Vocational Trade Schools in Arkansas

Get started with your search for the best vocational trade schools in Arkansas. Discover which schools offer programs that fit your needs.
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Updated July 13, 2023

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Why Choose Trade School?

Students who want to quickly enter the workforce often attend vocational school. Most people who want to work in a vocational position enroll in a trade program immediately after graduating high school or completing a GED. However, anyone who wants to make a career change can begin a trade program at any point.

Aspiring construction managers, welders, electricians, and physical therapists all learn through trade school. Research shows that 74% of trade school graduates work in a field related to their degree.

Trade schools' curricula differ from traditional four-year colleges. Trade schools teach students how to complete skilled jobs that require special training, while a traditional college prepares students to work in roles that require knowledge about theories and strategies. Bachelor's degrees also include general education courses that may not directly relate to a major, so they take longer to complete than a trade degree.

A trade degree usually takes under two years to complete. Although most trade programs require in-person training like an apprenticeship, some schools offer online programs. Online trade programs use various flexible formats, including self-paced and asynchronous formats. Students who want to complete their degrees quickly can complete accelerated programs.

Read on to learn more about accreditation for trade schools, the top vocational schools in Arkansas, and financial aid.

FAQ About Vocational Schools in Arkansas


Can I get financial aid for trade school?

Yes. Accredited trade schools in Arkansas can accept funds from FAFSA.

How long does trade school take?

Trade school takes under two years to complete. Associate programs take longer to complete than certificates, which may take only two months.

Are scholarships available for vocational students?

Schools, private companies, and foundations all offer scholarships for vocational students. Most scholarships require students to attend an accredited school.

What is the difference between trade school and vocational school?

Trade schools, vocational schools, and technical schools are all the same type of institution. People use these terms interchangeably.

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Accreditation and Licensing for Trade Schools

Vocational schools in Arkansas can earn accreditation. When a school earns this accolade, it means it regularly receives quality assessments from a third-party organization selected by the U.S. Department of Higher Education (ED).

Accreditation benefits students. It ensures that schools meet the rigorous standards needed to provide learners with a quality education.

The Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges serves as the accrediting body for more than 650 postsecondary trade and technical schools. Online programs can also earn accreditation through the Distance Education Accrediting Commission. These two organizations grant national accreditation.

Some institutions that offer trade degrees, like community colleges, can earn regional accreditation. Regional accrediting agencies oversee schools that offer two-year and four-year degrees. The Higher Learning Commission accredits colleges and universities in Arkansas.

Some scholarships only award funds to students attending a regionally accredited university, and some employers prefer job candidates with a regionally accredited degree.

Degrees can earn programmatic accreditation. For example, the Advanced Welding Institute oversees accreditation for welding programs, and the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education provides accreditation to physical therapy programs. The ED offers a lookup tool so students can quickly research a school's accreditation status.

Trade colleges must also earn either a certification or license from either the ED or a state agency to ensure they meet certain standards. Students should contact prospective schools to discover their licensure status.

Vocational Trade Schools in Arkansas

Finding a qualified, accredited trade school takes research. To help in the process, we gathered data on trade and tech schools in Arkansas and rank them based on factors like reputation, affordability, and academic quality.

#1 Vocational Trade Schools in Arkansas

NorthWest Arkansas Community College

  • Bentonville, AR
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

NorthWest Arkansas Community College provides 26 associate programs and 54 certificate programs for students. Based in Bentonville, Arkansas, this public college features both online and on-campus enrollment options, creating flexibility for all types of learners. The different types of enrollment appeal to working professionals and other busy attendees.

Many of the school's programs emphasize career training and include practical skills. General education classes in associate programs build key soft skills like communication, writing, and critical thinking. Instead of general education courses, certificate candidates complete classes related to their field.

A certificate prepares graduates for the workforce. With an associate degree, alumni enter the workforce or continue their education at the bachelor's level.

NorthWest Arkansas Community College at a Glance:

Total Online Associate Programs: 4

Total Online Certificate Programs: 8

Undergrad Tuition In State: $3,240

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $3,600

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$3,240
Out-of-state
$3,600
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
Not provided
Out-of-state
Not provided
Retention Rate
59%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
8,383
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
44% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#2 Vocational Trade Schools in Arkansas

Arkansas State University-Beebe

  • Beebe, AR
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

At Arkansas State University-Beebe, learners can strengthen their skills in 24 associate programs and 50 certificate programs. Located in Beebe, Arkansas, the public institution offers online and on-campus enrollment options, increasing flexibility for enrollees. Many students work while pursuing a degree or certificate.

In the school's career-focused programs, participants gain industry-specific skills. In associate programs, degree-seekers strengthen transferable skills during general education classes. Certificate candidates take courses in their area of study rather than general education courses.

With a certificate, graduates move into the workforce and pursue entry-level roles. Associate degree -holders can either pursue employment or transfer into a bachelor's program.

Arkansas State University-Beebe at a Glance:

Total Online Associate Programs: 4

Total Online Certificate Programs: 2

Undergrad Tuition In State: $2,448

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $4,176

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$2,448
Out-of-state
$4,176
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
Not provided
Out-of-state
Not provided
Retention Rate
58%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
3,317
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
52% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#3 Vocational Trade Schools in Arkansas

National Park College

  • Hot Springs, AR
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

Students enroll in 20 associate programs and 29 certificate programs at National Park College. The public institution prioritizes flexibility in its course options, which include classes offered online and on the Hot Springs, Arkansas, campus. These flexible options make it easier for attendees to balance school with work or other responsibilities.

The school's career-focused programs provide the knowledge and skills required for specialized roles. Those in associate programs take general education courses that build transferable skills like writing and critical thinking. Rather than taking general education courses, certificate candidates complete a focused curriculum of courses in their field of study.

With a certificate, learners qualify for entry-level roles in their field. After earning an associate degree, graduates enter the workforce or transfer into a bachelor's program.

National Park College at a Glance:

Total Online Associate Programs: 4

Total Online Certificate Programs: 5

Undergrad Tuition In State: $3,000

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $4,110

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$3,000
Out-of-state
$4,110
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
Not provided
Out-of-state
Not provided
Retention Rate
59%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
2,077
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
23% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#4 Vocational Trade Schools in Arkansas

Arkansas Tech University

  • Russellville, AR
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Arkansas Tech University provides 28 associate programs and 42 certificate programs for students. The public institution prioritizes flexibility in its course options, which include classes offered online and on the Russellville, Arkansas campus. These flexible options make it easier for attendees to balance school with work or other responsibilities.

In the school's career-focused programs, enrollees strengthen industry-specific knowledge and skills. In associate programs, degree-seekers strengthen critical thinking and writing skills in general education courses. Instead of general education classes, certificate candidates complete a focused curriculum in their area of study.

With a certificate, recipients move into the workforce and pursue entry-level roles. After an associate degree, graduates enter the workforce or apply to bachelor's programs as a transfer student.

Arkansas Tech University at a Glance:

Admission Rate: 95%

Total Online Associate Programs: 6

Total Online Certificate Programs: 7

Undergrad Tuition In State: $5,568

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $11,136

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$5,568
Out-of-state
$11,136
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$5,256
Out-of-state
$10,512
Retention Rate
70%
Admission Rate
95%
Students Enrolled
11,829
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
50% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#5 Vocational Trade Schools in Arkansas

Black River Technical College

  • Pocahontas, AR
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

At Black River Technical College, students learn in 21 associate programs and 26 certificate programs. The public institution, located in Pocahontas, Arkansas, offers online and on-campus enrollment options which appeal to a variety of learners. These enrollment options appeal to working professionals and other busy enrollees.

Many of the school's programs strengthen career-focused skills that train participants for a particular role. Those in associate programs take general education courses that build transferable skills like writing and critical thinking. Certificate candidates complete a focused curriculum that does not include classes outside of their field.

Professionals apply for positions in their field with a certificate. After earning an associate degree, graduates enter the workforce or transfer into a bachelor's program.

Black River Technical College at a Glance:

Total Online Associate Programs: 4

Total Online Certificate Programs: 1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $2,304

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $4,536

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$2,304
Out-of-state
$4,536
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
Not provided
Out-of-state
Not provided
Retention Rate
49%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
1,472
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
41% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#6 Vocational Trade Schools in Arkansas

Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas

  • Helena, AR
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas enrolls students in 16 associate programs and 31 certificate programs. The public institution offers flexible enrollment options, including online classes and courses offered at the Helena, Arkansas, campus. These flexible options help attendees work while in school.

The school's career-focused programs provide the knowledge and skills required for specialized roles. Associate programs incorporate general education classes that strengthen writing, communication, and other soft skills. Instead of general education courses, certificate candidates complete classes related to their field.

With a certificate, graduates enter the workforce prepared for many entry-level roles. With an associate degree, learners enter the workforce or continue their education at the bachelor's level.

Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas at a Glance:

Total Online Associate Programs: 1

Total Online Certificate Programs: 1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $2,580

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $4,080

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$2,580
Out-of-state
$4,080
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
Not provided
Out-of-state
Not provided
Retention Rate
52%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
1,541
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
18% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#7 Vocational Trade Schools in Arkansas

South Arkansas Community College

  • El Dorado, AR
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

Students enroll in 20 associate programs and 32 certificate programs at South Arkansas Community College. Based in El Dorado, Arkansas, this public college features both online and on-campus enrollment options, creating flexibility for all types of learners. Degree- and certificate-seekers often balance school with work.

Many of the school's programs strengthen career-focused skills that train participants for a particular role. Associate programs include general education classes that strengthen critical thinking and writing skills. Certificate candidates complete a focused curriculum in their field with no general education requirements.

With a certificate, recipients apply for entry-level positions in their field. With an associate degree, graduates enter the workforce or continue their education at the bachelor's level.

South Arkansas Community College at a Glance:

Total Online Associate Programs: 3

Total Online Certificate Programs: 4

Undergrad Tuition In State: $2,328

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $4,128

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$2,328
Out-of-state
$4,128
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
Not provided
Out-of-state
Not provided
Retention Rate
55%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
1,443
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
45% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#8 Vocational Trade Schools in Arkansas

Arkansas State University Three Rivers

  • Malvern, AR
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

Arkansas State University Three Rivers provides 16 associate programs and 45 certificate programs for students. Learners select from online and on-campus courses offered by the public institution from its location in Malvern, Arkansas. Many enrollees work while pursuing a degree or certificate.

Many of the school's certificate and associate programs emphasize industry-specific skills that prepare graduates for a particular career path. General education classes in associate programs build key soft skills like communication, writing, and critical thinking. Certificate candidates complete a focused curriculum with no general education requirements.

With a certificate, recipients qualify for entry-level roles in their field. With an associate degree, graduates enter the workforce or continue their education at the bachelor's level.

Arkansas State University Three Rivers at a Glance:

Total Online Associate Programs: 5

Total Online Certificate Programs: 8

Undergrad Tuition In State: $2,448

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $4,872

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$2,448
Out-of-state
$4,872
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
Not provided
Out-of-state
Not provided
Retention Rate
53%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
1,151
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
31% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#9 Vocational Trade Schools in Arkansas

Cossatot Community College of the University of Arkansas

  • De Queen, AR
  • 2 years
  • Campus

Cossatot Community College of the University of Arkansas lets learners choose from 25 associate programs and 46 certificate programs. The public institution prioritizes flexibility in its course options, which include classes offered online and on the De Queen, Arkansas, campus. Many students work while pursuing a degree or certificate.

Many of the school's programs strengthen career-focused skills that train participants for a particular role. Associate programs include general education classes that strengthen soft skills like communication and writing. Certificate candidates take focused classes in their field rather than general education classes.

With a certificate, graduates enter the workforce prepared for many entry-level roles. An associate degree prepares recipients for the workforce or for bachelor's programs. At the college, undergraduate tuition averages $2,610 for in-state students and $3,060 for out-of-state students.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$2,610
Out-of-state
$3,060
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
Not provided
Out-of-state
Not provided
Retention Rate
61%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
1,519
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
51% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#10 Vocational Trade Schools in Arkansas

Arkansas Northeastern College

  • Blytheville, AR
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

Students choose from 13 associate programs and 26 certificate programs at Arkansas Northeastern College. The public institution, located in Blytheville, Arkansas, offers online and on-campus enrollment options, which appeal to a variety of different people. Learners enrolled at the school rely on the flexible options to balance classes with work.

Most associate degree and certificate programs build specialized skills related to a defined career path or field of employment. Associate programs include general education classes that strengthen critical thinking and writing skills. Certificate candidates take focused classes in their field rather than general education classes.

With a certificate, graduates enter the workforce prepared for many entry-level roles. With an associate degree, recipients either pursue employment or transfer into a bachelor's program.

Arkansas Northeastern College at a Glance:

Total Online Associate Programs: 5

Undergrad Tuition In State: $2,268

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $3,668

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$2,268
Out-of-state
$3,668
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
Not provided
Out-of-state
Not provided
Retention Rate
53%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
1,562
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
52% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#11 Vocational Trade Schools in Arkansas

North Arkansas College

  • Harrison, AR
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

At North Arkansas College, learners choose from 17 associate programs and 39 certificate programs. From its main campus in Harrison, Arkansas, the public institution provides flexible enrollment options. These different choices for enrollment appeal to working students and other busy attendees.

Many of the school's programs strengthen career-focused skills that train participants for a particular role. In associate programs, degree-seekers strengthen transferable skills during general education classes. Instead of general education courses, certificate candidates complete classes related to their field.

Professionals apply for positions in their field with a certificate. With an associate degree, graduates apply for jobs or pursue a bachelor's degree.

North Arkansas College at a Glance:

Total Online Associate Programs: 3

Total Online Certificate Programs: 3

Undergrad Tuition In State: $2,376

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $4,056

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$2,376
Out-of-state
$4,056
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
Not provided
Out-of-state
Not provided
Retention Rate
53%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
1,676
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
49% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#12 Vocational Trade Schools in Arkansas

University of Arkansas - Pulaski Technical College

  • North Little Rock, AR
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

With 27 associate programs and 67 certificate programs, University of Arkansas - Pulaski Technical College offers options for many students. Learners choose between online and on-campus courses offered from the North Little Rock, Arkansas, campus of the public institution. Working professionals benefit from the flexibility to attend school without leaving their job.

In the school's career-focused programs, enrollees train for a defined career path after graduation. Associate degree-seekers also complete general education courses that build broad skills, such as writing and critical thinking. Certificate candidates take focused classes in their field rather than general education classes.

With a certificate, graduates qualify for entry-level roles in their field. An associate degree prepares recipients for the workforce or for bachelor's programs.

University of Arkansas - Pulaski Technical College at a Glance:

Total Online Associate Programs: 8

Total Online Certificate Programs: 14

Undergrad Tuition In State: $4,020

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $5,250

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$4,020
Out-of-state
$5,250
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
Not provided
Out-of-state
Not provided
Retention Rate
52%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
5,531
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
68% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#13 Vocational Trade Schools in Arkansas

The University of Arkansas at Monticello

  • Monticello, AR
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Students advance their education in 8 associate programs and 28 certificate programs at the University of Arkansas at Monticello. From its main campus in Monticello, Arkansas, the public institution provides flexible enrollment options. Busy learners benefit from the school's flexible options, which make it easier to work while in college.

Many of the school's programs strengthen career-focused skills that train participants for a particular role. In general education courses, associate degree-seekers strengthen critical thinking, communication, and writing skills. Certificate candidates complete courses in their field of study without general education requirements.

Certificate recipients can move directly into the workforce in entry-level positions. After an associate degree, graduates enter the workforce or apply to bachelor's programs as a transfer student.

The University of Arkansas at Monticello at a Glance:

Total Online Associate Programs: 1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $4,779

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $10,629

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$4,779
Out-of-state
$10,629
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$6,631
Out-of-state
$12,511
Retention Rate
66%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
2,855
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
49% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#14 Vocational Trade Schools in Arkansas

East Arkansas Community College

  • Forrest City, AR
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

Students choose from 15 associate programs and 46 certificate programs at East Arkansas Community College. Located in Forrest City, Arkansas, the public institution stands out for its flexible enrollment options, which include online and on-campus classes. These enrollment options appeal to working professionals and other busy learners.

Many of the school's programs strengthen career-focused skills that train participants for a particular role. Associate programs incorporate general education classes that strengthen writing, communication, and other soft skills. Rather than taking general education courses, certificate candidates complete a focused curriculum of courses in their field of study.

With a certificate, graduates enter the workforce prepared for many entry-level roles. An associate degree prepares recipients for the workforce or for bachelor's programs.

East Arkansas Community College at a Glance:

Total Online Associate Programs: 1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $2,880

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $3,450

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$2,880
Out-of-state
$3,450
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
Not provided
Out-of-state
Not provided
Retention Rate
67%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
1,350
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
35% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#15 Vocational Trade Schools in Arkansas

Ozarka College

  • Melbourne, AR
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

At Ozarka College, students can study in 15 associate programs and 30 certificate programs. From its Melbourne, Arkansas, campus, the public institution lets learners choose from online and on-campus enrollment options. Working professionals find the flexible options fit their busy schedules.

The school's career-focused programs emphasize industry-specific knowledge and skills. In general education courses, associate degree-seekers strengthen critical thinking, communication, and writing skills. Certificate candidates take classes in their field of study without general education course requirements.

A certificate helps graduates advance their career or move into a new role. An associate degree prepares recipients for entry-level careers or for bachelor's programs.

Ozarka College at a Glance:

Total Online Associate Programs: 9

Total Online Certificate Programs: 16

Undergrad Tuition In State: $2,160

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $4,512

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$2,160
Out-of-state
$4,512
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
Not provided
Out-of-state
Not provided
Retention Rate
79%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
1,170
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
62% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#16 Vocational Trade Schools in Arkansas

Southeast Arkansas College

  • Pine Bluff, AR
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

At Southeast Arkansas College, students advance their education in 19 associate programs and 31 certificate programs. From its Pine Bluff, Arkansas, location, the public institution welcomes learners to online and on-campus classes. Busy attendees benefit from the school's flexible options, which make it easier to work while in college.

Many of the school's programs encourage participants to train for a particular vocation after graduation. Those in associate programs take general education courses that build transferable skills like writing and critical thinking. Certificate candidates complete a focused curriculum in their field with no general education requirements.

Certificate recipients can move directly into the workforce in entry-level positions. With an associate degree, graduates can enter the job market or apply to four-year colleges as a transfer student.

Southeast Arkansas College at a Glance:

Total Online Associate Programs: 3

Total Online Certificate Programs: 1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $2,880

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $5,760

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$2,880
Out-of-state
$5,760
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
Not provided
Out-of-state
Not provided
Retention Rate
57%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
1,285
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
32% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#17 Vocational Trade Schools in Arkansas

Arkansas State University-Newport

  • Newport, AR
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

At Arkansas State University-Newport, students advance their education in 18 associate programs and 46 certificate programs. Learners select from online and on-campus courses offered by the public institution from its location in Newport, Arkansas. Attendees often choose to work while enrolled at the school.

Many of the school's certificate and associate programs emphasize industry-specific skills that prepare graduates for a particular career path. In associate programs, degree-seekers strengthen critical thinking and writing skills in general education courses. Certificate candidates take focused classes in their field rather than general education classes.

Professionals with a certificate enter the workforce and apply for jobs in their field. With an associate degree, graduates either enter the workforce or apply to four-year colleges as a transfer student.

Arkansas State University-Newport at a Glance:

Total Online Associate Programs: 4

Total Online Certificate Programs: 2

Undergrad Tuition In State: $2,448

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $3,840

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$2,448
Out-of-state
$3,840
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
Not provided
Out-of-state
Not provided
Retention Rate
82%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
2,269
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
47% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#18 Vocational Trade Schools in Arkansas

The University of Arkansas Hope-Texarkana

  • Hope, AR
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

At the University of Arkansas Hope-Texarkana, learners choose from 16 associate programs and 39 certificate programs. From its Hope, Arkansas, campus, the public institution lets students choose from online and on-campus enrollment options. Many enrollees work while pursuing a degree or certificate.

The school's career-focused programs strengthen specialized skills that prepare graduates for the job market. Those in associate programs take general education courses that build transferable skills like writing and critical thinking. Certificate candidates take courses in their field with no required general education courses.

A certificate trains recipients for entry-level positions in a specific field. After earning an associate degree, graduates enter the workforce or apply to bachelor's programs as a transfer student.

The University of Arkansas Hope-Texarkana at a Glance:

Total Online Associate Programs: 1

Total Online Certificate Programs: 1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $2,310

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $3,360

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$2,310
Out-of-state
$3,360
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
Not provided
Out-of-state
Not provided
Retention Rate
63%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
1,396
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
29% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#19 Vocational Trade Schools in Arkansas

Arkansas State University Mid-South

  • West Memphis, AR
  • 2 years
  • Campus

Students enroll in 11 associate programs and 24 certificate programs at Arkansas State University Mid-South. Learners benefit from the public institution's diverse enrollment options, which include online classes and on-campus options from the West Memphis, Arkansas, location. These flexible options make it easier for attendees to balance school with work or other responsibilities.

In the school's career-focused programs, enrollees gain specialized skills for a defined career path or field. Associate programs incorporate general education classes that strengthen writing, communication, and other soft skills. Certificate candidates take courses in their field with no required general education courses.

Professionals with a certificate enter the workforce and apply for jobs in their field. After earning an associate degree, graduates pursue employment or apply to bachelor's programs as a transfer student. Undergraduate tuition at the college averages $2,760 for in-state students and $3,720 for out-of-state students.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$2,760
Out-of-state
$3,720
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
Not provided
Out-of-state
Not provided
Retention Rate
41%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
1,330
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
26% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#20 Vocational Trade Schools in Arkansas

The University of Arkansas - Fort Smith

  • Fort Smith, AR
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

At the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith, learners choose from 16 associate programs and 24 certificate programs. From its main campus in Fort Smith, Arkansas, the public institution offers both online and on-campus enrollment options. These flexible options appeal to busy students balancing school with other obligations.

Many of the school's programs strengthen career-focused skills that train participants for a particular role. Associate programs incorporate general education classes that strengthen writing, communication, and other soft skills. Certificate candidates complete courses in their field of study without general education requirements.

With a certificate, recipients move into the workforce and pursue entry-level roles. With an associate degree, graduates apply for jobs or continue their education with a bachelor's degree.

The University of Arkansas - Fort Smith at a Glance:

Total Online Associate Programs: 1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $4,104

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $11,376

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$4,104
Out-of-state
$11,376
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$7,092
Out-of-state
$11,394
Retention Rate
65%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
6,265
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
55% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

Find Vocational and Trade Schools in Arkansas

Arkansas emphasizes career and technical education (CTE) at the secondary level, which means high school students can prepare for vocational and trade careers.

The state's Smart Core program, a set of college-focused and career-focused courses, is the state's default curriculum for all public high schools. Every public school district is required to offer at least three CTE programs from three different career pathways.

Arkansas students can also attend Secondary Area Career Centers, which provide vocational programs that smaller schools often cannot afford. Postsecondary students can find vocational and trade schools through the state's community college system or attend one of three technical institutes.

To learn more about different vocational and trade schools in Arkansas, prospective students can use this search tool.

Career and Salary Outlook for Trade School Graduates

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average annual income for technical and trade school occupations is $55,270. However, salaries vary based on specific occupation, experience, and geographical location.

With a median annual income of $56,180, electricians earn slightly more than the median income for all trade school occupations. The BLS projects a 10% increase in electrician jobs between 2018 and 2028. Welders earn a slightly lower median income of $42,490 per year, and the BLS projects the need for this occupation to grow by 3% during the same period.

Trade schools also prepare students to work in various roles in the medical field. Radiologists earn a median annual income of $62,280, and the BLS projects jobs for these professionals to grow 9% between 2018 and 2028. The BLS also offers data for physical therapists, who earn a median annual salary of $89,440 and benefit from a 22% projected job growth rate.

Employers in larger cities like Little Rock or Fayetteville may pay higher salaries to trade school graduates to compensate for the higher cost of living. However, employers in rural towns may use federal aid to attract job candidates in high-need areas.

What Kinds of Trade School Programs Are Available?

Trade school prepares students to work in multiple industries, including manufacturing, health, and construction. These occupations require technical skills, so courses focus on practical applications rather than theory. Some programs include an internship or apprenticeship component, which are sometimes paid positions.

Below are five common vocational programs in Arkansas.

  1. 1

    Construction Management Programs

    Trade schools offer construction management programs that teach individuals how to supervise and budget for construction projects. These programs prepare students to work in office settings and conduct fieldwork to acquire estimates and quality assessments.

    Required courses cover topics like progress reports, financial and timetable estimates, and legal requirements. According to the BLS, certain employers may require a bachelor's degree for this job.

    Some states, like California, may require construction managers working on government projects to obtain a license. However, this law does not apply to construction managers working on privately owned projects.

    Construction managers earn a median salary of $95,260 and the BLS projects this occupation to grow by 10% between 2018 and 2028.

    Learn more about construction management degrees.

  2. 2

    Electrician Programs

    Electrician programs prepare students to install and repair electrical systems. Courses teach learners how to read technical diagrams and blueprints, operate power tools on transformers, repair outdated wiring, and use testing devices to identify electrical issues.

    An associate degree in this field takes learners about two years to complete. Common courses in an electrician program include introduction to wiring, principles of transformers, industrial safety, commercial systems, and logic controllers. Many electrician programs require an apprenticeship, and some courses may include fieldwork.

    Students graduate from an electrician program knowing how to safely maintain and set up electrical systems. Electricians typically work full time and on weekends at homes and offices. Some electricians are self-employed.

  3. 3

    Radiology Technician Programs

    Aspiring radiologists who want to work in hospitals and doctor's offices pursue this program. These professionals use imaging equipment to create x-rays for diagnostic purposes. Radiologists also administer nuclear medicine and complete ultrasounds.

    Radiologists must earn an associate degree, which takes at least two years to complete. Common radiologists courses include radiation physics, sonography, nuclear medicine, and radiation therapy. Certain radiology programs include hands-on clinical experience during which students shadow current radiologists and produce images.

  4. 4

    Physical Therapy Programs

    Students with an associate degree in this field can practice as physical therapists. Physical therapists help elderly and injured individuals regain mobility and manage pain. These professionals work actively with patients, so they must stay in good physical shape and be able to remain on their feet for extended periods. They often work in hospitals or rehabilitation settings.

    The BLS projects a much faster-than-average job growth for this field. Physical therapists must have strong interpersonal communication skills and the ability to encourage patients.

    Physical therapy programs teach students how to guide exercises using hands-on therapy, diagnose patients and create treatment plans, and review medical records. Common courses include introduction to neuroscience concepts, cardiopulmonary pathology, and healthcare issues.

  5. 5

    Respiratory Therapist Programs

    Respiratory therapists assist patients who struggle with normal breathing, like individuals with asthma or pneumonia. They work in medical facilities and help patients of all ages.

    These professionals need at least an associate degree to practice. Respiratory therapist programs take at least two years to complete and cover topics like cardiopulmonary disorders, how to complete a diagnostic test, how to operate tools like ventilators, best practices for record-keeping, and medical terminology. Common courses include cardiac anatomy and physiology, critical care techniques, respiratory equipment, therapeutics, and emergency care.

    The BLS projects jobs for these professionals to grow 21% between 2018 and 2028. Respiratory therapists earn a median income of $61,330.

Financial Aid for Trade School Students

Vocational schools in Arkansas tend to cost less than traditional four-year colleges. Trade school students can benefit from federal financial aid by completing the FAFSA.

The FAFSA offers grants and subsidized loans on a need-based basis. Similar to scholarships, grants do not require repayment. Subsidized loans require repayment, but they do not begin collecting interest until after the recipient graduates.

Learners can also apply for unsubsidized loans through the FAFSA, which are not need-based and begin collecting interest before graduation. Prospective students should check whether a school accepts the FAFSA before applying.

Filling out the FAFSA typically takes 55 minutes for first-time applicants and 45 minutes for renewals. Students who file taxes as dependents must submit their guardian's tax information from two years prior to the current year. All other students can submit their own financial information.

Taking the time to fill out the FAFSA can lower future student loan payments. Student loans collect interest and usually follow a 10-year repayment plan. Specific interest rates vary by loan. Learners can also apply for scholarships to further reduce loans.

Scholarship for Trade School Students

Private companies and foundations set funds aside specifically for trade school students pursuing certain majors. Below are five scholarships for students attending vocational schools.

Arkansas Workforce Challenge Scholarship

Who Can Apply: The Arkansas Department of Higher Education provides this scholarship to students pursuing technical education in fields like information technology and healthcare. Applicants must be Arkansas residents and high school graduates.

Amount: Up to $800

Cornerstone Scholarship Charitable Trust

Who Can Apply: African American students under 25 from Arkansas may apply for this scholarship. The recipient must enroll in an accredited university, college, or vocational school and demonstrate financial need.

Amount: Varies

Law Enforcement Officers' Dependents Scholarship

Who Can Apply: Students attending a college or technical school in Arkansas may apply for this scholarship. The Arkansas Department of Higher Education offers this award to dependents of law enforcement officers, firefighters, constables, and game wardens who were killed or permanently disabled while performing duties.

Amount: Varies

Military Dependents Scholarship

Who Can Apply: The Arkansas Department of Education awards this scholarship to dependents or spouses of military personnel who were permanently disabled or killed on duty. The recipient must attend a university or technical college in Arkansas.

Amount: Varies

John W. Bailey Memorial Scholarship

Who Can Apply: Students pursuing a certificate program in welding at a Central Arkansas school may apply. The application requires two recommendation letters and financial transcripts.

Amount: Varies

Additional Education and Career Resources

Division of the Arkansas Department of Education that oversees career education, including adult education, career and technical education and rehabilitation services. Comprehensive resource for information about vocational and trade education in Arkansas' school system. Provides a variety of resources related to Arkansas' workforce, including information about career training, employment, and the state's labor market. A college and career planning system to help Arkansas students learn about potential careers and the education necessary to get them. Labor market information resource for Arkansas. Includes current employment data, industry and occupation projections, and helpful guides for individual vocational career clusters.

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