St. Louis Trade Schools, Colleges

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Trade Schools, Colleges in St. Louis


Built along the western bank of the Mississippi river, St. Louis, Missouri is one of the most important ports in the entire United States of America. However, it is so much more than just a port city. St. Louis is a hub of education, industry, and artistry. It is a melting pot of cultures from all around the world and has been for literally hundreds of years. The city boasts a sizable population of 315,685 and attracts an estimated 25 million tourists every year. Those tourists come in droves to experience for themselves the things which have made St. Louis so famous around the world, such as Forest Park, Busch Stadium, and, of course, the Gateway Arch. But what if you aren’t content to be a tourist? What if you are looking for a place to settle down or to pursue an education and career? Is St. Louis a viable option? We’re going to take a look at some of the things St. Louis has to offer its residents and let you decide for yourself.


Pursuing An Education In St. Louis


Hundreds of people uproot themselves and make the move to St. Louis every year, but just why is that? One of the most obvious reasons is what St. Louis has to offer in terms of education. Students come from all over the country, and indeed the world, to study at Saint Louis University, Stevens Institute of Business and Arts, and Harris-Stowe State University. Washington University also has a branch located in St. Louis. There are close to 14,000 students currently enrolled at Saint Louis University. The University’s most popular majors include biology, nursing, and physical therapy. Stevens Institute of Business and Arts has a much smaller number of enrolled students, with only about 200 people currently pursuing their education there. Although it is a small school, it is highly regarded and offers comprehensive courses in areas such as interior design, tourism and hospitality, and business administration. Harris-Stowe State University has successfully fought off the stigma associated with public schools to establish itself as one of the top places of learning in the city of St. Louis. It currently has a student-teacher ratio of 13-1 and offers a total of 31 majors, minors, and certificates.


If Saint Louis University has peaked your interest, it is important to note that it is a Catholic Jesuit school. While the school admits students from all faiths and cultural backgrounds, you must prepare yourself to encounter heavy religious themes on a daily basis. This may be a problem for some students, but practicing Catholics who choose to continue their education at Saint Louis University will no doubt enjoy the daily masses at the on-campus Catholic Church.


Entrepreneurship In St. Louis

It’s no secret that the city of St. Louis has had a rough couple of years. Or decades, even. For a while, the city was experiencing nothing but a decline in economics and industry. One by one, the big businesses which so many in St. Louis relied on to make a living were bought up by foreign outsiders and moved out of the city. It devastated many. But from the ashes of big business rose the necessity of entrepreneurship. People began to work for themselves, finding niche markets and filling the void in order to get back on their feet and restart their lives. Nowadays, the entrepreneurs who make their living in St. Louis are not just long-time residents of the city who were forced to find a new means of getting by when things when south. Many of them are out of towners with a dream who decided to relocate to St. Louis to take advantage of the booming startup scene. The city has been so good to entrepreneurs over the past couple of years that it was recently named the number one city in the United States of America for startup businesses. It has also been described by Business Insider as the “fastest growing startup scene in the country”. Entrepreneurship in St. Louis is so high at the moment that over 34,000 of the city’s businesses employ ten people or fewer.


Top Industries


If you’re considering relocating to St. Louis for work but don’t want to deal with the stresses of handling your own startup company - hey, it’s not for everybody - there’s no need to worry. While the city is indeed home to many startup businesses, there are more than a few established industries in which you can make a living. In fact, the city of St. Louis is home to nine Fortune 500 companies. Some of the top industries in St. Louis are as follows.



Anybody familiar with the economic climate of Missouri will be aware that biotechnology is a major industry throughout the state. However, nowhere in the state can top St. Louis when it comes to the biotechnology industry. There are over a dozen biotechnology companies currently active in the city of St. Louis, with new ones popping up with incredible ferocity. Because of the strength of the biotechnology industry in St. Louis, those involved in the field can expect to make six figures a year, or close to it. The median annual salary for somebody involved in biotechnology in St. Louis is $107,318, with most salaries ranging from $99,758-$124,387.


Healthcare and Medical

Healthcare is a pretty big industry in the majority of cities throughout the United States and the rest of the world. St. Louis is no different. It is estimated that the St. Louis healthcare industry generates more than $3 billion a year. According to the 2007 Economic Census, the healthcare industry employed more people than any other industry in St. Louis. The census found that 34,000 St. Louis residents were employed in the healthcare industry in some capacity or another. It is no surprise then that nursing, biology, and physical therapy are currently such popular choices among the students of Saint Louis University.



When the 2007 Economic Census declared the healthcare industry as the number one employer of St. Louis residents, the administration industry was a close second. The census found that 24,000 workers were employed in administrative positions. The annual salary for an administrative assistant in St. Louis varies depending on the nature of required work and the company one is employed by, but most administrative assistants in the city earn in or around $40,000 a year.



Manufacturing is a broad industry and covers a number of different roles, which is one of the main reasons the manufacturing industry has proven so important to St. Louis and the rest of the United States of America in the past. The 2007 Economic Census found that the manufacturing industry in St. Louis generated close to $11 billion. This is an astonishing number and is more than triple the earnings of the healthcare industry, which came in second in terms of business conducted in 2007. Despite the nearly unimaginable amount of money which the St. Louis manufacturing industry generates, it employs only a little over 20,000 people in the city. This makes the industry the third biggest employer in all of St. Louis.


Food Service

The 2007 Economic Census found that 20,000 people were employed in the St. Louis food service industry. In the decade that has passed since the census was conducted, the food service industry in St. Louis has only grown and is today larger than ever before. Since the 2007 Economic Census was carried out, the American people have become more health conscious and a number of initiatives have been introduced to tackle the decades old problem of obesity in America’s youth. A drive to get more fruit and vegetables into public schools has resulted in a surge of growth in the St. Louis food service industry. Although there is a greater presence of recognized restaurant chains in St. Louis than there was during the 2007 Economic Census, the majority of independent restaurants and cafes have managed to hold their own.


Retail & Management

The retail industry in St. Louis does not have the best reputation. It has been ranked as one of the worst cities for retail in all of the United States, which understandably won’t fill you with too much confidence. However, the St. Louis retail industry is on the up and up and has been enjoying steady, although admittedly slow, growth for the past couple of years. The city’s retail industry got a major lift in the fall of 2015 when Swedish flat-packed furniture giant IKEA opened a 380,000 square foot store in the Central West End. The opening of the store created 300 jobs and totally rejuvenated the retail industry in St. Louis. It is now estimated that the St. Louis retail sector generates over $2 billion every year.


College Education and Trade Schools


If you’re planning on traveling to St. Louis but don’t want to jump into a traditional college course, the city has plenty of trade schools. The trade schools in St. Louis are some of the best in the country and a degree from one will leave you qualified to provide a variety of much in-demand services around the city.


Ranken Technical College

Some technical careers have a starting salary of $60K per year, which is one of the main reasons people decide to enter the field. Ranken Technical College proudly displays that fact on their website in big red lettering. Right next to it is the promise that those who choose Ranken Technical College for their education will not just graduate with an education, but will graduate ready to work. While that might seem like a bit of a fantastical claim, it is impossible to deny the fact that Ranken Technical College is one of the most popular trade schools in all of St. Louis. It has produced and continues to produce some of the most skilled technical workers in the city and greater St. Louis area.


Carpenters Apprenticeship School

Carpentry is one of those careers that has been around for centuries and isn’t going to be going anywhere any time soon. It is a great career to get involved in if you want to start making money right away and the Carpenters Apprenticeship School is arguably the best place of learning for any aspiring carpenter in St. Louis. The Carpenters Apprenticeship School will give you the perfect combination of hands-on experience and theory study. Students are even given the opportunity to earn money while they learn.


Claim Academy

More and more people are learning to code, and for good reason. It is said that those who know how to code will never be stuck for a job in our increasingly internet reliant age. Coding has become so essential that many parents are sending their children to coding summer camps so they can learn the language of code at a young age. However, it is not too late for adults to learn to code too. Claim Academy is one of the premier coding schools in St. Louis and offers a number of courses to meet your requirements. The school offers 12 week courses in Full Stack Java, .NET/C#, and software development. Claim Academy has both full and part-time courses, so you can master the art of coding regardless of your schedule. This may be the best trade school for St. Louis residents who have decided it is time for a change of career.


Vatterott College

Vatterott College is a trade school with campuses all around the United States of America. The college boasts campuses in California, Ohio, Iowa, and Oklahoma. There are also a couple of extra Vatterott College campuses scattered throughout Missouri; they can be found in Kansas City, Springfield, St. Charles, St. Joseph, and Sunset Hill. However, it is the Vatterott College campus in St. Louis which is ranked among the best. St. Louis’ Vatterott College offers courses in building maintenance, plumbing, wind energy, and carpentry, to name a few.


Main Employers in St. Louis


As mentioned before, St. Louis is just now getting back on its feet after a tough couple of years. The city was hit hard by the economic downturn, although it was not doing so great in the years before that. The downturn saw dozens of companies leave the city, including a few of the ones that were considered to be the top employers in the city. Now that the city has reinvented itself as a hub of entrepreneurship and culture, the list of top employers has been shaken up and reflects a changing economic landscape in a changing world. Some of the top employers in St. Louis today are:


BJC HealthCare

BJC HealthCare is a non-profit healthcare organization and has been in business since 1993. It includes a number of hospitals including Barnes-Jewish Hospital and St. Louis Children’s Hospital, which are both internationally recognized academic hospitals. BJC HealthCare has its headquarters in St. Louis and is one of the city’s biggest employers. Out of 27,172 people employed by BJC HealthCare, 24,192 reside in St. Louis.


Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is most famous for doing business as Wal-Mart, that beloved American institution and provider of low-cost sweatpants and socks. WalMart employs literally millions of American citizens all across the United States. It is estimated that WalMart has 2,200,000 employees in the USA, with 21,721 living in St. Louis. Of those 21,721 employees, 11,078 work full-time while 10,643 are employed part-time. Many of those part-time employees work exclusively in the evenings and on weekends as they spend their weekdays studying in one of the many St. Louis colleges mentioned earlier on in this article.


Boeing Defense, Space And Security

Boeing Defense, Space and Security is one of the biggest organizations in the United States of America. The company employs 165,000 people in total and in 2014 saw an annual revenue of $90.8 billion, a number which is absolutely staggering. Boeing Defense, Space and Security has its headquarters in St. Louis, which makes aviation is a major industry in the city. 15,000 St. Louis residents are employed by Boeing Defense, Space and Security, a number which will likely increase under the new administration.


Washington State University In St. Louis

Strange as it may sound, Washington State University is crucial to the economy of St. Louis. The St. Louis branch of the university brings hundreds of students to the city every year, which means more money is being pumped into the economy. Furthermore, the presence of Washington State University in St. Louis means there are constant job openings in the city. At the moment, Washington State University in St. Louis is estimated to employ 14,451 people. That number includes professors, administration staff, and janitors; all residents of St. Louis. The university employs 12,088 people full-time while a further 2,363 work are contracted as part-time employees. In 2014, Washington State University in St. Louis boasted an annual revenue of $2.47 billion.