Vocational Trade Schools in North Dakota

Why Choose Trade School?

According to the United States Department of Labor, enrollment in trade apprenticeship programs has grown by 56% since 2013. Trade school differs from a traditional four-year college, but the basic goal remains the same: to prepare students to enter the workforce.

Trade schools offer certificates and associate degrees. Vocational programs focus more on technical skills for one specific job, while programs at traditional four-year colleges cover theories and multiple subjects. An associate degree from a vocational school takes about two years to complete, while a bachelor's from a university takes four years to complete.

Students who want to enter the workforce sooner and specialize in a trade can benefit from attending tech school. Trade schools offer programs in fields like physical therapy, welding, respiratory care, and plumbing.

Trade schools generally require a high school or GED diploma. However, some vocational schools offer programs that allow students to earn credits while completing high school.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 74% of graduates with vocational credits work in a job in a field related to their degree. With multiple trade schools in North Dakota to choose from, finding the right one takes research. Read on to learn more about the top trade schools in this state, salary potential, job growth, common vocational programs, and financial aid.


Question Answer
What is trade school? Trade schools teach learners the technical skills required for vocational jobs. Most trade schools offer associate degrees and certificates.
Are scholarships available for vocational students? Most accredited trade schools offer scholarships to students who demonstrate financial need. Private companies and nonprofit foundations also offer scholarships to vocational students.
Can trade school credits transfer? Many four-year colleges and universities accept transfer credits from accredited trade schools. Some schools allow graduates with associate degrees to earn a bachelor's degree with two additional years of study.
When can I apply to trade school? Prospective students can apply to trade school during their senior year of high school. High school graduates can also apply during any open enrollment period.

Accreditation and Licensing for Trade Schools

Before selecting a trade school program, research its accreditation status. Colleges can earn regional, national, and programmatic accreditation. The U.S. Department of Education (ED) and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation oversee third-party accrediting agencies.

The accreditation process benefits students by ensuring they receive a quality education. When a school earns accreditation, it means an accrediting agency regularly reviews its programs to ensure certain standards. Students can check a school's accreditation status using the ED's searchable database.

Trade schools commonly earn national accreditation. The Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges is one of the top accrediting agencies for vocational schools. Schools that offer online programs can earn national accreditation from the Distance Education Accrediting Commission.

Some tech schools in North Dakota earn regional accreditation through the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Certain scholarships only award students attending a regionally accredited college or university, and some employers may prefer degrees from regionally accredited schools.

Degrees can also earn programmatic accreditation. For example, the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education oversees accreditation for physical therapy programs, and the American Council for Construction Education accredits construction management programs.

Vocational schools in North Dakota must maintain a license. A state agency typically offers licensure to these schools, but private trade schools may earn a license from the ED. Prospective students can check with a school's admissions office concerning questions about licensing and accreditation status.

Vocational Trade Schools in North Dakota

Vocational and Trade Schools

Finding the right vocational trade school to meet your academic, financial, and personal needs takes time. To help aid the search, we created this list of top vocational schools in North Dakota. We rank these schools based on factors like affordability and graduate success rates.

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 North Dakota State College of Science Wahpeton, ND Tuition # of Online Programs 32 Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate 47% Financial Aid 31% Credit For Experience Yes Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes

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.

2 Lake Region State College Devils Lake, ND Tuition # of Online Programs 7 Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate 40% Financial Aid 63% Credit For Experience Yes Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes

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.

Find Vocational and Trade Schools in North Dakota

North Dakota contains 163 public schools that offer career and technical education, 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.

Students can 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

Career and Salary Outlook for Trade School Graduates

Many trade school graduates enter fields with rewarding pay and a positive job outlook. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median salary for all technical and trade school jobs is $55,270. However, the exact pay a trade school graduate earns depends on factors like industry and experience.

Geographical location can also impact pay. For example, employers in rural towns in North Dakota may pay less than a city like Fargo due to the difference in the cost of living. However, some rural employers may offer incentives like higher pay for professionals who work in a high-need field.

According to the BLS, electricians earned a median annual salary of $56,180 in 2019 and benefit from a projected job growth of 10% between 2018 and 2028. Construction managers earned an annual median salary of $95,260 in 2019. The BLS projects the need for this job to rise by 10% between 2018 and 2028. Graduates can quickly begin working in one of these roles after finishing trade school.

Furthermore, plumbers earned a median annual salary of $55,160 in 2019 and benefit from a projected job growth of 14% between 2018 and 2028, which compares as much faster than average to other professions.

Read on to learn more about job outlook and salary for specific trade school programs.

What Kinds of Trade School Programs Are Available?

Trade schools in North Dakota prepare individuals to become veterinarians, physical therapists, dental hygienists, occupational therapists, and radiologists. These vocational programs place emphasis on technical skills rather than theories. Some include an apprenticeship or internship component so students can gain supervised hands-on experience.

See below for five common vocational programs, including potential job growth and salary information.

Veterinary Technician Schools

Veterinarian technician programs teach students how to assist veterinarians in caring for animals. Courses allow students to gain practical experience administering medication, drawing blood, and placing catheters.

The curriculum focuses on topics like pharmaceuticals, safety when working with large and small animals, and animal anatomy and physiology. Two common courses include animal welfare and animal genetics.

The BLS reports that veterinary assistants and laboratory animal caretakers earned a median annual salary of $28,590 in 2019. The BLS also projects a 19% job growth rate for this field. Veterinarian technicians typically work in clinics, animal hospitals, and research laboratories.

Physical Therapy Schools

Students in a physical therapy program learn how to use exercises to help patients regain mobility after an illness or accident. Due to the practical nature of this profession, many courses in a physical therapy program include a clinical component.

Common courses include types of physical therapy exercises, the patient diagnosis process, and how to create and implement treatment plans. Students also learn about neuroscience concepts and cardiopulmonary pathology.

Physical therapists work in hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and home health organizations. As baby boomers age, the BLS projects the need for these professionals to rise by 22% between 2018 and 2028. The BLS also reports an $89,440 median salary for this career, although this data also includes salary figures for doctoral degree-holders.

Dental Hygienist Schools

Dental hygienist programs teach students how to examine teeth and identify oral health issues like decay and gum disease. These professionals can practice with a two-year associate degree. Most associate programs cover topics like medical ethics, dental anatomy, and elements of oral health.

Dental hygienist curricula often involve a fieldwork component. Students get to work in a clinical setting, where they practice administering cleanings and taking x-rays. Common courses include prevention of oral disease, oral pathology, and dental radiography.

According to the BLS, dental hygienists earned a median annual salary of $76,220 in 2019. The BLS also projects the need for dental hygienists to grow by 11% between 2018 and 2028. Dental hygienists typically work in dentist offices.

Occupational Therapy Schools

Occupational therapy programs teach students how to review patient medical history, evaluate patients' needs to create a treatment plan, lead exercises, and help individuals acquire take-home medical equipment. Common occupational therapy courses include analysis of human motion, kinesiology, neuroscience for occupational therapy, and ethical issues.

Occupational therapists help patients with injuries and disabilities gain as much mobility as possible to perform everyday activities. In addition to education, occupational therapists must earn a license to practice.

According to the BLS, occupational therapists earned a median salary of $84,950 per year. Jobs for these professionals are projected to grow 18% between 2018 and 2028.

Radiology Technician Schools

Radiology programs teach students how to create x-rays, complete ultrasounds, and safely administer nuclear medicine. Radiologist programs often allow students to select a specialty or earn additional certificates. Most programs prepare students to apply for state licensure.

An associate in radiology takes about two years to complete. Students learn about topics like sonography, radiation physics and safety, imaging evaluation, patient care, and nuclear medicine properties. Most radiation programs include a clinical component that allows students to practice creating medical imagery.

According to the BLS, radiologists earned a median annual income of $62,280 in 2019 and benefit from a projected job growth of 9% between 2018 and 2028. Graduates with a radiology degree work in healthcare facilities and hospitals.

Financial Aid for Trade School Students

While vocational school tends to cost less than a traditional four-year college or university, students can still earn financial aid to lower the cost. Some accredited trade schools in North Dakota accept FAFSA funds.

The FAFSA takes about 55 minutes for first-time applicants to complete. Students who want to continue receiving funds must reapply each year, which takes about 45 minutes. Dependents must use their guardian's tax information from two years prior to the current year. All other applicants must enter their own tax information.

The government uses this data to determine need-based awards like subsidized loans and grants. The FAFSA also qualifies students to receive unsubsidized loans. Unlike subsidized loans, these funds do not require the recipient to demonstrate financial need, but they begin accruing interest immediately.

Graduates must repay federal loans, but not federal grants. Most federal loans allow a six-month grace period after graduation and follow a 10-year payment schedule. Some individuals may qualify for loan forgiveness or an alternate payment plan.

Individuals check whether their prospective school accepts FAFSA funds.

Scholarship for Trade School Students

Trade school students can avoid large student loan payments by applying for scholarships. Most scholarships require an essay component and recommendation letters, so students should plan accordingly before the deadlines.

Below, we highlight five scholarships reserved specifically for students attending trade school in North Dakota.

Cass County Electric Cooperative Lineworkers Scholarship

Who Can Apply: Students who live within the Cass County service area in Fargo can apply for this scholarship. The recipient must be pursuing an associate degree or an electrician certificate from a vocational school in North Dakota.
Amount: $1,000

Apply for Scholarship
Lynnes Welding Training Scholarship

Who Can Apply: Lynnes Welding Training, based in North Dakota, offers this scholarship in conjunction with the American Welding Society. Students who want to attend the 12-week welding training program hosted by Lynnes Welding Training may apply.
Amount: Varies

Apply for Scholarship
Merit Shop Construction Scholarship

Who Can Apply: The Associated Builders and Contractors of Minnesota and North Dakota provide this scholarship to its student members. However, students who are not members but either attend North Dakota State College of Science or classify as a veteran of the United States armed forces may apply. A scholarship committee selects a recipient based solely on merit.
Amount: Varies

Apply for Scholarship
North Dakota Academic or Career and Technical Education Scholarship

Who Can Apply: Students planning on attending a vocational school in North Dakota may apply for this scholarship during their senior year of high school. Individuals must earn a C grade or better in each course to maintain this scholarship.
Amount: Varies

Apply for Scholarship
North Dakota Career Builders Scholarship & Loan Repayment

Who Can Apply: Students attending participating trade schools in North Dakota may apply. Recipients must maintain full-time enrollment and a 2.5 cumulative GPA during their studies and commit to working for at least three years in a profession related to the degree after graduation.
Up to $17,000

Apply for Scholarship

Additional Education and Career Resources

North Dakota Department of Career and Technical Education

The agency oversees CTE education in the state.

North Dakota Workforce Intelligence Network

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

Learn More...

Trade and Vocational Schools