Vocational Trade Schools in Pennsylvania

This Pennsylvania technical college maintains articulation agreements with several senior institutions throughout the region to help CCAC graduates transfer smoothly to
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Updated September 5, 2023

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Why Choose Trade School?

Trade schools in Pennsylvania offer career-focused training in fields like healthcare, skilled trades, technology, and legal services. Trade school jobs include medical assistant, electrician, paralegal, physical therapist assistant, and paramedic. Vocational programs also train cosmetologists, chefs, dental hygienists, and respiratory therapists.

Pursuing a vocational certificate or degree helps professionals increase their earning potential and begin careers in high-demand areas. During a vocational program, students build career-ready skills in the classroom and through laboratory or clinical requirements.

Vocational programs offer several benefits compared to four-year academic programs. Earning a vocational certificate or degree generally takes 1-2 years, meaning students finish their program and enter the workforce faster. As a result, vocational training typically costs less than a bachelor's degree.

In addition, professionals with an occupational credential benefit from a higher employment rate than those with an academic credential, according to 2009 data from the National Center for Education Statistics. Many trade schools offer self-paced or accelerated options designed for busy students, and a growing number provide online vocational programs that maximize flexibility.

Our ranking lists the best vocational schools in Pennsylvania to help prospective students find the right fit to reach their career goals. This page also provides career and salary data for trade school occupations, introduces popular vocational programs, and lists scholarship opportunities for trade students in Pennsylvania.

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.

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FAQ About Vocation and Trade Schools


What is the difference between a trade school and a college?

Trade schools provide job-oriented training for careers in healthcare, the skilled trades, construction, and other fields. Colleges generally focus on academic programs, although many also offer vocational programs.

What can you learn at a trade school?

Trade schools educate students in areas like allied health, technology, and the skilled trades. Specialized trade schools offer training in cosmetology and the culinary arts.

What are examples of vocational jobs?

Vocational jobs include careers in the skilled trades like electrician, HVAC technician, and mechanic. In the allied health field, vocational jobs include medical assistant, occupational therapy assistant, and respiratory therapist. Other occupational jobs include paralegal, cosmetologist, and paramedic.

How much does a trade school cost?

The cost of vocational programs varies depending on the program length and school. Trade school students can research the most affordable vocational programs, including public community colleges with vocational programs.

Accreditation and Licensing for Trade Schools

Prospective trade school students should always check a school's accreditation and licensure status before applying. By avoiding non-accredited, non-licensed schools, also known as diploma mills, students can make sure their vocational training prepares them for the workforce.

Accredited schools meet high standards for educating students. To earn accreditation, colleges and universities voluntarily submit to a rigorous review from an independent, nonprofit accrediting agency. During the review, the accrediting agency measures the school's student learning outcomes, faculty qualifications, and graduation requirements.

Choosing an accredited school helps students. Credits earned from an accredited institution are more likely to transfer, and only students at accredited schools can receive federal financial aid. Accreditation continues to matter after graduation. Many professional licenses and certifications require an accredited degree.

In Pennsylvania, schools that offer vocational programs may hold regional or national accreditation. Community colleges and four-year universities often hold regional accreditation. The Middle States Commission on Higher Education grants regional accreditation in Pennsylvania.

Trade and vocational schools in Pennsylvania often pursue national accreditation from specialized accrediting agencies like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges, which awards accreditation to over 650 trade and technical schools. Similarly, the Distance Education Accrediting Commission grants accreditation to online schools. Accrediting agencies should always hold approval from the Department of Education.

In addition to accreditation, postsecondary institutions should hold a license to operate in Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania Department of Education approves technical schools, community colleges, and universities in the state.

Vocational Trade Schools in Pennsylvania

Trade schools in Pennsylvania offer vocational training for careers in high-demand fields. By choosing a top-ranked vocational program, professionals can advance their education and increase their earning potential, often in under two years. The following list ranks the best vocational schools in Pennsylvania.

#1 Vocational Trade Schools in Pennsylvania

Bucks County Community College

  • Newtown, PA
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

Located in Newtown, Pennsylvania, Bucks County Community College provides premier study opportunities to learners through its hybrid degree programs. For individuals seeking remote study, the college offers online associate programs.

Across modalities, students benefit from rigorous coursework, premier faculty, and industry-specific learning opportunities. Enrollees complete foundational classes and subject-specific coursework throughout their studies. Degree-seekers can further their education through experiential learning opportunities, such as internships.

The college connects students with numerous institutional resources, such as career services and academic advising. Prospective learners seeking to fund their studies can meet with the financial aid office to explore scholarships, fellowships, and other aid. Given the generosity of the college, 50% of all admitted students receive financial aid awards.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$7,920
Out-of-state
$11,880
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
Not provided
Out-of-state
Not provided
Retention Rate
70%
Acceptance Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
7,480
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
44% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#2 Vocational Trade Schools in Pennsylvania

Lehigh Carbon Community College

  • Schnecksville, PA
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

Lehigh Carbon Community College offers a variety of degree programs from its main campus in Schnecksville, Pennsylvania. Presently, the college supports many associate degree programs, with several options providing remote study.

Every student benefits from a supportive learning community, complete with skilled faculty and industry-relevant coursework. Once enrolled, students complete foundational and advanced coursework relevant to their subject field. Participants can explore collaborative opportunities throughout the duration of their program, including faculty-led research projects, internships, and professional activities.

Throughout their studies, learners benefit from career services, academic advising, and other institutional resources. To learn more about funding opportunities for education, students can meet with the financial aid office. Of those admitted to the college, 83% receive financial aid awards. Of all admitted students, 18% graduate from the college.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$6,360
Out-of-state
$9,540
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
Not provided
Out-of-state
Not provided
Retention Rate
56%
Acceptance Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
6,843
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
37% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#3 Vocational Trade Schools in Pennsylvania

Community College of Allegheny County

  • Pittsburgh, PA
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

Students seeking flexible hybrid study should consider enrolling at Community College of Allegheny County. The school supports associate degrees from its main campus in Pittsburgh. Graduate students can enroll in one of the school's fully remote programs.

Across modalities, students benefit from rigorous coursework, premier faculty, and industry-specific learning opportunities. Degree-seekers complete foundational and advanced coursework throughout their studies. Enrollees can supplement their learning through experiential learning opportunities, such as internships and research projects.

While enrolled, students can access numerous institutional resources, such as career services and academic advising. Prospective students can meet with a financial aid counselor to explore funding opportunities for their education. Of those admitted to the college, 63% receive financial aid awards. The college boasts an 18% graduation rate.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$6,960
Out-of-state
$10,440
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
Not provided
Out-of-state
Not provided
Retention Rate
58%
Acceptance Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
16,031
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
35% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#4 Vocational Trade Schools in Pennsylvania

Community College of Philadelphia

  • Philadelphia, PA
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

Learners seeking flexible hybrid study should consider enrolling at Community College of Philadelphia. The institution supports on-campus and online associate and certificate programs.

Students across modalities benefit from robust coursework, skilled faculty, and flexible study options. Degree-seekers complete foundational and advanced coursework throughout their studies. To further their learning, students can pursue internships, collaborate during faculty-driven research projects, and explore other learning opportunities.

Students at the college can access institutional resources, such as career services and academic advising, throughout their studies. Learners can learn more about scholarships, fellowships, and other funding opportunities that can be applied to their education through the financial aid office. The institution connects students with a variety of funding opportunities, with 80% of all enrollees receiving aid.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$7,632
Out-of-state
$11,448
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
Not provided
Out-of-state
Not provided
Retention Rate
60%
Acceptance Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
15,996
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
35% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#5 Vocational Trade Schools in Pennsylvania

Butler County Community College

  • Butler, PA
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

Butler County Community College, a public institution, provides a variety of degree programs suitable for in-person and online study. Undergraduate students can enroll in associate and certificate programs, many of which are fully remote.

Students benefit from a supportive learning community, whether they learn in person or online, and skilled faculty. Enrollees complete foundational and advanced coursework throughout their studies. Students can collaborate with faculty on research projects, pursue internships, and explore other experiential learning opportunities while earning their degree.

Throughout their studies, learners benefit from career services, academic advising, and other institutional resources. The financial aid office connects students with funding opportunities and can help prospective enrollees determine their eligibility for funding. According to the institution, 73% of all incoming students receive financial aid awards. The college reports a 29% graduation rate.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$6,570
Out-of-state
$9,570
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
Not provided
Out-of-state
Not provided
Retention Rate
61%
Acceptance Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
3,176
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
28% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#6 Vocational Trade Schools in Pennsylvania

Northampton County Area Community College

  • Bethlehem, PA
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

Located in Bethlehem, Northampton County Area Community College offers exceptional degree programs for learners from all walks of life. The college boasts associate and certificate programs, available on campus and online.

These learning modalities enable students to learn at their own pace. Enrollees complete foundational classes and subject-specific coursework throughout their studies. Enrollees can supplement their education through experiential learning opportunities, such as internships and research projects.

Enrollees can access institutional resources, such as career services and academic advising, throughout their program. Prospective enrollees can meet with the financial aid office to explore funding opportunities and determine their eligibility. The college reports that 77% of all enrollees receive some form of financial aid. Of all admitted students, 23% graduate from the college.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$6,420
Out-of-state
$9,630
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
Not provided
Out-of-state
Not provided
Retention Rate
59%
Acceptance Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
9,800
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
38% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#7 Vocational Trade Schools in Pennsylvania

Montgomery County Community College

  • Blue Bell, PA
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

Learners seeking flexible hybrid study should consider enrolling at Montgomery County Community College. This public college supports associate and certificate programs from its main campus in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania.

Students benefit from a supportive learning community, whether they enroll in person or online, and skilled faculty. While enrolled, students complete foundational and advanced coursework in their subject area. Students can collaborate with faculty on research projects, pursue internships, and explore other experiential learning opportunities during their degree program.

Learners benefit from institutional resources throughout their studies, including guidance from career services and academic advising. Prospective students seeking to fund their studies can meet with the financial aid office to explore scholarships, fellowships, and other aid. The institution discloses that 60% of all enrollees receive some form of financial aid. Institutional support contributes to the college's 24% graduation rate.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$8,640
Out-of-state
$12,960
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
Not provided
Out-of-state
Not provided
Retention Rate
65%
Acceptance Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
10,309
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
36% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#8 Vocational Trade Schools in Pennsylvania

Luzerne County Community College

  • Nanticoke, PA
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

Learners seeking flexible hybrid study should consider enrolling at Luzerne County Community College. The college offers associate and certificate programs. For students seeking remote study, the college delivers online options.

Learners across modalities benefit from a supportive learning community, attentive faculty, and competitive degree options. Degree-seekers complete foundational and advanced coursework throughout their studies. Enrollees can further their education through experiential learning opportunities, such as internships.

Learners can connect with career services, academic advising, and other offices to receive support and guidance throughout their studies. Students can meet with the financial aid to explore funding opportunities, such as scholarships and fellowships. Typically, 80% of all admitted students receive financial aid awards. Institutional support contributes to the college's 18% graduation rate.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$8,040
Out-of-state
$12,060
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
Not provided
Out-of-state
Not provided
Retention Rate
55%
Acceptance Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
4,920
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
30% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#9 Vocational Trade Schools in Pennsylvania

Harrisburg Area Community College

  • Harrisburg, PA
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

Harrisburg Area Community College, a public institution, provides a variety of degree programs suitable for in-person and online study. The college boasts associate and certificate programs. For students seeking remote study, the college offers online programming.

Across modalities, students benefit from rigorous coursework, premier faculty, and industry-specific learning opportunities. Enrollees complete advanced and general coursework, gaining skills and knowledge relevant to their field of study. Students can further their learning through research projects, internships, and other experiential learning opportunities.

Students benefit from institutional resources, receiving guidance from career services and academic advising. Students can meet with a financial aid counselor to determine their eligibility for scholarships, fellowships, and other funding opportunities. Typically, 79% of all admitted students receive financial aid awards.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$6,660
Out-of-state
$8,010
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
Not provided
Out-of-state
Not provided
Retention Rate
58%
Acceptance Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
17,422
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
42% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#10 Vocational Trade Schools in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Highlands Community College

  • Johnstown, PA
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

Pennsylvania Highlands Community College offers an impressive array of hybrid degree programs. The college offers on-campus associate and certificate programs. Learners can also pursue remote study, choosing from online degrees in many fields.

Across modalities, students benefit from rigorous coursework, premier faculty, and industry-specific learning opportunities. Enrollees complete foundational and advanced coursework throughout their studies. Participants can explore collaborative opportunities for the duration of their program, including faculty-led research projects, internships, and professional activities.

Enrollees benefit from institutional resources throughout their studies, including career services and academic advising. Students can learn more about scholarships, fellowships, and other funding opportunities that can be applied to their education through the financial aid office. According to the institution, 87% of all incoming students receive financial aid awards.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$6,210
Out-of-state
$9,540
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
Not provided
Out-of-state
Not provided
Retention Rate
52%
Acceptance Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
2,752
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
22% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#11 Vocational Trade Schools in Pennsylvania

Community College of Beaver County

  • Monaca, PA
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

Located in Pennsylvania, Community College of Beaver County offers premier programs to students from all walks of life. The institution supports associate and certificate programs, many of which are fully online.

These learning modalities enable students to learn at their own pace. Enrollees complete foundational and advanced coursework as part of their program curriculum. Students can further their learning through research projects, internships, and other experiential learning opportunities.

Throughout their studies, enrollees benefit from career services, academic advising, and other institutional resources. Prospective students can meet with a financial aid counselor to explore funding opportunities for their education. Typically, 79% of all admitted students receive financial aid awards. The college reports a 28% graduation rate.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$9,720
Out-of-state
$14,580
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
Not provided
Out-of-state
Not provided
Retention Rate
54%
Acceptance Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
2,149
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
35% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#12 Vocational Trade Schools in Pennsylvania

Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology

  • Lancaster, PA
  • 2 years
  • Campus

Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology, a leader in hybrid education, boasts numerous in-person and fully remote degree programs. The institution supports associate and certificate programs, including online options for learners seeking remote study.

Students across modalities benefit from robust coursework, skilled faculty, and flexible study options. Enrollees complete advanced and general coursework, gaining skills and knowledge relevant to their field. Students can collaborate with faculty on research projects, pursue internships, and explore other experiential learning opportunities while earning their degree.

Students can access career services, academic advising, and other resources throughout their program. Prospective students can meet with a financial aid counselor to explore funding opportunities for their education. Of those admitted to the college, 88% receive financial aid awards. The college reports an 89% admission rate and a 61% graduation rate.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$8,200
Out-of-state
$8,200
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
Not provided
Out-of-state
Not provided
Retention Rate
73%
Acceptance Rate
89%
Students Enrolled
1,347
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
Not provided
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#13 Vocational Trade Schools in Pennsylvania

Delaware County Community College

  • Media, PA
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

Delaware County Community College is public school supporting in-person and online degree programs from its main campus in Media, Pennsylvania. The institution supports on-campus and online associate and certificate programs, many of which are fully online.

Every student benefits from a supportive learning community, complete with skilled faculty and industry-relevant coursework. Enrollees complete foundational and advanced coursework as part of their program curriculum. Enrollees can supplement their learning through experiential learning opportunities, such as internships and research projects.

Students can access career services, academic advising, and other resources throughout their program. To learn more about funding opportunities for their education, students can meet with the financial aid office. The college offers a variety of financial aid awards, with 61% of all enrollees receiving aid. The college reports a 20% graduation rate.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$7,500
Out-of-state
$11,250
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
Not provided
Out-of-state
Not provided
Retention Rate
62%
Acceptance Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
10,703
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
39% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#14 Vocational Trade Schools in Pennsylvania

Manor College

  • Jenkintown, PA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Located in Jenkintown, Manor College offers exceptional degree programs for learners from all walks of life. Students can choose from 9 bachelor's degree programs and can study on campus or online.

Enrollees in both modalities connect with premier faculty and gain knowledge from industry-relevant coursework. While enrolled, students complete field-specific and general coursework, developing the skills needed to succeed. Learners can pursue additional learning opportunities, such as faculty-driven research projects and internships.

Students can access career services, academic advising, and other resources throughout their program. The financial aid office can connect students with funding opportunities. According to the school, 100% of all enrollees benefit from financial aid. Out of all applicants, 86% are admitted to the college.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$16,922
Out-of-state
$16,922
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$9,600
Out-of-state
$9,600
Retention Rate
48%
Acceptance Rate
86%
Students Enrolled
746
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
53% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#15 Vocational Trade Schools in Pennsylvania

Peirce College

  • Philadelphia, PA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Peirce College, a private college located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, supports educational opportunities for learners of all levels. To date, the college offers 11 bachelor's degree programs and two master's degree programs. Applicants have the option to pursue remote study, with 10 bachelor’s degrees and two master’s programs available virtually.

Students benefit from a supportive learning community, whether learning in person or online, and skilled faculty. While enrolled, students complete foundational and advanced coursework in their subject area. Participants can explore collaborative opportunities for the duration of their program, including faculty-led research projects, internships, and professional activities.

Learners can connect with career services, academic advising, and other offices to receive support and guidance throughout their studies. Prospective enrollees can meet with the financial aid office to explore funding opportunities and determine their eligibility. According to the school, 100% of all enrollees benefit from financial aid.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$14,400
Out-of-state
$14,400
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$13,896
Out-of-state
$13,896
Retention Rate
50%
Acceptance Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
1,178
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
89% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#16 Vocational Trade Schools in Pennsylvania

Reading Area Community College

  • Reading, PA
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

A leader in hybrid education, Reading Area Community College supports in-person and online learning opportunities from its main campus in Reading, Pennsylvania. The institution delivers on-campus and online associate and certificate programs.

Every student benefits from a supportive learning community, complete with skilled faculty and industry-relevant coursework. While enrolled, students complete foundational and field-specific coursework, gaining the skills and knowledge needed to succeed. Students can further their learning by pursuing learning opportunities such as internships and research projects.

The college connects students with numerous institutional resources, such as career services and academic advising. Prospective students seeking to fund their education can meet with the financial aid office to explore scholarships, fellowships, and other aid. Of all enrollees, 83% receive internal and external funding awards.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$8,040
Out-of-state
$9,060
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
Not provided
Out-of-state
Not provided
Retention Rate
63%
Acceptance Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
4,280
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
34% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#17 Vocational Trade Schools in Pennsylvania

Lackawanna College

  • Scranton, PA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Located in Pennsylvania, Lackawanna College offers premier programs to students from all walks of life. This private college supports seven bachelor's degree programs from its main campus in Scranton.

Enrollees in both modalities connect with premier faculty and gain skills and knowledge from industry-relevant coursework. Enrollees complete foundational classes and subject-specific coursework throughout their studies. Students can further their learning by pursuing opportunities such as internships and research projects.

Enrollees at the college can access institutional resources, such as career services and academic advising, throughout their studies. Learners can connect with the financial aid office to explore their eligibility for scholarships, fellowships, and other funding opportunities. About 81% of all enrollees benefit from financial aid. Of all enrollees, 32% graduate from their program.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$15,300
Out-of-state
$15,300
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
Not provided
Out-of-state
Not provided
Retention Rate
100%
Acceptance Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
1,991
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
48% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#18 Vocational Trade Schools in Pennsylvania

Rosedale Technical College

  • Pittsburgh, PA
  • 2 years
  • Campus

Rosedale Technical College offers an impressive array of hybrid degree programs. This private college supports associate and certificate programs from its main campus in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Learners seeking remote study can access online programming.

Every student benefits from a supportive learning community, complete with skilled faculty and industry-relevant coursework. Enrollees complete advanced and general coursework, gaining skills and knowledge relevant to their field of study. Enrollees can pursue internships, research projects, and other learning opportunities throughout their studies.

Learners can access institutional resources, such as career services and academic advising. Students can learn more about scholarships, fellowships, and other funding opportunities that can be applied to their education through the financial aid office. The college reports that 93% of all enrollees receive some form of financial aid. The college admits 60% of all applicants and boasts a 79% graduation rate.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$14,395
Out-of-state
$14,395
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
Not provided
Out-of-state
Not provided
Retention Rate
70%
Acceptance Rate
60%
Students Enrolled
362
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
Not provided
Accreditation
Yes Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges

#19 Vocational Trade Schools in Pennsylvania

Mercyhurst University

  • North East, PA
  • 2 years
  • Campus

Mercyhurst University offers an impressive array of hybrid degree programs. Presently, the college supports associate and certificate programs, many of which are fully remote.

These learning modalities enable students to learn at their own pace. Enrollees complete foundational and advanced coursework throughout their studies. Learners can further their learning through research projects, internships, and other experiential learning opportunities.

Students benefit from institutional resources, receiving guidance from career services and academic advising. Students can learn more about scholarships, fellowships, and other funding opportunities that can be applied to their education through the financial aid office. The college discloses that 100% of all incoming students receive some form of financial aid. The institution reports a 43% graduation rate.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$17,400
Out-of-state
$17,400
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
Not provided
Out-of-state
Not provided
Retention Rate
58%
Acceptance Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
612
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
Not provided
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#20 Vocational Trade Schools in Pennsylvania

Indiana University of Pennsylvania

  • Indiana, PA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

A leader in hybrid education, Indiana University of Pennsylvania supports in-person and online learning opportunities from its main campus. The college boasts 63 bachelor's degree programs and 35 master's degree programs. Students can pursue remote study in one of five programs.

Whether learning in person or online, enrollees benefit from a rigorous curriculum, engaged faculty, and experiential learning opportunities. Once enrolled, students complete foundational and advanced coursework relevant to their subject field. Students can collaborate with faculty on research projects, pursue internships, and explore other experiential learning opportunities during their program.

Learners can connect with career services, academic advising, and other offices to receive support and guidance throughout their studies. Students can connect with the financial aid office to explore their eligibility for scholarships, fellowships, and other funding opportunities. The college notes that approximately 92% of all incoming students are awarded financial aid. The college admits 93% of all applicants and boasts a 56% graduation rate.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$9,570
Out-of-state
$13,890
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$9,288
Out-of-state
$13,932
Retention Rate
72%
Acceptance Rate
93%
Students Enrolled
10,559
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
31% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Career and Salary Outlook for Trade School Graduates

Many trade school careers provide strong salaries and job growth. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports much faster-than-average projected job growth for dental hygienistsparalegals, and HVAC technicians between 2018 and 2028.

The salary for trade school careers varies depending on the industry and location. Overall, technical and trade school occupations pay an average annual salary of around $55,000.

On the lower end, personal service occupations pay under $33,000 per year, while on the high end, management occupations earn over $96,000 annually. In the healthcare field, healthcare practitioners with vocational training make $55,000 per year and healthcare support occupations earn $45,000 per year.

Location also influences salaries. In Pennsylvania, BLS wage estimates report that electricians earn $68,000 per year and paralegals make over $55,000 annually. In the allied health field, occupational therapy assistants earn around $57,000 per year, dental hygienists earn just under $68,000 per year, and physical therapist assistants make around $55,000 per year.

Students considering trade schools in Pennsylvania can research salary and job growth data for their specific field.

What Kinds of Trade School Programs Are Available?

Trade school programs prepare students for in-demand careers in allied health, skilled trades, legal services, and emergency services. For example, graduates work as dental hygienists, paralegals, and radiology technicians. A vocational certificate or degree combines classroom learning and fieldwork to prepare graduates for the workforce.

This section introduces some popular trade school programs. In addition to these programs, prospective students can research vocational programs for electricians, cosmetologists, engineering technologists, and construction managers.

  • Dental Hygienist Schools

    Dental hygienists provide preventive dental care and examine patients for signs of oral diseases. They apply treatments to protect teeth, take dental X-rays, and report findings to dentists. Dental hygienists also educate patients about oral hygiene.

    Vocational schools in Pennsylvania train dental hygienists in associate programs. During these programs, students take courses in dental health, periodontics, and oral pathology. Dental hygienists also complete clinical and laboratory training.

    The BLS reports that 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. In every state, dental hygienists need a license. The Pennsylvania State Board of Dentistry licenses dental hygienists.

    Learn more about dental hygienist programs.

  • Mechanic Schools

    Mechanics inspect and repair cars and trucks. Mechanics use computerized diagnostic equipment to identify problems, examine critical parts in a vehicle, and repair or replace worn parts. They also perform basic maintenance and explain automotive problems to clients.

    An automotive service technology certificate or associate degree prepares graduates for mechanic jobs. During these programs, students take courses in engine performance, automotive repair, and electronic systems. They also complete fieldwork.

    In 2019, mechanics earned a median annual salary of around $42,000. Pursuing certification from an organization like the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence can help mechanics demonstrate specialized training in areas like automatic transmissions, diesel engines, and brakes.

    Learn more about mechanic programs.

  • Paralegal Schools

    Paralegals help lawyers prepare for trials and manage cases. They conduct legal research, write legal documents such as contracts, and assist lawyers during trials. Paralegals can also file briefs and appeals with the court. Some paralegals specialize in an area like corporate law or litigation.

    Many paralegals earn a vocational certificate or degree in paralegal studies. During these programs, students take courses in legal writing, contract law, legal research, and corporate law. Some employers prefer to hire candidates who complete professional certification.

    Paralegals benefit from strong job growth. The BLS projects much faster-than-average job growth in the field from 2018 to 2028. In 2019, paralegals earned a median annual salary of over $51,000.

    Learn more about paralegal programs.

  • Radiology Technician Schools

    Radiology technicians, also called radiologic technologists, use diagnostic imaging equipment like X-rays to take images. They prepare patients for procedures, position patients to capture the correct image, and evaluate images for quality. Radiology technicians must also follow safety procedures to protect patients.

    Most positions require an associate degree in radiography. During these programs, students take courses in patient care, anatomy, radiation physics, and image evaluation. Most programs also incorporate clinical work.

    Pennsylvania does not require a professional license for radiologic technicians. However, most radiology technicians earn certification from The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists. BLS data shows that radiology technologists earned a median annual salary of over $62,000 in 2019, with faster-than-average projected job growth between 2018 and 2028.

    Learn more about radiology technician programs.

Financial Aid for Trade School Students

Financial aid in the form of loans, grants, scholarships, and work-study programs helps trade school students pay for their certificate or degree.

The federal financial aid program awards loans and grants to qualifying students. Applicants must complete the FAFSA to receive federal financial aid, and only certain schools meet Department of Education requirements to distribute federal aid.

Unlike loans, scholarships and grants support students financially with no obligation to repay the award. Students pursuing career and technical training can apply for scholarships to make their program more affordable. The following section introduces scholarships for trade school students.

Additional Education and Career Resources

Comprehensive job search database for Pennsylvania residents. Search by location, company, job title, or category. PACTA promotes quality CTE in the state by providing support to vocational educators. Includes information on the vocational programs that students can enroll in, careers that graduates can pursue, and the instructional methodologies used by those who provide CTE in the state. This site has information on the main industries in Pittsburg.

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