Vocational &
Trade Schools in Georgia

Georgia is home to numerous vocational and trade schools that train students for high-demand careers in industries such as medicine, dentistry, teaching and manufacturing. Students in Georgia have access to vocational and trade training at over 400 public high schools and 36 public community colleges. The Georgia Department of Labor estimates 483,00 job openings by 2020, forecasting the largest growth in the healthcare and social assistance, construction, manufacturing and education industries. This page outlines the vocational and trade school options in Georgia and the career opportunities for students upon graduation.

Top Vocational Schools in Georgia: 2017

For students just graduating high school and looking for professional training, trade and vocational institutions are widely available to students in Georgia. Areas of particular interest include construction trades, dental hygiene and nursing, all of which can be learned at the various career colleges, community colleges and trade schools in the state. Our rankings list helps narrow down the options through factors such as student to teacher ratio, breadth and number of programs and financial aid availability.

RankSchool Name Score Tuition & Fees Financial Aid % Total Programs Student-Teacher Ratio Grad Rate Description Additional Benefits: Placement Services Counseling Services Credit for Experience
1
Central Georgia Technical College
98.25 $$$$$ N/A 64 15:1 31%

Central Georgia Technical College is a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia, offering technical certificate options through the divisions of aerospace trade/industry, business and computer technologies, health sciences, and public safety/professional services. The school serves 11 counties in Georgia with four campuses and three instructional centers. Trade and industry programs include studies in automotive maintenances and repair, HVAC, construction management, carpentry, drafting, commercial truck driving and welding. Business programs offer certificates in accounting, business administration, computer programming, hospitality management, design and media. Health science certifications are available in dental/medical assisting, laboratory technology, practical nursing and pharmacy assisting.

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2
Wiregrass Georgia Technical College
97.37 $$$$$ N/A 52 13:1 25%

The career development courses and testing services at Wiregrass Georgia Technical College help students to attain the professional licenses and credentials required for success in their chosen field. The Center for Industry Excellence provides training in mechanical engineering, health and safety, automation, and leadership development. The applied curriculum serves occupations in child care, contracting, timber, real estate, early childhood education, and agricultural sectors. Wiregrass also hosts Georgia Pest Exams-Georgia Department of Agriculture license renewal testing in forestry, agricultural production, waterways, industrial and residential applications. Online programs use the Blackboard course delivery/class management system with 24-hour support.

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3
Columbus Technical College
97.37 $$$$$ N/A 41 18:1 16%

In addition to programs leading to Technical Certificates of Credit, Columbus Technical College awards HOPE Scholarship and/or the HOPE Grants to support the education of close to 80% of its students. Some 90% of its graduates are employed within 50 miles of the college. Programs of study leading to technical certificates are presented by the divisions of Business, Health Sciences and Nursing, and Professional/Technical Services. Business certificates include the fields of accounting, management, computing, criminal, justice, early childhood care, and customer service. Professional service offerings are in HVAC, cosmetology, automotive technology, drafting, cosmetology, machine tool and industrial systems.

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4
Georgia Northwestern Technical College
96.75 $$$$$ N/A 61 19:1 19%

Certificate programs at Georgia Northwestern Technical College can be completed in less than a year – or longer for more technical specializations. Credit requirements can run from 10 hours or up to 80 credit hours depending on job requirements for the field. The major vocational areas for certificates include automotive, aviation, business, commercial truck driving, computer technology, allied health, industrial technology, and public service (criminal justice, firefighting, and law enforcement). GNTC offers more than 45 certifications within the Industrial Technology division alone, including specialties in HVAC, welding, machining, CAD operations, commercial wiring, green building, instrumentation and controls, robotics and computer numerical controlled (CNC) machining processes.

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5
Southern Regional Technical College
96.36 $$$$$ N/A 30 14:1 40%

Southern Regional Technical College serves the four counties of Colquitt, Tift, Turner and Worth, and is part of the Technical College System of Georgia. Its Technical Certificates of Credit (TCC) programs are offered through the college schools of Business, Health Sciences, Industrial Technology, and Professional Services. Business certificates include studies in areas of computer networking, entrepreneurship, human resource management, medical billing, PC repair and payroll accounting. Industrial technology certifications include fields of HVAC, automotive, mechatronics, construction, drafting, welding, mobile electronics and carpentry. In Professional Services, students can take certifications in criminal justice, firefighting, early childhood education, horticulture and wildlife management, cosmetology and commercial truck driving.

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6
Athens Technical College
95.86 $$$$$ 1% 56 13:1 29%

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7
Augusta Technical College
95.43 $$$$$ 20% 41 14:1 20%

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8
Albany Technical College
95.04 $$$$$ 2% 57 18:1 41%

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9
Savannah Technical College
95.02 $$$$$ N/A 55 17:1 26%

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10
North Georgia Technical College
94.44 $$$$$ 1% 36 17:1 30%

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11
Gwinnett Technical College
94.36 $$$$$ N/A 52 20:1 18%

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12
Bainbridge State College
93.63 $$$$$ 14% 18 19:1 6%

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13
Georgia Piedmont Technical College
93.25 $$$$$ N/A 36 17:1 20%

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14
Atlanta Technical College
92.70 $$$$$ 33% 53 16:1 24%

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15
South Georgia Technical College
92.03 $$$$$ 3% 41 14:1 32%

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16
Chattahoochee Technical College
91.64 $$$$$ N/A 52 24:1 10%

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17
Oconee Fall Line Technical College
91.46 $$$$$ N/A 36 11:1 37%

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18
Ogeechee Technical College
91.38 $$$$$ N/A 43 16:1 29%

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19
Lanier Technical College
91.27 $$$$$ N/A 52 14:1 28%

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20
West Georgia Technical College
91.22 $$$$$ N/A 39 17:1 17%

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21
Southeastern Technical College
91.00 $$$$$ N/A 30 11:1 27%

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22
Coastal Pines Technical College
90.86 $$$$$ N/A 38 12:1 43%

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23
Helms College
90.40 $$$$$ N/A 1 15:1 58%

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RankSchool Name Score Tuition & Fees Financial Aid % Total Programs Student-Teacher Ratio Grad Rate Description Additional Benefits: Placement Services Counseling Services Credit for Experience
1
Dalton State College
99.84 $$$$$ 3% 10 29:1 15%

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2
University of North Georgia
99.58 $$$$$ 6% 10 21:1 53%

Additional Benefits: Yes Yes Yes Read More
3
Middle Georgia State University
99.48 $$$$$ 17% 4 21:1 20%

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4
College of Coastal Georgia
99.36 $$$$$ 7% 2 18:1 N/A

Additional Benefits: Yes Yes Yes Read More
5
Kennesaw State University
99.19 $$$$$ 1% 8 21:1 37%

Additional Benefits: Yes Yes Yes Read More
6
Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College
98.84 $$$$$ 9% 1 22:1 N/A

Additional Benefits: Yes Yes Yes Read More
7
Clayton State University
98.02 $$$$$ 8% 4 18:1 28%

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8
Young Harris College
97.30 $$$$$ 100% 1 11:1 N/A

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9
Georgia State University
97.04 $$$$$ 3% 2 21:1 51%

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10
East Georgia State College
97.03 $$$$$ 4% 1 28:1 N/A

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Search for Vocational & Trade Schools in Georgia

Vocational and trade schools in Georgia represent the state’s 17 career clusters. Among these areas of study are subjects including the state’s largest industries covering topics such as finance, energy, public administration, health science, information technology, business management and marketing.

This search tool helps prospective students find the vocational and trade schools in Georgia that best meet their career goals.

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Georgia Vocational School at a Glance

In the 2013-2014 school year, there were 439,979 students enrolled in vocational and trade programs in Georgia. There were 326,153 and 113,826 students enrolled on the secondary and postsecondary school levels respectively.

In the 2012-2013 school year, 97 percent of post-secondary vocational school students were employed after graduating.

When the Georgia Department of Education polled local businesses asking what skills are most in-demand for today’s jobs, business owners listed technical, academic and problem solving skills as the most important for vocational and trade school graduates.

By 2018, the career and technical education cluster with the most jobs in Georgia will be accounting with 759,600 jobs, estimates the National Association of State Directors of CTE Consortium.

Vocational Certificate and Diploma Options in Georgia

Georgia provides programs to high school students allowing them to earn vocational certificates and degrees while still in high school. During the 2013-2014 school year, high school students earned 18,300 vocational certificates, a 43 percent increase from the previous year. During that same period, there were 10,000 students participating in dual enrollment programs. Georgia also funds several programs for high school students to earn dual credits. The HOPE Grant Program allows students to take courses at the Technical College System of Georgia while still in high school and the Move On When Ready program gives high school juniors and seniors the opportunity to attend a post-secondary vocational and trade school full-time instead of traditional high school.

Earning a trade degree while in high school is not the only vocational and trade degree option in Georgia. Students can also take vocational programs at traditional two-year colleges or earn one-year or less-than-one-year vocational certifications through rural training centers, state workforce training programs and numerous colleges across the state. For vocational students in Georgia, the less-than-one-year certificate option is exceedingly popular—more than double the national average.

The table below provides a look at the percentage of credentials earned by vocational and trade students in Georgia.

Distribution of Undergraduate Certificates & Degrees

Credential Arizona National
<1-year certificate 32.0% 14.7%
1-year certificate 13.6% 12.6%
Associate’s degree 14.6% 24.7%
Bachelor’s degree 39.7% 48.0%

Source: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics (2010)

In-Demand Vocational Jobs in Georgia

According to the Georgia Department of Labor, employment in the state will grow to over 483,000 new jobs by 2020. The health services sector will see the biggest increase with over 120,000 new jobs added by 2020. The education services field will see a growth to over 445,000 employees by 2020, 63,000 of which will be new jobs.

The following table provides information on the specific job titles for vocational and trade students in Georgia categorized by careers projected to see the biggest growth.

Vocational Careers with the Most Job Openings in Georgia

Occupation 2012 Employment Projected Annual Job Openings Percent Growth
(2012-2022)
Median Annual Wage
(Arizona, 2014)
Median Annual Wage
(National, 2014)
Postsecondary, Non-Degree (Some College)
Teacher Assistants 32,880 1,560 25% $19,000 $24,400
Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers 50,870 1,540 14% $39,300 $39,500
Nursing Assistants 36,390 1,460 21% $21,700 $25,100
Medical Assistants 17,520 1,210 50% $28,400 $30,000
Licensed Practical Nurses 23,210 1,140 25% $37,600 $42,500
Two-Year Associate’s Degree
Registered Nurses 64,970 2,300 16% $62,500 $66,600
Preschool Teachers 12,000 670 28% $28,900 $28,100
Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technicians 8,070 460 30% $34,200 $38,400
Dental Hygienists 5,060 370 48% $64,000 $71,500
Paralegals and Legal Assistants 9,110 370 25% $52,400 $48,300

Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Career One Stop

An Inside Look at Vocational Schools & Jobs in Atlanta

Wilmington

Atlanta is known for its vocational and trade school Everest College-Atlanta West. The school is known for its outstanding programs in dental assisting, pharmacy technician, medical insurance coding and medical administrative programs. When students in these programs graduate, they are prepared to work in one of the 80 hospitals around Atlanta..

Atlanta also has vocational and trade schools offering programs in business, education and healthcare. Students interested in business-oriented trade schools can also find employment opportunities in Atlanta, as it is home to companies such as United Parcel Service, Delta Air Lines, The Coca-Cola Company and The Home Depot.

Georgia Education & Workforce Resources

This site provides information on vocational and trade education provided by the Georgia Department of Education.

The Georgia Association for Career and Technical Education delivers services and support to teachers who provide CTE in the state.

Provides information about career paths for vocational and trade students and academic performance metrics among Georgia students.

This report from the Georgia Department of Labor provides an in-depth analysis of the workforce and economic trends expected to take place over the next decade.

This site provides comprehensive information about industries in the state from the Georgia Department of Economic Development.

TCSG is responsible for ensuring that the state’s technical colleges are providing a quality education to students. The agency also offers workforce development programs.