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.
|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.
|Rank||Logo||School||Tuition||# of Online Programs||Acceptance Rate||Graduation Rate||Financial Aid||Credit For Experience||Placement Service||Counseling Services||Description & Additional Information||Toggle|
Save this list:
|1||Tulsa Community College Tulsa, OK||Tuition||# of Online Programs 29||Acceptance Rate -||Graduation Rate 14%||Financial Aid 39%||Credit For Experience Yes||Placement Service Yes||Counseling Services Yes||
At Tulsa Community College, students can go for several two-year career-oriented programs, from accounting to engineering technology to interior design. Many of the categories offer some very specific programs to make sure students are heading in the exact direction they want career-wise, such as the degree in surveying technology under the engineering technology category. Students generally take about 18 hours of general education requirements and around 44 hours of core courses that prepare them for their chosen field. Many of the programs are directly supported by the workforce development center to make sure students are entering the workforce right upon graduation.
|2||Redlands Community College El Reno, OK||Tuition||# of Online Programs 5||Acceptance Rate -||Graduation Rate 17%||Financial Aid 43%||Credit For Experience Yes||Placement Service Yes||Counseling Services Yes||
Redlands Community College offers several Associate in Applied Science degrees to get students right into the workforce upon graduation. Students can pick courses in topics like informational technology, business administration technology, child development, criminal justice, emergency medical technology (paramedic), equine studies, nursing and sustainable agriculture. Students receive a basic general education, while getting a highly specific education in the technical career of the student’s choosing. For instance, the paramedic program requires 18 hours of general education, 12 of support science courses and 39 hours of occupational specialty courses. Students will be prepared to take any licensing exams that may be required, like the NCLEX for nursing students.
|3||Murray State College Tishomingo, OK||Tuition||# of Online Programs 3||Acceptance Rate -||Graduation Rate 18%||Financial Aid 30%||Credit For Experience Yes||Placement Service Yes||Counseling Services Yes||
Murray State College has several associate programs relating to direct career entry within their Associate in Applied Science degree offerings. Students can choose from several businesses offerings, child development, gunsmithing technology, nursing, occupational therapy assistant, physical therapy assistant and veterinary technology. The business track offers several specialized fields like legal assistant, medical office assistant and retail management. Students take courses in general education like history and humanities, core requirements relating to the field, more technical core requirements (many including internships) and several program electives related to the chosen career.
|4||Carl Albert State College Poteau, OK||Tuition||# of Online Programs 2||Acceptance Rate -||Graduation Rate 23%||Financial Aid 32%||Credit For Experience Yes||Placement Service Yes||Counseling Services Yes||
At Carl Albert State College, students who wish to enter the workforce after their two-year degree may wish to major in an Associate of Applied Science degree. These are geared for both direct workforce entry and getting a higher, more specialized degree. The associate degrees cover many traditional vocational programs: applied technology, child development, computer technology, health information technology, nursing, occupational health & safety and physical therapy assistant. Students take general education requirements and core courses that directly prepare them to enter the workforce. General education requirements vary widely between different programs in the applied science degrees.
|5||Eastern Oklahoma State College Wilburton, OK||Tuition||# of Online Programs 2||Acceptance Rate -||Graduation Rate 21%||Financial Aid 16%||Credit For Experience Yes||Placement Service Yes||Counseling Services Yes||
At Eastern Oklahoma State College, students who want to enter the workforce directly typically choose to focus on AAS (Associate in Applied Science) two-year degrees. These degrees are offered in the school's agriculture division, the behavioral and social science division, the business division, the nursing division and the technical studies category. The technical studies category consists of a naval technology option. Students take general education courses and program requirements. Students can typically choose from several general education electives to customize their education.
|6||Rose State College Midwest City, OK||Tuition||# of Online Programs 12||Acceptance Rate -||Graduation Rate 12%||Financial Aid 30%||Credit For Experience No||Placement Service Yes||Counseling Services Yes||
At Rose State College, students who are interested in entering the workforce after graduation may choose to pursue an Associate of Applied Science (AAS), though the school collaborates with four-year colleges and universities to offer classes that can be transferred to a four-year institution at a later date. Some degrees also provide a level of specialization that comparable to obtaining a certificate in the field. Students can pick from several categories, though some of the more unique programs include library technical assistant, networking/cyber security and environmental technology. The businesses category allows for several specializations like consumer finance and marketing-social media.
|7||Oklahoma City Community College Oklahoma City, OK||Tuition||# of Online Programs 14||Acceptance Rate -||Graduation Rate 14%||Financial Aid 34%||Credit For Experience No||Placement Service Yes||Counseling Services Yes||
Oklahoma City Community College offers several direct career-related programs in their Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree programs. Programs like administrative office technology, geographic information systems and speech language pathology assistant are designed to help students to enter the workforce directly after they complete their degrees. Students take courses related directly to their chosen career. If the field requires it, students should be prepared to sit for any necessary licensing exams. OCCC offers the “OCCC job skills guarantee” for its AAS degrees, because the school strives to ensure students will be fully prepared to enter the workforce.
|8||Northern Oklahoma College Tonkawa, OK||Tuition||# of Online Programs 4||Acceptance Rate -||Graduation Rate 19%||Financial Aid 25%||Credit For Experience No||Placement Service Yes||Counseling Services Yes||
On-the-job learning is provided in Northern Oklahoma College’s Associate of Applied Science (AAS) programs. These programs are specifically designed to meet the needs of students who are interested in a specific trade and would like to achieve a career in that field, ideally immediately after graduation. Because many of the skills acquired in these programs are highly valued by employers, the schools strives to prepare graduates to be hired after graduation. Academic advisors are on hand at Northern Oklahoma College to help ensure students are taking the classes necessary to graduate in a sensible timeframe.
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 therapists, paralegals, HVAC 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.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.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.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.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.Apply for Scholarship
Additional Education and Career Resources
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.
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.
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.