Vocational Trade Schools in Delaware

Trade schools in Delaware offer career-focused training in areas like skilled trades, healthcare, and legal services. For example, electricians

Updated June 28, 2023

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Why Choose Trade School?

Trade and vocational schools in Delaware train students for in-demand jobs in areas like healthcare, technology, the legal field, and skilled trades. Depending on the program, graduates can work in roles like dental hygienist, plumber, medical assistant, and paralegal.

Completing a vocational program generally takes 1-2 years. During that time, students complete coursework and gain experiential training in their field. For example, electricians gain hands-on training in electrical systems and wiring, while occupational therapy assistants gain experience in a clinical setting.

Trade schools offer several benefits for students. Since vocational programs take less time to complete than four-year academic degrees, graduates can enter the workforce faster. Similarly, completing a trade certificate or degree often costs less than a four-year degree. Many trade schools in Delaware offer self-paced or accelerated options to fit the schedule of busy students. Prospective students can also consider online vocational programs for maximum flexibility.

The employment rate for professionals with an occupational credential exceeds that for professionals with an academic credential, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

This page introduces the best trade and vocational schools in Delaware. It also provides information on the career and salary outlook for trade school graduates, introduces popular vocational programs, and presents scholarship opportunities for trade school students.


What is trade school?Trade schools provide career-focused training in areas like skilled trades, healthcare, and legal services.
Can I get financial aid for trade school?Yes. Trade school students qualify for several forms of financial aid, including scholarships and grants. Students at accredited vocational schools in Delaware qualify for federal financial aid.
Are scholarships available for vocational students?Yes. Vocational students can apply for scholarships to cover the cost of their degree. Many scholarships offer opportunities for learners studying specific trades.
When can I apply to trade school?Many trade schools accept new students throughout the year and offer rolling admissions. Admitted students can often begin their program on one of multiple start dates per year.

Accreditation and Licensing for Trade Schools

Prospective trade school students should always research a school's accreditation and licensing status before applying. Attending a licensed, accredited school benefits students in several ways. For example, only students at accredited schools qualify for federal financial aid, and many schools only accept degrees and credits from accredited institutions. Additionally, many professional licenses and certifications require a certificate or degree from an accredited and licensed school.

Independent accrediting agencies grant accreditation to colleges and universities that meet high standards. Accredited schools must undergo a rigorous review process that evaluates their student learning outcomes, academic mission, and faculty qualifications. Accredited institutions must regularly repeat the review process to maintain their status.

In Delaware, several accrediting agencies grant accreditation to schools that offer vocational programs. Community colleges, liberal arts institutions, and research universities typically hold regional accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Private vocational and trade schools in Delaware often hold national accreditation from a specialized accrediting agency. For example, the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges grants accreditation to over 650 trade and vocational schools nationwide. Similarly, the Distance Education Accrediting Commission grants accreditation to schools that specialize in online education. In addition to accreditation, trade schools should hold a license to operate in Delaware.

The Delaware Higher Education Commission offers a database of state-approved colleges and universities.

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Vocational Trade Schools in Delaware

Trade and tech schools in Delaware provide career-ready training. By choosing a top-ranked vocational program, professionals can advance their education and increase their earning potential. Our list ranks the best trade schools in Delaware to help prospective students find the right fit to reach their professional goals.

  1. Delaware Technical Community College

    Dover, DE

    Located in Dover, the Terry campus of Delaware Technical Community College is one of the top trade schools in Delaware. The college partners with over 1,000 employers and industry experts to create career-focused programs.

    Students can pursue vocational certificates and degrees in many growing fields, including technical fields like engineering technology, construction management, and energy management. The college offers allied health associate degrees in diagnostic medical sonography, medical laboratory technician, occupational therapy assistant, and radiologic technology.

    Learners can also earn a certificate in the culinary arts, food safety, general airframe maintenance, or powerplant maintenance.

    Vocational programs at Delaware Technical Community College incorporate innovative technology and lab experience to prepare graduates for the workforce. The system boasts a 90% job placement rate for graduates with an associate degree. The college uses an open admissions process.

Career and Salary Outlook for Trade School Graduates

Trade school graduates benefit from a strong career and salary outlook. Occupations like dental hygienist, paralegal, and HVAC technician all offer above-average wages and much faster-than-average job growth projections.

Salaries for trade school occupations vary by industry, location, and experience. On average, technical and trade school careers pay around $55,000 per year. Management occupations offer annual salaries of over $96,000, while installation, repair, and maintenance occupations pay around $50,000 per year. Healthcare practitioner and technical occupations offer around $55,000, on average.

Many trade and vocational careers also offer high growth rates. For example, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data shows strong demand for professionals in plumbing, occupational therapy assisting, and medical assisting.

Prospective trade school students can research Delaware wage data to learn more about the earning potential in their field. For example, dental hygienists in Delaware earn over $83,000 per year, and paralegals make more than $57,000 annually.

What Kinds of Trade School Programs Are Available?

Trade and vocational schools in Delaware offer certificates and degrees in many high-demand fields. Trade school graduates can work in areas like healthcare, skilled trades, technology, and legal services.

This section introduces common vocational programs in Delaware. In addition to the following programs, prospective students can research programs for other careers, like HVAC technician, medical assistant, and occupational therapy assistant.

Dental Hygienist Schools

Dental hygienists assist dentists by performing patient examinations and cleaning teeth. They look for signs of oral disease, educate patients on oral hygiene, and take dental x-rays. Dental hygienists typically hold an associate degree. During associate programs, learners take courses in anatomy, periodontics, and oral health. Students also build technical expertise through laboratory and clinical instruction.

According to BLS data, dental hygienists earn a median pay of over $76,000 per year. The field offers much faster-than-average job growth projections. Dental hygienists must hold a state license to practice. In Delaware, the Board of Dentistry and Dental Hygiene licenses dental hygienists. Applicants must complete a board-approved dental hygiene program and pass two tests, including a practical examination, to earn licensure.

Learn more about dental hygienist programs.

Mechanic Schools

Mechanics, also called automotive service technicians, inspect and repair vehicles. They identify problems in cars and trucks, test systems, and repair any defective or worn parts. Mechanics also provide maintenance for vehicles. They may specialize in areas like engines, electronic systems, or transmissions.

Many mechanics complete a vocational certificate or degree in automotive service technology. During the program, students take classes in automotive repair and electronics and practice their skills in auto shops.

Automotive service technicians and mechanics earned a median annual salary of over $42,000 in 2019. Mechanics can advance their career by pursuing professional certification from the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence, which offers certifications in specialty areas like electrical systems, engine performance, and automatic transmissions.

For more, visit our page on mechanic programs.

Medical Billing and Coding Schools

Medical billing and coding professionals, also known as health information technicians, manage health information for hospitals, doctors' offices, and other healthcare facilities. They categorize patient information, submit insurance reimbursement documents, and maintain patient records. Medical billing and coding professionals must follow strict confidentiality laws.

Most medical billing and coding jobs require a certificate or associate degree. These programs include classes in areas like medical terminology, anatomy, and healthcare statistics.

Medical records and health information technicians earned a median annual salary of over $40,000 per year. The BLS projects much faster-than-average job growth for health information technicians between 2018 and 2028.

Learn more about medical billing and coding programs.

Paralegal Schools

Paralegals help lawyers prepare for cases by conducting legal research, investigating cases, and drafting documents. They also write reports, file briefs and appeals, get affidavits from witnesses, and assist lawyers during a trial.

Most paralegals complete a certificate or degree in paralegal studies. During a paralegal studies program, students take courses in legal writing, civil litigation, and legal research. After completing their program, paralegals can pursue professional certification, but most jobs do not require it.

Paralegals benefit from above-average salaries and much faster-than-average projected job growth. The BLS reports that paralegals and legal assistants earned a median annual pay of over $51,000 in 2019.

For more information, visit our page on paralegal programs.

Paramedic Schools

Paramedics and emergency medical technicians (EMTs) provide emergency care for sick and injured people. They respond to emergency calls, perform medical services, and transport patients to hospitals and other medical facilities. Paramedics generally complete a certificate or degree as part of their training. During a paramedic program, students take courses in trauma care, patient assessment, and medical equipment. Programs also incorporate hands-on training in hospital or ambulance settings.

After completing educational requirements, paramedics can apply for national certification from the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians. Certified paramedics can apply for a license from the Delaware Office of Emergency Medical Services.

EMTs and paramedics earned a median annual salary of over $35,000 in 2019 and benefit from a projected job growth of 7% between 2018 and 2028.

Learn more about EMT and paramedic programs.

Financial Aid for Trade School Students

Vocational school students often save money on their education compared to students attending four-year institutions. In Delaware, public universities cost around $10,000 per year in tuition and fees, while private universities charge over $15,000 per year. Community colleges in Delaware cost significantly less. Delaware Technical Community College, for example, costs under $5,000 per year.

In addition to choosing an affordable school, trade school students can apply for financial aid to lower the cost of their education. Students attending accredited trade schools in Delaware can apply for federal financial aid. Applicants must submit the FAFSA to determine their eligibility for federal loans, grants, and other forms of federal financial aid.

Unlike loans, grants and scholarships do not require repayment, making them one of the best forms of financial aid. The next section lists scholarship opportunities for Delaware trade school students.

Scholarship for Trade School Students

Many private foundations, government agencies, and professional organizations in Delaware offer scholarships. In addition to the following opportunities, students attending vocational schools in Delaware can apply for other scholarships based on their school and field.

Diamond State Scholarship

Who Can Apply: Administered by the state Department of Education, this scholarship supports legal residents of Delaware who are enrolled full time in a regionally accredited, nonprofit institution.
Amount: $1,250

Apply for Scholarship

NIADA Regional Scholarship

Who Can Apply: The National Independent Automobile Dealers Association offers regional scholarships to students with outstanding abilities in education, leadership, and community service, including students at trade schools in Delaware.
Amount: $3,500

Apply for Scholarship

BBB Foundation of Delaware Student Ethics Essay Scholarship

Who Can Apply: The Better Business Bureau Foundation of Delaware offers a scholarship to students who demonstrate leadership, community service, and personal integrity. Applicants must submit an essay and attend an accredited school.
Amount: $2,500

Apply for Scholarship

Lou Manzione Scholarship

Who Can Apply: Offered by the Atlantic District of USA Hockey, this scholarship supports Delaware high school seniors. Applicants must submit an essay, evidence of scholastic achievement, and coach recommendations.
Amount: $1,000

Apply for Scholarship

Delaware County Foundation Scholarships

Who Can Apply: The Delaware County Foundation offers scholarships for students at vocational schools in Delaware, including the James A. Augur scholarship and the Richard Ketterling scholarship.
Amount: Varies

Apply for Scholarship

Additional Education and Career Resources

Delaware Healthcare Association

The DHA assists healthcare professionals by providing information related to healthcare jobs and scholarships as well as professional resources.

Delaware Nurses Association

The Delaware Nurse Association offers its members information about job opportunities, continuing education, and advocacy.

Delaware Paralegal Association

DPA is a comprehensive resource for paralegals with a network of employment, educational and pro bono opportunities available in Delaware.

State of Delaware Department of Education

The Department of Education offers information for students and parents of students as they prepare for graduation and begin considering higher education opportunities. This includes information related to tests, financial aid, and more.

Learn More...

Trade and Vocational Schools

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