Vocational Trade
Schools in North Dakota

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Vocational and trade schools provide a way for students to get trained for a career, gain the skills that employers are looking for, and finish their education in a relatively short amount of time. Career and technical education (CTE) in North Dakota has received a lot of support from the state, which has worked to ensure that programs provide the quality education students need to succeed in their fields. This page provides a look at vocational programs in North Dakota, including which career clusters have the most student enrollment, what jobs graduates are likely to pursue, and what salaries they can expect in certain vocational professions.

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
  • Employment services
  • And many others

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.

The Best 2017 Vocational Schools in North Dakota

North Dakota provides numerous professional skill development options at its various trade and vocational schools. One sector that's growing quickly is the petroleum industry, which is very friendly to those who have just completed community college, career college or vocational school programs. To assist students in making a great choice, our rankings include a variety of factors, including tuition, length of programs and depth of programs offered.

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
North Dakota State College of Science
99.85 $$$$$ 31% 32 12:1 47%

Getting admitted into North Dakota State College of Science does not mean that a student will be approved for admission into a specific associate degree program. Minimum ACT and COMPASS requirements in subjects like math, English, reading or writing apply with certain classes. Occupational programs are structured by employment sector. Available two year vocational degrees are in a range of subjects, including drafting, building construction, diesel technology and precision machining technology. More than 30 students clubs and organizations are at the college, including performing arts organizations and sports teams. Through CampusConnection, campus email and NDSCS Online, students view their test scores, upcoming class start and end times and when facilities like the Student or Faculty Center will be closed. Students can also browse course catalogs and submit tickets for technical help through CampusConnection.

Additional Benefits: Yes Yes Yes Read More
Lake Region State College
99.74 $$$$$ 63% 7 14:1 40%

By studying in one of Lake Region State College’s vocational associate of applied science programs, a student will learn from experienced professors in an environment that will prepare them for their desired careers. While some vocational programs offer classes that can be transferred to other universities, LRSC’s primary goal with its associate of applied science programs is to get students into the work force as quickly as possible. While tuition is cheap at LRSC, students also have the option to cover the cost of their education with federal aid, scholarships, or grants. State-of-the-art housing and dining facilities are available on campus.

Additional Benefits: Yes Yes Yes Read More
School Name Score Tuition & Fees Financial Aid % Total Programs Student-Teacher Ratio Grad Rate Description Additional Benefits: Placement Services Counseling Services Credit for Experience
Bismarck State College
99.83 $$$$$ 25% 23 14:1 N/A

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Dickinson State University
99.12 $$$$$ 63% 1 11:1 35%

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United Tribes Technical College
98.53 $$$$$ 44% 9 8:1 N/A

Additional Benefits: Yes Yes No Read More
Nueta Hidatsa Sahnish College
98.26 $$$$$ 15% 1 7:1 N/A

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University of North Dakota
98.16 $$$$$ 30% 4 19:1 52%

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Find Vocational & Trade Schools in North Dakota

Career and technical education can be found in 163 public schools in North Dakota, including 12 schools that are dedicated specifically to vocational education. In addition, there are eight community colleges around the state that offer career and technical education programs. Given these options, it’s important that students find the program that best meets their career goals and educational needs. To help make this decision, use the search tool below to find and sort through the different vocational and trade schools in North Dakota.

Degree Level
School Type

Fast Facts: North Dakota Skilled Trades

In North Dakota, the vocational career clusters that are expected to see the greatest increase in jobs between 2012 and 2022 are science, technology, engineering and mathematics (39 percent), information technology (20 percent), and health science (20 percent).

The career clusters that commanded the highest average salaries in North Dakota in 2013 were science, technology, engineering and mathematics ($73,240), information technology ($59,910), and government and public administration ($53,640).

The Southeast Region Career and Technology Center won the 2011 National Star Farmer Champion award for its agriculture and agriscience education programs. The school has also been recognized for its marketing, web design, computer networking, and horticulture programs as well.

In the 2012-2013 academic year, 84 percent of CTE students met the state’s performance goals for reading/language arts and 82 percent made the goals for technical skills.

Trends in Vocational & Trade Education in North Dakota

In an effort to make it easier for secondary students to earn vocational certificates and degrees, North Dakota has passed legislation to allows students to earn credits toward an associate’s degree during high school. Thanks to the dual credit program, students can begin working on their vocational and trade credentials as early as the tenth grade by taking college-level courses that earn them both high school and college credits. As a result, students in vocational school programs earn more associate’s degrees in North Dakota than the national average.

Distribution of Undergraduate Certificates & Degrees

Credential North Dakota National
<1-year certificate 3.0% 14.7%
1-year certificate 8.9% 12.6%
Associate degree 26.1% 24.7%
Bachelor’s degree 62.0% 48.0%

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

Biggest Trade Career Opportunities in North Dakota

Many vocational and trade students gravitate toward healthcare related careers when they graduate—including nursing, dental hygienist, and medical assistant positions. There are several possible employers for these North Dakota graduates, including facilities like Altru Health System, Sanford Health, And Essentia Health—which are among the top employers in the state.

Other top employers include University of North Dakota, Fargo Public Schools, and Bismarck Public Schools, which is good news for many vocational graduates who want to pursue two of the fastest-growing CTE-related professions: preschool teachers and teacher assistants.

The table below illustrates the top professions for students with some college education or associate degrees, as well as the salaries these graduates command.

Careers with the Most Job Openings in North Dakota

Occupation 2012 Employment Projected Annual Job Openings Percent Growth Median Annual Wage (North Dakota, 2014) Median Annual Wage (National, 2014)
Postsecondary, Non-Degree (Some College)
Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers 15,950 16,340 3% $47,000 $39,500
Nursing Assistants 6,720 7,900 18% $28,400 $25,100
Licensed Practical Nurses 3,340 4,030 20% $39,700 $42,500
Teacher Assistants 4,030 4,430 10% $29,000 $24,400
Computer User Support Specialists 1,870 2,350 26% $46,800 $47,600
Two-Year Associate's Degree
Registered Nurses 7,730 9,370 21% $57,200 $66,600
Dental Hygienists 680 840 25% $62,900 $71,500
Mechanical Engineering Technicians 320 410 27% $52,500 $53,500
Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technicians 400 510 28% $41,100 $38,400
Preschool Teachers 580 640 11% $29,900 $28,100

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

A Closer Look: Vocational Schools & Careers in Fargo

Vocational schools in Fargo help students prepare for the realities of working in a certain career by providing the knowledge and practical skills they need to be successful in their chosen profession. One school that offers this kind of training in Fargo is Josef's West Academy, which has massage therapy, cosmetology, and skin care specialist programs. Similarly, The Salon Professional Academy-Fargo also has personal services vocational programs, such as cosmetology, nail technician, manicurist, and aesthetician education.

Students who wish to take advantage of North Dakota’s thriving manufacturing industry can attend Lynnes Welding Training in Fargo. Students at this school earn a wending technology certificate that takes less than one year to complete, setting them on the fast-track to their vocational career.

Career & Education Resources for North Dakota

This report has information on the state’s most in-demand jobs, the wages that people in these occupations make, and the job growth that is expected.

This website provides an in-depth look at employment predictions for different careers in North Dakota, including those that vocational students pursue.

The agency oversees CTE education in the state.

Provides information about the key industries in North Dakota that could translate to job opportunity for vocational school graduates.

This site includes occupational profiles, labor market facts, and top companies in the state.