Vocational Trade Schools in Oregon

May 26, 2022 • 6 Min Read

Find a program that’s right for you.

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.

Top 10 Vocational Trade Schools in Oregon

#1 Portland Community College Portland, OR
#2 Rogue Community College Grants Pass, OR
#3 Chemeketa Community College Salem, OR
#4 Lane Community College Eugene, OR
#5 Clackamas Community College Oregon City, OR
#6 Umpqua Community College Roseburg, OR
#7 Linn-Benton Community College Albany, OR
#8 Mount Hood Community College Gresham, OR
#9 Blue Mountain Community College Pendleton, OR
#10 Central Oregon Community College Bend, OR

AccreditedSchoolsOnline.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Top Online Programs

Explore programs of your interests with the high-quality standards and flexibility you need to take your career to the next level.


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. Portland Community College

    Portland, OR



    Established in 1961, PCC offers academic and vocational students an array of study fields and credential types. Vocational program options include accounting, environmental landscape management technology, and welding.

    PCC's associate degrees require at least 90 credits. Associate of applied science (AAS) programs include addiction counseling, aviation science, computer information systems, and paramedics. AAS students can concentrate in diesel service technology, dental hygiene, exercise science, and graphic design.

    PCC also offers two-year certificates, one-year certificates, shorter certificates, and career pathway programs. Two-year certificate options include automotive, civil engineering, mechanical engineering technology, and sign language interpretation. Through one-year certificates and career pathways students can seek training in fields such as auto body painting, childcare aid, computer technology, and culinary assistance.

    Enrollees in electrical and sheet metal worker programs may participate in apprenticeship opportunities. Online learning options allow PCC's distance learners to advance their careers without commuting to campus.

  2. Rogue Community College

    Grants Pass, OR



    A public college with locations in Jackson and Josephine counties, RCC has served Rogue Valley students since 1970. Across campuses in Grants Pass, Medford, and White City, this vocational school in Oregon offers dozens of associate degree and certificate programs suitable for career preparation or transfer to four-year programs.

    RCC grants associate of arts (AA), associate of general studies (AGS), associate of science (AS), and Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degrees. Serving students seeking transfer to Oregon universities, RCC's AA and AS degrees take two years to complete. These degrees satisfy general education requirements at many Oregon schools.

    AAS degrees and certificates emphasize hands-on learning and typically provide career training and credentials for students seeking immediate employment upon graduation. Career pathways certifications usually require about 30 credits, while regular certificates often include around 40 credits. RCC applicants undergo a placement process to assess college readiness.

  3. Chemeketa Community College

    Salem, OR



    Founded in 1952 and located near Salem, Chemeketa serves over 30,000 students annually. The college offers transfer and professional degrees, career pathways certificates, and work training programs.

    Career pathway specialization options include building inspection, drafting, electronics, and machining. Students interested in business often pursue certificates in management, health information management, hospitality and tourism management, or business technology.

    For aspiring bachelor's students, Chemeketa's AA, AS in business, and AS in computer science degrees transfer well to four-year Oregon colleges and universities. Chemeketa also provides AS, AAS, and AGS degrees not designed for transfer. These programs often enhance entry-level career opportunities.

    Chemeketa students can complete some programs online. Enrollees can also explore student services offerings, including counseling, academic support, and veterans services. Chemeketa applicants complete placement testing. Eligible students may apply for financial aid.

  4. Lane Community College

    Eugene, OR



    Founded in 1964 and headquartered in Eugene, Lane provides over 50 areas of study to 26,000 students across its campuses in Eugene, Florence, and Cottage Grove. Like many vocational schools in Oregon, Lane offers several degree and certificate types, including associate of arts and associate of science Oregon transfer degrees (AAOT and ASOT) and AS, AGS, and AAS degrees. Lane students can also choose from certificate programs in various technical fields.

    Some students pursue careers in green energy through Lane's programs in watershed science and conservation, renewable energy, energy management, and sustainability. Enrollees in building-related trades, such as construction, electrical, and industrial mechanics, can participate in apprenticeship programs entailing 144 hours of training over 2-4 years.

    Lane's Career Exploration Center provides various services, including career assessment, counseling, and networking. Lane also hosts centers devoted to gender equity, women in transition, and veterans.

  5. Clackamas Community College

    Oregon City, OR



    One of the largest vocational schools in Oregon, CCC operates campuses in Oregon City, Clackamas, and Wilsonville, plus extension sites in Canby and Molalla. CCC offers many program options, including transfer degrees and career and technical degrees and certificates.

    CCC's transferable degrees include the associate of arts Oregon transfer (AAOT), the associate of science Oregon transfer (ASOT) in business or science, the AS, and the AGS. For students eager to enter the workforce, CCC also offers an AAS degree that includes a cooperative work experience.

    CCC's associate degrees typically require about two years to complete. Students seeking a shorter time investment can pursue various career and technical certificate options. CCC's online learning team offers some courses for distance learners.

    Students in electrical, limited energy, plumbing and painting, and protective signaling degree or certificate programs can gain hands-on skills through CCC's apprenticeship programs.

  6. Umpqua Community College

    Roseburg, OR



    Located near Roseburg, UCC offers transfer education and career education programs tailored to dozens of academic and vocational paths. Like many vocational schools in Oregon, UCC offers various career certificate programs.

    UCC's short-term career pathway certificates focus on skills for specific careers such as junior web developer, public relations communication assistant, or automotive basic technician. Students may also enroll in longer certificate programs in areas such as financial services, legal assisting, viticulture, and addiction studies.

    Learners can pursue AAS degrees in fields such as viticulture and enology, engineering and surveying, welding, and fire science. Industrial and electrical program enrollees gain for-credit work experience through UCC apprenticeships.

    AAOT focus area options include health sciences, public safety, humanities, and social sciences, while AS degrees include agricultural business management, computer science, forestry, and music. AGS degrees provide a more general education and may not transfer as well as AAOT or AS degrees.

  7. Linn-Benton Community College

    Albany, OR



    Located in Albany, LBCC offers over 80 academic and vocational programs, including certificates, AS, AAS, and associate transfer degrees. Associate degrees usually require about two years of full-time attendance to complete, while certificates typically take one year or less.

    LBCC's associate degree transfer programs allow students to complete half of the required credits for bachelor's programs at most Oregon schools. Transfer degree concentrations include economics, criminal justice, elementary education, and art. Students seeking jobs requiring two-year degrees often pursue AAS degrees in fields such as industrial pipe trades, nondestructive testing, practical business management, and culinary arts.

    LBCC also offers short-term and one-year certificates for students seeking entry-level employment without a four-year degree. LBCC's certificates prepare students for jobs such as accounting clerk, medical coder, surgical technician, and CNC machinist.

    Eligible students can qualify for financial aid and scholarships. LBCC also offers student services such as academic advising, career services, and counseling.

  8. Mount Hood Community College

    Gresham, OR



    MHCC is a large vocational school in Oregon that serves over 30,000 students and runs various academic and professional programs. Students can earn two-year associate degrees or two-semester certificates in most areas, including integrated metals, business management, child development, and theater arts technologies.

    MHCC also offers 12 associate degrees in areas including automotive, dental hygiene, engineering technology, and funeral services education. Associate degrees typically require about 90 credits, while certificates vary from 12-60 credits. Through collaborations with several apprenticeship training centers, MHCC offers apprenticeship programs for students pursuing trade careers such as brickmasons, carpenters, electricians, and metalworkers.

    MHCC encourages a diverse student body by maintaining an open enrollment policy. The school also supports students through its Career Planning and Counseling Center, veteran services, and Learning Success Center. MHCC offers three completely online degrees convenient for distance learners.

  9. Blue Mountain Community College

    Pendleton, OR



    Founded in 1962 and headquartered in Pendleton, BMCC serves students across Umatilla, Morrow, and Baker counties. Like most vocational schools in Oregon, this two-year college awards various certificates and associate degrees.

    Transfer associate degree options include the AAOT and the ASOT in business or computer science. To assist credit and degree transfer, BMCC maintains articulation agreements with several schools in Oregon, Montana, Washington, and Idaho.

    BMCC students can also earn AS, AGA, or AAS degrees. Certificate options include the certificate of completion, the career pathways certificate, and the statewide career pathways certificate. Students usually complete about 90 credits to earn an associate degree and about 24-60 credits to earn a certificate. Like many tech schools in Oregon, BMCC programs span many subjects, including engineering, medical, trade, and computer technologies.

    Additional helpful offerings include tutoring, career exploration help, distance-learning options, and apprenticeship programs.

  10. Central Oregon Community College

    Bend, OR



    Oregon's oldest community college, COCC began in 1949 and now maintains four campuses across three counties. Campus locations include a main campus in Bend and satellite campuses in Redmond, Prineville, and Madras.

    COCC's impressive array of degree and certificate programs includes many academic and vocational fields. Students hoping to transfer to four-year programs can earn AAOT degrees in academic disciplines such as communications, education, and humanities. ASOT degree options include business administration and computer science.

    Learners hoping to start careers sooner often pursue COCC's many certificate or AAS programs. Certificate programs include computer-aided drafting, forest protection, geographic information systems, and hospitality management. AAS offerings include aviation, massage therapy, nursing, and health information management.

    COCC features open admissions and encourages Native American student enrollment. Student services include career services, tutoring, and counseling. COCC also provides e-learning options.

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 Sponsored by The Oregonian, this is an online database for job search in Portland and the state.
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...


Popular Resources

Whether you’re looking to earn your online degree or you’re a parent looking for answers, you can find all of your questions covered here. Explore these resources to help you make informed decisions and prepare for whatever is thrown your way.

See All Posts

AccreditedSchoolsOnline.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Shape your future with an online degree

Connect with a community of peers, and find a program that will allow you to continue your education in a fast and flexible way.