Vocational Trade Schools in Kentucky [2022 Guide]

Updated November 11, 2022

Many trade schools offer self-paced or accelerated programs that appeal to busy students. Many schools offer vocational

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Why Choose Trade School?

Trade and vocational schools provide career training in areas like healthcare, technology, and the skilled trades. In the healthcare field, trade school graduates may work as medical assistants, health information technicians, dental hygienists, and occupational therapy assistants. Vocational programs also train graduates for careers as electricians, HVAC technicians, paralegals, and paramedics.

During a vocational program, students take career-focused coursework in their field. Programs also incorporate experiential training through practicum, lab, and clinical requirements. For example, pharmacy technicians and ultrasound technicians complete clinical requirements to gain hands-on experience.

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Vocational schools offer several benefits over four-year academic programs. Because a vocational certificate or degree generally takes 1-2 years to complete, graduates can enter the workforce faster than graduates of four-year programs. Additionally, professionals with an occupational credential benefit from a higher employment rate than those with an academic credential, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

Many trade schools offer self-paced or accelerated programs that appeal to busy students. Learners seeking greater flexibility can also choose an online vocational program.

This page introduces the top-ranked trade and vocational schools in Kentucky. It also provides career and salary information for trade school occupations, introduces common vocational programs, and lists scholarship opportunities for trade school students.

FAQ

QuestionAnswer
Can I go to trade school online?Yes. Many schools offer vocational programs online. During these programs, students complete courses online while meeting any experiential learning requirements at a local site.
Do trade school scholarships exist?Yes. Trade school students may qualify for many scholarship opportunities, including scholarships and grants from the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority.
Can trade school credits transfer?Yes. Credits earned from a trade school may transfer to other schools, but many institutions require transfer credits from regionally accredited schools.
When can I apply to trade school?Many trade schools admit new students on a rolling basis, meaning students can apply at any time throughout the year. Many programs also offer multiple start dates each year.

Accreditation and Licensing for Trade Schools

Prospective trade school students should always check a school's accreditation and licensing status before applying. Accredited schools meet high standards for educating students. To earn accreditation, schools voluntarily undergo a rigorous review from an independent accrediting agency. During the review, the agency evaluates the school's academic mission, student learning outcomes, and faculty qualifications. Accredited schools must regularly undergo reviews to maintain their status. Students can learn more about the accreditation process here.

Accreditation benefits students in important ways. For example, 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.

Schools may hold several types of accreditation. Community colleges, liberal arts institutions, and research universities typically hold regional accreditation. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges grants regional accreditation to schools in Kentucky.

Trade and vocational schools in Kentucky often hold national accreditation from a specialized agency such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges, which grants accreditation to over 650 vocational schools nationwide. Other specialized agencies include the Distance Education Accrediting Commission, which grants accreditation to online schools, including online vocational schools.

In addition to accreditation, institutions of higher education must hold a license from the state to educate students. The Council on Postsecondary Education and the Kentucky Commission on Proprietary Education license vocational and trade schools in Kentucky.

Vocational Trade Schools in Kentucky

Kentucky vocational and trade schools offer programs in healthcare, the skilled trades, and other in-demand fields. By choosing a top-ranked vocational program, students can advance their career and increase their earning potential. Our list ranks the best vocational schools in Kentucky to help prospective students find the best fit to reach their career goals.

#1 Vocational Trade Schools in Kentucky [2022 Guide]

Big Sandy Community and Technical College

  • Prestonsburg, KY
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

At Big Sandy Community and Technical College, students learn in 26 associate programs and 64 certificate programs. The public institution offers flexible enrollment options, including online classes and courses offered at the Prestonsburg, Kentucky, campus. These flexible choices appeal to busy learners balancing school with other obligations.

Many of the school's programs emphasize career training and include practical skills. Associate programs incorporate general education classes that strengthen writing, communication, and other soft skills. Certificate candidates take classes related to their field with no requirements outside of their major.

A certificate helps recipients advance their career or move into a new role. After an associate degree, graduates enter the workforce or apply to bachelor's programs as a transfer student.

Big Sandy Community and Technical College at a Glance:

Total Online Associate Programs: 1

Total Online Certificate Programs: 3

Undergrad Tuition In State: $4,176

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $14,616

Average Tuition
In-state
$4,176
Out-of-state
$14,616
Retention Rate
59%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
2,718
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
80% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#2 Vocational Trade Schools in Kentucky [2022 Guide]

Madisonville Community College

  • Madisonville, KY
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

Madisonville Community College enrolls students in 28 associate programs and 43 certificate programs. Located in Madisonville, Kentucky, the public institution stands out for its flexible enrollment options, which include online and on-campus classes. These flexible choices appeal to busy attendees balancing school with other obligations.

In the school's career-focused programs, participants gain industry-specific skills. 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.

A certificate prepares graduates for entry-level positions in their field. An associate program prepares degree-holders for the workforce or for bachelor's programs.

Madisonville Community College at a Glance:

Total Online Associate Programs: 5

Total Online Certificate Programs: 4

Undergrad Tuition In State: $4,176

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $14,616

Average Tuition
In-state
$4,176
Out-of-state
$14,616
Retention Rate
70%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
3,737
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
43% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#3 Vocational Trade Schools in Kentucky [2022 Guide]

Ashland Community and Technical College

  • Ashland, KY
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

Students choose from 14 associate programs and 49 certificate programs at Ashland Community and Technical College. Located in Ashland, Kentucky, the public institution offers online and on-campus enrollment options, increasing flexibility for attendees. 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. 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.

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

Ashland Community and Technical College at a Glance:

Total Online Associate Programs: 2

Total Online Certificate Programs: 1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $4,176

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $14,616

Average Tuition
In-state
$4,176
Out-of-state
$14,616
Retention Rate
65%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
2,598
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
52% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#4 Vocational Trade Schools in Kentucky [2022 Guide]

Elizabethtown Community and Technical College

  • Elizabethtown, KY
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

Elizabethtown Community and Technical College enrolls students in 29 associate programs and 46 certificate programs. The public institution offers flexible enrollment options, including online classes and courses offered at the Elizabethtown, Kentucky, campus. These flexible options appeal to busy attendees balancing school with other obligations.

In the school's career-focused programs, learners gain industry-specific skills. In associate programs, degree-seekers strengthen transferable skills during general education classes. Certificate program enrollees complete a focused curriculum that does not include classes outside of their field.

A certificate prepares recipients for the workforce. After earning an associate degree, alumni pursue employment or apply to bachelor's programs as a transfer student.

Elizabethtown Community and Technical College at a Glance:

Total Online Associate Programs: 7

Total Online Certificate Programs: 12

Undergrad Tuition In State: $4,176

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $14,616

Average Tuition
In-state
$4,176
Out-of-state
$14,616
Retention Rate
57%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
6,648
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
50% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#5 Vocational Trade Schools in Kentucky [2022 Guide]

Somerset Community College

  • Somerset, KY
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

At Somerset Community College, students learn in 20 associate programs and 56 certificate programs. From its Somerset, Kentucky, location, the public institution welcomes learners to online and on-campus classes. Attendees can sometimes work full time while in school.

In the school's career-focused programs, enrollees train for a defined career path after graduation. Associate programs incorporate general education classes that strengthen writing, communication, and other soft skills. Certificate candidates complete courses related specifically to one area of study, with no general education courses required.

With a certificate, graduates pursue entry-level positions in their field. With an associate degree, alumni apply for jobs or pursue a bachelor's degree.

Somerset Community College at a Glance:

Total Online Associate Programs: 6

Total Online Certificate Programs: 14

Undergrad Tuition In State: $4,176

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $14,616

Average Tuition
In-state
$4,176
Out-of-state
$14,616
Retention Rate
55%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
5,644
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
64% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#6 Vocational Trade Schools in Kentucky [2022 Guide]

Hopkinsville Community College

  • Hopkinsville, KY
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

Hopkinsville Community College enrolls learners in 22 associate programs and 45 certificate programs. From its Hopkinsville, Kentucky, location, the public institution welcomes attendees to online and on-campus classes. Many students work while pursuing a degree or certificate.

In the school's career-focused programs, enrollees strengthen industry-specific knowledge and skills. Associate programs include general education requirements that build broad, transferable skills. Instead of general education courses, certificate candidates complete classes related to their field.

With a certificate, recipients apply for entry-level positions in their field. With an associate degree, alumni either enter the workforce or apply to four-year colleges as a transfer student.

Hopkinsville Community College at a Glance:

Total Online Associate Programs: 1

Total Online Certificate Programs: 3

Undergrad Tuition In State: $4,176

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $14,616

Average Tuition
In-state
$4,176
Out-of-state
$14,616
Retention Rate
63%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
2,655
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
65% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#7 Vocational Trade Schools in Kentucky [2022 Guide]

Henderson Community College

  • Henderson, KY
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

At Henderson Community College, learners can strengthen their skills in 11 associate programs and 19 certificate programs. The public institution offers flexible enrollment options, including online classes and courses offered at the Henderson, Kentucky, campus. 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 soft skills, like communication and writing. Certificate students complete a focused curriculum in their field with no general education requirements.

A certificate trains recipients for entry-level positions in a specific field. After earning an associate degree, graduates apply for jobs or continue their education at a four-year college.

Henderson Community College at a Glance:

Total Online Associate Programs: 3

Total Online Certificate Programs: 3

Undergrad Tuition In State: $4,176

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $14,616

Average Tuition
In-state
$4,176
Out-of-state
$14,616
Retention Rate
51%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
1,608
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
41% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#8 Vocational Trade Schools in Kentucky [2022 Guide]

Maysville Community and Technical College

  • Maysville, KY
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

At Maysville Community and Technical College, learners can strengthen their skills in 16 associate programs and 52 certificate programs. Located in Maysville, Kentucky, the public institution stands out for its flexible enrollment options, which include online and on-campus classes. Many enrollees work while pursuing a degree or certificate.

Many of the school's programs strengthen career-focused skills that train learners for a particular role. In associate programs, degree-seekers strengthen transferable skills during general education classes. Certificate students complete courses related specifically to one area of study, with no general education courses required.

With a certificate, graduates apply for entry-level positions in their field. With an associate degree, alumni either pursue employment or transfer into a bachelor's program.

Maysville Community and Technical College at a Glance:

Total Online Associate Programs: 11

Total Online Certificate Programs: 17

Undergrad Tuition In State: $4,176

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $14,616

Average Tuition
In-state
$4,176
Out-of-state
$14,616
Retention Rate
62%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
3,889
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
52% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#9 Vocational Trade Schools in Kentucky [2022 Guide]

Bluegrass Community and Technical College

  • Lexington, KY
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

Bluegrass Community and Technical College lets learners choose from 42 associate programs and 56 certificate programs. The public institution prioritizes flexibility in its course options, which include classes offered online and on the Lexington, Kentucky, campus. Busy students benefit from the school's flexible options, which make it easier to work while in college.

The school's career-focused programs train participants for specialized career paths. General education classes in associate programs strengthen transferable skills, like critical thinking and writing. Instead of general education courses, certificate program enrollees take courses in their field of study.

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

Bluegrass Community and Technical College at a Glance:

Total Online Associate Programs: 10

Total Online Certificate Programs: 12

Undergrad Tuition In State: $4,176

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $14,616

Average Tuition
In-state
$4,176
Out-of-state
$14,616
Retention Rate
61%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
10,143
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
51% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#10 Vocational Trade Schools in Kentucky [2022 Guide]

Owensboro Community and Technical College

  • Owensboro, KY
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

Students enroll in 29 associate programs and 46 certificate programs at Owensboro Community and Technical College. From its Owensboro, Kentucky, location, the public institution welcomes learners to online and on-campus classes. Working professionals benefit from the flexibility to attend school without leaving their job.

Many of the school's certificate and associate programs emphasize industry-specific skills that prepare graduates for a particular career path. Associate degree-seekers also complete general education courses that build broad skills, such as writing and critical thinking. Certificate candidates take courses in their field with no required general education courses.

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

Owensboro Community and Technical College at a Glance:

Total Online Associate Programs: 7

Total Online Certificate Programs: 13

Undergrad Tuition In State: $4,176

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $14,616

Average Tuition
In-state
$4,176
Out-of-state
$14,616
Retention Rate
62%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
4,004
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
47% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#11 Vocational Trade Schools in Kentucky [2022 Guide]

West Kentucky Community and Technical College

  • Paducah, KY
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

With 26 associate programs and 55 certificate programs, West Kentucky Community and Technical College offers options for many students. The public institution, located in Paducah, Kentucky, offers online and on-campus enrollment options, which appeal to a variety of learners. These flexible options make it easier for attendees to balance school with work or other responsibilities.

The school's career-focused programs emphasize industry-specific knowledge and skills. In associate programs, degree-seekers strengthen critical thinking and writing skills in general education courses. Certificate program participants complete a focused curriculum that does not include classes outside of their field.

Professionals with a certificate qualify for entry-level roles in their field. After earning an associate degree, graduates apply for jobs or continue their education at a four-year college.

West Kentucky Community and Technical College at a Glance:

Total Online Associate Programs: 6

Total Online Certificate Programs: 11

Undergrad Tuition In State: $4,176

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $14,616

Average Tuition
In-state
$4,176
Out-of-state
$14,616
Retention Rate
69%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
6,327
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
39% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#12 Vocational Trade Schools in Kentucky [2022 Guide]

Gateway Community and Technical College

  • Florence, KY
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

At Gateway Community and Technical College, students advance their education in 27 associate programs and 43 certificate programs. The public institution, located in Florence, Kentucky, offers online and on-campus enrollment options, which appeal to a variety of learners. Many attendees work while pursuing a degree or certificate.

In the school's career-focused programs, enrollees gain specialized skills for a defined career path or field. Associate programs include general education classes that strengthen soft skills, like communication and writing. Certificate program participants complete courses in their field of study without general education requirements.

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

Gateway Community and Technical College at a Glance:

Total Online Associate Programs: 3

Total Online Certificate Programs: 1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $4,176

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $14,616

Average Tuition
In-state
$4,176
Out-of-state
$14,616
Retention Rate
72%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
4,763
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
45% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#13 Vocational Trade Schools in Kentucky [2022 Guide]

Jefferson Community and Technical College

  • Louisville, KY
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

Jefferson Community and Technical College lets learners choose from 31 associate programs and 70 certificate programs. From its main campus in Louisville, Kentucky, the public institution offers both online and on-campus enrollment options. Working students find the flexible options fit their busy schedules.

In the school's career-focused programs, enrollees train for a defined career path after graduation. The general education courses in associate programs build transferable skills, like critical thinking, communication, and writing. Certificate candidates complete courses related specifically to one area of study, with no general education courses required.

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

Jefferson Community and Technical College at a Glance:

Total Online Associate Programs: 7

Total Online Certificate Programs: 18

Undergrad Tuition In State: $4,176

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $14,616

Average Tuition
In-state
$4,176
Out-of-state
$14,616
Retention Rate
59%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
12,560
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
41% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#14 Vocational Trade Schools in Kentucky [2022 Guide]

Hazard Community and Technical College

  • Hazard, KY
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

Hazard Community and Technical College provides 20 associate programs and 53 certificate programs for students. Based in Hazard, Kentucky, this public college features both online and on-campus enrollment options, creating flexibility for all types of learners. These enrollment options appeal to working students and other busy learners.

In the school's career-focused programs, enrollees train for a defined career path after graduation. In general education courses, associate degree-seekers strengthen critical thinking, communication, and writing skills. 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 transfer into a bachelor's program.

Hazard Community and Technical College at a Glance:

Total Online Certificate Programs: 12

Undergrad Tuition In State: $4,176

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $14,616

Average Tuition
In-state
$4,176
Out-of-state
$14,616
Retention Rate
58%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
3,245
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
48% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#15 Vocational Trade Schools in Kentucky [2022 Guide]

Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College

  • Cumberland, KY
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

At Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College, learners can strengthen their skills in 14 associate programs and 50 certificate programs. From its Cumberland, Kentucky, campus, the public institution lets attendees choose from online and on-campus enrollment options. Many students work while pursuing a degree or certificate.

Many of the school's programs encourage participants to train for a particular vocation after graduation. Associate degree-seekers also complete general education courses that build broad skills, such as writing and critical thinking. Certificate candidates complete a focused curriculum that does not include classes outside of their field.

A certificate trains graduates for entry-level positions in a specific field. With an associate degree, alumni either enter the workforce or apply to four-year colleges as a transfer student.

Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College at a Glance:

Total Online Associate Programs: 5

Total Online Certificate Programs: 14

Undergrad Tuition In State: $4,176

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $14,616

Average Tuition
In-state
$4,176
Out-of-state
$14,616
Retention Rate
65%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
3,503
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
40% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#16 Vocational Trade Schools in Kentucky [2022 Guide]

Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College

  • Bowling Green, KY
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College enrolls students in 19 associate programs and 37 certificate programs. Learners select from online and on-campus courses offered by the public institution from its location in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Busy enrollees benefit from the school's flexible options, which make it easier to work while in college.

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 strengthen transferable skills, like critical thinking and writing. Instead of general education courses, certificate program participants take courses in their field of study.

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

Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College at a Glance:

Total Online Associate Programs: 1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $4,176

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $14,616

Average Tuition
In-state
$4,176
Out-of-state
$14,616
Retention Rate
64%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
4,304
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
40% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#17 Vocational Trade Schools in Kentucky [2022 Guide]

Western Kentucky University

  • Bowling Green, KY
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Learners advance their education in 11 associate programs and 37 certificate programs at Western Kentucky University. The public institution prioritizes flexibility in its course options, which include classes offered online and on the Bowling Green, Kentucky, campus. These flexible options make it easier for attendees to balance school with work or other responsibilities.

The school's career-focused programs train participants for specialized career paths. Associate programs include general education classes that strengthen soft skills like communication and writing. Certificate students take courses in their area of study rather than general education courses.

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.

Western Kentucky University at a Glance:

Admission Rate: 97%

Total Online Associate Programs: 6

Total Online Certificate Programs: 14

Undergrad Tuition In State: $10,802

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $26,496

Average Tuition
In-state
$10,802
Out-of-state
$26,496
Retention Rate
73%
Admission Rate
97%
Students Enrolled
18,171
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
41% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#18 Vocational Trade Schools in Kentucky [2022 Guide]

Northern Kentucky University

  • Highland Heights, KY
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

At Northern Kentucky University, learners can study in six associate programs and 10 certificate programs. Based in Highland Heights, Kentucky, this public college features both online and on-campus enrollment options, creating flexibility for all types of students. These flexible options help attendees work while in school.

Most associate degree and certificate programs build specialized skills related to a defined career path or field of employment. Those in associate programs take general education courses that build transferable skills, like writing and critical thinking. Instead of general education courses, certificate program enrollees take courses only in their field of study.

With a certificate, graduates apply for entry-level positions in their field. An associate prepares degree-holders for entry-level careers or bachelor's programs.

Northern Kentucky University at a Glance:

Admission Rate: 90%

Total Online Associate Programs: 1

Total Online Certificate Programs: 3

Undergrad Tuition In State: $9,912

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $19,872

Average Tuition
In-state
$9,912
Out-of-state
$19,872
Retention Rate
72%
Admission Rate
90%
Students Enrolled
15,664
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
32% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#19 Vocational Trade Schools in Kentucky [2022 Guide]

The College for Technical Education

  • Lexington, KY
  • 4 years
  • Campus

The College for Technical Education offers seven certificate programs. From its Lexington, Kentucky, campus, the private institution lets learners choose from online and on-campus enrollment options. Busy students benefit from the school's flexible options, which make it easier to work while in college.

The school's career-focused programs provide the knowledge and skills required for specialized roles. The general education courses in associate programs build transferable skills, like critical thinking, communication, and writing. Certificate candidates complete courses related specifically to one area of study, with no general education courses required.

With a certificate, recipients apply for entry-level positions in their field. Associate degree-holders can either pursue employment or transfer into a bachelor's program. Prospective applicants can learn more about admission requirements by contacting the school or visiting its website.

Average Tuition
In-state
Not provided
Out-of-state
Not provided
Retention Rate
63%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
90
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
Not provided
Accreditation
Yes Council on Occupational Education

#20 Vocational Trade Schools in Kentucky [2022 Guide]

Campbellsville University

  • Campbellsville, KY
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Campbellsville University offers seven associate programs and six certificate programs. Located in Campbellsville, Kentucky, the private institution features online and on-campus enrollment options, increasing flexibility for learners. Working students benefit from the flexible course options.

Most associate and certificate programs build specialized skills related to a defined career path or field of employment. Associate degree-seekers also complete general education courses that build broad skills, such as writing and critical thinking. Certificate candidates complete courses related specifically to one area of study, with no general education courses required.

Professionals with a certificate enter the workforce and apply for jobs in their field. With an associate degree, graduates enter the workforce or continue their education at the bachelor's level.

Campbellsville University at a Glance:

Admission Rate: 70%

Total Online Associate Programs: 4

Total Online Certificate Programs: 2

Undergrad Tuition In State: $24,900

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $24,900

Average Tuition
In-state
$24,900
Out-of-state
$24,900
Retention Rate
68%
Admission Rate
70%
Students Enrolled
12,381
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
77% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Career and Salary Outlook for Trade School Graduates

Trade school graduates can work in roles such as medical assistant, occupational therapy assistant, construction worker, and plumber. Because trade schools in Kentucky prepare graduates for so many different careers, the career and salary outlook for trade school graduates varies widely. Overall, many vocational occupations offer above-average salaries and strong job growth potential.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), trade school occupations pay an average salary of around $55,000 per year. Professionals in personal care and service occupations make around $33,000 per year, while management occupations pay an average of $96,000 per year. Healthcare practitioners earn $55,000 per year, on average, and installation, maintenance, and repair professionals earn around $50,000 per year.

The BLS also reports much faster-than-average job growth projections for many trade occupations, such as HVAC technician, paralegal, and occupational therapy assistant.

Prospective trade school students in Kentucky can research Kentucky wage data to learn more about the earning potential in specific fields. For example, Kentucky occupational therapy assistants make around $60,000 per year, on average, while dental hygienists earn $61,000 per year.

What Kinds of Trade School Programs Are Available?

Trade and vocational schools in Kentucky offer certificates and degrees in many high-demand fields. Graduates can pursue careers in areas like healthcare, the skilled trades, technology, and legal services.

This section introduces some common trade school programs in Kentucky. In addition to these programs, prospective students can research other vocational programs in the state.

Electrician Schools

Electricians install electrical systems in homes, businesses, and other buildings. They read technical diagrams, inspect electrical components, and identify electrical problems. Electricians must follow building regulations and codes.

Many electricians attend technical school, where they take courses in electrical theory, blueprint reading, and safety practices. Electricians can also pursue professional certifications in areas like lighting systems or electrical safety compliance. BLS data reports faster-than-average job growth projections for electricians between 2018 and 2028. In 2019, these professionals earned a median annual salary of over $56,000.

In most states, electricians must hold a license. The Department of Housing, Buildings, and Construction licenses electricians in Kentucky, including electrical contractors, master electricians, and general electricians.

Learn more about electrician programs.

Mechanic Schools

Mechanics, also known as automotive service technicians, maintain and repair cars and trucks. They use diagnostic equipment to identify problems, repair any worn or broken parts, and perform maintenance to keep vehicles running smoothly.

Trade and tech schools in Kentucky train mechanics in automotive technology programs. During a certificate or degree in automotive technology, students take courses in engine repair, brake maintenance, and electronic systems. In addition to coursework, students complete hands-on practice to build their skills.

Mechanics can also pursue professional certifications to demonstrate specialty areas and increase their pay. The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence offers certifications in areas like engine performance, electrical systems, and automatic transmissions. Automotive service technicians earned a median annual salary of over $42,000 in 2019.

For more information, visit our page on mechanic programs.

Occupational Therapy Schools

Occupational therapy assistants help patients develop and improve their daily living skills under the supervision of an occupational therapist. They may help patients complete therapeutic exercises, teach patients to use special equipment, and report patients' progress to occupational therapists

Occupational therapy assistants typically need an associate degree. During an occupational therapy assistant program, students take courses on topics like rehabilitative therapy, anatomy, and physiology. Students also complete fieldwork to gain hands-on experience under a supervised occupational therapist.

Occupational therapy assistants earned a median annual salary of more than $61,000 in 2019 and enjoy much faster-than-average projected job growth between 2018 and 2028. These professionals typically need a license to practice. In Kentucky, the Board of Licensure for Occupational Therapy licenses occupational therapy assistants.

Learn more about occupational therapy assistants.

Pharmacy Technician Schools

Pharmacy technicians work in pharmacies and hospitals where they dispense prescription medication under the supervision of a pharmacist. They collect information from customers and health professionals to fill prescriptions, measure and package medication, and oversee pharmacy inventory.

Many pharmacy technicians complete a certificate or degree in pharmacy technology. During a pharmacy technology program, students take courses on topics like pharmacy law, medication terminology, and ethics. Programs often incorporate clinical experiences to provide hands-on training. Pharmacy technicians earned a median annual salary of nearly $34,000 in 2019 and enjoy faster-than-average projected job growth between 2018 and 2028.

In many states, pharmacy technicians must hold a license. The Kentucky Board of Pharmacy licenses pharmacy technicians in Kentucky.

For more, visit our page on pharmacy technician programs.

Ultrasound Technician Schools

Ultrasound technicians, also known as diagnostic medical sonographers, create images of patients' organs and tissues using medical imaging machines. They maintain diagnostic imaging equipment, operate the equipment to create images, and analyze diagnostic images to summarize findings for physicians.

Vocational schools in Kentucky train ultrasound technicians through certificate and associate degree programs. During these programs, students take courses on topics like medical terminology, ultrasound technology, and anatomy. Learners also complete clinical requirements to build their skills. Diagnostic medical sonographers earned a median annual salary of over $68,000 in 2019 and enjoy much faster-than-average projected job growth between 2018 and 2028.

Many employers prefer to hire certified ultrasound technicians. After completing a program, graduates can pursue professional certification from an organization like the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonographers.

Learn more about ultrasound technician programs.

Financial Aid for Trade School Students

In Kentucky, students who choose a vocational program often save money compared to students enrolled in four-year academic programs. Kentucky's public, four-year universities charge an average of over $10,000 per year in tuition and fees, while private universities charge over $26,000 per year. Meanwhile, Kentucky community colleges cost around $4,000 per year, on average.

In addition to choosing an affordable vocational program, students can lower the cost of their education through financial aid. Trade school students attending accredited schools qualify for federal financial aid. To determine their eligibility for federal aid, students must submit the FAFSA every year.

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

Scholarship for Trade School Students

The Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority administers several grant and scholarship programs for students attending trade and vocational schools in Kentucky.

Kentucky College Access Program Grant

Who Can Apply: Kentucky residents who demonstrate financial need qualify for this grant. Recipients must be attending an eligible school.
Amount: Up to $2,000

Apply for Scholarship

Blue Grass Community Foundation Scholarships

Who Can Apply: The Blue Grass Community Foundation offers multiple scholarships for Kentucky students each year, including students attending trade and vocational schools. Eligibility requirements vary by scholarship.
Amount: Varies

Apply for Scholarship

Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarship

Who Can Apply: This scholarship supports Kentucky high school students with a minimum 2.5 GPA. Students can also earn awards for ACT and SAT scores.
Amount: Varies

Apply for Scholarship

Kentucky Tuition Grant

Who Can Apply: Kentucky residents with financial need can apply for this grant. Recipients must enroll full time in an associate or bachelor's program at a private school in Kentucky.
Amount: Up to $3,000

Apply for Scholarship

Southern Automotive Women's Forum Scholarship

Who Can Apply: This scholarship supports women in STEM-related fields, including students at two-year technical programs. The committee prefers applicants who demonstrate an interest in the automobile and mobility industry.
Amount: $1,000-$5,000

Apply for Scholarship

Additional Education and Career Resources

Greater Louisville Metro Chamber of Commerce

Comprehensive website that features regional economic information, statistics about area businesses, and a section dedicated to workforce solutions with resources for both job-seekers and employers.

Kentucky Career Center

Job search database for Kentucky residents. Includes resources for exploring careers and education opportunities.

Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education

Statewide agency that advocates for postsecondary and adult education programs, monitors and approves programs at public institutions, and reviews performance metrics.

Kentucky Community and Technical College System

Sixteen colleges and more than 70 campuses make up the state's community and technical college system.

Kentucky Department of Education: Career and Technical Education

Provides information about educational programs, CTE professional organizations, and student organizations for those enrolled in a CTE program. Includes resources and tools for prospective students and job-seekers.

Kentucky Occupational Outlook to 2022

A comprehensive report compiled by Kentucky's Workforce Intelligence Branch, profiling some 150 careers to offer information on employment opportunities and growth.

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