Vocational Trade Schools in Oregon [2022 Guide]

Updated November 2, 2022

Accredited trade schools in Oregon meet the federal requirements for financial aid assistance. The ability to complete a certificate or

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Why Choose Trade School?

Vocational and trade schools in Oregon offer career training in healthcare, professional trades, and technology. Graduates with a vocational certificate or degree can work as plumbers, medical assistants, dental hygienists, and paralegals. Many trade school careers offer strong salaries and growth potential.

During a vocational program, students complete a mix of classroom and experiential requirements. In addition to coursework, many vocational programs include practical training. For example, electricians and HVAC technicians build career-ready skills through internships.

Many trade and tech schools in Oregon charge lower tuition rates than four-year colleges. The ability to complete a certificate or degree in 1-2 years also helps professionals enter the workforce in less time. Many trade schools prioritize flexibility by offering self-paced or accelerated options, and several also offer online vocational programs.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, professionals with an occupational credential report a higher employment rate than people with an academic credential.

This page ranks the best vocational schools in Oregon to help prospective trade school students find a top-ranked, affordable program. It also provides career and salary outlook information for trade school jobs, introduces popular trade school programs, and lists scholarship opportunities for trade school students.

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FAQ

QUESTIONANSWER
What is trade school?Trade schools train students in specific career paths. Most learners spend 1-2 years completing a vocational program before entering the workforce.
Can I get financial aid for trade school?Yes. Accredited trade schools in Oregon meet the federal requirements for financial aid assistance. Trade school students can also receive private loans, grants, and scholarships.
Can trade school credits transfer?Yes. Credits earned at an accredited trade school can transfer to other institutions. Some institutions may only accept transfer credit from regionally accredited schools.
How long does trade school take?Completing a vocational certificate generally takes one year, while earning an associate degree in a career and technical education field typically takes two years.

Accreditation and Licensing for Trade Schools

Prospective trade school students should always check a school's accreditation and licensing status before applying. Credits earned at an accredited school are more likely to transfer, and some professional licenses and certifications require an accredited degree.

In many vocational career paths that require a license, practitioners must attend an accredited institution. Students at accredited schools can also receive federal financial aid.

Colleges and universities undergo a rigorous screening process to earn accreditation. During an accreditation review, an independent accrediting agency evaluates the school's student learning outcomes, academic mission, and faculty qualifications. Only schools that meet high standards earn accreditation, and accredited schools must regularly repeat the review to maintain their status.

Trade schools, colleges, and universities may hold regional or national accreditation. Liberal arts and research institutions, including community colleges, generally hold regional accreditation. In Oregon, the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities grants regional accreditation to two-year and four-year institutions.

Vocational, trade, and technical schools in Oregon often pursue national accreditation. Several specialized agencies grant national accreditation, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges. The Distance Education Accrediting Commission grants accreditation to online schools.

In addition to accreditation, private trade and vocational schools in Oregon must hold a state-issued license. In Oregon, the Private Career School Unit of the Higher Education Coordinating Commission​licenses schools that offer training and certificate programs with a career focus.

Learn more about the accreditation process.

Vocational Trade Schools in Oregon

Vocational schools in Oregon prepare students for careers in healthcare, legal services, cosmetology, skilled trades, and other in-demand fields. Our list ranks the best vocational and trade schools in Oregon to help prospective students find the right fit for their interests and career goals.

#1 Vocational Trade Schools in Oregon [2022 Guide]

Portland Community College

  • Portland, OR
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

Portland Community College lets learners choose from 57 associate programs and 81 certificate programs. From its Portland, Oregon, campus, the public institution lets students choose from online and on-campus enrollment options. Many attendees work while pursuing a degree or certificate.

Many of the school's programs emphasize career training and include practical skills. Associate degree-seekers also complete general education courses that build broad skills, such as writing and critical thinking. Certificate program enrollees take focused classes in their field rather than general education classes.

A certificate trains recipients for entry-level positions in a specific field. With an associate degree, graduates either enter the workforce or apply to four-year colleges as a transfer student.

Portland Community College at a Glance:

Total Online Associate Programs: 6

Total Online Certificate Programs: 1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $4,176

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $9,036

Average Tuition
In-state
$4,176
Out-of-state
$9,036
Retention Rate
65%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
27,650
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
33% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

#2 Vocational Trade Schools in Oregon [2022 Guide]

Rogue Community College

  • Grants Pass, OR
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

At Rogue Community College, learners choose from 38 associate programs and 70 certificate programs. From its main campus in Grants Pass, Oregon, the public institution provides flexible enrollment options. These flexible options help students work while in school.

The school's career-focused programs provide the knowledge and skills required for specialized roles. Associate degree-seekers also complete general education courses that build broad skills, such as writing and critical thinking. Instead of general education classes, certificate candidates complete a focused curriculum in their area of study.

Professionals apply for entry-level roles in their field after completing a certificate. With an associate degree, graduates enter the workforce or continue their education at the bachelor's level.

Rogue Community College at a Glance:

Total Online Associate Programs: 2

Undergrad Tuition In State: $4,032

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $4,932

Average Tuition
In-state
$4,032
Out-of-state
$4,932
Retention Rate
53%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
4,634
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
44% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

#3 Vocational Trade Schools in Oregon [2022 Guide]

Chemeketa Community College

  • Salem, OR
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

Learners enroll in 44 associate programs and 48 certificate programs at Chemeketa Community College. From its main campus in Salem, Oregon, the public institution provides flexible enrollment options. Attendees can sometimes work full time while in school.

Many of the school's programs emphasize career training and include practical skills. Those in associate programs take general education courses that build transferable skills like writing and critical thinking. Instead of general education courses, certificate students take courses in their field of study.

With a certificate, graduates apply for entry-level positions in their field. After earning an associate degree, alumni pursue employment or apply to bachelor's programs as a transfer student.

Chemeketa Community College at a Glance:

Total Online Associate Programs: 11

Total Online Certificate Programs: 16

Undergrad Tuition In State: $4,095

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $11,520

Average Tuition
In-state
$4,095
Out-of-state
$11,520
Retention Rate
64%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
9,347
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
38% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

#4 Vocational Trade Schools in Oregon [2022 Guide]

Lane Community College

  • Eugene, OR
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

At Lane Community College, learners can study in 44 associate programs and 49 certificate programs. The public institution offers flexible enrollment options, including online classes and courses offered at the Eugene, Oregon, campus. Working students benefit from the flexible course options.

In the school's career-focused programs, enrollees train for a defined career path after graduation. In associate programs, degree-seekers take general education courses that strengthen critical thinking and writing skills. Rather than taking general education courses, certificate candidates complete a focused curriculum of courses in their field of study.

With a certificate, graduates enter the workforce prepared for many entry-level roles. Associate degree-holders can either pursue employment or transfer into a bachelor's program.

Lane Community College at a Glance:

Total Online Associate Programs: 8

Total Online Certificate Programs: 11

Undergrad Tuition In State: $4,248

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $9,882

Average Tuition
In-state
$4,248
Out-of-state
$9,882
Retention Rate
58%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
8,861
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
35% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

#5 Vocational Trade Schools in Oregon [2022 Guide]

Clackamas Community College

  • Oregon City, OR
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

At Clackamas Community College, learners can study in 44 associate programs and 79 certificate programs. The public institution offers flexible enrollment options, including online classes and courses offered at the Oregon City, Oregon, campus. The flexible course options make it easier for attendees to work while pursuing a certificate or degree.

Many of the school's programs emphasize career training and include practical skills. In associate programs, degree-seekers strengthen transferable skills during general education classes. Instead of general education courses, certificate students complete classes related to their field.

With a certificate, recipients move into the workforce and pursue entry-level roles. With an associate degree, graduates can enter the job market or apply to four-year colleges as a transfer student.

Clackamas Community College at a Glance:

Total Online Associate Programs: 3

Total Online Certificate Programs: 7

Undergrad Tuition In State: $4,635

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $12,330

Average Tuition
In-state
$4,635
Out-of-state
$12,330
Retention Rate
62%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
6,270
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
37% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

#6 Vocational Trade Schools in Oregon [2022 Guide]

Umpqua Community College

  • Roseburg, OR
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

Umpqua Community College provides 22 associate programs and 40 certificate programs for students. Based in Roseburg, Oregon, this public college features both online and on-campus enrollment options, creating flexibility for all types of learners. Degree- and certificate-seekers often balance school with work.

The school's career-focused programs provide the knowledge and skills required for specialized roles. In associate programs, participants strengthen transferable skills during general education classes. Certificate candidates take classes related to their field with no requirements outside of their major.

Professionals apply for entry-level roles in their field after completing a certificate. After an associate degree, graduates enter the workforce or apply to bachelor's programs as a transfer student.

Umpqua Community College at a Glance:

Total Online Associate Programs: 4

Total Online Certificate Programs: 8

Undergrad Tuition In State: $3,939

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $4,563

Average Tuition
In-state
$3,939
Out-of-state
$4,563
Retention Rate
50%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
2,458
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
54% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

#7 Vocational Trade Schools in Oregon [2022 Guide]

Linn-Benton Community College

  • Albany, OR
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

At Linn-Benton Community College, students advance their education in 64 associate programs and 29 certificate programs. From its main campus in Albany, Oregon, the public institution offers both online and on-campus enrollment options. These flexible options help attendees continue to work while in school.

Many of the school's programs strengthen career-focused skills that train learners for a particular role. Associate programs include general education classes that strengthen soft skills like communication and writing. Certificate candidates complete a focused curriculum that does not include classes outside of their field.

With a certificate, graduates qualify for entry-level roles in their field. With an associate degree, alumni apply for jobs or pursue a bachelor's degree.

Linn-Benton Community College at a Glance:

Total Online Certificate Programs: 1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $4,765

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $11,928

Average Tuition
In-state
$4,765
Out-of-state
$11,928
Retention Rate
59%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
5,533
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
21% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

#8 Vocational Trade Schools in Oregon [2022 Guide]

Blue Mountain Community College

  • Pendleton, OR
  • 2 years
  • Campus

At Blue Mountain Community College, learners choose from 24 associate programs and 41 certificate programs. Enrollees select from online and on-campus courses offered by the public institution from its location in Pendleton, Oregon. These flexible options appeal to busy students balancing school with other obligations.

Many of the school's programs emphasize career training and include practical skills. In associate programs, degree-seekers strengthen critical thinking and writing skills in general education courses. Certificate candidates complete courses in their field of study without general education requirements.

Certificate recipients can move directly into the workforce in entry-level positions. With an associate degree, graduates apply for jobs or pursue a bachelor's degree. Undergrad tuition at the college is $4,860 for in-state students and $7,290 for out-of-state students.

Average Tuition
In-state
$4,860
Out-of-state
$7,290
Retention Rate
50%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
1,559
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
51% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

#9 Vocational Trade Schools in Oregon [2022 Guide]

Central Oregon Community College

  • Bend, OR
  • 2 years
  • Campus

Students advance their education in 30 associate programs and 44 certificate programs at Central Oregon Community College. Based in Bend, Oregon, this public college features both online and on-campus enrollment options, creating flexibility for all types of learners. Degree- and certificate-seekers often balance school with work.

In the school's career-focused programs, participants gain industry-specific skills. General education classes in associate programs build key soft skills like communication, writing, and critical thinking. Certificate program enrollees take classes in their field of study without general education course requirements.

A certificate helps recipients advance their career or move into a new role. After earning an associate degree, alumni enter the workforce or transfer into a bachelor's program. The college's undergraduate tuition costs $5,346 for Oregon residents and $11,124 for student living elsewhere.

Average Tuition
In-state
$5,346
Out-of-state
$11,124
Retention Rate
56%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
4,818
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
38% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

#10 Vocational Trade Schools in Oregon [2022 Guide]

Klamath Community College

  • Klamath Falls, OR
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

At Klamath Community College, learners can study in 24 associate programs and 37 certificate programs. Located in Klamath Falls, Oregon, the public institution offers online and on-campus enrollment options, increasing flexibility for students. Working professionals find the flexible options fit their busy schedules.

The school's career-focused programs provide cutting-edge training in specific career paths. General education classes in associate programs strengthen transferable skills like critical thinking and writing. Rather than taking general education courses, certificate candidates complete a focused curriculum of courses in their field of study.

With a certificate, graduates pursue entry-level positions in their field. With an associate degree, alumni enter the workforce or continue their education at the bachelor's level.

Klamath Community College at a Glance:

Total Online Associate Programs: 9

Total Online Certificate Programs: 11

Undergrad Tuition In State: $3,708

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $6,282

Average Tuition
In-state
$3,708
Out-of-state
$6,282
Retention Rate
51%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
1,715
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
51% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

Find Vocational and Trade Schools in Oregon

Vocational and trade schools in Oregon focus on six broad areas: arts, information and communications, industrial and engineering systems, agriculture, food and natural resource systems, health services, human resources and business management. Students can earn vocational degrees at community colleges, technical schools, comprehensive high schools and adult learning centers.

Use the search tool below to find the Oregon vocational and trade schools that best match your career goals.

Career and Salary Outlook for Trade School Graduates

Many vocational and trade careers offer strong career and salary outlooks. For example, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that dental hygienistsHVAC technicians, and paralegals all earn strong salaries with much faster-than-average projected job growth between 2018 and 2028. Other trade careers, including in allied health, professional trades, and STEM fields, report strong job growth and earning potential for professionals with a vocational certificate or degree.

The salary and job outlook for trade school graduates varies widely depending on industry, experience, and location. For example, technical and trade school occupations earn an average wage of $55,000 per year. Management occupations make more than $96,000 per year on average, while construction occupations earn around $60,000 per year.

Prospective trade school students can research Oregon salary data to learn about the earning potential in their field. For example, dental hygienists in Oregon earn an average salary of over $87,000 per year, while occupational therapy assistants earn around $63,000 per year. By researching salary information in their field, prospective students can make an informed decision about their educational path.

What Kinds of Trade School Programs Are Available?

Trade schools in Oregon offer programs for electricians, dental hygienists, occupational therapy assistants, and other growing fields. Vocational programs provide career training for fields like healthcare, legal services, personal services, and professional trades.

The following list introduces some common trade school programs. In addition to these examples, prospective students can research certificates and degrees at top-ranked vocational schools in Oregon.

Electrician Schools

Electricians install and maintain electrical systems for homes, businesses, and other buildings. They inspect electrical components, identify electrical problems, and conduct repairs. Electricians must follow building regulations to maintain safety.

Most electricians enter the field through an apprenticeship or a technical program that covers electrical theory, code requirements, and safety practices. Vocational programs also include an internship or practicum to strengthen practical skills.

According to BLS data, electricians earned a median annual salary of over $56,000 in 2019. The BLS projects jobs for electricians to grow 10% between 2018 and 2028.

In Oregon, the Buildings Code Division licenses electricians and electrical contractors. Applicants must verify their electrical experience and pass an examination.

For more information, visit our page on electrician programs.

Dental Hygienist Schools

Dental hygienists clean teeth and examine patients for oral diseases. They also take dental x-rays, educate patients on oral health, and document treatment plans. Dental hygienists earned a median annual salary of over $76,000 in 2019, with much faster-than-average projected job growth between 2018 and 2028. 

Dental hygienists typically complete an associate program with classroom and clinical training. During the degree, learners study anatomy, dental hygiene, and periodontics. Programs also incorporate supervised patient training in a lab or clinical setting.

After meeting educational requirements, dental hygienists must apply for a state-issued license. In Oregon, the Oregon Board of Dentistry licenses dental hygienists who graduate from an accredited dental hygiene program and pass a national exam that includes a clinical component. 

For more, visit our page on dental hygienist programs.

Medical Billing and Coding Schools

Medical billing and coding professionals, also called medical records technicians or health information technicians, keep medical records for hospitals, doctor's offices, and other healthcare facilities. They file documents for insurance reimbursement, maintain patient treatment records, and organize health information data.

Careers in medical billing and coding typically require a certificate or associate degree, during which learners study medical terminology, health data regulations, and coding systems. After completing a certificate or degree, graduates can earn a professional certification to stand out on the job market. Many employers prefer to hire certified candidates.

Health information technicians earned a median annual salary of over $40,000 in 2018, with much faster-than-average projected job growth between 2018 and 2028.

Learn more about medical billing and coding programs.

Pharmacy Technician Schools

Pharmacy technicians fill prescriptions and dispense medicines to health professionals and customers. In hospitals and retail pharmacies, pharmacy technicians assist pharmacists and make sure the pharmacy operates smoothly.

Many pharmacy technicians hold a certificate or associate degree from a pharmacy technology program. During the program, students learn about pharmacy law, prescription medications, and dispensing medicines. Most programs incorporate a clinical requirement.

The median annual salary for pharmacy technicians was nearly $34,000 in 2019. The BLS projects jobs for these professionals to grow 7% between 2018 and 2028. Pharmacy technicians in Oregon need a state-issued license. The Oregon Board of Pharmacy grants licenses to pharmacy technicians who meet educational requirements and pass a national exam.

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

Financial Aid for Trade School Students

Trade school students can use financial aid to pay for their degree. Accredited schools meet the requirements for federal financial aid. Students can apply for federal loans, grants, and work-study programs by filling out the FAFSA every year. Prospective students can check with potential schools to find out if their students can receive federal financial aid.

The cost of a vocational certificate or degree varies depending on the school and program. Oregon's four-year colleges and universities cost $10,000-$38,000 per year in tuition and fees, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. In contrast, community colleges cost under $4,500 per year. By researching tuition and fees, students can find a program that fits their budget.

Grants and scholarships offer one of the best forms of financial aid for trade school. Unlike loans, students do not need to pay back scholarships and grants.

The following section provides information about scholarships available to students at vocational schools in Oregon.

Scholarship for Trade School Students

Government agencies, private organizations, and foundations provide scholarships for students pursuing a vocational certification or degree. In addition to the following scholarships, students can find opportunities based on their major or school.

OSAC Scholarships

Who Can Apply: The Oregon Office of Student Access and Completion lists hundreds of scholarships for Oregon students, including opportunities based on need, merit, and major. Requirements vary depending on the scholarship.
Amount: Varies

Apply for Scholarship

Oregon Chafee Education and Training Grant

Who Can Apply: This grant funds foster care students attending a postsecondary institution. Applicants must be currently in foster care or meet former foster youth requirements.
Amount: $2,500

Apply for Scholarship

Oregon Barbers and Hairdresser Grant

Who Can Apply: Oregon residents who attend a licensed school of barbering, cosmetology, or a related field qualify for the grant. Students must attend an accredited school on a full-time basis and demonstrate financial need.
Amount: Varies

Apply for Scholarship

Pride Foundation Scholarships

Who Can Apply: The Pride Foundation offers scholarships to LGBTQ+ and allied student leaders in the Northwest. Applicants attending trade and vocational schools in Oregon meet the requirements.
Amount: Varies

Apply for Scholarship

Brent Strohmeyer Memorial Foundation Scholarship

Who Can Apply: Residents of Linn, Marion, or Polk counties can apply for the scholarship. Students enrolled in automotive classes in an institution of higher education, including community college or trade school, receive preference.
Amount: $400

Apply for Scholarship

Additional Education and Career Resources

OregonLive - Job Search

State of Oregon: Bureau of Labor and Industries

The agency's website includes information on wage laws, employment statistics, and vocational training in the state.

Work Source Oregon

In addition to a job search database, Workforce Oregon provides education and training resources by subject: healthcare, STEM, green jobs, and diverse groups.

Learn More...

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