Vocational Trade
Schools in Nevada

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In 2015, Nevada governor, Brian Sandoval, called for more career and technical education opportunities to train students for the employment needs of new companies and industry standbys alike. Post-secondary and secondary students can get vocational education through comprehensive and specialized schools across the state. Even elementary-aged students can enroll in magnet schools and career and technical academies. All of these opportunities help prepare students in Nevada for careers in top-employing industries, like tourism and construction. Read on to learn about career opportunities and vocational and trade schools in Nevada.

Methodology +

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Our data analysis team and higher education experts have worked together to create a scoring system that includes key qualitative and quantitative measures. The data attributes are then weighted based on relevance.

The scoring methodology includes factors such as:

  • Cost & financial aid
  • Number of programs and program offerings
  • Student-teacher ratios
  • Graduation rates
  • Placement and support services offered
  • Academic/Career counseling services
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These factors are assembled for each school and rated using a peer-based-value (PBV) calculation. PBV compares the cost of a program to the cost of other programs with the same (or similar) qualitative score and cost. PBV denotes the overall value or "bang for your buck" of a college or degree program.

Nevada's Top Trade & Vocational Programs

Students in Nevada can choose from a wide variety of trade schools and vocational institutions. After completing a program at any one of Nevada's community colleges, career schools or vocational schools, students will likely find employment in hospitality, trucking or construction. Our rankings of accredited Nevada trade schools can help students choose the best fit. We've looked at a host of factors, including tuition, student-teacher ratio, length of programs and the like to come up with the comprehensive list.

Rank School Name Score Tuition & Fees Financial Aid % Total Programs Student-Teacher Ratio Grad Rate Description Additional Benefits: Placement Services Counseling Services Credit for Experience
Truckee Meadows Community College
98.95 $$$$$ 22% 27 19:1 21%

Truckee Meadows Community College offers vocational programs in areas such as fire technology, architecture and design, diesel technology and nursing. In 2015, the college renovated its High Tech Center, adding patient rooms, a nursing computer lab and preparatory lab. Students seeking support with class selections, choosing a major or navigating the transfer process can work with trained advisors in the school's Academic Advisement department. New student orientation covers registering for classes, working with Canvas and additional resources that are designed to help students reach their academic goals.

Additional Benefits: Yes Yes Yes Read More
Rank School Name Score Tuition & Fees Financial Aid % Total Programs Student-Teacher Ratio Grad Rate Description Additional Benefits: Placement Services Counseling Services Credit for Experience
Great Basin College
99.83 $$$$$ 40% 16 17:1 14%

Additional Benefits: Yes Yes Yes Read More
College of Southern Nevada
99.83 $$$$$ 20% 47 24:1 N/A

Additional Benefits: Yes Yes Yes Read More
University of Nevada-Las Vegas
99.51 $$$$$ 38% 12 22:1 41%

Additional Benefits: Yes Yes No Read More

Find Vocational & Trade Schools in Nevada

Students in Nevada can get vocational and trade education during their both their secondary and post-secondary studies. Comprehensive high schools with career and technical education (CTE) programs, career and technical academies and the state’s community colleges all provide education and training to Nevada’s vocational and trade students. To find out which vocational and trade schools in Nevada fit their goals and needs, prospective students can use this school search tool.

Degree Level
School Type

The Vocational Landscape in Nevada

The College of Southern Nevada has career and technical programs that specifically cater to Nevada’s tourism and hospitality industries, like casino management and culinary arts.

Northwest Career and Technical Academy, a secondary vocational school in southern Nevada, earned a Silver LEED rating and was twice recognized as a Magnet School of Distinction.

Nevada’s secondary students can earn up to 21 college credits while in high school.

In the 2013-2014 school year, 55,076 secondary students and 27,265 postsecondary students were enrolled in CTE programs in Nevada.

Trade Certificates and Diplomas in Nevada At a Glance

Career and technical students in Nevada stick pretty close to national trends when it comes to deciding which education credentials to earn. Associate’s degrees are the most popular sub-baccalaureate (below a bachelor’s degree) credential earned at vocational and trade schools in Nevada, but students can also earn one-year and less-than-one-year certificates through CTE programs at community colleges throughout the state. Secondary students can earn certificates and even associate’s degrees through magnet schools, where they can take career and vocational courses along with academic core classes.

The following table shows the popularity of different degrees and certificates earned by vocational and trade students in Nevada and in the U.S. as a whole.

Distribution of Undergraduate Certificates & Degrees

Credential Nevada National
<1-year certificate 18.5% 14.7%
1-year certificate 11.6% 12.6%
Associate’s Degree 24.9% 24.7%
Bachelor’s Degree 45% 48%

Source: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics (2010)

Brightest Vocational Career Opportunities in Nevada

Nevada’s employment growth over the next few years will mostly come from the Las Vegas area, according to the Nevada Workforce Informer. While the Clark County and Washoe County school districts are Nevada’s top two employers, most of the other top employers are hotel-casinos in Las Vegas. Perhaps this is why the leisure and hospitality sector is expecting the largest employment gain in Nevada between 2012 and 2022, adding 37,600 jobs that will need to be filled.

Construction is by far the fastest growing industry in Nevada, with an annual growth rate of 5.3 percent. This sector is also expected to provide 35,000 jobs by 2022, partly due to increased real estate construction and other projects. Those who go to vocational and trade schools in hopes of entering Nevada’s healthcare or trade, transportation and utilities fields can also expect increased job openings in the future.

Check out the table below to see which vocational occupations in Nevada have the most job openings for those with some college experience and those with associate’s degrees.

Careers with the Most Job Openings in Nevada

Occupation 2012 Employment Projected Annual Job Openings Percent Growth
Median Annual Wage
(Nevada, 2014)
Median Annual Wage
(National, 2014)
Postsecondary, Non-Degree (Some College)
Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers 9,370 320 18% $46,400 $39,500
Medical Assistants 5,280 170 13% $30,900 $30,000
Nursing Assistants 4,940 170 15% $31,600 $25,100
Hairdressers, Hairstylists, and Cosmetologists 4,060 150 13% $22,200 $23,100
Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers 2,110 140 39% $56,500 $44,600
Two-Year Associate’s Degree
Registered Nurses 18,260 610 14% $79,300 $66,600
Preschool Teachers 2,380 110 17% $22,900 $28,100
Paralegals and Legal Assistants 2,030 70 20% $47,100 $48,300
Dental Hygienists 1,410 60 16% $89,900 $71,500
Medical & Clinical Laboratory Technicians 880 50 25% $39,400 $38,400

Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Career One Stop

Where the Jobs Are: Trade Schools & Careers in Las Vegas

Las Vegas is the driving force behind Nevada’s economy and is home to the majority of the state’s largest employers. The Clark County School District and Clark County top the list and are closely followed by a slew of hotel-casinos, including the Wynn, MGM Grand and Bellagio. In 2012, the leisure and hospitality industry supplied over 30 percent of Las Vegas’ employment, and that is not expected to change in the near future. However, construction in Las Vegas is projected to have the greatest growth between 2012 and 2022 with a 32.4 percent increase in employment. All of this economic growth points to opportunities for vocational graduates who learned skills in construction and architecture, education, and hospitality and tourism.

The College of Southern Nevada, Las Vegas’ only community college, offers post-secondary students vocational and trade programs that correspond with Nevada’s tourism- and hospitality-driven economy and employers. Secondary students can choose from seven different career and technical academies in Las Vegas to get their vocational and trade educations: Advanced Technologies Academy; the Southwest, East, West, Northwest and Southeast Career and Technical Academies; and Veterans Tribute Career and Technical Academy, which specializes in law, public safety, corrections and security.

Additional Resources for Careers and Training in Nevada

Information source for secondary students interested in CTE in southern Nevada.

Online job search for Nevada residents. Provides resources for job training, veteran services, vocational rehabilitation and job placement.

An association of members of Nevada’s education, business, industry, government and other sectors who are interested in promoting and supporting CTE in Nevada. Provides information on advocacy and CTE-related news and events.

Provides general information on CTE in Nevada, including programs of study, assessments, college transfer policies and student organizations.

Economic data and analysis for Nevada. Includes employment projections, wage information, labor market information and press releases.

Information source for secondary students interested in CTE in northern Nevada.

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