Vocational Trade Schools in South Carolina 2022

Updated November 10, 2022

Attending a trade school ensures students receive a quality education. Additionally, only students at accredited schools can receive federal

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Why Choose Trade School?

Trade schools in South Carolina provide career-focused training in high-demand fields such as healthcare, the skilled trades, and emergency services. Learners can pursue a vocational certificate or degree to prepare for positions as paramedics, medical assistants, and electricians. Trade school graduates can also work as dental hygienists, paralegals, mechanics, and occupational therapy assistants.

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Vocational programs include a blend of classroom and hands-on learning. In addition to coursework, students typically complete clinical, laboratory, or practicum requirements. For example, paramedic studies students generally learn in an ambulance or hospital setting, while mechanics practice their skills in a shop. Many trade schools offer self-paced or accelerated programs that are ideal for working students. Learners can also choose an online vocational program for maximum flexibility.

Earning a vocational certificate or degree generally takes 1-2 years, compared to four years for a bachelor's degree. This allows students to enter the workforce sooner. Additionally, vocational programs typically cost less than a bachelor's degree. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, professionals with an occupational credential benefit from a higher employment rate than those with an academic credential.

This page introduces the best vocational schools in South Carolina. The following sections explore career and salary data for graduates, along with scholarship opportunities for trade school students.

FAQ

QuestionAnswer
What is the difference between a trade school and a college?Trade schools provide career-centered training in fields such as technology, healthcare, and the skilled trades. Colleges typically emphasize academic programs. However, many colleges also offer vocational programs.
How much does a trade school cost?The cost of trade school depends on the institution and program. Many two-year colleges in South Carolina offer vocational programs for less than $4,500 per year.
What are examples of vocational jobs?Examples of vocational positions include medical assistant, paralegal, electrician, and mechanic. Graduates of vocational programs can also become occupational therapy assistants, cosmetologists, and HVAC technicians.
What are the different types of trade schools?Trade schools may specialize in a certain field, such as healthcare or cosmetology. Some schools offer vocational programs in multiple areas.

Accreditation and Licensing for Trade Schools

Students should check each prospective trade program's accreditation and licensing status before applying. Attending an accredited and licensed school ensures students receive an education that prepares them for the workforce.

Accredited schools must meet high standards. Independent accrediting agencies grant accreditation after an extensive review process. During the review, the accrediting agency evaluates factors including student learning outcomes, faculty qualifications, and academic mission. Only schools that successfully complete the process earn accreditation. This resource provides information about the accreditation process.

Attending an accredited school ensures students receive a quality education. Credits earned from an accredited institution are more likely to transfer to other schools, and the requirements for many professional licenses and certifications include a degree from an accredited institution. Additionally, only students at accredited schools can receive federal financial aid.

Schools can hold national or regional accreditation. Community colleges and four-year universities typically earn regional accreditation. In South Carolina, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges awards regional accreditation.

Trade and vocational schools in South Carolina often pursue national accreditation from a specialized agency such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges. Other specialized accrediting agencies include the Distance Education Accrediting Commission, which evaluates online schools. Both national and regional accrediting agencies should hold approval from the Department of Education.

In addition to accreditation, postsecondary institutions must hold a state license. The South Carolina Commission on Higher Education oversees two-year colleges, technical colleges, and other degree-granting schools in the state.

Vocational Trade Schools in South Carolina

Trade schools in South Carolina offer career training in high-demand fields. Professionals often pursue vocational training to change careers or increase their earning potential. The following list ranks the best vocational schools in South Carolina to help prospective students find the best program for their career goals.

#1 Vocational Trade Schools in South Carolina 2022

Northeastern Technical College

  • Cheraw, SC
  • 2 years
  • Campus

Students advance their education in 10 associate programs and 25 certificate programs at Northeastern Technical College. Located in Cheraw, the public institution stands out for its flexible enrollment options, which include online and on-campus classes. Working students find the flexible options fit their busy schedules.

Many of the school's programs encourage learners to train for a particular vocation after graduation. Associate programs incorporate general education classes that strengthen writing, communication, and other soft skills. Certificate candidates complete courses related specifically to one area of study, with no general education courses required.

Certificate recipients can move directly into the workforce in entry-level positions. After an associate degree, graduates apply for jobs or continue their education at the bachelor's level.

Northeastern Technical College at a Glance:

Admission Rate: Data not available

Total Online Associate Programs: Data not available

Total Online Certificate Programs: Data not available

Undergrad Tuition In State: $4,272

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $6,888

Average Tuition
In-state
$4,272
Out-of-state
$6,888
Retention Rate
53%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
1,276
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
83% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#2 Vocational Trade Schools in South Carolina 2022

Trident Technical College

  • Charleston, SC
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

At Trident Technical College, learners can study in 36 associate programs and 71 certificate programs. The public institution prioritizes flexibility in its course options, which include classes offered online and on the Charleston campus. These flexible options help students work while in school.

In the school's career-focused programs, enrollees gain specialized skills for a defined career path or field. In associate programs, degree-seekers strengthen transferable skills during general education classes. Instead of general education courses, certificate candidates complete classes related to their field.

Professionals with a certificate qualify for entry-level roles in their field. After earning an associate degree, graduates can apply for jobs or continue their education at a four-year college.

Trident Technical College at a Glance:

Admission Rate: Data not available

Total Online Associate Programs: 9

Total Online Certificate Programs: 12

Undergrad Tuition In State: $5,024

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $8,571

Average Tuition
In-state
$5,024
Out-of-state
$8,571
Retention Rate
57%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
12,351
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
47% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#3 Vocational Trade Schools in South Carolina 2022

Midlands Technical College

  • West Columbia, SC
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

Midlands Technical College provides 32 associate programs and 52 certificate programs. Located in West Columbia, the public institution offers online and on-campus enrollment options, increasing flexibility for learners. Students can sometimes work full time while in school.

In the school's career-focused programs, enrollees train for a defined career path after graduation. Associate programs incorporate general education courses to build transferable skills like critical thinking and writing. Certificate candidates take classes in their field of study without general education course requirements.

Professionals apply for entry-level roles in their field after completing a certificate. With an associate degree, graduates can either pursue employment or transfer into a bachelor's program.

Midlands Technical College at a Glance:

Admission Rate: Data not available

Total Online Associate Programs: Data not available

Total Online Certificate Programs: 1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $5,640

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $13,536

Average Tuition
In-state
$5,640
Out-of-state
$13,536
Retention Rate
43%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
9,160
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
33% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#4 Vocational Trade Schools in South Carolina 2022

Greenville Technical College

  • Greenville, SC
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

At Greenville Technical College, learners choose from 37 associate programs and 52 certificate programs. Enrollees select from online and on-campus courses offered by the public institution from its location in Greenville. Learners rely on the flexible options to balance classes with work.

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 candidates take courses in their field of study.

Certificate recipients can move directly into the workforce in entry-level positions. With an associate degree, graduates can enter the job market or apply to four-year colleges as a transfer student.

Greenville Technical College at a Glance:

Admission Rate: Data not available

Total Online Associate Programs: Data not available

Total Online Certificate Programs: 2

Undergrad Tuition In State: $4,916

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $9,140

Average Tuition
In-state
$4,916
Out-of-state
$9,140
Retention Rate
Not provided
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
11,123
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
44% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#5 Vocational Trade Schools in South Carolina 2022

Florence-Darlington Technical College

  • Florence, SC
  • 2 years
  • Campus

Florence-Darlington Technical College offers vocational and academic programs, with 27 associate programs and 35 certificate programs. Learners benefit from flexible enrollment options at the public institution, which includes online enrollment and classes on the Florence campus. Students can sometimes work full time while in school.

Many of the school's programs encourage learners to train for a particular vocation after graduation. Associate degree-seekers also complete general education courses that build broad skills such as writing and critical thinking. Certificate candidates take courses in their field with no required general education courses.

Professionals apply for positions in their field with a certificate. After an associate degree, graduates can apply for jobs or continue their education at the bachelor's level.

Florence-Darlington Technical College at a Glance:

Admission Rate: Data not available

Total Online Associate Programs: Data not available

Total Online Certificate Programs: Data not available

Undergrad Tuition In State: $4,870

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $6,742

Average Tuition
In-state
$4,870
Out-of-state
$6,742
Retention Rate
51%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
3,558
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
49% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#6 Vocational Trade Schools in South Carolina 2022

Technical College of the Lowcountry

  • Beaufort, SC
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

At Technical College of the Lowcountry, students advance their education in 13 associate programs and 35 certificate programs. From its Beaufort location, the public institution welcomes learners to online and on-campus classes. Students enrolled at the school rely on the flexible options to balance classes with work.

In the school's career-focused programs, enrollees strengthen industry-specific knowledge and skills. In general education courses, associate degree-seekers strengthen critical thinking, communication, and writing skills. Instead of general education courses, certificate candidates take courses in their field of study.

Certificate recipients can move directly into the workforce in entry-level positions. After earning an associate degree, graduates pursue employment or apply to bachelor's programs as a transfer student.

Technical College of the Lowcountry at a Glance:

Admission Rate: Data not available

Total Online Associate Programs: 5

Total Online Certificate Programs: 9

Undergrad Tuition In State: $5,160

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $10,104

Average Tuition
In-state
$5,160
Out-of-state
$10,104
Retention Rate
48%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
2,308
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
56% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#7 Vocational Trade Schools in South Carolina 2022

York Technical College

  • Rock Hill, SC
  • 2 years
  • Campus

At York Technical College, students advance their education in 28 associate programs and 47 certificate programs. The public institution prioritizes flexibility in its course options, which include classes offered online and on the Rock Hill campus. Students can sometimes work full time while in school.

The school's career-focused programs train learners for specialized career paths. Associate programs include general education classes that strengthen soft skills like communication and writing. Certificate candidates complete a focused curriculum in their field with no general education requirements.

A certificate prepares graduates for entry-level positions in their field. After an associate degree, graduates can enter the workforce or apply to bachelor's programs as a transfer student.

York Technical College at a Glance:

Admission Rate: Data not available

Total Online Associate Programs: Data not available

Total Online Certificate Programs: Data not available

Undergrad Tuition In State: $4,776

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $9,720

Average Tuition
In-state
$4,776
Out-of-state
$9,720
Retention Rate
58%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
4,529
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
50% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#8 Vocational Trade Schools in South Carolina 2022

Horry-Georgetown Technical College

  • Conway, SC
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

Horry-Georgetown Technical College offers 34 associate programs and 44 certificate programs. Learners benefit from the public institution's diverse enrollment options, which include online classes and on-campus options from the Conway location. These flexible options help students work while in school.

The school's career-focused programs strengthen specialized skills that prepare graduates for the job market. In general education courses, associate degree-seekers strengthen critical thinking, communication, and writing skills. Certificate candidates complete a focused curriculum that does not include classes outside of their field.

Certificate recipients can move directly into the workforce in entry-level positions. An associate degree prepares graduates for the workforce or bachelor's programs.

Horry-Georgetown Technical College at a Glance:

Admission Rate: Data not available

Total Online Associate Programs: 4

Total Online Certificate Programs: Data not available

Undergrad Tuition In State: $5,088

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $8,352

Average Tuition
In-state
$5,088
Out-of-state
$8,352
Retention Rate
53%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
6,705
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
49% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#9 Vocational Trade Schools in South Carolina 2022

Central Carolina Technical College

  • Sumter, SC
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

Central Carolina Technical College offers 16 associate programs and 34 certificate programs. Learners select from online and on-campus courses offered by the public institution from its location in Sumter. These flexible options make it easier for students to balance school with work or other responsibilities.

In the school's career-focused programs, enrollees gain specialized skills for a defined career path or field. In associate programs, degree-seekers take general education courses that strengthen critical thinking and writing skills. Certificate candidates take focused classes in their field rather than general education classes.

A certificate helps graduates advance their career or move into a new role. Associate degree graduates can either pursue employment or transfer into a bachelor's program.

Central Carolina Technical College at a Glance:

Admission Rate: Data not available

Total Online Associate Programs: 1

Total Online Certificate Programs: 3

Undergrad Tuition In State: $6,162

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $8,513

Average Tuition
In-state
$6,162
Out-of-state
$8,513
Retention Rate
61%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
3,361
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
47% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#10 Vocational Trade Schools in South Carolina 2022

Aiken Technical College

  • Graniteville, SC
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

Students can choose from 20 associate programs and 43 certificate programs at Aiken Technical College. Located in Graniteville, the public institution stands out for its flexible enrollment options, which include online and on-campus classes. Students can sometimes work full time while in school.

The school's career-focused programs strengthen specialized skills that prepare graduates for the job market. Those in associate programs take general education courses that build transferable skills like writing and critical thinking. Certificate candidates complete a focused curriculum in their field with no general education requirements.

With a certificate, graduates apply for entry-level positions in their field. An associate degree prepares graduates for entry-level careers or bachelor's programs.

Aiken Technical College at a Glance:

Admission Rate: Data not available

Total Online Associate Programs: Data not available

Total Online Certificate Programs: 1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $4,776

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $6,408

Average Tuition
In-state
$4,776
Out-of-state
$6,408
Retention Rate
63%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
2,236
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
45% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#11 Vocational Trade Schools in South Carolina 2022

Piedmont Technical College

  • Greenwood, SC
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

Piedmont Technical College offers 27 associate programs and 39 certificate programs. Based in Greenwood, this public college features both online and on-campus enrollment options, creating flexibility for all types of learners. These flexible options help students work while in school.

The school's career-focused programs strengthen specialized skills that prepare graduates for the job market. General education classes in associate programs build key soft skills like communication, writing, and critical thinking. Rather than taking general education courses, certificate candidates complete a focused curriculum of courses in their field of study.

A certificate helps graduates advance their career or move into a new role. With an associate degree, graduates can either pursue employment or transfer into a bachelor's program.

Piedmont Technical College at a Glance:

Admission Rate: Data not available

Total Online Associate Programs: 4

Total Online Certificate Programs: 4

Undergrad Tuition In State: $5,070

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $6,348

Average Tuition
In-state
$5,070
Out-of-state
$6,348
Retention Rate
58%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
4,747
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
56% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#12 Vocational Trade Schools in South Carolina 2022

Orangeburg Calhoun Technical College

  • Orangeburg, SC
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

Orangeburg Calhoun Technical College provides 20 associate programs and 35 certificate programs for students. Learners benefit from flexible enrollment options at the public institution, which includes online enrollment and classes on the Orangeburg campus. These enrollment options appeal to working students and other busy learners.

Many of the school's programs strengthen career-focused skills that train learners for a particular role. Associate programs incorporate general education courses to build transferable skills like critical thinking and writing. Certificate candidates complete a focused curriculum in their field with no general education requirements.

With a certificate, graduates can pursue entry-level positions in their field. After earning an associate degree, graduates can apply for jobs or continue their education at a four-year college.

Orangeburg Calhoun Technical College at a Glance:

Admission Rate: Data not available

Total Online Associate Programs: 2

Total Online Certificate Programs: 4

Undergrad Tuition In State: $5,424

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $7,200

Average Tuition
In-state
$5,424
Out-of-state
$7,200
Retention Rate
59%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
2,298
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
44% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#13 Vocational Trade Schools in South Carolina 2022

Williamsburg Technical College

  • Kingstree, SC
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

At Williamsburg Technical College, students learn in six associate programs and 21 certificate programs. Learners benefit from flexible enrollment options at the public institution, which includes online enrollment and classes on the Kingstree campus. Working students find the flexible options fit their busy schedules.

The school's career-focused programs emphasize industry-specific knowledge and skills. General education classes in associate programs strengthen transferable skills like critical thinking and writing. Certificate candidates take classes related to their field with no requirements outside of their major.

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

Williamsburg Technical College at a Glance:

Admission Rate: Data not available

Total Online Associate Programs: Data not available

Total Online Certificate Programs: 1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $4,416

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $8,208

Average Tuition
In-state
$4,416
Out-of-state
$8,208
Retention Rate
53%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
832
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
22% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#14 Vocational Trade Schools in South Carolina 2022

Tri-County Technical College

  • Pendleton, SC
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

Tri-County Technical College offers vocational and academic programs, with 23 associate programs and 33 certificate programs. Located in Pendleton, the public institution stands out for its flexible enrollment options, which include online and on-campus classes. Students can sometimes work full time while in school.

In the school's career-focused programs, learners gain industry-specific skills. In associate programs, degree-seekers strengthen transferable skills during general education classes. Certificate candidates take focused classes in their field rather than general education classes.

A certificate prepares graduates for the workforce. An associate degree prepares graduates for entry-level careers or bachelor's programs.

Tri-County Technical College at a Glance:

Admission Rate: Data not available

Total Online Associate Programs: 1

Total Online Certificate Programs: 3

Undergrad Tuition In State: $5,600

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $9,848

Average Tuition
In-state
$5,600
Out-of-state
$9,848
Retention Rate
53%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
6,181
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
35% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#15 Vocational Trade Schools in South Carolina 2022

Denmark Technical College

  • Denmark, SC
  • 2 years
  • Campus

At Denmark Technical College, learners can strengthen their skills in nine associate programs and 17 certificate programs. The public institution, located in Denmark, offers online and on-campus enrollment options which appeal to a variety of learners. Working professionals benefit from the flexibility to attend school without leaving their job.

Many of the school's programs emphasize career training and include practical skills. General education classes in associate programs strengthen transferable skills like critical thinking and writing. Instead of general education courses, certificate candidates complete classes related to their field.

Certificate recipients can move directly into the workforce in entry-level positions. With an associate degree, graduates can enter the workforce or continue their education at the bachelor's level.

Denmark Technical College at a Glance:

Admission Rate: Data not available

Total Online Associate Programs: Data not available

Total Online Certificate Programs: Data not available

Undergrad Tuition In State: $5,407

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $10,815

Average Tuition
In-state
$5,407
Out-of-state
$10,815
Retention Rate
54%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
483
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
83% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Career and Salary Outlook for Trade School Graduates

Many occupations for trade school graduates offer above-average salaries and strong demand. After completing a vocational program, individuals can pursue roles in fields such as healthcare, the professional trades, legal services, and technology.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects employment for dental hygienists, HVAC technicians, and paralegals to increase much faster than average from 2018 to 2028. Other fields with strong job growth projections include allied health and the skilled trades.

Earning potential for trade school graduates varies based on the individual's industry and location. The average salary for trade school occupations is about $55,000 per year, according to the BLS. While occupations in personal care and service pay below-average salaries, earnings for management professionals are above average.

In addition to industry, salaries vary by position. For example, healthcare practitioners earn an average salary of about $55,000 per year, while the average annual salary for healthcare support professionals is about $45,000.

Location also impacts earning potential. In South Carolina, paralegals earn about $46,500 per year, while respiratory therapists earn an average of more than $56,500, according to BLS data. The average salary for occupational therapy assistants in the state is about $61,000 per year, while HVAC technicians earn an average of $45,000 per year. Students considering trade schools in South Carolina can research the earning potential in their field when choosing a program.

What Kinds of Trade School Programs Are Available?

Trade school programs can prepare graduates for careers as dental hygienists, mechanics, paralegals, and radiology technicians. Many trade schools offer programs in allied health fields, the skilled trades, STEM fields, and cosmetology. While earning a vocational certificate or degree, students receive practical training in their field.

This section explores popular vocational programs.

Dental Hygienist Schools

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

Dental hygienists typically hold an associate degree with coursework in dental anatomy, periodontics, and oral hygiene. Programs in the field also incorporate laboratory and clinical instruction.

According to the BLS, dental hygienists earned a median annual salary of more than $76,000 in 2019. The BLS projects this occupation to grow 11% from 2018 to 2028, much faster than average. In every state, dental hygienists must hold a license to practice. In South Carolina, the Board of Dentistry licenses dental hygienists.

Learn more about dental hygienist programs.

Mechanic Schools

Mechanics, also known as automotive service technicians, inspect and repair cars. They use diagnostic tools to identify problems, conduct repairs to keep vehicles running smoothly, and explain automotive problems to clients. Mechanics also perform basic care and maintenance.

Mechanics often earn a vocational certificate or degree in automotive service technology. These programs include classes in engine repair, brake maintenance, and automotive service. Students also complete laboratory or practicum requirements.

Graduates of automotive service programs can pursue a professional certification from the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence. Specialty certification areas include automatic transmissions, electronic systems, and engine performance. Mechanics earned a median annual salary of about $42,000 in 2019, according to BLS data.

Learn more about mechanic programs.

Paralegal Schools

Paralegals draft legal documents, conduct legal research, and assist lawyers during trial. They also file briefs and appeals with the court, investigate the facts of cases, and take affidavits to build evidence. Some paralegals specialize in an area such as corporate law or litigation.

Learners can pursue paralegal studies or legal studies programs at vocational schools in South Carolina. While earning a certificate or associate degree in paralegal studies, students take classes in legal writing, contract law, legal research, and corporate law.

According to BLS data, paralegals earned a median annual salary of more than $51,000 in 2019. The BLS projects a 12% job growth for paralegals from 2018 to 2028, much faster than the average for all occupations. Although paralegals do not need certification, some employers prefer certified candidates.

Learn more about paralegal programs.

Radiology Technician Schools

Radiology technicians use equipment to take diagnostic images of patients. They position each patient to capture the necessary images and review the image results with a physician. Radiology technicians must follow safety procedures to protect patients.

Careers in radiology technology generally require an associate degree with coursework in anatomy, patient care, radiation physics, and image evaluation. Students also complete clinical requirements. Graduates in the field typically pursue certification from the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists.

According to the BLS, radiology technicians earned a median annual salary of more than $62,000 in 2019. In South Carolina, radiology technicians need a license from the South Carolina Radiation Quality Standards Association.

Learn more about radiology technician programs.

Financial Aid for Trade School Students

Students can pursue various types of financial aid to pay for a vocational certificate or degree. Federal financial aid programs support students through loans, grants, and work-study opportunities. To receive federal financial aid, applicants must submit the FAFSA annually. Only learners at accredited schools can qualify for federal aid.

In addition to federal financial aid, students attending trade school can apply for private loans, scholarships, and grants. Scholarships and grants are ideal forms of funding, since they do not require repayment.

Students can also reduce the cost of a vocational program by choosing an affordable school. For example, the average cost of tuition and fees at South Carolina public universities is about $12,500 per year, while private universities cost nearly $25,000 per year. On the other hand, South Carolina community colleges charge about $4,500 per year in tuition and fees, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

Scholarship for Trade School Students

Students attending trade schools in South Carolina can qualify for many scholarships and grants. Learners can apply for scholarships from private foundations, government agencies, and professional organizations. In addition to the following opportunities, students can research scholarships based on their field or school.

South Carolina Higher Education Tuition Grants

Who Can Apply: The state government provides tuition grants for full-time students attending qualifying independent colleges. Applicants must submit the FAFSA.
Amount: Up to $3,600

Apply for Scholarship

ANSWER Scholarship

Who Can Apply: Mothers of school-age children in certain South Carolina counties can apply for this scholarship. Recipients must attend an accredited institution full time and must be pursuing a four-year degree in any discipline or a two-year degree in an eligible field.
Amount: Varies

Apply for Scholarship

Regions Riding Forward Scholarship Essay Contest

Who Can Apply: Candidates submit an online application and a 500-word essay about an inspirational African American person. Applicants must attend an accredited college.
Amount: $3,500-$5,000

Apply for Scholarship

Lettie Pate Whitehead Foundation Scholarships

Who Can Apply: The foundation awards scholarships to women who demonstrate financial need. Applicants must attend a qualifying accredited school in the South. Learners in the medical, nursing, and allied health fields can qualify for funding.
Amount: Varies

Apply for Scholarship

SAWF Scholarships

Who Can Apply: The Southern Automotive Women's Forum offers scholarships to women studying a STEM field, including learners attending trade and tech schools in South Carolina. Candidates who demonstrate an interest in the automobile industry receive preference.
Amount: Up to $5,000

Apply for Scholarship

Additional Education and Career Resources

Advance CTE - South Carolina

Information and resources for career and technical education students including available career clusters, financial aid, and types of programs.

SC Works - Online Services

A one-stop shop for job seekers to connect with employers in South Carolina. Includes a job search database, resume help, and information on training and education services.

South Carolina Nurses Association

Offers information on continuing education and professional development, and provides job postings from throughout the state.

South Carolina Technical College System

A network of colleges that provides students with education targeted to meet the needs of the state's industries.

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.

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