Vocational Trade Schools in Oklahoma [2022 Guide]

Updated November 15, 2022

Many vocational and trade schools offer self-paced or accelerated options to fit the schedules of busy students.

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Why Choose Trade School?

Trade and vocational schools in Oklahoma provide career-focused training for in-demand careers. Vocational school graduates can pursue allied health careers like respiratory therapist and dental hygienist. They can also train for careers as electricians, mechanics, and welders. In addition to these career paths, vocational schools train students for careers as paralegals, cosmetologists, and chefs.

Vocational programs offer several benefits compared to four-year academic programs. For instance, completing a vocational certificate or degree takes 1-2 years, meaning vocational students can enter the workforce faster than students at four-year programs. In addition, professionals with an occupational credential benefit from a higher employment rate than those with an academic credential, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

During a vocational program, students complete a mix of coursework and experiential learning requirements. Students in the skilled trades may strengthen their skills with laboratory or practicum requirements, while allied health students often complete clinical requirements in healthcare settings.

Many vocational and trade schools offer self-paced or accelerated options to fit the schedules of busy students. Learners seeking the greatest flexibility can also choose an online vocational program.

This page introduces the top-ranked trade and vocational schools in Oklahoma to help students identify the best program to reach their professional goals. This page also provides information on the career and salary outlook for trade school graduates and scholarship opportunities for trade school students.

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Can I go to trade school online?Yes. Many trade schools offer online vocational programs. During an online program, students complete coursework through a distance-learning environment and meet hands-on training requirements at a local site.
Can I get financial aid for trade school?Yes. Students at trade schools in Oklahoma qualify for financial aid opportunities, such as loans, scholarships, and grants.
Are scholarships available for vocational students?Yes. Vocational students may qualify for many scholarship and grant opportunities. Private foundations, professional organizations, and government agencies all award scholarships to trade school students.
Can trade school credits transfer?Yes. Credits earned at a trade school can transfer to other institutions. Graduates from an accredited trade school typically enjoy the most transfer credit opportunities.

Accreditation and Licensing for Trade Schools

Prospective trade school students should always check a school's accreditation and licensing status before applying. Attending an unlicensed or unaccredited school can affect a student's ability to receive financial aid and find jobs after graduation.

Accredited schools meet high standards for granting certificates and degrees. To earn accreditation, schools must undergo a rigorous review from an independent accrediting agency. The review measures the school's student learning outcomes, faculty qualifications, and academic mission. Accredited schools must regularly repeat the review process to maintain their status.

Accreditation benefits students in several ways. For example, only students at accredited institutions 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.

Schools that offer vocational programs may hold regional or national accreditation. Community colleges and four-year universities generally hold regional accreditation. The Higher Learning Commission grants regional accreditation to two-year and four-year schools in Oklahoma.

Trade and vocational schools in Oklahoma may hold national accreditation from an agency like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC). An accrediting agency approved by the Department of Education, ACCSC accredits over 650 trade and technical schools nationwide. The Distance Education Accrediting Commission grants accreditation to online schools. Learn more about the accreditation process here.

Postsecondary schools must also hold a state license to operate. The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education provides a list of licensed schools in the state.

Vocational Trade Schools in Oklahoma

Trade schools provide career-focused training in areas like the skilled trades, healthcare, and technology. By choosing a top-ranked trade school in Oklahoma, professionals can advance their education and increase their earning potential. Our list ranks the best vocational schools in Oklahoma to help students reach their career goals.


Find Vocational and Trade Schools in Oklahoma

Oklahoma hosts 460 public high schools and 29 community colleges that offer vocational training. The following tool helps students identify the vocational and trade schools in Oklahoma that best fit their needs.

Career and Salary Outlook for Trade School Graduates

Many trade school graduates earn above-average salaries and benefit from strong demand. The career and salary outlook for trade school careers vary by factors like industry, experience, and location, but the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that trade school occupations offer an average salary of $55,000 per year.

Installation, repair, and maintenance occupations offer around $50,000 per year, while management occupations pay over $96,000 annually. Additionally, healthcare practitioner and technical occupations offer around $55,000 per year.

Location also influences the career outlook for trade school graduates. Oklahoma wage estimates show how much various trade school occupations pay in the state. For example, dental hygienists in Oklahoma earn around $76,000 per year, on average, while respiratory therapists make nearly $56,000 per year.

Demand for many trade school occupations continues to grow. The BLS projects much faster-than-average job growth for respiratory therapistsparalegalsHVAC technicians, and dental hygienists between 2018 and 2028. Students considering vocational schools in Oklahoma should research the earning potential and job growth projections for their potential field.

What Kinds of Trade School Programs Are Available?

Vocational and trade schools in Oklahoma offer programs in many high-demand areas, including allied health professions and the skilled trades. Graduates can pursue careers as dental hygienists, respiratory therapists, occupational therapy assistants, and medical assistants. Trade school programs also prepare graduates for jobs like electrician, HVAC technician, and paralegal.

This section introduces popular trade school programs. In addition to this list, prospective students can research vocational programs in other fields.

Respiratory Therapist Schools

Respiratory therapists treat patients who have trouble breathing, including premature infants and patients with respiratory diseases. They examine patients with breathing disorders, perform diagnostic tests, and develop patient treatment plans. Respiratory therapists then monitor patients' progress.

An associate degree is the entry-level education requirement for respiratory therapy jobs. During a respiratory therapy program, students take courses in diagnostic procedures, patient assessment, and respiratory equipment. They also complete clinical requirements that provide supervised practical experience.

Respiratory therapists need a license to practice. In Oklahoma, the Board of Medical Licensure and Supervision licenses respiratory therapists. BLS data shows that respiratory therapists made a median annual salary of over $61,000 in 2019, with much-faster-than average projected job growth between 2018 and 2028.

For more, visit our page on respiratory therapy programs.

Medical Assistant Schools

Medical assistants perform administrative and clinical tasks in healthcare facilities. They record patient history information, measure vital signs, and help doctors conduct patient examinations. Medical assistants may also prepare samples for laboratory tests, schedule patient appointments, and maintain medical records.

Most medical assistants complete a vocational certificate or degree. During a medical assistant program, students take classes in medical terminology, phlebotomy, and medical office administration. Programs also incorporate laboratory training. After completing a program, medical assistants can pursue professional certification from an organization like the American Association of Medical Assistants or American Medical Technologists.

Oklahoma does not require a license for medical assistants. Medical assistants earned a median annual salary of around $35,000 in 2019 and benefit from much faster-than-average job growth projections between 2018 and 2028.

Learn more about medical assistant programs.

Veterinary Technician Schools

Veterinary technicians assist veterinarians with daily duties. They restrain animals during procedures, administer treatments prescribed by a veterinarian, and perform diagnostic testing. Veterinary technicians also explain to owners how to administer medication or care for an injured pet at home.

Most veterinary technicians hold an associate degree. During a veterinary technician program, students take courses on topics like animal nursing care, vet pathology, and animal diseases. Students also build their skills through an internship or practicum, often in a veterinary office or laboratory setting. Veterinary technicians earned a median annual pay of over $35,000 in 2019, with much faster-than-average projected job growth between 2018 and 2028.

In most states, veterinary technicians must hold a license. The Oklahoma Veterinary Board grants licenses to veterinary technicians who meet educational requirements and pass an examination.

For more information, visit our page on veterinary technician programs.

Electrician Schools

Electricians install and maintain electrical systems in homes, businesses, and other buildings. They inspect electrical components, use testing devices to identify electrical problems, and repair or replace faulty equipment or wiring. Electricians must also follow building regulations and safety codes.

Trade and tech schools in Oklahoma offer vocational programs for electricians, which include courses on topics like circuitry, blueprint reading, electrical theory, and electrical code requirements. Electrician programs also incorporate hands-on training through laboratory or practicum requirements.

After completing a program, electricians must apply for a license. In Oklahoma, the Construction Industries Board licenses electrical journeymen and electrical contractors. Electricians earned a median annual pay of around $56,000 in 2019 and enjoy faster-than-average projected job growth between 2018 and 2028.

Learn more about electrician programs.

Financial Aid for Trade School Students

Trade schools typically cost less than four-year programs. In addition to taking less time, many two-year schools charge lower tuition rates than four-year schools. For example, Oklahoma public universities cost over $7,500 per year, on average, in tuition and fees, while private universities cost over $26,000 per year. In contrast, Oklahoma community colleges cost under $4,000 per year, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

In addition to saving money by choosing an affordable program, prospective students can apply for financial aid to lower the cost of their education. Students must submit the FAFSA annually to receive federal financial aid. Only accredited schools can administer federal financial aid.

Scholarship for Trade School Students

Students attending a trade or vocational school in Oklahoma may qualify for several scholarship and grant opportunities. In addition to the following opportunities, prospective trade school students can research opportunities based on factors like their school and field of study.

Oklahoma Tuition Aid Grant

Who Can Apply: Oklahoma students attending a school or career technology center in the state qualify for this grant. Applicants must demonstrate financial need.
Amount: $1,000

Apply for Scholarship

Academic Scholars Program

Who Can Apply: Oklahoma's academic scholars program supports Oklahoma residents who attend two-year or four-year colleges and demonstrate high academic achievement. Recipients must maintain a minimum 3.25 GPA.
Amount: $2,200

Apply for Scholarship

NEWH Chapter Scholarships

Who Can Apply: The NEWH Dallas Chapter offers a scholarship for Oklahoma students interested in entering the hospitality industry. Students at two-year programs qualify.
Amount: Varies

Apply for Scholarship

George and Donna Nigh Public Service Scholarship

Who Can Apply: This scholarship, established by the state legislature, supports Oklahoma residents planning careers in public service. Applicants must demonstrate academic achievement.
Amount: $1,000

Apply for Scholarship

Osage Nation Higher Education Scholarship

Who Can Apply: Members of the Osage Nation pursuing an associate degree at an accredited school qualify. Recipients must maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA. The Osage Nation also offers a career training scholarship.
Amount: Varies

Apply for Scholarship

Additional Education and Career Resources

Greater Grads

Online resource that helps Oklahoma City residents find internships, attend career fairs, and explore job tips.


Career postings and job search for Oklahoma residents, sponsored by the state's NewsOK.

Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education

This agency is responsible for overseeing vocational and trade education in the state. Students can learn about vocational programs in Oklahoma offered at the high school and college levels and find out more about the most in-demand jobs in Oklahoma.

Oklahoma Department of Commerce

The Oklahoma Department of Commerce's website includes information on economic development, business sectors and the state policies that govern businesses. Students can use the website to learn more about the skills business owners want employees to learn before starting a career.

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