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Trade Schools in New York City with Program Overviews

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

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 and ProTrain.
  • 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 2017)* 10,935 17,279 1,502
Campus Setting Large city Large city Large city
Undergraduate Tuition and Fees (2017-2018)* $5,206 in-state; $8,086 out-of-state $6,920 in-state; $14,310 out-of-state $24,550
% of First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2016-2017)* 89% 82% 95%
Acceptance Rate (2017) N/A open admissions 77% N/A/ open admissions
Retention Rate (2017) 59% for full-time students; 40% for part-time students 78% for full-time students; 60% for part-time students 77% for full-time students; 25% for part-time students
Graduation Rate 16% (students who enrolled in Fall 2014) 18% (students who enrolled in Fall 2011) 32% (students who enrolled in Fall 2011)

Source: *NCES College Navigator

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.

HVAC Course

The HVAC course that this college offers is one of its many trade courses; it will train students who wish to work with residential HVAC air-conditioning systems. Over the course of 38 sessions, students will learn how to how to maintenance and troubleshoot issues with air-conditioning units. This course is hands-on for experience and costs $1,509. Those who successfully complete the course are eligible to receive an entry-level certificate in air conditioning.

Automotive Technician Certificate

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 23 credits in general education and courses in computer and engineering technology. Students can choose between two options, each entailing nine credits: automotive technology and diesel technology.

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 $120 for a 3-session basic plumbing course to $1,609 for each of the following advanced classes: carpentry, electricity and plumbing.

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.

Continuing Education Programs

The college's Division of Continuing Education offers several certificate and course offerings for students looking to extend their skills in a trade. There are many areas that students can find programs in, such as medical and health training, fire safety, renewable energy, food protection, and computer studies. Programs in building operations include HVAC electrical ($450), plumbing ($1,350), refrigeration mechanic ($2,125), and refrigeration systems operator (I or II) ($990). In conjunction with the Construction Technology Department, the division also offers courses in welding ($1,150-$2,295).

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 (FAA) airframe and power plant 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 Certificates

Vaughn College offers four different aviation-related certificates. Students can undertake the air traffic control certificate program, the flight certificate, the aircraft dispatch program, or the safety management systems certificate program. The aircraft dispatch and safety management systems programs are each worth 12 credits, while the flight and air traffic control certificates are post-associate programs.

Associate of Applied Science in Aviation Maintenance

The college's Aviation Training Institute offers 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.

In addition to the freshman and career seminars, the program includes general topics in basic electricity, hydraulics and pneumatics. Students also pursue courses in aircraft electrical systems, landing gear, riggings and structures. This program is made up of 70 lecture and lab credits, including 30 credits spent training for the FAA airframe and power plant certifications.

Associate of Applied Science in Aircraft Operations

This AAS degree program teaches those interested in learning how to fly planes. This program is made for those who have little to no experience in aircrafts and flying. This 65-credit program includes courses in aviation safety, aviation weather, and classes with an aeronautics simulator.

Other Schools

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


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