Vocational Trade Schools in Nebraska [2022 Guide]

Updated November 10, 2022

In the healthcare field, professionals with a vocational certificate or degree can find work as medical assistants, occupational therapy assistants,

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Why Choose Trade School?

Trade schools in Nebraska provide career-focused training in high-demand industries like healthcare, skilled trades, and technology. With a vocational certificate or degree, graduates can find work as medical assistants, occupational therapy assistants, and dental hygienists. They can also pursue careers as electricians, paralegals, paramedics, and HVAC technicians.

During a vocational program, students complete fieldwork in addition to their coursework. For example, paramedic studies learners train in ambulances and hospitals, while electricians build career-ready skills through a practicum.

Vocational programs offer several benefits over four-year academic degrees. A vocational certificate or degree generally takes 1-2 years, meaning students complete their program and enter the workforce in less time. As a result, vocational training generally costs less than a bachelor's degree.

Professionals with an occupational credential also benefit from a higher employment rate than those with an academic credential, according to 2009 data from the National Center for Education Statistics.

Many vocational programs offer self-paced or accelerated options to fit the schedule of busy students. Learners can also choose an online vocational program for the most flexible schedule.

Our list ranks the best vocational schools in Nebraska to help prospective students find the right fit to reach their career goals. This page also provides career and salary data for vocational occupations, introduces popular vocational programs, and lists scholarship opportunities for trade school students in Nebraska.

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FAQ

What do trade schools offer?

Trade schools offer job-oriented training that blends classroom and experiential learning. A vocational program prepares students for a specific career path after graduation.

How much does a trade school cost?

The cost of trade school varies depending on the program and school. In Nebraska, public community colleges charge an average of $3,200 per year in tuition and fees.

What are examples of vocational jobs?

Vocational jobs include allied health professions like medical assistant, physical therapist assistant, and dental hygienist. Careers like electrician, paralegal, cosmetologist and HVAC technician are also vocational jobs.

Can trade school credits transfer?

Yes. Credits earned at a trade school can transfer to other institutions. In general, credits earned from a regionally accredited school are more likely to transfer than those earned at a nationally accredited school.

Accreditation and Licensing for Trade Schools

Prospective trade school students should always check a school's accreditation and licensure status before submitting an application. An unaccredited degree does not meet the requirements for many professional licenses.

Accredited schools meet high standards for educating students. Colleges and universities earn accreditation by undergoing an extensive review by an independent accrediting agency. During the review, the accrediting agency evaluates the institution's student learning outcomes, faculty qualifications, and academic mission.

Students benefit from accreditation in several important ways. First, credits earned at an accredited school are more likely to transfer to other institutions. Second, accredited degrees meet the requirements for more professional licensure and certification requirements. Finally, only students attending accredited schools qualify for federal financial aid programs.

Many schools offer vocational programs, including trade schools, technical colleges, community colleges, and four-year universities. These schools may hold regional or national accreditation. Most community colleges and four-year universities hold regional accreditation. In Wisconsin, the Higher Learning Commission grants regional accreditation to schools.

Vocational and trade schools often hold national accreditation from a specialized agency such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges, which accredits more than 650 trade and technical schools. Other specialized accrediting agencies include the Distance Education Accrediting Commission, which accredits online schools.

Postsecondary schools also need a license to operate. In Nebraska, the Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education provides a directory of approved schools.

Learn more about the accreditation process.

Vocational Trade Schools in Nebraska

Trade schools in Nebraska provide career-oriented training for industries like healthcare, the skilled trades, and personal services. By choosing a top-ranked vocational program, professionals can advance their education and increase their earning potential in 1-2 years.

The following list ranks the best vocational schools in Nebraska.

#1 Vocational Trade Schools in Nebraska [2022 Guide]

Central Community College

  • Grand Island, NE
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

Central Community College provides 32 associate programs and 54 certificate programs for students. Based in Grand Island, Nebraska, this public college features both online and on-campus enrollment options, creating flexibility for all types of learners. These flexible choices make it easier for attendees to balance school with work or other responsibilities.

In the school's career-focused programs, participants gain industry-specific skills. Associate programs incorporate general education courses to build transferable skills like critical thinking and writing. Certificate candidates complete a focused curriculum with no general education requirements.

A certificate prepares recipients for the workforce. An associate degree prepares alumni for the workforce or bachelor's programs.

Central Community College at a Glance:

Total Online Associate Programs: 4

Total Online Certificate Programs: 10

Undergrad Tuition In State: $2,700

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $4,050

Average Tuition
In-state
$2,700
Out-of-state
$4,050
Retention Rate
66%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
6,368
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
47% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#2 Vocational Trade Schools in Nebraska [2022 Guide]

Metropolitan Community College

  • Omaha, NE
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

Metropolitan Community College offers 71 associate programs and 112 certificate programs. The public institution, located in Omaha, Nebraska, offers online and on-campus enrollment options, which appeal to a variety of learners. Busy students benefit from the school's flexible options, which make it easier to work while in college.

In the school's career-focused programs, enrollees train for a defined career path after graduation. Associate programs incorporate general education courses to build transferable skills like critical thinking and writing. Instead of general education courses, certificate candidates take courses in their field of study.

A certificate helps graduates advance their career or move into a new role. Associate degree-holders can either pursue employment or transfer into a bachelor's program.

Metropolitan Community College at a Glance:

Total Online Associate Programs: 9

Total Online Certificate Programs: 11

Undergrad Tuition In State: $2,880

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $4,320

Average Tuition
In-state
$2,880
Out-of-state
$4,320
Retention Rate
61%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
14,300
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
31% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#3 Vocational Trade Schools in Nebraska [2022 Guide]

Mid-Plains Community College

  • North Platte, NE
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

At Mid-Plains Community College, learners can strengthen their skills in 18 associate programs and 24 certificate programs. Located in North Platte, Nebraska, the public institution stands out for its flexible enrollment options, which include online and on-campus classes. Students enrolled at the school rely on the flexible options to balance classes with work.

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. Instead of general education courses, certificate candidates take courses in their field of study.

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

Mid-Plains Community College at a Glance:

Total Online Associate Programs: 5

Total Online Certificate Programs: 6

Undergrad Tuition In State: $2,820

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $3,660

Average Tuition
In-state
$2,820
Out-of-state
$3,660
Retention Rate
67%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
2,125
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
60% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#4 Vocational Trade Schools in Nebraska [2022 Guide]

Southeast Community College

  • Lincoln, NE
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

Students enroll in 34 associate programs and 29 certificate programs at Southeast Community College. Learners benefit from flexible enrollment options at the public institution, which include online enrollment and classes on the Lincoln, Nebraska, campus. Working professionals benefit from the flexibility to attend school without leaving their job.

Many of the school's programs strengthen career-focused skills that train participants for a particular role. In associate programs, degree-seekers take general education courses that strengthen critical thinking and writing skills. 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. After earning an associate degree, graduates enter the workforce or transfer into a bachelor's program.

Southeast Community College at a Glance:

Total Online Associate Programs: 4

Total Online Certificate Programs: 7

Undergrad Tuition In State: $2,448

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $2,952

Average Tuition
In-state
$2,448
Out-of-state
$2,952
Retention Rate
64%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
9,756
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
41% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#5 Vocational Trade Schools in Nebraska [2022 Guide]

Northeast Community College

  • Norfolk, NE
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

Students enroll in 73 associate programs and 34 certificate programs at Northeast Community College. The public institution offers flexible enrollment options, including online classes and courses offered at the Norfolk, Nebraska, campus. Busy learners benefit from the school's flexible options, which make it easier to work while in college.

Many of the school's programs encourage enrollees to train for a particular vocation after graduation. In associate programs, degree-seekers take general education courses that strengthen critical thinking and writing skills. Instead of general education classes, certificate candidates complete a focused curriculum in their area of study.

Certificate recipients can move directly into the workforce in entry-level positions. After an associate degree, graduates apply for jobs or continue their education at the bachelor's level.

Northeast Community College at a Glance:

Total Online Associate Programs: 13

Total Online Certificate Programs: 5

Undergrad Tuition In State: $2,970

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $4,170

Average Tuition
In-state
$2,970
Out-of-state
$4,170
Retention Rate
68%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
5,258
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
39% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#6 Vocational Trade Schools in Nebraska [2022 Guide]

Western Nebraska Community College

  • Scottsbluff, NE
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

At Western Nebraska Community College, learners can study in 47 associate programs and 17 certificate programs. From its Scottsbluff, Nebraska, campus, the public institution lets attendees choose from online and on-campus enrollment options. Students enrolled at the school rely on the flexible options to balance classes with work.

In the school's career-focused programs, enrollees train for a defined career path after graduation. In associate programs, degree-seekers strengthen critical thinking and writing skills in general education courses. Certificate candidates complete courses in their field of study without general education requirements.

A certificate trains graduates for entry-level positions in a specific field. An associate degree prepares recipients for entry-level careers or bachelor's programs.

Western Nebraska Community College at a Glance:

Total Online Associate Programs: 5

Total Online Certificate Programs: 5

Undergrad Tuition In State: $2,496

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $2,520

Average Tuition
In-state
$2,496
Out-of-state
$2,520
Retention Rate
56%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
1,722
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
48% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#7 Vocational Trade Schools in Nebraska [2022 Guide]

The Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture

  • Curtis, NE
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

The Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture offers vocational and academic programs, with three associate programs and three certificate programs. Located in Curtis, Nebraska, the public institution stands out for its flexible enrollment options, which include online and on-campus classes. Degree and certificate students often balance school with work.

Many of the school's programs strengthen career-focused skills that train learners for a particular role. In associate programs, degree-seekers strengthen critical thinking and writing skills in general education courses. Instead of general education courses, certificate candidates take courses in their field of study.

With a certificate, graduates move into the workforce and pursue entry-level roles. With an associate degree, alumni can enter the job market or apply to four-year colleges as a transfer student.

The Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture at a Glance:

Total Online Certificate Programs: 1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $4,590

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $4,590

Average Tuition
In-state
$4,590
Out-of-state
$4,590
Retention Rate
71%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
331
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
27% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#8 Vocational Trade Schools in Nebraska [2022 Guide]

Clarkson College

  • Omaha, NE
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Students advance their education in three associate programs and three certificate programs at Clarkson College. Learners benefit from flexible enrollment options at the private institution, which include online enrollment and classes on the Omaha, Nebraska, campus. These enrollment options appeal to working professionals and other busy attendees.

The school's career-focused programs train participants for specialized career paths. 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, recipients move into the workforce and pursue entry-level roles. With an associate degree, graduates enter the workforce or continue their education at the bachelor's level.

Clarkson College at a Glance:

Admission Rate: 46%

Total Online Associate Programs: 1

Total Online Certificate Programs: 2

Undergrad Tuition In State: $13,392

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $13,392

Average Tuition
In-state
$13,392
Out-of-state
$13,392
Retention Rate
59%
Admission Rate
46%
Students Enrolled
1,108
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
94% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#9 Vocational Trade Schools in Nebraska [2022 Guide]

Nebraska Methodist College

  • Omaha, NE
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Nebraska Methodist College offers six associate degrees and three certificates. Learners benefit from flexible enrollment options at the private institution, which include online enrollment and classes on the Omaha, Nebraska, campus. Working students find the flexible options fit their busy schedules.

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

With a certificate, recipients enter the workforce prepared for many entry-level roles. With an associate degree, alumni apply for jobs or continue their education with a bachelor's degree.

Nebraska Methodist College at a Glance:

Admission Rate: 97%

Total Online Certificate Programs: 2

Undergrad Tuition In State: $15,422

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $15,422

Average Tuition
In-state
$15,422
Out-of-state
$15,422
Retention Rate
68%
Admission Rate
97%
Students Enrolled
1,128
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
62% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#10 Vocational Trade Schools in Nebraska [2022 Guide]

Creighton University

  • Omaha, NE
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

At Creighton University, learners can study in five associate programs and nine certificate programs. From its Omaha, Nebraska, campus, the private institution lets students choose from online and on-campus enrollment options. These enrollment options appeal to working professionals and other busy attendees.

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. Rather than taking general education courses, certificate candidates complete a focused curriculum of courses in their field of study.

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

Creighton University at a Glance:

Admission Rate: 74%

Undergrad Tuition In State: $39,630

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $39,630

Average Tuition
In-state
$39,630
Out-of-state
$39,630
Retention Rate
90%
Admission Rate
74%
Students Enrolled
8,821
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
38% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

Find Vocational and Trade Schools in Nebraska

Community colleges, career training centers, and trade schools throughout Nebraska all offer vocational and trade education. Many programs include internship and apprenticeship opportunities so that students can get the practical training they need to take on specialized jobs.

The state is committed to educating its workforce, and provides career and technical education (CTE) as early as high school. Several high schools in Nebraska offer vocational programs in which students concentrate on CTE classes. Data shows that students who participate in CTE courses are 7.5 times more likely to stay in school.

Use the search tool below to find accredited trade schools in Nebraska that meet your needs.

Career and Salary Outlook for Trade School Graduates

The career and salary outlook for trade school graduates remains strong. In many fields, trade school occupations pay high salaries and offer strong growth potential. For example, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects much faster-than-average job growth for HVAC technicians, dental hygienists, and paralegals between 2018 and 2028.

The earning potential for trade school graduates varies depending on the industry and location. Overall, trade school occupations pay an average salary of around $55,000 per year.

On the high end, management occupations earn over $96,000 per year. In the healthcare field, practitioners and technicians with vocational training make around $55,000 per year, while healthcare support occupations earn $45,000 per year. With experience, many trade school professionals see their income increase.

In Nebraska, multiple trade school careers pay above the state's mean annual wage of $48,000. Occupational therapy assistants and paralegals both earn around $53,000 per year. Dental hygienists in Nebraska make over $66,000 annually on average, while electricians earn nearly $53,000 per year.

What Kinds of Trade School Programs Are Available?

Trade school programs train students for careers as dental hygienists, mechanics, paralegals, and radiology technicians. Through classroom and fieldwork requirements, students gain the skills needed for the workforce. Vocational training prepares graduates for high-demand industries like healthcare, technology, and skilled trades.

This section introduces popular trade school programs, including their earning potential and licensing requirements.

Dental Hygienist Schools

Dental hygienists examine patients and provide preventive dental care. During a dental exam, they look for signs of oral diseases, apply treatments to protect teeth, and take dental X-rays. Dental hygienists also educate patients about oral hygiene.

An associate degree prepares dental hygienists for the workforce. During associate programs, students take courses in anatomy, periodontics, and oral health. Dental hygienists also complete clinical training to work on their patient care skills and perfect their techniques.

According to the BLS, dental hygienists earned a median annual salary of over $76,000 in 2019 with much faster than average projected job growth. Dental hygienists must hold a license to practice. The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services licenses dental hygienists in the Cornhusker State.

Learn more about dental hygienist programs.

Mechanic Schools

Mechanics inspect and repair cars and trucks. They identify problems with diagnostic tools, plan work procedures, and conduct repairs. Mechanics also perform basic maintenance and explain automotive problems to clients.

A vocational certificate or degree in automotive service technology prepares graduates for careers as a mechanic. Many schools offer specialized certificates in areas like brake systems, electronic systems, and engine repair. Students complete coursework in automotive service techniques while practicing their skills through laboratory and practicum hours.

Mechanics can demonstrate their skills with a professional certification from the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence, which awards certifications in specialty areas like engine performance, heating and AC systems, and suspensions.

Mechanics earned a median annual salary of around $42,000 in 2019.

Learn more about mechanic programs.

Paralegal Schools

Paralegals support lawyers by conducting legal research, drafting documents like contracts, and obtaining affidavits for court cases. They also investigate the facts of cases and assist lawyers during trial. As trained legal professionals, paralegals may specialize in areas like corporate law or litigation.

Many vocational schools in Nebraska offer paralegal studies programs. During these programs, students learn about legal writing, contract law, and legal research.

While paralegals do not need a license, they can pursue professional certification to demonstrate their skills. Paralegals earned a median annual salary of nearly $52,000 in 2019 with much faster-than-average projected job growth between 2018 and 2028.

Learn more about paralegal studies programs.

Radiology Technician Schools

Radiology technicians, also called radiographers, take diagnostic images like X-rays. They position patients to capture images, operate diagnostic imaging equipment, and evaluate the image quality. Radiology technicians also follow safety procedures to protect patients.

During an associate program in radiology, learners study patient care, image evaluation, and radiation physics. These programs also incorporate clinical and laboratory training. After completing their degree, radiology technicians typically pursue certification from the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists.

The BLS reports that radiology technicians earned a median annual salary of over $62,000 in 2019 with faster than average projected job growth. The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services licenses radiology technicians in the Cornhusker State.

Learn more about radiology technician programs.

Financial Aid for Trade School Students

Trade school students can pay for their certificate or degree using loans, scholarships, or grants. Students attending accredited schools can receive federal financial aid, which includes grants, loans, and work-study programs, by completing the FAFSA. Prospective students can check with specific schools to learn whether they meet the eligibility requirements for federal financial aid.

Unlike loans, which recipients must pay back, scholarships and grants decrease the cost of a vocational program with no repayment obligation. As a result, they are the best form of financial aid. Many Nebraska organizations offer scholarships for trade school students.

The following section introduces scholarship opportunities for students at vocational schools in Nebraska.

Scholarship for Trade School Students

Students attending vocational schools in Nebraska qualify for multiple scholarship opportunities. Private foundations, community organizations, and professional associations all support trade school students through scholarships. In addition to the following opportunities, students can research scholarships based on their school or field of study.

Lincoln Community Foundation Scholarships

Who Can Apply: The Lincoln Community Foundation awards more than 80 scholarships for students in Nebraska. In 2019, the organization awarded more than 270 scholarships totalling $440,000.
Amount: Varies

Apply for Scholarship

Susan T. Buffett Foundation Scholarship

Who Can Apply: The foundation offers scholarships to Nebraska residents with a minimum 2.5 GPA. Applicants must plan to attend a Nebraska public college, including a community college in Nebraska.
Amount: Up to $5,750

Apply for Scholarship

Sowers Club of Nebraska Scholarship

Who Can Apply: The Sowers Club of Nebraska awards scholarships to Nebraska residents with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Recipients must attend a college in Nebraska.
Amount: $1,000

Apply for Scholarship

Wubbena C. Rand Scholarship

Who Can Apply: Offered by an affiliate of the Omaha Community Foundation, this scholarship funds two students from Blair, Nebraska pursuing medical or health education at the postsecondary level, including at tech schools in Nebraska.
Amount: $1,000

Apply for Scholarship

Horatio Alger Career & Technical Scholarship

Who Can Apply: Students attending a career or technical program at an accredited, nonprofit institution qualify for this scholarship. Recipients must demonstrate financial need.
Amount: Up to $2,500

Apply for Scholarship

Additional Education and Career Resources

Nebraska Career Clusters - Career Tours

Virtual industry tours for students interested in pursuing vocational and skilled trades careers. Includes interviews with working professionals, work requirements for different positions, and information about salary and job prospects.

Nebraska Career Connections

For students and parents interested in exploring CTE programs in Nebraska. Provides tools for planning life after high school, creating a portfolio for the job search, and resources for connecting with employers.

Nebraska Department of Economic Development

Provides information about the economy in Nebraska, housing and community updates, and resources for businesses.

Nebraska Department of Education - Career Education

Comprehensive guide to career and education programs in the state, education standards, and student organizations.

Nebraska Department of Labor

Provides information on the state's employment trends and offers resources for both businesses and individuals.

Learn More...

Trade and Vocational Schools

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