Top 10 Best Vocational Institutes in California

Take a look at the below list of Top 10 Best Vocational Institutes in California 2017. California has always been known as the place of opportunity, which actually dates back to the Gold Mining period of the 1800s. People from different parts of the world came to find gold, warmer weather, or a job in many industries like agriculture and entertainment. Today, California also has a great number of opportunities in technology, the arts, and other respected professions.

Like many cities with a healthy population, the cost of living is not cheap. However, there are many adult learning institutions that teach everything from bartending to sustainable technology. There are also trade schools that teach entrepreneurial skills, along with traditional colleges and universities. Vocational training is idea for those who want hands-on experience in a shorter time. Often classes are taught by industry professionals that can help with job preparation and networking. Here are the Top 10 Best Vocational Institutes in California 2017.

List of Top 10 Best Vocational Institutes in California 2017

1. East L.A Occupational Center –


Part of the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) offers a wide variety of career training options for adults. Classes include business, digital arts, healthcare and industrial courses offered in the morning, afternoon, and evening during the week. Facilities also offer GED/High School Diploma preparation, as well as English as a Second Language (ESL) classes. There are several locations, including the Skills and Learning Centers, that serve residents of East L.A., the San Gabriel Valley, and surrounding areas. Short-term courses, like Security Guard Trainee, cost less than $100 but extensive training, such as the Cosmetology program, cost around $1000. Some technical series classes are higher but cost a fraction of the proprietary vocational school, which sometimes run in the low-to-mid five figures.

2. Abram Friedman Occupational Center –


Located in Downtown Los Angeles near the Staples Center and other historical landmarks, this facility offers a wide range of educational options. There is an extensive Graphic Design series, along with Automotive Repair, and Computer Networking training. Basic Education, ESL, and GED Training are also available. Aside from the high-rise building near the 10 Freeway, there are other nearby locations in the Mid-City area. Those who live on the Westside, Long Beach, or South Bay areas will find a number of convenient public transportation options that travel to this location. Like East L.A. Occupational Center, this is also part of LAUSD and fees are minimal.

3. General Assembly –

General Assembly Top 10 Best Vocational Institutes in California 2017

One of the leaders in technology training, offers short-term courses at one of its three California locations or online. Classes are offered year-round in coding, design, marketing, and product management, on a full- or part-time basis. Locations include Downtown Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Santa Monica. In addition to classes, there are ongoing workshops that cover everything from career preparation to networking. Some of these one-time events are free of charge but other sessions start at $50 and higher, according to time frame and complexity. The full-time Web Development course costs $13,500 but there are financing options for those accepted into the program. According to the website, graduates have been hired by the Boston Globe, Capital One, and Wall Street Journal Custom Studios.

4. Gnomon School of Visual Effects and Games –


Offers animation and digital arts courses both at its Hollywood location, as well as online. A Visual Effects Animation track is full-time and takes between 2-3 years to complete. There are also courses in Digital Production for the entertainment industry that take as little as two years to finish. A la carte classes in 3-D design, sculpting, and other art-related subjects are also available. Since 1997, Gnomon has prided itself on using industry professionals and there is an admissions process. Tuition runs anywhere from $4200-9800 per term. Individual courses are about $1000 and over for 10 weeks of study. This institution is approved to receive federal financial aid for its students.

5. Elegance International (EI) School of Professional Makeup –


The world’s first makeup school, also located in Hollywood, teaches makeup application for a number of settings. This includes high fashion, television, film and special effects. For more than 50 years, they have prided themselves on being ahead of the curve, as the needs of the entertainment industry now include HD makeup application and 3-D theatrical effects. Students receive portfolio development and learn promotion while in school. Onsite resources include a library and student store, where supplies are priced considerably less. Tuition for a one-year program is around $19,000 and there are many financing options available. In addition to federal aid, scholarships and low-interest loans are available to students that qualify. This is one of Top 10 Best Vocational Institutes in California 2017.

6. Portfolio Studio –

Portfolio Studio Top Famous Vocational Institutes in California 2019

San Diego’s premier branding and marketing school offers a number of classes in-person and online. Students learn various topics such as copywriting, digital strategy, social media marketing, and more. Classes are year-round and are small with emphasis on portfolio development. Acceptance to any of the programs requires an interview and possibly a sample. According to the website, it’s not required that students have college credit or previous experience. Tuition starts at $425 and goes up considerably, depending on what student wants to achieve. However, there are free courses and students are encouraged to take single courses, as needed. There are financing options that are subject to credit approval.

7. Product School –

Product School Top 10 Best Vocational Institutes in California

This institution for Software Product Manager Certification has locations in Los Angeles and San Francisco, as well as online courses. Designed for the local IT professional with five or more years of experience, classes are flexible yet intense. Curriculum also includes attending guest lectures. Taught by industry professionals, there are also a number of free and low-cost workshops for current and future students. Graduates of the program have gone on to work for Fitbit, Finch Computing, and ModCloth.

8. Hack Reactor –

Hack Reactor Top Most Vocational Institutes in California 2017

Offers a unique 12-week program that trains students to become Software Engineers and JavaScript experts. Classes are located in San Francisco and online. Both coding programs are very intense, as it equals the curriculum learned at a college or university. Besides technology, entrepreneurial skills are taught, along with continuing education for graduates. Tuition runs between $17,000-20,000 for full-time enrollment. According to their website, graduates can expect to be placed in positions that are above entry-level. Graduates have been placed at Adobe, Boeing, and Microsoft.

9. Maker Square –

Maker Square Top Most Popular Vocational Institutes in California 2018

With campuses in Los Angeles and San Francisco, they also offer an intense software engineering program that can be completed in less than four months. Similar to Hack Reactor, students can expect to spend long days working on coding for JavaScript, jQuery, and other areas of computer science. Communication and team projects are also emphasized. The admissions process has a few steps, one of which is a basic understanding of JavaScript. Those who want to brush up can either take advantage of an approved course or Maker Prep, a live course that’s only available at the Los Angeles location. Tuition is under $17,000 and private financing is available.

10. Jordan’s Kitchen –

Jordan’s Kitchen Top Popular Vocational Institutes in California 2018

This San Francisco culinary school has classes for home cooks and kids who want to learn various cooking techniques, as well as proper use of tools and equipment. Since 2008, this facility has conducted laid-back, low-capacity sessions with hands-on training in specialities that include Italian, Mexican, and baking. Corporate classes and private parties are another option, since classes sell out quickly. There is a flat-fee for all classes where everything, including organic ingredients are included. Children $75; adults $165, tax included.

These are the Top 10 Best Vocational Institutes in California 2017. While there are many fine learning institutions in sunny California, it’s best to screen all carefully before entering into a binding agreement. If one seems too good to be true, or is overly aggressive about getting a student enrolled, it may be best to do research or avoid them completely.