Trade schools offer several benefits over four-year academic programs. A vocational certificate or degree generally takes 1-2 years, meaning students finish their program and enter the workforce faster. As a result, trade school students often save money on their degree.
In addition, 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 also offer self-paced, accelerated, and online options for busy students who prefer a flexible schedule.
Our list introduces the top vocational schools in Maine. By researching top-ranked programs, students can find the best fit for their interests and professional goals.
This page also explores career and salary data for trade school professions, introduces popular vocational programs, and lists scholarship opportunities for trade school students.
|What is trade school?||Trade schools provide career-focused vocational programs that blend classroom and experiential learning. Trade programs prepare graduates for careers in skilled trades and healthcare.|
|Can I go to trade school online?||Yes. Many trade schools offer online programs. Online trade school students complete experiential learning requirements in their local area.|
|Can I get financial aid for trade school?||Yes. Accredited trade schools in Maine qualify for federal financial aid programs. Trade school students can also apply for grants and scholarships from private organizations.|
|When can I apply to trade school?||Many trade schools admit students on a rolling basis and offer multiple start dates throughout the year. As such, prospective students can often apply to trade school any time.|
Accreditation and Licensing for Trade Schools
Prospective trade school students should always check a school's accreditation and licensure status before applying. Attending an accredited and licensed trade school in Maine ensures that students receive the best education possible and enter the workforce prepared for career advancement.
Accreditation recognizes colleges and universities that meet high standards in educating students. Schools seeking accreditation must undergo a rigorous review, during which an independent accrediting agency evaluates the school's student learning outcomes, academic mission, and faculty qualifications. Accredited schools regularly repeat the review process to maintain their status.
Students benefit from accreditation in several ways. Credits earned at an accredited institution are more likely to transfer to other schools. An accredited degree meets more professional licensure and certification requirements, and students at accredited schools qualify for federal financial aid programs.
In Maine, several accrediting organizations grant accreditation to vocational programs. Community colleges and four-year universities typically hold regional accreditation. The New England Commission of Higher Education grants regional accreditation to Maine schools.
Trade and vocational schools in Maine often hold national accreditation. Agencies such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges grant national accreditation to career-focused schools. The Distance Education Accrediting Commission grants accreditation to online schools.
In addition to accreditation, trade schools in Maine should hold a license to offer higher education programs. The Maine Department of Education licenses postsecondary programs in the state. The department also maintains a list of non-accredited colleges and degree mills, which prospective students should avoid.
Learn more about the accreditation process.
Vocational Trade Schools in Maine
Trade schools in Maine train professionals for in-demand careers in healthcare, skilled trades, and other vocational fields. By choosing a top-ranked program, students can advance their education and increase their earning potential.
Our list ranks the best vocational schools in Maine to help prospective students find the right fit to reach their career goals.
|Rank||Logo||School||Tuition||# of Online Programs||Acceptance Rate||Graduation Rate||Financial Aid||Credit For Experience||Placement Service||Counseling Services||Description & Additional Information||Toggle|
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|1||Northern Maine Community College Presque Isle, ME||Tuition||# of Online Programs 17||Acceptance Rate -||Graduation Rate 30%||Financial Aid 43%||Credit For Experience Yes||Placement Service Yes||Counseling Services Yes||
Vocational programs at Northern Maine Community College provide demonstrated career preparation for students, with over 90% of graduates finding employment relevant to their studies or continuing their education within six months of graduation. Programs run the gamut from technology-based areas of study such as wind power or computers and networks, to traditional trades including plumbing and heating or structural welding. The school provides library resources with both physical and online collections, and access to e-books, audio books, iPads and laptops, and information-literacy instruction. Students can also pursue work experience or financial assistance through paid and unpaid internships and leadership opportunities.
|2||Washington County Community College Calais, ME||Tuition||# of Online Programs 13||Acceptance Rate -||Graduation Rate 35%||Financial Aid 41%||Credit For Experience Yes||Placement Service Yes||Counseling Services Yes||
In addition to providing vocational programs in numerous occupational fields of study, Washington County Community College offers many of the student life resources typically found at traditional four-year schools: on campus housing and dining, child care facilities, and academic and IT support. The campus provides modern classrooms and laboratories in addition to an outdoor adventure center. Students interested in continuing their education after completing a vocational program can take advantage of the school’s articulation agreements with four-year schools in the University of Maine System. Career resources are also available for graduates entering the workforce, with access to the statewide Calais CareerCenter for free employment and training services.
|3||Eastern Maine Community College Bangor, ME||Tuition||# of Online Programs 20||Acceptance Rate -||Graduation Rate 29%||Financial Aid 21%||Credit For Experience Yes||Placement Service Yes||Counseling Services Yes||
Students can earn Associate in Arts, Associate in Applied Science and Associate in Science degrees, as well as certificates and other diplomas, in more than 30 program areas. The school's Student Success Center offers academic advising, peer mentoring, disability services, lunch and learn workshops, writing lab, placement testing, tutoring and supplemental instruction for mathematics. The school also has a special track for students interested in the high-demand field of IT. EMCC offers alternative credit for prior learning, credit by examination and credit by assessment. The school maintains programs for high school students, as well as a Phi Theta Kappa honors society chapter.
|4||Kennebec Valley Community College Fairfield, ME||Tuition||# of Online Programs 12||Acceptance Rate -||Graduation Rate 42%||Financial Aid 38%||Credit For Experience Yes||Placement Service Yes||Counseling Services Yes||
Vocational programs at Maine’s Kennebec Valley Community College run the gamut from culinary arts to allied health, with numerous tracks focused on trades and technology. Programs impart the skills needed for employment after graduation, combining skill sets and curriculum into programs that are unique to KVCC. Students with work experience who desire a college degree to open new job opportunities can pursue the school’s Career Studies program. This degree track allows students to earn up to 24 credits for work and life experience, based on a portfolio that aligns these experiences with college courses.
|5||Southern Maine Community College South Portland, ME||Tuition||# of Online Programs 18||Acceptance Rate -||Graduation Rate 13%||Financial Aid 18%||Credit For Experience Yes||Placement Service Yes||Counseling Services Yes||
Curriculum at Southern Maine Community College centers on hands-on learning, with instructors who work in the field and can bring real-world experience to the classroom. Vocational programs are offered at the school’s two campuses, with some courses available at satellite locations throughout the state. Prospective students who are enrolled in or have completed an apprenticeship program can pursue the school’s Trade and Technical Occupations degree, which combines the skills that students learned in their apprenticeship with additional coursework, leading to an associate in applied science degree. Other areas of study combine general education courses, subject-specific learning, and lab work to award AAS, AS, and AA degrees.
|6||York County Community College Wells, ME||Tuition||# of Online Programs 5||Acceptance Rate -||Graduation Rate 17%||Financial Aid 35%||Credit For Experience Yes||Placement Service Yes||Counseling Services Yes||
Students at York County Community College benefit from small classes and a course schedule that is designed to accommodate learners with work and family obligations. The school’s vocational programs can be completed in one or two years of coursework. Students can accelerate their programs by applying for prior learning credits. These may be awarded for work and volunteer experience, professional certifications and military training. YCCC also offers a learning center that provides free tutoring in core subjects and support for students adjusting to the academic requirements of higher education. Free workshops guide students in the skills needed to successfully complete a vocational program: setting goals, managing time and staying organized.
|7||Central Maine Community College Auburn, ME||Tuition||# of Online Programs 9||Acceptance Rate -||Graduation Rate 24%||Financial Aid 22%||Credit For Experience Yes||Placement Service Yes||Counseling Services Yes||
Central Maine Community College’s vocational programs are held on its lakeside campus, with on-campus housing available for matriculated students. Students may also take courses in off-campus sites closer to home, in Franklin, Lincoln, or Oxford County. These sites provide technical, medical, and other instruction with the added benefit of small class sizes. The school offers tutoring services, an academic advisor, and a First Year seminar that helps students adjust to college life and higher education studies. Students still in high school or attending a career technical education center can earn credits for coursework and experience, allowing them to accelerate their degree program and begin their career sooner.
|8||The Landing School Arundel, ME||Tuition||# of Online Programs 1||Acceptance Rate -||Graduation Rate 100%||Financial Aid 36%||Credit For Experience No||Placement Service Yes||Counseling Services Yes||
The Landing School is a marine industry technology college that offers multiple programs boat and yacht design. These vocational programs will be completed in highly specialized classes, allowing students to integrate themselves into the field’s community while focusing on the classes they’re interested in. Approved veterans will receive tuition benefits, and financial aid options are available to all students. Numerous scholarships are also available and awarded to students who exhibit excellence in their academic pursuits. The Landing School is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges.
Find Vocational and Trade Schools in Maine
Vocational and technical certificates allow students to gain the necessary skills to join the workforce more quickly than four-year programs.
Use the search tool below to find a school and program near you.
Career and Salary Outlook for Trade School Graduates
Many career paths available to trade school graduates offer strong salaries and high demand.
Technical and trade school occupations pay around $55,000 per year on average. Earning potential for trade school graduates varies depending on industry, location, and experience.
Personal care and service jobs earn under $33,000 per year, while management occupations pay over $96,000 annually. Healthcare practitioners and technical occupations earn around $55,000 per year, while healthcare support occupations pay just over $45,000 per year.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), many trade school careers offer strong job growth. The BLS projects much faster-than-average job growth for respiratory therapists, HVAC technicians, and dental hygienists between 2018 and 2028.
Salaries for trade occupations vary by state. In Maine, prospective trade school students can research Maine wage data to learn about the earning potential for different fields. For instance, Maine's dental hygienists earn around $67,500 per year, while respiratory therapists make $60,000 per year on average. More experienced professionals often earn higher wages.
What Kinds of Trade School Programs Are Available?
Trade and tech schools in Maine offer several career-focused certificates and degrees. Vocational programs train students for careers in emergency services, healthcare, skilled trades, and legal services. Graduates pursue careers as dental hygienists, HVAC technicians, cosmetologists, and respiratory therapists.
The following list introduces some of the most common trade school programs. In addition to these programs, prospective students can research certificates and degrees for paralegals, occupational therapy assistants, electricians, and other trade school careers.
- Paramedic Schools
Paramedics and emergency medical technicians (EMTs) provide emergency medical care for patients. They respond to emergency calls, assess patients, administer emergency medical treatments, and transport patients to medical facilities.
Many paramedics hold an associate degree in emergency medical technology or paramedic studies. During a paramedic studies program, students take courses in emergency care training, patient assessment, and field equipment. Students also complete specialized training in a hospital or ambulance practical experience.
BLS data shows that paramedics earned a median annual salary of over $35,000 in 2019. The field also reports faster-than-average projected job growth between 2018 and 2028. Paramedics and EMTs must hold a license to practice. In Maine, the Board of EMS licenses paramedics.
Learn more about paramedic programs.
- HVAC Training School
HVAC technicians specialize in installing and maintaining heating, ventilation, cooling, and refrigeration systems in houses, businesses, and other buildings. They install electrical components, test HVAC systems, and repair defective parts. HVAC technicians also perform maintenance to improve system performance.
Many HVAC technicians complete vocational programs with coursework in refrigeration systems, electrical systems, and mechanical maintenance. They also gain training through an HVAC technology practicum.
HVAC technicians earn a median income of nearly $49,000 per year with much faster-than-average projected job growth between 2018 and 2028. In Maine, HVAC technicians do not need a license. However, specialists in oil burner or solid fuel heating systems must apply for a license from the Maine Fuel Board.
For more information, visit our page on HVAC training programs.
- Dental Hygienist Schools
Dental hygienists clean teeth and look for signs of oral diseases. They typically work in a dentist's office where they take dental x-rays, assess patients' oral health, and educate patients about oral hygiene.
Dental hygienists generally hold an associate degree with coursework in anatomy, oral diseases, and periodontics. Programs also incorporate clinical training through which students strengthen patient care skills.
BLS data reports that dental hygienists earned a median annual pay of over $76,000 in 2019. The field also benefits from much faster-than-average job growth projections between 2018 and 2028.
Dental hygienists must hold a license to practice in every state. The Maine Board of Dental Practice licenses dental hygienists who meet dental hygiene education requirements and pass the National Dental Hygiene examination.
Learn more about dental hygienist programs.
- Beauty and Cosmetology Schools
Beauty and cosmetology professionals provide beauty services to clients, including haircutting and styling, facial treatments, and makeup analysis. To work in Maine, cosmetologists must meet training requirements, which many professionals complete through a vocational program. During cosmetology programs, students take courses in hairstyling and skincare.
The earning potential for beauty and cosmetology graduates varies depending on their career path. Barbers, hair stylists, and cosmetologists earned annual salaries of around $26,000 in 2019, according to the BLS, while skincare specialists earned around $34,000. These career paths report strong projected job growth.
In Maine, the Office of Professional and Financial Regulation grants barbering and cosmetology licenses.
For more, visit our page on beauty and cosmetology programs.
- Respiratory Therapist Schools
Respiratory therapists treat patients with breathing or cardiopulmonary disorders. They perform diagnostic tests, develop treatments, and monitor patients' progress. Respiratory therapists also teach patients to use equipment like ventilators.
Vocational schools in Maine offer associate programs to train respiratory therapists. During a respiratory therapy program, students take courses in therapeutic procedures, diagnostic tests, patient assessment, and respiratory equipment. Programs also incorporate clinical requirements to help students gain supervised experience with patient treatment.
The BLS reports that respiratory therapists earned a median annual income of over $61,000 in 2019 and benefit from much faster-than-average projected job growth between 2018 and 2028. In Maine, the Board of Respiratory Care Practitioners licenses respiratory therapists. Applicants must complete an accredited educational program and pass an exam.
Learn more about respiratory therapy programs.
Financial Aid for Trade School Students
Trade school students often save money on their program compared with students pursuing academic credentials.
For example, Maine's public universities cost over $9,000 per year in tuition and fees, while private universities cost more than $37,000 per year, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. In contrast, Maine's public community colleges charge around $3,700 per year in tuition and fees.
In addition to choosing a more affordable school, students can also pay for their vocational program through financial aid. Students attending accredited schools qualify for federal financial aid programs, including grants and loans.
Applicants must complete the FAFSA every year to receive federal financial aid. However, not all schools meet the requirements for federal aid programs. Students can check with specific schools to learn whether they qualify.
Grants and scholarships remain one of the best forms of financial aid. Unlike loans, which students must pay back, scholarships and grants offer financial support at no cost to the student.
The following section covers scholarships for students at vocational schools in Maine.
Scholarship for Trade School Students
Students attending trade and vocational schools in Maine qualify for multiple scholarship opportunities. For example, the Maine Community Foundation awards over $4 million per year in scholarship funds to Maine students. In addition to the following scholarships, trade school students can research opportunities based on their field.
- Maine Community Foundation Scholarships
Who Can Apply: The Maine Community Foundation offers scholarships to Maine residents attending accredited colleges and tech schools in Maine. Eligibility requirements vary depending on the scholarship.Apply for Scholarship
- The Richard H. Pierce Memorial Scholarship
Who Can Apply: Maine residents attending an accredited two-year or four-year college can apply for this scholarship. Applicants must submit two letters of recommendation and a personal essay.Apply for Scholarship
- Maine Island Scholarship
Who Can Apply: Offered by the Island Institute, this scholarship supports students from Maine's islands with financial need. Recipients must enroll at a postsecondary education institute.Apply for Scholarship
- Futurama Foundation Scholarship
Who Can Apply: The Futurama Foundation offers several scholarships to Maine women who demonstrate financial need. Recipients must attend an accredited college or postsecondary education program.Apply for Scholarship
- AGC Maine Education Foundation Scholarship
Who Can Apply: Maine residents studying a construction-related field at an accredited Maine school qualify for this scholarship. Applicants must submit an essay and transcript.Apply for Scholarship
Additional Education and Career Resources
Comprehensive resource for construction professionals by providing support through legislative policy, regulatory reform, business networking, and workforce development.
Provides a platform to share information among building inspectors in Maine, through monthly meetings and quarterly conferences.
Comprehensive resource for Maine job seekers. Includes job search tools, unemployment assistance, training information and resume help.
A resource for prospective and current students providing information about Maine's network of 27 career and technical schools.
General information about CTE and a collection of resources including state standards, frequently asked questions, and information for prospective students.