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Best 12 Trade Schools in CT in 2021

May 18, 2021 | Staff Writers

Trade Schools in CT
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Trade schools, which are also known as vocational schools, offer workforce training in a variety of professional fields that cover most economic sectors. Trade schools in CT offer significant benefits to those students who wish to gain a professional trade certificate or degree in only a year or two.

Trade schools help students develop the skills necessary to work in a specific field. Unlike more traditional academic programs, trade school programs generally require fewer (if any) general education classes.  

Trade schools in CT offer students traditional classroom work combined with hands-on experience through a myriad of practicums, internships, and lab work – and often the fastest career training route for some students, saving oodles of time and money.

Trade School Accreditation

In the world of higher education, the process of accreditation is helpful to students as it helps identify the legitimacy of post-secondary schools and programs that have been evaluated against an objective set of criteria and quality standards. In other words, accreditation speaks to a school or program’s legitimacy and quality. Accreditation will also help a student qualify for federal financial aid if the US Department of Education recognizes the school.

The Connecticut Office of Higher Education authorizes private vocational schools to offer non-degree-granting programs in the state. When authorized, Trade schools in CT have the option to apply for accreditation by –

  • The regional agency is known as the New England Commission of Higher Education – NECHE.
  • The national organization is known as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools & Colleges – ACCSC.
  • The Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC) accredits online education coursework and schools.

Each trade school or community college’s website will identify the details regarding its current accreditation status. Note, however, programs may be accredited programmatically by a specialized agency. Most specialized accreditation ensures program graduates are eligible to sit for licensing examinations.

The examples of the many trade schools in CT noted below include a cross-section of the available programs designed to train individuals in the following areas –

  • Cosmetology
  • Plumbing
  • HVAC
  • Culinary arts
  • Dental Assisting
  • Collision Repair
  • Health care
  • Electrician
  • Professional driving
  • Information technology
  • Office administration, among others.

Best 12 Trade Schools in Connecticut

1. Asnuntuck Community College (Winsted)

Asnuntuck Community College (ACC) was established in 1969 and is a member school of the state’s college and university system known as CSCU. Asnuntuck Community College offers both certificate and associate degree programs (Associate of Arts (AA) or Associate of Science (AS)) across several sectors in the industry, business, and healthcare. ACC boasts the number one graduation rate in Connecticut and Massachusetts combined. Mandatory credit units differ based on program and industry offered by one of the more affordable trade schools in CT.

  • Tuition Fees – $166 per credit (Resident – Connecticut or Massachusetts); $249 per credit (NE Resident)
  • Programs Offered – Healthcare/Wellness, Business, Industry/Manufacturing, Communication/Journalism, Computers, Education, Engineering, Law Enforcement/Criminal Justice/Homeland Security, Liberal Arts, Performing Arts, among others.
  • Accreditation  – NECHE

2. Manchester Community College (Manchester)

Manchester Community College (MCC) was established in 1963 as a space-grant higher learning institution and the 3rdoldest of the member schools in the state’s college and university system (CSCU), but the largest with more than 14,900 students. MCC offers cross-registration with several of the state’s colleges/universities. MCC offers both certificate (12 to 30 credit units) and associate degree (up to 60 credit units) programs. 

  • Tuition Fees – $166 per credit (Resident – Connecticut or Massachusetts); $249 per credit (NE Resident)
  • Programs Offered – Criminal Justice, Culinary Arts, Business, Science, Humanities, Liberal Arts, Technology, Computer Networking, Game Design, Engineering, ESOL, Education, Healthcare, Music, Paralegal, Photography, Physics, Fine Arts, Web Technology, Social Service, among others.
  • Accreditation – NECHE

3. Middlesex Community College (Middletown)

Middlesex Community College (MxCC) was established in 1966 and is a member of the state’s university system (CSCU). As one of the community colleges that operate as one of the trade schools in CT serves more than 4,350 students from its Middletown campus and online. MxCC offers both certificate programs (ranging from 6 to 32 credit units) as well as associate degree programs in art and science. MxCC offers more than 70 certificate, degree, and workforce training programs.

  • Tuition Fees – $166 per credit (Resident – Connecticut or Massachusetts); $249 per credit (NE Resident)
  • Programs Offered – Business/Hospitality, Healthcare, Humanities/Creative Arts, Applied Tech/Manufacturing, Social Sciences, and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) programs.
  • Accreditation  – NECHE & Radiologic Technology (RAD)

4. Northwestern Connecticut Community College (Winsted)

Northwestern Connecticut Community College is a non-residential member school of the community college system and the smallest in its rural Winsted location that is among the most affordable trade schools in CT. With approximately 1,500 students studying on a full-time or part-time basis, NCCC is recognized among the smallest in the state. NCCC offers associate degree and certificate programs plus a variety of credit-free/continuing education programs and certifications.

  • Tuition Fees – $166 per credit (Resident – Connecticut or Massachusetts); $249 per credit (NE Resident)
  • Programs Offered – Arts/Humanities, Business, Social/Behavioral Science, Health/Veterinary Services, Education, Communication, Human Sciences, Criminal Justice/Law Enforcement, Visual/Performing Arts, STEM programs.
  • Accreditation  – NECHE

5. Naugatuck Valley Community College (Waterbury & Danbury)

Naugatuck Valley Community College (NVCC) was established in 1962 and a member of the state’s college and university system. Offering both certificate and associate degree programs, NVCC offers delivered programs on-campus and online, depending on the training involved. As one of the state’s most affordable trade schools in CT, NVCC is also a space-grant school.

  • Tuition Fees – $166 per credit (Resident – Connecticut or Massachusetts); $249 per credit (NE Resident)
  • Programs Offered – Arts/Humanities, Business/Management, Automotive, Science, Technology, Agricultural Sciences, Public Service/Criminal Justice, Healthcare, Education, Computers, Statistics, Culinary Services, Engineering Technology, Liberal Arts, Hospitality, Legal Assistant, STEM, Psychology.
  • Accreditation  – NECHE

6. Housatonic Community College (Bridgeport)

Housatonic Community College (HCC) established as a space-grant community college in 1967 offers both associate level degree & certificate programs in a variety of professions and industries that offers students and working learner one of the most innovative and affordable options for trade schools in CT. the school is home to the Housatonic Museum of Art which is home to more than 4,400 pieces in its collection. HCC offers more than 70 programs and majors from its Bridgeport campus and online.

  • Tuition Fees – $ 180 per credit (In-state Resident)
  • Programs Offered – Business, Criminal Justice, Education, Computers, Fine Arts, Graphic Design, Human Services, Industrial Design, Liberal Arts, Medial Assisting, Personal Development, Manufacturing, Paramedic Studies, Surgical Technology and Theatre Arts.
  • Accreditation – NECHE

7. Quinebaug Valley Community College (Danielson & Willimantic)

Established in 1971, Quinebaug Valley Community College (QVCC) is an open-admissions community college located in the northeastern corner of the state that offers more than fifty different certificate and associate degree programs. Quinebaug Valley Community College offers workforce training, certificates, and associate degrees in a variety of fields.

  • Tuition Fees – $ 249 per credit (In-state Resident)
  • Programs Offered – Science, Communication, Computers, Engineering, Human Sciences, Healthcare, Real Estate, Veterinary Assistant, Security, Pharmacy, Manufacturing, Visual/Performing Arts, Business and Personal Training, among others.
  • Accreditation – NECHE

8. American Institute (West Hartford)

American Institute (AI) is a for-profit higher learning institution that offers a variety of professional training programs. As one of the trade schools in CT offering professional training, American Institute was established nearly 100 years ago to train professional secretaries. AI seeks to offer professional programs in high-demand fields that are flexible and convenient for students and working learners.

  • Tuition Fees – $ 394 per credit unit (Administration) – $ 428 per credit (Dental Assisting) – $ 633 per credit (Medical Sonogram), for example
  • Programs Offered – Business, Computers, and Information Science, Healthcare (Medical or Dental Assistant, Medical Coding, Nursing, Massage Therapy, etc.)
  • Accreditation – ABHES & ABHES

9. Lincoln Technical Institute (East Windsor, New Britain, Shelton)

Lincoln Technical Institute (LTI), with headquarters in West Orange, New Jersey, operates multiple campuses of trade schools in CT, offering a myriad of professional training opportunities for students across Connecticut. LTI has been offering professional training for more than three-quarters of a century.

  • Tuition Fees – Credit Units vary – $ 545 per credit (Automotive Technology) – $520 per credit unit (Heavy Truck) – $ 563 per credit unit (Electrician) – $ 544 per credit (Auto/Collision Repair), etc.
  • Programs Offered – Electrician, Engineering, Mechanic/Repair Technologies, Precision Production, Culinary Arts, Automotive, Cosmetology, Healthcare, and Skilled Trades (Machining, Welding, & HVAC, etc.). 
  • Accreditation – ACCSC & ABHES

10. Lincoln Culinary Institute (Shelton)

Lincoln Culinary Institute, a division of Lincoln Tech Institute (LTI), is one of the best culinary trade schools in CT. The baking/pastry program is taught by certified master bakers and executive chefs. The culinary arts program covers hands-on training in Latin, American, Asian, Mediterranean, and French cuisine, among others.

  • Tuition Fees – $ 545 per credit (Culinary Arts); $ 559 per credit (Bakery & Pastry)
  • Programs Offered – Culinary Arts & Food Services (39 credit units) or International Baking & Pastry (37.5 credit units).
  • Accreditation –– ACCSC

11. Porter and Chester Institute

Porter and Chester Institute (PCI) maintains multi-campuses of trade schools in CT offering career training in a dozen fields. Porter and Chester Institute has been offering these professional training programs for more than seven decades in Connecticut and the Commonwealth of Virginia to students and adult working learners.

  • Tuition Fees –  varies by program.
  • Programs Offered – Automotive Technology, Computers (CAD Design Tech or Computer/Networking Technology), Trades (Electrician, Electronics Tech, HVAC, Refrigeration, Plumbing, & Refrigeration), Cosmetology, Healthcare (Dental Assisting, Practical Nursing, Medical Assisting).
  • Accreditation –– ACCSC & ABHES

12. Goodwin University (East Hartford)

Goodwin University (GU) is among the trade schools in CT offering professional training across a variety of industries and professional vocations. Professional training programs are offered through certificate and associate degree coursework that can be transferred to baccalaureate or even master’s level degrees.

  • Tuition Fees – $ 707 per credit unit
  • Programs Offered – Healthcare & Nursing, Dental Hygiene, Histology, Human Services, Law Enforcement/Criminal Justice, Mechatronics, Occupational Therapy Assisting, Environmental Studies, Manufacturing, Education, Social Sciences and Business/Management, among others.
  • Accreditation –– ACCSC

Our Ranking Methodology

The Nutmeg state of Connecticut offers a comprehensive variety of trade schools from which students and working learners can enroll. These trade schools in CT offers a variety of professional training certificates and associate degrees that allow students to enter the workforce faster than most traditional academic baccalaureate programs.

The information gathered to analyze the available trade schools in CT included data from each higher learning institution’s website, plus additional information pulled from the federal government’s National Center for Education Statistics’ (NCES) website.

These trade schools in CT have been ranked according to their affordability.  However, it should be acknowledged that most of the community colleges (performing as trade schools in CT) have the same tuition fees, although each community college may offer slightly different professional trade training programs. The latest available tuition fees (2020 to 2021, unless noted) for these trade schools in CT were used in the analysis, with the most cost-effective programs noted first.

Along with the most current tuition data, each of the school noted above includes the following information to help students and working learners select the program that best suits their career goals and their budgets –

  • Programs offered lists the professional programs offered by each of the trade schools in CT listed above.
  • The accreditation information is provided to help students determine the quality of the academic programs offered by each school.

Would you like to update the information noted for the trade schools in CT listed above? Please contact BestValueSchools.org so that information may be updated to reflect the latest information available for any of the trade schools in CT noted in the list.  

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