This list of fast trade school programs includes those ranging from about 1 month to 1 year in length. The following programs don’t take a lot of time or money to complete and a few of them can even be taken online. The jobs these trade school programs can lead to have good salaries and the most recent salary information (released by BLS in April of 2024) is noted below.

Fast Trade School Programs with Good Pay

The salaries listed below are the average 2023 pay from the official BLS website. Keep in mind, entry level pay is less, but as you gain experience, your paycheck will increase to match. In some areas the jobs listed, like truck driver and HVAC technician are moving very fast and may be paying more in your area than this list would indicate. Find a local trade school now.

We list more than just construction programs here since many types of career training programs are available at “trade schools”.

Truck Driver

  • Commercial driver’s license (CDL) training programs are fast! They take 3-6 weeks to complete; average pay: $55,990 per year. The truck driver shortage as of the time of this update is estimated at 60,000 drivers.

Read: Commercial Truck Driver Job Description and Training

Diesel Mechanic

  • Diesel mechanic training programs take 6 months to 1 year to finish, but some schools do offer 2 year associate’s degree programs; average pay: $59,920 per year.

Read: What Does a Diesel Mechanic Do? for more.

Medical Assistant

  • Certified medical assistant programs can take as little 8 weeks to a few months to complete. This is another career where you can stay in school longer, up to an associate’s degree; average pay: $43,350 per year.

Find a medical assistant school near you.

Dental Assistant

Read: What Does a Dental Assistant Do? (& How to Become One) for more.

Home Health Aide

  • Home Health Aide courses are fast generally taking only 3 months; average pay: $33,380 per year.

Read: What Does a Home Health Aide Do?

Medical Coder

  • Medical coding programs take about 8 weeks to a few months complete and it’s a popular online course that you can complete at your own pace. This is a career where you can stay in school longer, up to an associate’s degree; average pay: $53,690.

Read: What Does a Medical Coding Specialist Do?

Certified Nursing Assistant

  • Certified Nursing Assistant college courses take 6-12 weeks to complete, this is also a popular online course; average pay: $39,610 per year.

HVAC Technician

  • HVAC school programs take about 6 months to 1 year to finish; average pay: $59,620 per year or $27.55 per hour. HVAC jobs are plentiful in many areas like Florida, Texas, and California.

Read: What Does an HVAC Technician Do?


  • Phlebotomy Technician training takes around 1 year of college classes; average pay: $43,130 per year. Phlebotomist is also career that requires some hands on training but hybrid classroom-online courses may be available.

Find a phlebotomy school near you.


  • Plumbing trade school programs take about 1 year of school, then you start your apprenticeship; average pay: $67,840 per year.

Read: Plumber Job Description (& How to Become One)

Use our program search application to connect with a trade school near you.

The program times listed are estimates based on hours of credit needed or other references from our partner trade schools and technical colleges. I will update the salary information when the new numbers are posted on the BLS website, so check back periodically.

Reference and more reading: