15 Best Trade Schools in Arkansas | Costs, Requirements, and How to Apply

This article explores the best trade schools in Arkansas.

Individuals who want to build a successful career but cannot afford to spend four years in school have many options at trade schools in Arkansas. 

Trade school is where aspiring construction managers, welders, electricians, and physical therapists learn. 

According to research, 74% of trade school graduates work in a field related to their degree. 

The curricula of trade schools differ from those of colleges.

 Trade schools teach students to complete skilled jobs that require training, whereas traditional colleges prepare students to work in roles that require theoretical and strategic knowledge.

Bachelor’s degrees also include general education that is not directly related to a major; they require more time to complete than a trade degree. 

They typically complete a trade degree in less than two years. 

Although most trade programs require on-the-job training, such as apprenticeships, some schools offer online courses. 

Online trade programs employ a variety of adaptable formats.

 Students who complete their degrees quickly can complete sped-up programs.

Selecting the school that will train you for your future profession is critical. 

The list includes accreditation, instructors, admission requirements, costs, and courses available in Trade Schools in Arkansas. 

Are there Trade Schools in Arkansas?

Arkansas trade schools provide various educational programs for medical assistants, barbers/hairdressers, real estate agents, welders, bartenders, and other occupations. 

This article is a compiled list of Arkansas’s top ten trade schools to assist you with this task. 

  1. Little Rock School of Dental Assisting
  2. Blue Cliff College
  3. Vista College
  4. Arkansas School of Massage
  5. National School of Real Estate
  6. The Salon Professional Academy
  7. Arkansas Elite Welding Academy
  8. GoodFellas Barber College
  9. Arkansas Bartending School
  10. National Park College
  11. North Arkansas College
  12. University of Arkansas-Pulaski Technical College
  13. East Arkansas Community College
  14. The University of Arkansas at Monticello
  15. South Arkansas Community College

How much do Trade Schools cost in Arkansas?

Tuition fees for Trade Schools in Arkansas cost between $10,452 and $19,958, depending on the program. Financial aid is also available to students who qualify.

Schools in Arkansas usually offer three payment plan options, including a complete payment option and two down-payment options.

Private student loans are also available to students who qualify.

What are the Requirements for Trade Schools in Arkansas?

An applicant must show proof of completion of high school or the equivalent. 

An interview with an Admissions Representative or Campus Director for prospective students is required. 

Students must be physically capable of performing the duties and techniques required for employment in their field of interest. 

Applicants must have passed the Wonderlich Scholastic Level exam with a minimum acceptable score.

What are the Best Trade Schools in Arkansas | 2023?

Finding the best-accredited trade school takes research. To help, we gathered data on trade and tech schools in Arkansas and ranked them based on reputation, affordability, and academic quality.

1. Little Rock School of Dental Assisting

Little Rock School of Dental Assisting is an Arkansas dental assisting school. 

The school aims to teach students the fundamentals of dental assisting through a hands-on educational approach. 

The 10-week program trains students to be chairside-ready and capable of assisting the dentist with tasks ranging from patient care to record keeping. 

They hold classes from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. 

At the end of the program, all students will take a test. After passing the exam, students registered/certified in dental radiography, coronal polishing, N2O administration, infection control, and CPR. 

The Arkansas State Board of Higher Education and the Little Rock School of Dental Assisting are in charge of the Little Rock School of Dental Assisting.

Visit school here 

2. Blue Cliff College

This trade school in Arkansas prepares students to function competently in a competitive society in their chosen careers. 

The Accrediting Commission of Schools and Colleges (ACCSC) 1998 accredited the college as a massage facility. 

The school’s philosophy is to motivate students to strive for excellence and to realize their full potential.

Courses available:

The following programs are available at the main campus in Fayetteville:

  • Clinical Medical Assisting
  • Health Information Management, Billing, and Coding
  • Dental Assisting

Visit school here

3. Vista College

Vista College provides career training that will assist students in establishing a new and rewarding career in months. 

Students receive sped-up hands-on training from real-world expert instructors. 

Fort Smith is home to the Arkansas campus. COE has accredited all Vista College ground campuses. 

The Arkansas Department of Education approved the Fort Smith campus.

Courses offered:

  • Dental Assistant Diploma
  • Medical Assisting Diploma
  • Medical Assisting Associate of Applied Science
  • Medical Insurance Billing and Coding Associate of Applied Science
  • Business Administration Diploma
  • Business Administration Associate of Applied Science
  • Information Technology Diploma
  • Information Technology Associate of Applied Science
  • HVAC Diploma
  • Industrial Maintenance Mechanic Diploma

Visit school here 

See Also: 15 Best Trade Schools in Dallas | Cost, Requirements, How to Apply

4. Arkansas School of Massage

Since 2013, the Arkansas School of Massage has provided affordable massage therapy training programs in Fort Smith and the surrounding areas. 

Students learn business management and ethics during the 500-hour program. 

Massage therapy laws, rules, and regulations taught at the school allow students to understand how the profession. 

The Arkansas School of Massage adheres to the guidelines outlined in the Arkansas Massage Therapy Law and the Rules and Regulations. 

The school provides both day and night classes. 

For the past four years, Arkansas School of Massage students has passed the Massage & Bodywork Licensing Examination 91% of the time.

Visit school here 

5. National School of Real Estate

The National School of Real Estate provides classes that enable students to get an Arkansas Real Estate License in as little as two months. 

With over 30 years of experience providing real-world education, the school combines practical strategies and socially relevant topics to create a well-rounded curriculum for future realtors and brokers.

 In addition, the school provides continuing education classes. 

Real estate instructors from relevant fields of interest teach classes in Arkansas. 

Instructors bring real-world lessons from their careers to help students prepare for any challenges. 

Educators track students’ progress using sample tests and class discussions. 

To accommodate busy schedules, the school offers flexible hours.

Courses offered:

  • Pre-license agent course
  • Pre-license broker course
  • Post-license agent course
  • Post-license broker course
  • Agent continuing education
  • Broker continuing education

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6. The Salon Professional Academy

Little Rock’s Salon Professional Academy is a cosmetology school. 

Students spend most of their time in a large, high-end salon, learning in a real-world setting. 

The school hires a highly qualified education staff of board-certified cosmetology school instructors with over 80 years of industry experience. 

The Salon Professional Academy is the only Little Rock cosmetology school recognized by REDKEN for educational excellence.

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7. Arkansas Elite Welding Academy

Arkansas Elite Welding Academy is a comprehensive welding educational facility that assists students in becoming skilled welding craft workers. 

They dedicate the school to preparing welders for top jobs across the country. 

Students at the welding academy learn a high-demand trade from instructors with 7+ years of experience. 

The teacher-to-student ratio at the school is one to ten. 

Arkansas Elite Welding Academy is on approximately 4 acres and houses administrative offices, a conference room, a student break and vending room, student computer labs, bathrooms, and a shop/lab with 60 welding booths, various real-world welding simulators, an outdoor covered pipe and plate preparation cutting area, a tool room, and a bathroom. 

The school currently has a capacity of 60 students during the day.

Visit school here 

8. Good Fellas Barber College

The Good Fellas Barber College provides high-quality training for students interested in becoming barbers. It is a special trade school in Arkansas.

There are two programs available at the school: a 1500-hour Barber Program and a 600-hour Teacher Manager Instructor Program. 

The Arkansas Department of Education has approved Good Fellas Barber College.

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9. Arkansas Bartending School

ABC Bartending School prepares students to work as professional bartenders and mixologists. 

Students who complete the 2-week bartending course are prepared to work in any bar in the world. 

All classes will be hands-on and take place in a real-world working bar setting. 

It helps students feel comfortable working behind a bar at the end of the course and be able to work as a bartender in any bar. 

They will place students will in jobs upon completion of the course. 

On the last day of graduation, the school provides help. 

Graduates will find job opportunities on the school’s website. 

They will also include a chapter on interviewing skills in the textbook. 

The bartending school provides day, night, and weekend classes.

Visit school here 

10. National Park College

On-campus and online, National Park College offers two-year degrees and certificates. 

They named NPC one of Arkansas’s top ten online colleges in 2017. 

The Adult Education Center provides a variety of classes to any adult who is a resident of the area. 

Day and evening classes are available on a flexible schedule.

Courses offered:

The school offers the following technical programs:

  • Accounting Technician
  • Allied Health
  • Automotive Service technology
  • CJI Crime Scene Investigation
  • CJI Law Enforcement Administration
  • Computer Networking
  • Digital & Media Arts
  • Emergency Medical Services – Paramedic
  • Hospitality and Tourism Management
  • Industrial Technology
  • Marine Repair Technology
  • Practical Nursing
  • Pre-Nursing
  • Professional Medical Coding
  • Welding Technology

Visit school here 

See Also: 15 Best Trade Schools in Kentucky | Costs, Requirements, and How to Apply

11. North Arkansas College

North Arkansas is among Arkansas’s top trade schools and community colleges. 

Founded in 1974, the school has around 1,800 students annually. 

North Arkansas hosts dozens of technical degree and certificate programs in areas such as automation and systems integration, medical laboratory technology, radiology, automotive service technology, and turf management.

North Arkansas offers several course delivery models, including online, blended, face-to-face, and site-to-site. 

Online courses allow students to complete coursework from any location with internet access, while blended courses combine online and face-to-face class sessions. 

Site-to-site courses enable students to attend class at satellite campuses and other partner learning sites, using video conferencing tools to interact with live class sessions held at other campuses.

Visit school here 

12. University of Arkansas-Pulaski Technical College

UA-PTC is one of Arkansas’ primary trade schools, with several Little Rock campuses and an adult education center nearby Benton. 

The school offers technical education in allied health and human services, business and information technology, culinary arts and hospitality management, and technological sciences. 

Students’ associate degrees and technical certificates include dental assisting, paralegal technology, aviation maintenance, machine tool technology, and baking and pastry arts.

Academic advising, childcare, veterans services, and career counseling are among the support services provided by the school. 

The Office of Advising and Career Services assists students with registration, course selection, degree planning, and career advising. Counseling, academic tutoring, and disability services are also available at UA-PTC.

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13. East Arkansas Community College

A full-service community college based in eastern Arkansas, EACC serves a five-county area and offers some of the state’s lowest tuition rates. 

Students can choose from several technical degrees and certificate programs in fields like auto body repair, drafting and design, residential heat and air conditioning, and residential construction and carpentry.

Students can access the school’s Learning Center’s dedicated tutoring and study resources. 

EACC provides support through its online Learning Express platform, which features academic and career resources.

 EACC boasts strong career outcomes among graduates, with 70% of the school’s associate degree graduates finding employment within one year of graduation.

Visit school here 

14. The University of Arkansas at Monticello

A public four-year college based in southern Arkansas, UAM offers a variety of technical degrees and certificates in areas such as automotive service technology, heavy equipment operations, diesel technology, health information technology, and welding technology. 

The UAM College of Forestry, Agriculture & Natural Resources offers unique associate programs in forest technology and land-surveying technology.

UAM offers an engineering/manufacturing apprenticeship with the Arkansas Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education. 

This five-semester program stresses technical skills, personal behaviors, and manufacturing core exercises, conferring a 72-credit associate of applied science degree upon graduation. 

Students typically attend technical classes twice a week while maintaining full-time employment in a manufacturing production environment.

Visit school here 

15. South Arkansas Community College

A comprehensive community college based in El Dorado, South Arkansas, ranks among the top trade schools in Arkansas. 

The college offers professional certificates and degrees in health sciences and technical fields, including industrial technology and mechanical, medical coding, and welding technology.

South Arkansas also hosts the South Arkansas Electrical Apprenticeship School, which offers a four-year apprenticeship for aspiring electricians. 

Sanctioned by the State of Arkansas Department of Labor’s Office of Apprenticeship, the program requires 144 classroom hours and 2,000 job training hours each year. 

Students receive an apprenticeship license for the duration of the program, and graduates can sit for the State of Arkansas’ Journeyman Electrician Exam.

Students can earn academic credit for prior work experience, military training, industry-based skills, and other relevant experience.

Visit school here 

How much do traders make in Arkansas?

The average annual salary for technical and trade school occupations is $55,270, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Wages, however, vary depending on work, experience, and geographical location. 

Electricians earn slightly more than the median income for all trade school occupations, with a median annual income of $56,180. 

The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 10% increase in electrician jobs between 2018 and 2028. 

Welders earn a slightly lower median annual salary of $42,490, and the BLS expects a 3% increase in demand for this occupation during the same period. 

Trade schools also prepare students to work in a variety of medical roles. Radiologists earn a median annual salary of $62,280, and the BLS expects a 9% increase in job opportunities for these professionals.

How do I become a Trader in Arkansas?

Arkansas emphasizes secondary career and technical education (CTE) so high school students can prepare for vocational and trade jobs. 

The Smart Core program comprises a set of college- and career-focused courses and is the state’s default curriculum for all public high schools. 

Every public school district must provide at least three careers and technical education (CTE) programs from three different career pathways. 

Students in Arkansas can also attend the Secondary Area Career Center, which offers vocational programs that smaller schools cannot always afford. 

We can find vocational and trade schools through the state’s community college system, or students can attend one of three technical institutes. 

Prospective students can use this search tool to learn more about various vocational and trade schools in Arkansas.

Best Paying Trade Jobs in Arkansas with Salary

  • Construction managers earn a median salary of $95,260
  • Respiratory therapists earn a median income of $61,330.
  • Radiology Technician earns a median income of $65.456
  • Electricians earn an average salary of $56,345

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I get financial aid for trade school?

Yes. Accredited trade schools in Arkansas can accept funds from FAFSA.

 How long does trade school take?

Trade school takes under two years to complete. Associate programs take longer to complete than certificates, which may take only two months.

Are scholarships available for vocational students?

Schools, private companies, and foundations all offer scholarships for vocational students. Most scholarships require students to attend an accredited school.

What is the difference between trade school and vocational school?

Trade, vocational, and technical schools are the same type of institution. People use these terms interchangeably.


Arkansas trade schools provide many educational options for starting a new career. 

Many schools provide quick, hands-on training to prepare students for the most in-demand professions. 

Therefore you must exercise extreme caution when selecting an educational provider. 

Don’t forget to do your research before deciding on a trade school.


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