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Trade Schools in New York City with Program Overviews

Research trade schools in New York City, which currently has three colleges within 13 miles of downtown offering programs. Read an overview of the programs, admission info and program requirements for these three schools and decide which one is right for you.

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New York City Trade Schools

Trade or vocational schools can provide students with the training they need to perform specific occupational tasks and prepare for direct entry into the workforce. The following resource includes summaries of the program options at three New York City trade schools, as well as a comparison table with key institutional statistics and a paragraph about other school options. In general, admission requirements include a high school diploma or its equivalent, and applicants to the city university system must take the school's placement tests. All three colleges are accessible by bus, subway and private transportation.

  • The historic campus of Bronx Community College is located in the University Heights section of the borough, approximately 13 miles from downtown New York City. The college is part of the City University of New York (CUNY) and offers certificate, degree and continuing education programs in a number of vocational areas. These include cooperative ventures with Gatlin Education, ProTrain Online and Turner Construction.
  • Over 100 years ago, the New York City College of Technology was known as the New York Trade School. Located less than two miles from New York City's downtown, this Brooklyn-based institution offers programs and courses in construction management, plumbing and welding.
  • Students who are specifically interested in aviation maintenance can find trade programs at the Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology in Flushing, Queens. The school is next to LaGuardia Airport, less than ten miles from downtown New York City.

Comparison of Schools

Trade and vocational students can use this table to find information about undergraduate tuition and fees, financial aid and school selectivity. Information about student enrollment and graduation rates can also be found in this table.

CUNY Bronx Community College CUNY New York City College of Technology Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology
School Type 2-year; public 4-year; public 4-year; private not-for-profit
Total Enrollment (Fall 2014) 11,506* 17,374* 1,614*
Campus Setting Large city Large city Large city
Undergraduate Tuition and Fees (2015-2016) $5,206 in-state; $8,086 out-of-state* $6,669 in-state; $13,779 out-of-state* $22,680*
% of First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2013-2014) 91%* 83%* 94%*
Acceptance Rate (2014) N/A open admissions* 73%* 75%*
Retention Rate (2014) 61% for full-time students; 50% for part-time students* 75% for full-time students; 84% for part-time students* 66% for full-time students*
Graduation Rate 11% (students who enrolled in Fall 2011)* 15% (students who enrolled in Fall 2008)* 39% (students who enrolled in Fall 2008)*

Source: *NCES College Navigator

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Construction Management and Trades
  • Electrical Repair and Maintenance
  • Heating, Air Conditioning, Ventilation, and Refrigeration Maintenance
  • Heavy Equipment Maintenance
  • Leatherworking and Upholstery
  • Precision Metal Working
  • Precision Systems Maintenance
  • Vehicle Repair and Maintenance

Other School Options

CUNY Bronx Community College

At Bronx Community College, students can pursue degree and continuing education programs in automotive, engineering and medical technology or other vocational areas. Additional certificate programs are available through the Bronx Educational Opportunity Center, and these include training in emergency medical and office technology, direct support and security.

HVACR Online Training Program

The HVACR program is offered in conjunction with Gatlin Education, and the 320-hour course is delivered entirely online. Technology requirements include current browsers and high-speed Internet connections for both Macintosh operating systems and Microsoft Windows. Students have 60 days to complete each one of the 16 modules, and topics include those related to electrical theory and methods, gas and oil heat, hydronics and safety. As of April 2016, the charge for this course is $3,095.

Certificate in Automotive Technology

The automotive certificate program requires 30 credits to complete and can help students acquire the basic skills they need to obtain an entry-level position in a repair shop. The core curriculum includes topics in brake systems, engine repair and electrical systems. Through more specialized coursework, students also have the opportunity to learn about steering and suspension systems, alternative fuel technology and automatic transmissions. In addition to automotive theory, the program provides students with hands-on shop experience, and the credits are fully transferable to the degree program in automotive technology.

Associate of Applied Science in Automotive Technology

The 2-year program in automotive technology is unique to the university system and is designed to provide students with the training they need to find entry-level work in the automotive industry. To earn the degree, students must complete 60 credits of coursework, including 17 credits in general education and courses in computer and engineering technology. The automotive technology core is nearly identical to that found in the certificate program, and future technicians can also take a course in diesel technology. Qualified graduates may be able to find positions as dealership service managers, diagnosticians or sales specialists.

Continuing Education

In addition to the certificate and degree programs in automotive technology, the college offers continuing education courses in building, construction and construction safety. These include a course in boiler maintenance that can help students pass the Fire Department Exam and obtain an operating permit, as well as programs that have been approved by the Department of Health and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Students can also pursue programs in electrical work and plumbing that are based upon curricular guidelines provided by the National Center for Construction Education and Research Center. Course costs and lengths can vary from $279 for a 45-hour program in boiler maintenance to $1,499 for a 139-hour plumbing immersion program.

CUNY New York City College of Technology

This 4-year school offers certificate programs in alcohol and substance abuse, construction management and sustainable technology. Additional courses are available through the college's Continuing Studies Center and its Academy for Occupational Health and Construction Safety.

Continuing Education Programs

The college's Division of Continuing Education offers a 10-hour OSHA course in construction safety ($150) and a 32-hour program in asbestos handling ($460). Through the Academy for Occupational Health and Construction Safety, students can also pursue training related to mobile cranes and scaffolding. Additional programs in building operations include oil burner operations ($425), electrical maintenance ($1,300), plumbing ($1,300) and refrigeration mechanics ($1,900). In conjunction with the Construction Technology Department, the division also offers courses in welding ($950-$1,900).

Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology

The Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology offers certificate and degree programs in aviation maintenance that can help students prepare for the Federal Aviation Administration's airframe and powerplant certification exams. High school graduates who have been out of school for five years or more may be advised to enroll in an associate's degree program. Upon completion of a written exam in math and reading, students without a high school diploma may be admitted on a conditional basis and can apply up to 24 college credits towards their GED.

Aviation Maintenance Certificate

The college's Aviation Training Institute offers both a certificate and a degree program in maintenance that can teach students how to build, install and maintain the equipment and systems associated with advanced airplanes. Qualified graduates may be able to find positions with airlines, manufacturers, utility or transportation companies, including Cessna, Con Edison or Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation.

The certificate program requires 78.5 credits to complete, and instruction takes place during four consecutive terms (15 weeks per term). In addition to the freshman and career seminars, it includes general topics in basic electricity, hydraulics and pneumatics. Students also pursue courses in aircraft electrical systems, landing gear, riggings and structures. Thirty of the credits earned through the certificate program can be applied to the associate's or the bachelor's degrees in aviation maintenance.

Associate of Occupational Studies in Aviation Maintenance

The curriculum and credit hour requirements for this degree are identical to those of the certificate. The program can be completed in four semesters of full-time study.

Associate of Applied Science in Aircraft Maintenance

This degree requires 69 credits to complete, and the curriculum includes many of the same courses found in the airframe and powerplant certificate program. In addition to 30 credits of vocational training, students pursue topics in calculus, physics, information literacy and the liberal arts. Successful completion of the program may qualify students for the 4-year program in aviation maintenance.

In addition to the schools profiled above, LaGuardia Community College (CUNY) offers continuing education courses in construction methods and management, electrical systems, plumbing and refrigeration.

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