Vocational Trade Schools in New York

ASO Staff Writers
by
Updated July 26, 2023
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Attend a Vocational Trade School in New York

Trade schools in New York provide career-focused training for in-demand fields like healthcare, industrial technology, the skilled trades, and legal services. Potential jobs for graduates include medical assistant, electrician, paralegal, and paramedic.

During a vocational program, students take classes in their field and complete clinical or laboratory requirements to build hands-on skills. For example, paramedic studies students apply classroom learning in an ambulance or hospital setting.

Many trade and technical schools offer self-paced or accelerated options to fit the schedule of busy students. Learners can also choose an online vocational program to complete their training in a flexible format.

Many trade and technical schools offer self-paced or accelerated options to fit the schedule of busy students. Learners can also choose an online vocational program to complete their training in a flexible format.

Vocational programs offer several benefits compared to four-year programs. For example, earning a vocational certificate or degree generally takes 1-2 years, meaning vocational students can graduate faster than students in four-year programs. 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.

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

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Best Trade Schools in New York

Trade schools in New York train students for the workforce through job-focused coursework and hands-on requirements. By attending a top-ranked vocational program, professionals can advance their education and increase their earning potential in just 1-2 years. This section ranks the best vocational schools in New York.

#1 Vocational Trade Schools in New York

Monroe Community College

  • Location-markerRochester, NY
  • 2 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$4,380
  • Out-of-state$8,760
  • Retention Rate57%
  • Acceptance Rate0%
  • Students Enrolled11,572
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment32%
  • AccreditationYes
#2 Vocational Trade Schools in New York

SUNY Erie Community College

  • Location-markerBuffalo, NY
  • 2 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$4,900
  • Out-of-state$9,466
  • Retention Rate56%
  • Acceptance Rate0%
  • Students Enrolled10,031
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment29%
  • AccreditationYes
#3 Vocational Trade Schools in New York

SUNY Schenectady County Community College

  • Location-markerSchenectady, NY
  • 2 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$4,392
  • Out-of-state$8,784
  • Retention Rate52%
  • Acceptance Rate0%
  • Students Enrolled4,732
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment24%
  • AccreditationYes
#4 Vocational Trade Schools in New York

SUNY Broome Community College

  • Location-markerBinghamton, NY
  • 2 year
  • Campus
Average Tuition
  • In-State$4,944
  • Out-of-state$9,888
  • Retention Rate51%
  • Acceptance Rate0%
  • Students Enrolled6,109
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment34%
  • AccreditationYes
#5 Vocational Trade Schools in New York

Onondaga Community College

  • Location-markerSyracuse, NY
  • 2 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$4,990
  • Out-of-state$9,980
  • Retention Rate52%
  • Acceptance Rate0%
  • Students Enrolled9,449
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment18%
  • AccreditationYes
#6 Vocational Trade Schools in New York

Nassau Community College

  • Location-markerGarden City, NY
  • 2 year
  • Campus
Average Tuition
  • In-State$5,600
  • Out-of-state$11,200
  • Retention Rate64%
  • Acceptance Rate0%
  • Students Enrolled16,650
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment20%
  • AccreditationYes
#7 Vocational Trade Schools in New York

Suffolk County Community College

  • Location-markerSelden, NY
  • 2 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$5,470
  • Out-of-state$10,940
  • Retention Rate67%
  • Acceptance Rate0%
  • Students Enrolled25,230
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment24%
  • AccreditationYes
#8 Vocational Trade Schools in New York

Mohawk Valley Community College

  • Location-markerUtica, NY
  • 2 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$4,594
  • Out-of-state$6,892
  • Retention Rate60%
  • Acceptance Rate0%
  • Students Enrolled6,007
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment19%
  • AccreditationYes
#9 Vocational Trade Schools in New York

New York City College of Technology of the City University of New York

  • Location-markerBrooklyn, NY
  • 4 year
  • Campus
Average Tuition
  • In-State$6,930
  • Out-of-state$14,880
  • Retention Rate68%
  • Acceptance Rate88%
  • Students Enrolled17,036
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment7%
  • AccreditationYes
#10 Vocational Trade Schools in New York

Fulton-Montgomery Community College

  • Location-markerJohnstown, NY
  • 2 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$4,900
  • Out-of-state$9,800
  • Retention Rate57%
  • Acceptance Rate0%
  • Students Enrolled2,404
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment12%
  • AccreditationYes
#11 Vocational Trade Schools in New York

Hostos Community College

  • Location-markerBronx, NY
  • 2 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$4,800
  • Out-of-state$7,680
  • Retention Rate58%
  • Acceptance Rate0%
  • Students Enrolled7,120
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment12%
  • AccreditationYes
#12 Vocational Trade Schools in New York

SUNY Westchester Community College

  • Location-markerValhalla, NY
  • 2 year
  • Campus
Average Tuition
  • In-State$4,580
  • Out-of-state$11,770
  • Retention Rate66%
  • Acceptance Rate0%
  • Students Enrolled11,121
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment18%
  • AccreditationYes
#13 Vocational Trade Schools in New York

Hudson Valley Community College

  • Location-markerTroy, NY
  • 2 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$4,800
  • Out-of-state$9,600
  • Retention Rate59%
  • Acceptance Rate0%
  • Students Enrolled10,416
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment32%
  • AccreditationYes
#14 Vocational Trade Schools in New York

Niagara County Community College

  • Location-markerSanborn, NY
  • 2 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$4,560
  • Out-of-state$9,120
  • Retention Rate64%
  • Acceptance Rate0%
  • Students Enrolled4,997
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment24%
  • AccreditationYes
#15 Vocational Trade Schools in New York

Bronx Community College

  • Location-markerBronx, NY
  • 2 year
  • Campus
Average Tuition
  • In-State$4,800
  • Out-of-state$7,680
  • Retention Rate56%
  • Acceptance Rate0%
  • Students Enrolled10,040
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment9%
  • AccreditationYes
#16 Vocational Trade Schools in New York

Genesee Community College

  • Location-markerBatavia, NY
  • 2 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$4,350
  • Out-of-state$4,950
  • Retention Rate51%
  • Acceptance Rate0%
  • Students Enrolled5,285
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment31%
  • AccreditationYes
#17 Vocational Trade Schools in New York

Finger Lakes Community College

  • Location-markerCanandaigua, NY
  • 2 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$4,722
  • Out-of-state$7,083
  • Retention Rate53%
  • Acceptance Rate0%
  • Students Enrolled5,649
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment26%
  • AccreditationYes
#18 Vocational Trade Schools in New York

Jamestown Community College

  • Location-markerJamestown, NY
  • 2 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$5,040
  • Out-of-state$10,080
  • Retention Rate60%
  • Acceptance Rate0%
  • Students Enrolled4,467
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment21%
  • AccreditationYes
#19 Vocational Trade Schools in New York

SUNY Ulster County Community College

  • Location-markerStone Ridge, NY
  • 2 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$4,680
  • Out-of-state$9,360
  • Retention Rate57%
  • Acceptance Rate0%
  • Students Enrolled3,550
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment24%
  • AccreditationYes
#20 Vocational Trade Schools in New York

Rockland Community College

  • Location-markerSuffern, NY
  • 2 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$4,912
  • Out-of-state$9,824
  • Retention Rate67%
  • Acceptance Rate0%
  • Students Enrolled6,532
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment20%
  • AccreditationYes

FAQ on New York Vocational Trade Schools


question-mark-circleCan I go to trade school online?

Yes, schools increasingly offer vocational programs online. Students can often complete courses online and meet any experiential learning requirements locally.

question-mark-circleDo trade school scholarships exist?

Yes, many private foundations, government agencies, and professional associations offer scholarships for trade school students.

question-mark-circleCan trade school credits transfer?

Yes, trade school credits can often transfer to other institutions. In general, credits earned from a regionally accredited institution are most likely to transfer.

question-mark-circleWhen can I apply to trade school?

Many trade schools accept applications on a rolling basis, meaning students can apply at any time. Most trade schools also offer multiple start dates each year.

Accreditation and Licensing for Trade Schools

Prospective trade school students should research a school’s accreditation and licensing status before submitting an application. Accredited schools meet high standards for educating students. Colleges and universities must undergo a rigorous review from an independent accrediting agency to earn accreditation. During the review, the accrediting agency evaluates the school’s student learning outcomes, faculty qualifications, and academic mission.

Accreditation benefits students in several 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.

In New York, schools that offer vocational certificates and degrees may hold regional or national accreditation. Community colleges and four-year universities typically hold regional accreditation. The Middle States Commission on Higher Education grants regional accreditation to schools in New York.

Trade and vocational schools in New York often hold national accreditation from a specialized accrediting agency like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges, which accredits over 650 trade and technical schools nationwide. Similarly, the Distance Education Accrediting Commission accredits online schools.

In addition to accreditation, postsecondary institutions should hold a license to operate from the state. The New York State Office of Higher Education provides a list of approved schools in the state.

Career and Salary Outlook for Trade School Graduates

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that trade school occupations pay an average wage of $55,000 per year. However, salary varies by factors like industry, experience, and location. For example, in New York, paralegals earn around $58,000 per year, on average, while electricians make $79,500 annually, according to the BLS.

The demand for many trade school occupations continues to grow. For example, the BLS projects much faster-than-average job growth for dental hygienists, paralegals, and HVAC technicians between 2018 and 2028.

Students considering vocational schools in New York can research the earning potential and job growth in their specific field for more information.

What Kinds of Trade School Programs Are Available?

Trade school programs blend classroom and hands-on learning to prepare students for specific career paths. Many vocational and trade schools offer programs in high-demand fields like healthcare, the skilled trades, industrial technology, and legal services.

This section introduces popular trade school programs. In addition to the programs below, prospective students can research vocational programs in other areas.

  • chevron-double-rightDental Hygienist Schools

    Dental hygienists clean patients’ teeth and educate patients about oral health. They also look for signs of oral disease, take dental X-rays, and apply treatments to protect teeth. Dental hygienists then report their findings to dentists.

    Most dental hygienists hold an associate degree. During an associate program, students complete coursework in anatomy, periodontics, and oral hygiene. Students also complete clinical training to gain hands-on experience in the field.

    Dental hygienists must hold a license from the state to practice. In New York, the Office of the Professions licenses dental hygienists. The BLS reports that dental hygienists earned a median annual salary of $76,220 in 2019, with much faster-than average projected job growth between 2018 and 2028.

  • chevron-double-rightMechanic Schools

    Mechanics, also called automotive service technicians, inspect and repair cars. They use diagnostic equipment to identify problems, test parts to make sure they work properly, and repair parts to keep cars and trucks running smoothly. Mechanics also explain repairs to clients.

    Automotive technology certificate and degree programs prepare students for careers as mechanics. During the program, students take classes in areas like engine repair, electronic systems, and brake systems. They also complete hands-on training through laboratory or practicum requirements.

    Mechanics can pursue a certificate from the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence to demonstrate skills in a specialty like automatic transmissions, engine maintenance, or diesel engines. In 2019, the median annual pay for mechanics exceeded $42,000.

  • chevron-double-rightParalegal Schools

    Paralegals support lawyers by conducting legal research and drafting documents like contracts. They may investigate the facts of a case, gather evidence for case preparation, and take affidavits for use during trial. Paralegals can also file briefs and appeals with the court.

    Vocational schools in New York offer paralegal studies certificates and degrees to train paralegals. During the program, students take classes in areas like legal research, contract law, legal writing, and corporate law. Some programs provide specialized courses in litigation or business law.

    Paralegals do not need a license to practice, but some pursue professional certification to demonstrate their skills. The BLS reports that paralegals earned a median annual salary of over $51,000 in 2019, with much faster-than average projected job growth between 2018 and 2028.

  • chevron-double-rightRadiology Technician Schools

    Radiology technicians create diagnostic images of patients in healthcare settings. They maintain imaging equipment, prepare patients for procedures, and capture images with medical equipment like X-ray machines. Radiology technicians must follow safety procedures to protect patients.

    An associate degree is the typical education requirement for radiology technician jobs. During the program, students take classes in areas like radiation physics, anatomy, pathology, and image evaluation. Programs also incorporate clinical training to strengthen students’ patient care skills.

    Most radiology technicians pursue professional certification from The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists after earning their degree. Radiology technicians must also hold a license from the state to practice. The New York State Department of Labor licenses radiology technicians. The BLS reports that radiology technicians earned a median annual pay of over $62,000 in 2019, with faster-than-average projected job growth between 2018 and 2028.

Financial Aid for Trade School Students

Trade school students can help pay for their vocational training through financial aid opportunities, including loans, grants, and scholarships. Unlike loans, scholarships and grants do not require repayment, making them ideal forms of financial aid. To determine their eligibility for federal financial aid, such as Pell Grants, students must submit the FAFSA every year. However, only students at accredited schools qualify for federal aid.

Students can also make their education more affordable by choosing an affordable school. In New York, public universities charge nearly $8,000 per year in tuition and fees, on average, while private universities cost around $39,000 per year, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. In contrast, New York community colleges charge around $5,000 per year in tuition and fees.

Scholarship for Trade School Students

Many private foundations, government agencies, and professional organizations offer scholarship opportunities to help students pay for vocational training. In addition to the following opportunities, students can research scholarships based on factors like their school or field.

plusNew York State Tuition Assistance Program

Who Can Apply: This scholarship supports New York residents attending approved colleges and universities in the state. The tuition assistance program includes income limits.

Amount: Up to $5,165

plusCommunity Foundations of the Hudson Valley Scholarships

Who Can Apply: This foundation offers multiple scholarship awards to students living in the Hudson Valley area. Requirements vary depending on the scholarship.

Amount: Varies

plusNew York Farm Bureau Agricultural Youth Scholarship

Who Can Apply: Learners involved in agriculture can apply for this scholarship. Applicants must submit an essay on the issues facing agriculture in their county.

Amount: $1,000-$1,500

plusHoratio Alger Career and Technical Scholarships

Who Can Apply: Students attending a career or technical program at an accredited, nonprofit school can apply for this scholarship. Applicants must demonstrate critical financial need.

Amount: $2,500

plusAEF Scholarship

Who Can Apply: Offered by the Ascend Educational Fund, this scholarship supports immigrant students and children of immigrants who graduated from a high school in New York City.

Amount: Up to $20,000

Additional Education and Career Resources

An association for the promotion, support and development of CTE throughout New York. Provides an overview of New York’s vocational and trade education and information on meetings, news and other resources related to CTE in New York.
State labor and workforce website. Provides data and research on New York’s labor market, economy and employment projections as well as resources and information for jobseekers and employers.
Job openings and advice for New York City residents seeking vocational careers in the city.

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