Vocational Trade Schools in Florida

ASO Staff Writers
by
Updated April 30, 2024
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Why Choose Trade School?

Trade schools offer career-centered programs that prepare students for specific occupations. Also referred to as vocational or tech schools, these programs prepare students for careers in areas like plumbing, auto mechanics and repair, healthcare, and technology.

Trade schools offer several advantages. Trade schools typically only take 1-2 years to complete, preparing graduates for the workforce faster than four-year programs. Additionally, professionals with an occupational credential experience lower unemployment rates than professionals with academic credentials, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

This guide provides important information for students considering vocational schools in Florida, including financial aid opportunities, potential careers and salaries for graduates, and answers to frequently asked questions.

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Best Vocational Trade Schools in Florida

The following list ranks the best vocational schools in Florida to help students find the right program for their needs.

#1 Vocational Trade Schools in Florida

Florida State College at Jacksonville

  • Location-markerJacksonville, FL
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$2,095
  • Out-of-state$7,947
  • Retention Rate0%
  • Acceptance Rate0%
  • Students Enrolled24,605
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment74%
  • AccreditationYes
#2 Vocational Trade Schools in Florida

Indian River State College

  • Location-markerFort Pierce, FL
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$2,496
  • Out-of-state$9,360
  • Retention Rate0%
  • Acceptance Rate0%
  • Students Enrolled16,942
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment45%
  • AccreditationYes
#3 Vocational Trade Schools in Florida

Palm Beach State College

  • Location-markerLake Worth, FL
  • 4 year
  • Campus
Average Tuition
  • In-State$2,424
  • Out-of-state$8,712
  • Retention Rate0%
  • Acceptance Rate0%
  • Students Enrolled31,289
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment31%
  • AccreditationYes
#4 Vocational Trade Schools in Florida

Miami Dade College

  • Location-markerMiami, FL
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$1,987
  • Out-of-state$7,947
  • Retention Rate0%
  • Acceptance Rate0%
  • Students Enrolled51,679
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment18%
  • AccreditationYes
#5 Vocational Trade Schools in Florida

Gulf Coast State College

  • Location-markerPanama City, FL
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$1,750
  • Out-of-state$7,064
  • Retention Rate0%
  • Acceptance Rate0%
  • Students Enrolled4,797
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment46%
  • AccreditationYes
#6 Vocational Trade Schools in Florida

Broward College

  • Location-markerFort Lauderdale, FL
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$1,968
  • Out-of-state$1,968
  • Retention Rate0%
  • Acceptance Rate0%
  • Students Enrolled38,976
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment32%
  • AccreditationYes
#7 Vocational Trade Schools in Florida

Valencia College

  • Location-markerOrlando, FL
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$1,984
  • Out-of-state$7,933
  • Retention Rate0%
  • Acceptance Rate0%
  • Students Enrolled47,940
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment47%
  • AccreditationYes
#8 Vocational Trade Schools in Florida

Seminole State College of Florida

  • Location-markerSanford, FL
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$2,393
  • Out-of-state$9,494
  • Retention Rate0%
  • Acceptance Rate0%
  • Students Enrolled17,754
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment51%
  • AccreditationYes
#9 Vocational Trade Schools in Florida

Tallahassee Community College

  • Location-markerTallahassee, FL
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$2,002
  • Out-of-state$7,982
  • Retention Rate0%
  • Acceptance Rate0%
  • Students Enrolled11,683
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment45%
  • AccreditationYes
#10 Vocational Trade Schools in Florida

Pasco-Hernando State College

  • Location-markerNew Port Richey, FL
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$2,297
  • Out-of-state$9,272
  • Retention Rate0%
  • Acceptance Rate0%
  • Students Enrolled11,672
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment40%
  • AccreditationYes
#11 Vocational Trade Schools in Florida

Manatee Technical College

  • Location-markerBradenton, FL
  • 2 year
  • Campus
Average Tuition
  • In-State$0
  • Out-of-state$0
  • Retention Rate59%
  • Acceptance Rate0%
  • Students Enrolled1,131
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment0%
  • AccreditationYes
#12 Vocational Trade Schools in Florida

Daytona State College

  • Location-markerDaytona Beach, FL
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$3,072
  • Out-of-state$11,960
  • Retention Rate0%
  • Acceptance Rate0%
  • Students Enrolled13,430
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment57%
  • AccreditationYes
#13 Vocational Trade Schools in Florida

Northwest Florida State College

  • Location-markerNiceville, FL
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$2,496
  • Out-of-state$9,552
  • Retention Rate0%
  • Acceptance Rate0%
  • Students Enrolled5,025
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment55%
  • AccreditationYes
#14 Vocational Trade Schools in Florida

Orange Technical College

  • Location-markerOrlando, FL
  • 2 year
  • Campus
Average Tuition
  • In-State$0
  • Out-of-state$0
  • Retention Rate76%
  • Acceptance Rate0%
  • Students Enrolled2,777
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment0%
  • AccreditationYes
#15 Vocational Trade Schools in Florida

Santa Fe College

  • Location-markerGainesville, FL
  • 4 year
  • Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$1,872
  • Out-of-state$7,418
  • Retention Rate0%
  • Acceptance Rate0%
  • Students Enrolled14,915
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment38%
  • AccreditationYes
#16 Vocational Trade Schools in Florida

St. Petersburg College

  • Location-markerClearwater, FL
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$1,943
  • Out-of-state$7,774
  • Retention Rate0%
  • Acceptance Rate0%
  • Students Enrolled28,853
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment59%
  • AccreditationYes
#17 Vocational Trade Schools in Florida

Eastern Florida State College

  • Location-markerCocoa, FL
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$1,892
  • Out-of-state$7,573
  • Retention Rate0%
  • Acceptance Rate0%
  • Students Enrolled15,352
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment48%
  • AccreditationYes
#18 Vocational Trade Schools in Florida

Pensacola State College

  • Location-markerPensacola, FL
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$1,887
  • Out-of-state$7,547
  • Retention Rate0%
  • Acceptance Rate0%
  • Students Enrolled9,713
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment38%
  • AccreditationYes
#19 Vocational Trade Schools in Florida

Lake-Sumter State College

  • Location-markerLeesburg, FL
  • 4 year
  • Campus
Average Tuition
  • In-State$3,232
  • Out-of-state$13,336
  • Retention Rate0%
  • Acceptance Rate0%
  • Students Enrolled4,872
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment51%
  • AccreditationYes
#20 Vocational Trade Schools in Florida

Marion Technical College

  • Location-markerOcala, FL
  • 2 year
  • Campus
Average Tuition
  • In-State$0
  • Out-of-state$0
  • Retention Rate73%
  • Acceptance Rate0%
  • Students Enrolled466
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment0%
  • AccreditationYes

FAQ on Florida Trade Schools

question-mark-circleCan I get financial aid for trade school?

Yes, students at trade schools typically qualify for financial aid opportunities. However, students must attend an accredited school to qualify for federal aid.

question-mark-circleCan trade school credits transfer?

Some two- and four-year colleges accept transfer credits from accredited trade schools. Students should research the transfer credit policies at each prospective school.

question-mark-circleWhat is the difference between trade school and technical school?

Technical schools often offer computer-oriented training programs, while trade schools focus more on occupations that require manual skills, such as plumbing and construction.

question-mark-circleHow long does trade school take?

Most trade school programs take about 1-2 years to complete.

Accreditation and Licensing for Trade Schools

Accreditation indicates that a school meets high standards with respect to factors like faculty qualifications, academic rigor, and student learning outcomes. Schools may receive regional or national accreditation. Regional accreditation typically applies to nonprofit, degree-granting institutions, while national accreditation applies to for-profit, trade, and vocational schools.

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges grants regional accreditation to Florida schools, while organizations like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges grant national accreditation to vocational schools. Additionally, the Distance Education Accrediting Commission accredits online schools.

Accreditation benefits students in several ways. For instance, only students at accredited schools qualify for federal financial aid, and many schools only accept degrees and transfer credits from accredited institutions. Additionally, many professional licenses and certifications require an accredited degree.

Find Vocational and Trade Schools in Florida

In Florida, students can begin taking career and technical education (CTE) courses as early as ninth grade, and continue that education through community college. Florida hosts 718 public high schools and 63 community colleges that offer CTE training.

Use the search tool below to find the best vocational and trade schools in Florida.

Career and Salary Outlook for Trade School Graduates

Trade school graduates can work in diverse roles, like nail technician, aviation mechanic, network administrator, and occupational therapy assistant. Due to the abundant variation of roles, salaries for trade school graduates vary significantly. However, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that vocational school careers offer an average annual salary of around $55,000.

Healthcare support occupations pay around $45,000 per year, on average, while personal care and service occupations pay around $32,000 annually. Meanwhile, managerial roles pay an average of over $96,000 per year.

Many trade school careers offer above-average growth potential. For example, the BLS projects HVAC technicians, paralegals, and occupational therapy assistants to experience much faster-than-average job growth between 2018 and 2028.

What Kinds of Trade School Programs Are Available?

According to the Florida Department of Education, 36% of the fastest-growing job sectors in the Sunshine State require a postsecondary non-degree career certificate or an associate degree. Therefore, trade schools in Florida play an important role in providing well-trained workers to support the state’s economy. The following list outlines several popular trade school programs.

  • Dental Hygienist Schools

    An accredited dental hygienist trade program typically takes 18 months of full-time study to complete. Students complete career-focused classes in addition to hands-on training. According to the BLS, dental hygienists earned an annual median salary of $76,220 in 2019 and enjoy an 11% projected job growth rate between 2018 and 2028.

    Most states require dental hygienists to hold a license. Licensure requirements include passing the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination. Only students who complete a program accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation can sit for the exam.

  • Mechanic Schools

    Trade school mechanic programs usually take one year to complete and include extensive hands-on training. Completing a trade school mechanic program or apprenticeship meets the educational requirements to sit for the Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certification administered by the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation.

    The ASE also requires a minimum of two years of on-the-job training. Professionals in this field can specialize in a variety of areas, such as electrical/electronic systems, collision repair, and suspension and steering. The BLS does not project a robust growth rate for jobs in this sector, although automotive and service technicians earn a median salary that exceeds the national average.

  • Paralegal Schools

    Most paralegals need an associate degree or a certificate. Many vocational schools offer paralegal certificate programs that comprise 18-30 credits and take 1-2 years to complete. Learners study topics such as legal research, ethics, administrative law, and contracts.

    The BLS projects a 12% growth rate for paralegal jobs between 2018 and 2028. These professionals earned a median annual salary of more than $51,000 in 2019. Paralegal certificate programs prepare students for entry-level positions, but many employers prefer candidates with a related associate degree.

  • Radiology Technician Schools

    Many organizations require radiology technicians to hold an associate degree in the field. While vocational schools that offer two-year associate degrees in radiology technology exist, these programs are more often available at community colleges.

    Most radiology technicians work in general medical and surgical hospitals, but they may also work in doctors’ offices, outpatient care centers, and medical and diagnostic laboratories. The BLS reports that radiology technicians earned a median annual salary of $62,280 in 2019. These professionals enjoy a faster-than-average projected job growth rate of 9% between 2018 and 2028.

Financial Aid for Trade School Students

While trade and vocational programs typically cost much less than four-year programs, they still require a significant financial investment. Students can help offset the cost of their education through financial aid opportunities, such as loans, scholarships, and grants. Learners at accredited trade schools qualify for federal financial aid. Students must submit the FAFSA every year to determine their eligibility for federal aid.

Students with demonstrable financial need can also apply for federal grants like the Pell Grant and the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant. Unlike loans, grants and scholarships do not require repayment, making them the ideal forms of financial aid.

Scholarship for Trade School Students

The following list highlights several scholarship and grant opportunities for students at vocational schools in Florida. Learners can also research additional scholarship opportunities based on factors like their identity, financial need, and area of study.

plusAWS Welder Training Scholarship

Who Can Apply: Students accepted to a welding training program at a trade school or community college can apply for this scholarship. Students submit applications through their local AWS district.

Amount: $1,000

plusExecutive Women International ASIST (Adult Students in Scholarstic Transition) Scholarship

Who Can Apply: This funding opportunity accepts applications from learners facing socioeconomic or physical difficulties that prevent them from continuing their vocational education or training.

Amount: $2,000-$10,000

plusFlorida Public Postsecondary Career Education Student Assistance Grant Program

Who Can Apply: Florida students enrolled at least part time in a career certificate program at an accredited trade school can apply for this grant.
Amount: Varies

plusFlorida Public Postsecondary Career Education Student Assistance Grant Program

Who Can Apply: Florida students enrolled at least part time in a career certificate program at an accredited trade school can apply for this grant.
Amount: Varies

plusHoratio Alger Association Career & Technical Scholarships

Who Can Apply: Candidates for these scholarships must be under 30, enrolled in a technical education program, and demonstrate financial need.
Amount: $2,500

plusPlumbing Heating Cooling Contractor (PHCC) National Association Educational Foundation Scholarship Program

Who Can Apply: Applicants must show proof of enrollment in a plumbing and heating/cooling program at a trade school or community college. Plumbing and heating apprentices and professionals can also apply to the program.
Amount: Varies

Additional Education and Career Resources

This page of the School District of Osceola County provides information on the areas of study for students pursuing CTE education in Florida and the careers that this education can lead to.
This nonprofit group is dedicated to advancing career and technical education in the state by providing support to students, teachers, and administrators. The association provides CTE training materials and news about this area of the educational field.
Provides employment projection data that can be searched by Florida counties and regions.
This workforce education program provides assessments that allow job seekers to certify their qualifications in order to find employment. In addition, the organization works with educators to ensure that students are taught the skills that employers expect.
Provides data on general Florida employment and employment in specific sectors, as well as wages, and unemployment in different regions.
This study, conducted by the Center for Naval Analyses, provides information on CTE programs in Florida and their impact on different sectors of the state’s workforce.

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