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Paying for Career Training: Cost of Career Training and Trade Schools

How many trade schools are there in the United States?

In the United States, there are about 4,500 licensed post-secondary career training schools (excluding community colleges).

What types of career certificate programs are there?1

Career Paths Percent of Total
Animal services
2%
Architecture, design, visual arts, and performing arts
3%
Audio and film production
1%
Aviation and aviation maintenance
8%
Beauty, cosmetology, and esthetics
10%
Business training (marketing, sales, finance, leadership)
7%
Computer sciences (excl. IT/cybersecurity)
4%
Culinary arts and hospitality
2%
Education and teacher training
2%
Fitness, wellness, and recreation
7%
Healthcare and medical services
35%
Heavy equipment operations
1%
Installation, maintenance, and repair
4%
Internships and experiences
2%
IT/cybersecurity
2%
Language and linguistics
2%
Legal professions
1%
Truck driving
5%
Welding and underwater diving
2%
Total
100%

How much does trade school cost?2

On average, trade schools cost ~$7,900, but there’s a lot of variation in different career paths. For example, some schools — like truck driver training — cost less than $5K on average, while others — like aviation and aviation maintenance — cost upward of $20K on average.

School Types Avg Tuition Cost Per Student
Animal services
$5,693.69
Architecture, design, visual arts, and performing arts
$9,952.51
Audio and film production
$10,918.33
Aviation and aviation maintenance
$21,044.05
Beauty, cosmetology, and esthetics
$7,968.87
Business training (marketing, sales, finance, leadership)
$7,577.37
Computer sciences (excl. IT/cybersecurity)
$7,618.85
Culinary arts and hospitality
$5,586.25
Education and teacher training
$7,061.75
Fitness, wellness, and recreation
$5,609.47
Healthcare and medical services
$7,091.38
Heavy equipment operations
$5,802.93
Installation, maintenance, and repair
$9,250.53
Internships and experiences
$3,840.93
IT/cybersecurity
$11,381.21
Language and linguistics
$5,030.92
Legal professions
$4,849.71
Truck driving
$4,777.79
Diving and underwater welding
$9,033.86
Overall average
$7,899.49

Can you get student loans for trade school?3

Only about 10% of trade schools and career training programs (excluding community colleges) offer federal financial aid. Some career paths are more likely to offer federal aid than others — like cosmetology, audio and film production, and education and teacher training.

Percent of schools that offer Title IV funding:

Cosmetology
26%

Audio and film production
24%

Education and teacher training
14%

Schools Percent Title IV
Animal services
5%
Architecture, design, visual arts, and performing arts
18%
Audio and film production
24%
Aviation and aviation maintenance
1%
Beauty, cosmetology, and esthetics
26%
Business training (marketing, sales, finance, leadership)
16%
Computer sciences (excl. IT/cybersecurity)
4%
Culinary arts and hospitality
7%
Education and teacher training
14%
Fitness, wellness, and recreation
5%
Healthcare and medical services
9%
Heavy equipment operations
4%
Installation, maintenance, and repair
10%
Internships and experiences
1%
IT/cybersecurity
9%
Language and linguistics
1%
Legal professions
18%
Truck driving
3%
Diving and underwater welding
26%
Percent of all schools
10%

While federal student loans may not be available for all trade schools, other payment options are often available.

Trade school loans, career training loans, and upskiling loans

Climb Credit offers financing for many programs that help students quickly gain career skills.

1Career certificate program types based on an analysis of 4,433 post-secondary career training schools across the United States — excluding traditional universities and community colleges.
2Average tuition cost based on an analysis of 2,056 available data points from post-secondary career training schools across the United States — excluding traditional universities and community colleges.
3Federal funding availability based on an analysis of 4,433 post-secondary career training schools across the United States — excluding traditional universities and community colleges.

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