17 Top Vocational Schools in Canada |Cost & Programs

Choosing to study in any of the vocational schools in Canada is equipollent to choosing a career-oriented experience.

Studying in Canada gives you a world-class experience that is complete with endless opportunities to advance your knowledge and skills.

Any person who needs to develop job skills or certification in a certain field should consider applying to a vocational school. Prioritizing career-specific skills has a practical focus, preparing students for entry into the workforce.

Vocational education is an important option to consider, especially for any person who is already working in their chosen career or field, and who may just need to update or certify their training to work in North America.

At many of the community colleges across Canada, there are different programs available to improve skills or to get additional education and training that may be necessary to qualify to work in many different professional and technical fields.

Additionally, many Canadian and U.S. students are more inclined to pursue baccalaureate studies at traditional universities and colleges.

Given changes in demographics, with Baby Boomers in Canada moving into retirement, and fewer millennials pursuing technical and vocational training to replace them, there are growing opportunities for new Canadians to move into vocational jobs.

What are Vocational Schools?

Vocational schools are sometimes referred to as trade schools or technical colleges. They are schools designed to provide practical, hands-on training in a specific industry or trade.

Some schools and/or programs have academic requirements, too, but basically, you’re often learning by “doing” rather than only reading textbooks and taking unrelated courses that may not be needed to earn an Associate degree.

Vocational schools give you practical learning for the real world

Vocational schools in Canada offer valuable work experience even while you are still a student. Vocational schools in Canada work closely with businesses and industries to design programs that will offer hands-on training and teach the skills that employers are looking for.

During your study in the vocational schools in Canada, there will be internships, cooperative programs and work placements that will get you real-world experience even as a student. Let’s talk about some of the good reasons to choose a Vocational school.

Benefits of vocational schools over traditional colleges

If you have been considering attending the vocational schools in Canada, there are so many good reasons you should. You will be amazed at what these schools have to offer.


As you know, attending colleges in Canada can be really expensive. Four-year colleges can cost as high as 80k, meanwhile, you can finish your trade school program at a much lesser amount.

Unless you are receiving some form of financial aid or a full scholarship, you will be looking at students loans to pay through college.

Why be in debt when you can get hands-on training in a Vocational school at a very lesser amount. Therefore, Vocational schools are therefore are the best career and training choices.

Spend Lesser Time in School

Another huge advantage of a trade school is the fact that it is fast-tracked through. In colleges, you have to spend a lot of time on theories while vocational schools focus on what you need for the job market.

Traditional colleges require students to take courses outside their main program in order to earn credits and complete their degrees.

That brings a lot of extra work and will eventually eat up your study time. Moreover, if you decide to drop them you will risk not graduating on time.

Smaller Classes

In colleges, you will see a lot of students in class and that can make you feel like just another student. In that case, it is very easy to become distracted and bored.

In Vocational schools, you will find smaller classes and consequently, you will receive hands-on training and experience.

Due to the smaller class, you will feel free to ask your questions and learn from fellow students. This also means the training will be more intense and you can get to what you need to know at a faster and clearer rate without having to compete with other students.


Trade schools are set up to give you hands-on training and experience. Whether it’s an HVAC technician or healthcare, you are given real-life situations and problem-solving opportunities you don’t get in a strictly academic setting.

You will find that part of your program may include a practicum or externship segment. The practical training segment is a perfect way to apply your new skills.

These experiments being controlled in a controlled environment means that you will receive feedback from your supervisor or the instructor as the case may be.

How long does it take to complete a vocational school?

A trad school can be completed in much less time. Earning a Bachelor’s degree takes up to 4 or sometimes more than 4 years while vocational programs can typically be as short as 40 weeks, with the most extended certificate taking almost one year to complete.

How much do vocational schools in Canada cost?

Attending a vocational school can cost about $33,000. Shorter programs can be significantly less. 

While these figures might seem high, compare that to college tuition.

Private university tuition can sometimes be as much as $37,640 for just one year. In-state public school tuition can be over $10,000 a year.

So, in the end, a vocational school can be a good option for people who want to learn a skill for less and start making a living faster.

Types of Vocations

Below are some high paying, in-demand jobs across industries:

  • Electrician
  • HVAC Technician
  • Business Office Administration
  • Medical Assistant
  • Pharmacy Technician
  • Plumber
  • Respiratory therapist
  • Dental hygienist

List of Vocational Schools in Canada

The vocational schools in Canada about to be listed provides fast but yet practical programs in areas of growth and high demand. These vocational schools understand the need for hands-on training for a satisfying and reliable vocation. Above all, they have professional instructors that give students the benefits of real-world insight.

  • Automotive Training Centres
  • Canadian Automotive and Trucking Institute
  • Canadian Beauty College
  • CDI College
  • CTS Canadian Career College
  • Eastern College
  • Full Sail University
  • ICS Canada
  • LaSalle College Vancouver
  • Medix College
  • Modern College
  • North American Trade Schools
  • Reeves College
  • Sprott Shaw College
  • triOS College
  • Vancouver Career College
  • Visual College of Art and Design of Vancouver

Automotive Training Centres

Automotive Training Centres is one of the Vocational schools in Canada that gives practical education to their students in order to begin an advanced career.

Automotive Training Centres (ATC) offers both part- and full-time programs in a huge range of specialties.

Whether you want training related to auto body repair, diesel technology, sales, operations, automotive service, or dispatching, this school has you covered. Also, you can train offline or online depending on how you want it.

Canadian Automotive and Trucking Institute

Their  Automotive training programs show students the ins and outs of what is involved in service operations and mechanic careers.

With detailed lesson plans and classroom sessions that take place right in the shop, automotive training is the first and most important step for anyone hoping to launch a fulfilling and successful auto career.

Canadian Beauty College is a Canadian owned, private career college serving the Greater Toronto area since 2009.

They are registered as a Private Career College under the Private Career Colleges Act. As one of the most recognized beauty schools in Ontario, we strive to provide professional-level programs to help our students begin on the path to a rewarding career. 

Canadian Beauty College

They are one of the Vocational schools in Canada that is proud to be a specialized beauty school in Ontario focused on delivering quality education and excellent customer service. 

They have a highly qualified faculty and staff and their small class sizes allow their students to surpass their career goals in a supportive and success-oriented environment.

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CDI College

In this school, many of their programs include practicum placements so you can get the skills and experience you need to excel in your new career.

You get accelerated career training from their market-driven programs, many of which can be completed in a year or less.

Their online and online programs are designed to prepare you for your new career with practical, hands-on learning experiences delivered by practitioner-instructors who combine years of industry experience with exceptional instructional abilities.

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CTS Canadian Career College

CTS Canadian Career College gives students the opportunity to graduate in 12 months or less.

The school typically teaches classes for 5 hours per day scheduled in the morning and afternoon.

This enables you to work part-time during your program and still leave time for homework and social life.

They have industry-experienced teachers and their curriculum is very current. National American University is their partner school.

They have programs in:

  • Specialty courses
  • Health sciences
  • Law & Justice
  • Technology
  • Business
  • Trades

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Eastern College

This is one of the vocational schools in Canada that specializes in hands-on education and training for growing industries and companies.

Their learning approach is one step at a time and their courses take weeks, not years. Plus, their half-day classes allow you to balance the rest of your life.

Eastern College Online offers all the benefits of in-class learning with the flexibility to study in a way that suits your schedule and your life. They offer the following programs:

  • Business
  • Technology
  • Healthcare
  • Law
  • Supply chain
  • Art & Design

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Full Sail University

This accredited, private university offers a variety of programs through the convenience of online learning.

Full Sail University offers campus and online degree programs that are designed for the world of entertainment, media, arts, and technology.

Offering associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees, Full Sail’s approach is centred on real-world industry experience and creative problem-solving.

Plus, you can get the support you need to be successful with the help of an extensive range of career services and tools.

Full Sail University’s alumni boast exciting achievements including work on blockbuster films, chart-topping albums, popular video games, and more.

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ICS Canada

This vocational school is where you learn more about pursuing an online education in animal care, automotive technology, business, culinary arts, design, education, health services, information technology, or legal studies.

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LaSalle College Vancouver

LaSalle College Vancouver has several scholarships for potential students to apply for.

They have been in existence since 1988, but in the year 2002, the school began to focus and expand on design-based programs such as:

  • Fashion Design
  • Fashion Merchandising
  • Artistic Make-up
  • Interior Design
  • Jewellery Design
  • Graphic Design
  • 2D/3D Animation
  • on-line training programs in Interior Design, Fashion Marketing, Video Game 3D Modelling, and Administrative Assistant.

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Medix College

For over 50 years, Medix College has been providing industry-leading healthcare career training.

Currently, Medix College has three convenient campuses in the GTA, each featuring state industrial facilities and leading instructors.

This is one of the vocational schools in Canada where you are offered:

  • State-of-the-industry facilities
  • Industry leading instructors
  • Hands-on experience
  • Convenient GTA locations

They offer the following programs:

  • Early Childcare Assistant
  • Dental Assisting
  • Dental Administrator
  • Massage Therapy
  • Medical Lab Technician Assistant
  • Medical Office Administrator
  • Personal Support Worker
  • Pharmacy Assistant
  • Health and Fitness
  • Community Service Worker
  • Physiotherapy Assistant

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Modern College

Their College provides a hands-on learning experience.

They provide all the linens and supplies needed for your program.

The emphasis is on the students participating in their learning process with clinics that simulate salons and spas to maximize their successful transition to employment in the industry.

Once you graduate, you go on to:

  • Employment in Salons & Spas
  • Become Representatives of Major Professional Product Companies
  • Platform artists
  • Employment on Cruise Lines
  • Working in Professional Photography
  • Owning Professional Salons & Spas
  • Graduates keep in touch with the College and their instructors to inform them of their accomplishments and success.

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North American Trade Schools

This is one of the vocational schools in Canada that provides post-secondary education in a private career college setting to students.

Their training programs are intense, practical and result oriented. They make sure you gain the valuable skills you require to find employment in today’s world.

North American Trade Schools has two campuses across the Greater Toronto Area.

They offer the following programs:

  • Cabinetmaking
  • Construction Maintenance Electrician
  • HVAC Technician
  • Welding
  • Home Inspection
  • Home Renovation Technician

Reeves College

Reeves College is one of the vocational schools in Canada whose instructors are industry-experienced professionals whose knowledge and qualifications enhance the process of learning for all students.

They have about 8 campuses across Alberta. They offer the following courses:

  • Teaching Education Programs
  • Business Programs
  • Health Care Programs
  • Art and Design Programs
  • Legal Programs
  • Programs by Campus

Programs and courses at Reeves College deliver a fundamental education through classroom-based teaching and experiential learning.

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Sprott Shaw College

This is one of the vocational schools in Canada that equips her students with innovative ways of thinking through their hands-on training and practical programs.

They have over 130 career-focused college programs, monthly start dates, flexible scheduling, and career placement assistance. They offer the following programs:

  • Administration programs
  • Business programs
  • Child, Family & Community support programs
  • Nursing & Healthcare programs
  • Trades & Design Programs

Their modern campuses train over 3500 students each year with all locations featuring small class sizes, qualified instructors, and hands-on training.

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triOS College

This is one of the vocational schools in Canada with over 29 years of education experience. It is Canada’s largest career training organization dedicated to helping students become job-ready graduates.

They offer diploma programs in high demand areas of study such as business, technology, healthcare, law, and supply chain.

triOS College is a private career college with 8 campuses across Ontario – Windsor, London, Kitchener, Hamilton, Mississauga, Brampton, Toronto, and Scarborough – focused on providing practical hands-on training that students need to be successful in their chosen careers.

They offer workshops, supply chain, and they have faculties in the following areas:

  • Health care
  • Law
  • Technology
  • Business

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Visual College of Art and Design of Vancouver

VCAD is one of the Vocational schools in Canada that exposes students to a variety of industry-experienced instructors across the country with vast knowledge and expertise in art and design.

  • Fashion Design
  • Marketing and Merchandising for Fashion – Marketing Specialization
  • Fashion Design – Specialization in Marketing
  • Architecture Design & Technology
  • Interior Design
  • Interior Design with Co-op
  • 3D Modeling Animation Art & Design
  • Visual Effects Art and Design
  • Game Development & Design
  • Graphic Design

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Canadian Vocational Schools Information

Whether you’re still in high school, have recently graduated, want to advance in your current profession, or are considering a career change, vocational schools in Canada offer a variety of educational options that may be suited to your individual interests, goals, and strengths.

Vocational and trade schools provide training in a range of fields that are vital to today’s society. From health care to business to beauty to skilled trades—and everything in between—these schools can help you gain career-specific skills and knowledge related to a variety of occupations.

What is Vocational Training?

Vocational training is commonly defined as any training that is specific to a particular occupation. While an academic degree program from a college or university might prepare you to pursue a wide range of entry-level positions within a certain field such as business or IT, vocational training is intended to equip you with the defined competencies (and even certification or licensing) required to pursue a specific position—like hairstylist, construction electrician, or chef.

A vocational school is an institution that provides occupation-specific training, which can lead to an associate degree, diploma, certificate, or another similar credential.

Vocational and technical schools in Canada are either public or private institutions that provide career training programs, apprenticeship programs, and much more. These schools can be characterized by the fact that:

  • The majority of training options fall into one of four main categories, which include construction, manufacturing, service, and transportation.
  • Instructors are typically industry-experienced professionals who possess an understanding of the practical abilities and theories required to enter the specific area that they are teaching.
  • Programs are developed with a strong focus on career readiness and generally contain significant hands-on training and opportunities for obtaining real-world experience.

What is the Job Outlook for Vocational Careers in Canada?

Due to an ageing baby boomer population, job opportunities are expected to open up across a wide range of skilled occupations in the coming years.

According to national projections, about 34 percent of all job openings in Canada between 2019 and 2028 will require at least some college and/or apprenticeship training.

This is expected to account for the largest component of new jobs that will be available in Canada.

Still, when looking at this number, it’s important to understand that this isn’t an across-the-board representation of jobs.

So before pursuing a vocational career, you should look into occupation-specific data for where you live.

Is a Vocational School the Right Choice for Me?

Before pursuing one of the many available vocational careers, you’re likely to want to know if vocational education is an ideal path for your future.

To help figure out the answer, you may want to:

Talk to professionals already in the field to learn about wage expectations, local demand, and more.

Learn about the training you will need to pursue your career goals and find out if there are local vocational training programs that can provide you with this.

Obtain a related position in the field. For example, if you want to become a carpenter, you could seek a job as a carpenter’s helper. Or, if you want to work toward a career as a chef, you could try to land a position as a dishwasher or prep cook in a commercial kitchen.

If you’re still in high school, you could complete a youth apprenticeship program, which can help you gain valuable skills and provide a glimpse of your potential career future.

What are the Benefits of Attending a Vocational School?

Career-focused education—Unlike traditional college or university programs, a vocational or technical school program can provide training that is concentrated solely on developing occupation-specific skills and knowledge. Some programs can even prepare you to obtain Red Seal certification, journeyperson certification, or licensing related to a particular profession.

Cost-effective training—Since vocational programs tend to cut out the need for general education courses, you can enjoy a more condensed education, which can result in lower costs and less of time commitment.

Regularly updated curricula—Vocational training programs are generally developed with direct input from industry employers in order to produce graduates who possess the skills and knowledge needed to meet actual job demands. Because of this, many vocational schools frequently review and refine their curricula.

Job-ready programs—By choosing a vocational education over the traditional academic route, you could obtain training that is specifically intended to help you graduate ready to move directly from the classroom into the workforce.

Available funding—Especially in Canada, a number of government grants and other incentives are offered to those who pursue vocational careers.

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