San Diego Vocational & Trade Schools

San Diego is a huge draw for many, and for good reason -- between the near-perfect climate, the multitude of things to do, and the great job outlook, San Diego makes a good place to begin a new career. This eighth most populous city in the U.S. is spread out over an ample 325 miles, with the larger county area taking up over 4,000 miles, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Many who come also take advantage of the many schools that offer degree programs and certificates in two years of less, allowing students to move directly into the workforce upon graduation. The city boasts eight community colleges and many more vocational and technical schools.

San Diego Trade Schools

San Diego Trade Schools

Education is big business in this Southern California city, where 87 percent hold a bachelor's degree or higher, which is much better than the national average. The large tourism sector, start-ups, high-tech companies, defense industries, and even a booming craft beer industry offer a wide variety of options for those who choose to earn their education through San Diego trade schools. 

Here are a few examples of the options you might have if you're looking for a two-year program or less. Be sure to research your school before committing to a program there.

  • Associated Barber College of San Diego
  • Avance Beauty College
  • Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising-San Diego
  • Mueller College
  • Platt College-San Diego
  • San Diego Miramar College

Expert Advice on Vocational Education in San Diego

To learn even more about San Diego, we turned to an insider. Theresa DeCristoforo has lived in the San Diego area for more than 25 years, and now puts her city knowledge to work as a realtor for Ascent Real Estate. Here is her take on some of the best points of San Diego.

About the Expert

Theresa Decristoforo works as a realtor for Ascent Real Estate.

RWM: Which industries have the most job growth in San Diego?

Biotech is definitely San Diego's leading industry. Along with environmental health we have tourism and always defense. The hotel and restaurant businesses are generally booming as well. Our "starter" jobs that can move up are Sea World, world-famous San Diego Zoo, Lego Land and many different hotels around the city.

RWM: What is the housing outlook in San Diego?

Right now with interest rates in the low four percent, first time home buying is great. First time home buyers might need to start with a condo but San Diego is a lovely city with many areas to start a new life and even raise a family.

RWM: How is the cost of living, compared to neighboring cities?

San Diego is definitely one of the higher cost of living cities in the state of California. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, San Diego ranks fourth in the nation. The only cities higher cost of living-wise are New York, Washington DC and San Francisco.

RWM: Why would you recommend a student move to San Diego or attend school there?

San Diego is such a diverse city. There are so many cultures and the city has a very international feel. We have every type of food choice from Ethiopian food to Persian. We have hiking, surfing, biking, hot air ballooning, a big running community and of course most days it is sunny... One morning you can run in the mountains and that afternoon be at the beach in time for the sunset.

RWM: Any other good reasons for a student to pursue education at San Diego vocational schools?

San Diego is not a small town yet it also has a small town feel in comparison to its neighboring city of Los Angeles. In San Diego one does not have the traffic issues of LA. Yet we have many colleges and universities along with many tech schools. Coleman College is just one and so many more.


  1. Interview with Theresa DiChristoforo, August 24, 2015
  2. Occupational Employment and Wages in San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, May 2014, Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/regions/west/news-release/occupationalemploymentandwages_sandiego.htm
  3. San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, California Unemployment, Department of Numbers, http://www.deptofnumbers.com/unemployment/california/san-diego/
  4. San Diego (city), California Quick Facts, U.S. Census Bureau, http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/06/0666000.html
  5. San Diego (county), California Quick Facts, U.S. Census Bureau, http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/06/06073.html
  6. San Diego Cost of Living, Sperling's Best Places, http://www.bestplaces.net/cost_of_living/city/california/san_diego
  7. "SD: No. 1 place to relocate," The San Diego Union-Tribune, May 2, 2014, Roger Showley, http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/2014/may/02/relocation-planning-survey/
Vocational Schools in San Diego, California