirements: Students complete 1,600 hours for the cosmetology program, 600 hours for the nail technology program, 500 hours for the provisional instructor program, and 700 hours for the instructor teacher training
  • Accreditations: National Accrediting Center for Career Arts and Sciences

Paul Mitchell the School in Reno trains future cosmetologists, nail technicians, student instructors, and provisional instructors. Students can go to school Monday-Friday for 30-35 hours a week, Wednesday-Friday for 30 hours a week, or Monday-Friday in the evenings for 20 hours per week.

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Other Notable Nevada 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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