In this article we’ll list some of the most popular programs you can find at a local trade school, and how long each one takes to complete.

Length of Different Trade School Programs

Skilled Trades

  • HVAC Technology – To earn a HVAC certificate or diploma takes between 6 months to one year for full time students. Some schools offer associate degrees in HVAC technology, and those programs normally take about 18 months to two years to finish.
  • Electrical Technology – To earn a certificate or diploma in electrical technology takes about six months to one year at a trade school. You may choose an associate degree program instead, and it will take you closer to two years to earn, if you go to school full time.
  • Auto Mechanics – To complete a certificate or diploma program in automotive technology generally takes about 1 year if you’re going to school full time. Some schools do offer accelerated diploma programs that take as little as 9 months for a full time student. Diesel truck mechanic programs also take about 1 year to finish.
  • Aircraft Mechanic and Maintenance – An aircraft maintenance certificate training program will take about a year and a half to finish. Meanwhile, an associate of science degree takes closer to 2 years to complete.
  • Welding Technology – Welding trade school diploma programs take from 7 months to 1 year to complete. You may also choose a program like associate of science in welding technology, and those usually take between 16 and 24 months for a full time student to finish.
  • Commercial Truck Driving – CDL license training is generally the shortest of all trade school programs. CDL Class A training can take as little as a month up to about 3 months. It may take a little longer if you study for extra endorsements like HAZMAT or tanker truck.

Health, Wellness and More

  • Medical Assisting – Accelerated online CMA certificate programs are the shortest form of training and their length can be as short as a few months. A medical assisting diploma will take about 1 year to earn and an associate degree in medical assisting takes 18 months to 2 years to complete.
  • Cosmetology – The length of time your cosmetology program will take depends on the state you live in, because each state has its own laws regarding this. But, most cosmetology programs at the schools we work with are between 10 months and 1 year. There are some schools offering associate degrees in cosmetology and they take up to 2 years to finish if you’re a full time student.
  • Massage Therapy – On average, it takes a full time student about 9 months to complete a massage therapy certificate or diploma program. There are some accelerated programs that take as little as 6 months. There are also associate degree programs that can take up to 2 years to complete.
  • Dental Assisting – Dental assistant certificate and diploma programs take from 9 months to 1 year to complete if you go to school full time. An associate degree in dental assisting covers about 2x the material and takes closer to 2 years to finish.
  • Culinary Arts – A culinary certificate will take about 6 months to 1 year at most schools. An associate degree in culinary arts will take about 2 years for full time students to finish. And a bachelor’s degree will take an average of 4 years.

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