Vocational Trade
Schools in Texas

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Strong economic growth in areas of manufacturing, construction, energy, and healthcare in Texas means high demand for skilled trade workers in these fields. Individuals interested in pursuing vocational and technical jobs can complete their training at licensed schools across the state, with many opportunities in large cities like Dallas and Houston. These schools provide hands-on training and skills that can be used in the workplace immediately upon completion of a certification program or associate’s degree. This guide provides information on finding vocational and trade schools in Texas, career opportunities, and resources for students ready to complete their education.

Top Ranked Vocational & Trade Institutions in Texas 2017

Students who want to enter the skilled trades can find a wealth of opportunity through Texas vocational and trade schools. Texas trade and vocational schools, along with community and career colleges, offer various fields of study that cater to fast-growing industries, such as energy and healthcare. Students who want to choose the best options can look to our rankings of accredited Texas schools, which take into account factors such as tuition, student-teacher ratio and financial aid options.

RankSchool Name Score Tuition & Fees Financial Aid % Total Programs Student-Teacher Ratio Grad Rate Description Additional Benefits: Placement Services Counseling Services Credit for Experience
1
El Paso Community College
97.20 $$$$$ 3% 38 26:1 10%

With more than 150 programs of study available, students can earn a number of associate degrees and technical certificates in two years or less. Among the school's amenities is a YWCA child care development center. The campus works to promote equal education through a Center for Students with Disabilities and several diversity programs. Student ambassadors help guide, inform and teach prospective students. The school maintains a number of clubs and organizations, as well as a student government association. Students can choose to watch or participate in intramural sports, or they may take advantage of leadership building programs.

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2
Lee College
97.00 $$$$$ 11% 27 13:1 21%

Students who wish to transfer to a four-year program may pursue an AA degree, an AAT degree or an AS degree, each of which requires the completion of 60 to 66 credits. The AAT degree is designed specifically for teacher preparation. A dual-credit program is available for high school students to earn credit. The campus is home to a performing arts center, and the school offers the Lee College Honors Program, which engages elite students in seminar-style classes. The athletic department maintains both a basketball and volleyball program and there are several groups and organizations open to both faculty and staff.

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3
Texas State Technical College-Waco
96.40 $$$$$ 38% 29 13:1 24%

TSTC maintains 10 campuses across Texas, and is the only school in the state whose funding model is based on student employment outcomes. Students can select dozens of areas of concentration across 12 industry categories. The college is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award Associate degrees and Certificates of Completion. Prospective students who complete additional requirements can earn college credit while still in high school through the dual credit program. Students who leave must reapply if they have been away for more than a year.

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4
Houston Community College
96.20 $$$$$ 3% 58 22:1 11%

The Houston Community College District, and all of its associate degrees, are accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACSCOC). Students can choose from more than 100 programs of study. The school maintains an Office of Institutional Equity to ensure the college meets its inclusion and diversity goals. Some students will be able to graduate from high school with college credit by participating in the dual credit program. Select students may participate in the interdisciplinary Honors College. The faculty includes more than 3,600 professors who have direct experience in the fields they teach.

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5
Grayson College
96.09 $$$$$ 20% 21 18:1 19%

Students may pursue four different associate degrees, as well as a wide range of vocational certificates available at Grayson College. Those who plan to enter a four-year school to fulfill a bachelor's degree can do so after graduating with an Associate of Arts or Associate of Science degree. Students who want to enter the workforce directly after graduating should pursue an Associate of Applied Science degree. An Associate of Arts in Teaching degree is available for aspiring teachers who plan to move on to four-year colleges. There are roughly three dozen areas of study across all two-year programs.

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6
Del Mar College
95.87 $$$$$ 18% 37 14:1 10%

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7
Kilgore College
95.79 $$$$$ 21% 22 17:1 17%

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8
Tarrant County College
95.73 $$$$$ 11% 30 25:1 9%

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9
Lone Star College
95.56 $$$$$ 13% 33 18:1 11%

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10
Central Texas College
95.38 $$$$$ 13% 23 18:1 14%

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11
Hill College
95.36 $$$$$ 36% 22 20:1 20%

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12
Howard College
95.22 $$$$$ 38% 15 15:1 18%

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13
Collin College
95.18 $$$$$ 2% 25 26:1 11%

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14
Vernon College
95.03 $$$$$ 23% 17 16:1 27%

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15
Western Texas College
94.83 $$$$$ 35% 9 17:1 57%

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16
Angelina College
94.59 $$$$$ 8% 15 15:1 9%

Additional Benefits: Yes Yes Yes Read More
17
Northeast Texas Community College
94.47 $$$$$ 21% 16 20:1 16%

Additional Benefits: Yes Yes Yes Read More
18
Texas State Technical College - West Texas
94.10 $$$$$ 21% 19 13:1 34%

Additional Benefits: Yes Yes Yes Read More
19
El Centro College
94.06 $$$$$ 7% 15 20:1 4%

Additional Benefits: Yes Yes Yes Read More
20
Lamar State College-Port Arthur
94.04 $$$$$ 23% 16 17:1 17%

Additional Benefits: Yes Yes Yes Read More
21
Weatherford College
93.89 $$$$$ 16% 11 18:1 17%

Additional Benefits: Yes Yes Yes Read More
22
Lamar Institute of Technology
93.67 $$$$$ 5% 17 17:1 16%

Additional Benefits: Yes Yes Yes Read More
23
Frank Phillips College
93.66 $$$$$ 30% 5 17:1 25%

Additional Benefits: Yes Yes Yes Read More
24
Temple College
93.53 $$$$$ 10% 9 17:1 8%

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25
Southwest Texas Junior College
93.09 $$$$$ 14% 10 22:1 21%

Additional Benefits: Yes Yes Yes Read More
26
Mountain View College
92.97 $$$$$ 4% 9 27:1 7%

Additional Benefits: Yes Yes Yes Read More
27
Eastfield College
92.86 $$$$$ 4% 8 25:1 10%

Additional Benefits: Yes Yes Yes Read More
28
San Jacinto College
92.74 $$$$$ 2% 52 19:1 15%

Additional Benefits: Yes Yes No Read More
29
Odessa College
92.58 $$$$$ 32% 37 17:1 20%

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30
Galveston College
92.54 $$$$$ 30% 16 15:1 25%

Additional Benefits: Yes Yes No Read More
31
North Lake College
92.53 $$$$$ 5% 8 26:1 10%

Additional Benefits: Yes Yes Yes Read More
32
Cedar Valley College
92.34 $$$$$ 2% 7 26:1 9%

Additional Benefits: Yes Yes Yes Read More
33
Brookhaven College
92.27 $$$$$ 4% 4 23:1 7%

Additional Benefits: Yes Yes Yes Read More
34
Amarillo College
92.20 $$$$$ 17% 30 22:1 15%

Additional Benefits: Yes Yes No Read More
35
Richland College
92.14 $$$$$ 6% 2 23:1 8%

Additional Benefits: Yes Yes Yes Read More
36
Texas State Technical College-Marshall
92.14 $$$$$ 49% 3 15:1 34%

Additional Benefits: Yes Yes Yes Read More
37
St Philip's College
91.95 $$$$$ 15% 48 15:1 4%

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38
Trinity Valley Community College
91.77 $$$$$ 30% 24 20:1 23%

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39
College of the Mainland
91.72 $$$$$ 27% 13 14:1 13%

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40
Panola College
91.71 $$$$$ 24% 13 18:1 20%

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41
Texarkana College
91.66 $$$$$ 5% 23 21:1 23%

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42
South Plains College
91.61 $$$$$ 20% 26 25:1 23%

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43
Coastal Bend College
91.33 $$$$$ 32% 27 21:1 29%

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44
Navarro College
91.33 $$$$$ 26% 16 17:1 16%

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45
Tyler Junior College
91.29 $$$$$ 17% 20 21:1 15%

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46
Alvin Community College
91.10 $$$$$ 11% 15 17:1 12%

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47
Texas State Technical College-Harlingen
91.09 $$$$$ 5% 19 19:1 21%

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48
Laredo Community College
90.78 $$$$$ 19% 21 22:1 18%

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49
San Antonio College
90.71 $$$$$ 9% 28 19:1 7%

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50
North Central Texas College
90.63 $$$$$ 7% 8 25:1 14%

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RankSchool Name Score Tuition & Fees Financial Aid % Total Programs Student-Teacher Ratio Grad Rate Description Additional Benefits: Placement Services Counseling Services Credit for Experience
1
Midland College
99.83 $$$$$ 62% 22 17:1 N/A

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2
The University of Texas at Brownsville (University of Texas Rio Grande Valley)
99.38 $$$$$ 7% 11 24:1 23%

Additional Benefits: Yes Yes Yes Read More
3
LeTourneau University
98.91 $$$$$ 97% 6 14:1 61%

Additional Benefits: Yes Yes Yes Read More
4
Tarleton State University
98.48 $$$$$ 35% 3 19:1 39%

Additional Benefits: Yes Yes Yes Read More
5
Brazosport College
98.38 $$$$$ 20% 16 17:1 N/A

Additional Benefits: Yes Yes No Read More
6
South Texas College
98.24 $$$$$ 1% 30 27:1 N/A

Additional Benefits: Yes Yes No Read More
7
The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
97.53 $$$$$ N/A 7 7:1 N/A

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8
Remington College-Dallas Campus
97.46 $$$$$ 88% 8 22:1 N/A

Additional Benefits: Yes Yes No Read More
9
The University of Texas at Arlington
97.15 $$$$$ 42% 3 26:1 40%

Additional Benefits: Yes Yes No Read More
10
Sul Ross State University
97.09 $$$$$ 26% 1 15:1 24%

Additional Benefits: Yes Yes No Read More
11
Parker University
97.07 $$$$$ 75% 2 16:1 N/A

Additional Benefits: Yes Yes No Read More
12
Schreiner University
97.05 $$$$$ 99% 1 14:1 34%

Additional Benefits: Yes Yes No Read More

Search Vocational and Trade Schools in Texas

Licensed vocational and trade schools in major metro areas like Houston and Dallas offer a wealth of training options for students. Accelerated, career-oriented training programs can prepare students for high-paying jobs and quick entry into the workforce—meaning students can start earning money without acquiring large student loans or waiting years to complete a degree program. Aspiring students can explore a variety of programs in manufacturing, healthcare, hospitality, and transportation to fill positions in these fields throughout the state of Texas.

Use the search tool below to find vocational and trade schools in Texas that meet your goals:

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Fast Facts: Career & Technical Training in Texas

In 2014, over 1 million students were enrolled in a secondary career and technical education programs, and 247,293 students were enrolled at the postsecondary level.

27 percent of individuals with licenses and certifications below an associate’s degree, earn more than those with bachelor’s degrees, according to the Association for Career & Technical Association

4 out of 5 high school students who participated in career and technical training and moved on to postsecondary studies had earned their credentials or were still enrolled two years later.

High-growth areas for skilled trades professionals include trade, transportation, utilities, and manufacturing.

Most Commonly Earned Credentials in Texas

As of 2010, the Institute of Education Sciences National Center for Education Statistics reports the percentage of people completing vocational training or associate’s degree programs in Texas is higher than the national average. Almost an equal number of students complete a certificate program of one year or less while just less than a quarter of students complete a two-year associate’s degree program.

Distribution of Undergraduate Certificates & Degrees

Credential Texas National
<1-year certificate 16.5% 14.7%
1-year certificate 16.4% 12.6%
Associate degree 23.1% 24.7%
Bachelor’s degree 44% 48.0%

Source: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics (2010)

Career Opportunities for Vocational Students in Texas

Industries with highest growth rate projections through 2022 include natural resources and mining, construction, business services, and health services, according to the Texas Workforce Commission. As a result, individuals interested in a long-term career can expect a number of vocational job opportunities with attractive pay ranges and benefits.

The following table highlights the vocational occupations with the most job openings for workers with a non-degree postsecondary education or an associate’s degree.

Careers with the Most Job Openings in Texas

Occupation 2012 Employment Projected Annual Job Openings Percent Growth
(2012-2022)
Median Annual Wage (Texas, 2014) Median Annual Wage (National, 2014)
Postsecondary, Non-Degree (Some College)
Heavy and Tractor Trailer Truck Drivers 161,730 6,300 23% $37,400 $39,500
Nursing Assistants 86,280 4,140 28% $23,100 $25,100
Licensed Vocational Nurses (LVN)s 71,890 3,740 28% $44,000 $42,500
Teacher Assistants 77,410 3,350 20% $19,900 $24,400
Medical Assistants 51,560 2,630 32% $27,700 $30,000
Two-Year Associate Degree
Registered Nurses 189,380 9,040 28% $67,600 $66,600
Preschool Teachers, Except Special Education 20,390 1,220 23% $31,800 $28,100
Paralegals and Legal Assistants 19,720 910 30% $47,800 $48,300
Medical & Clinical Laboratory Technicians 11,300 720 37% $36,100 $38,400
Dental Hygienist 12,390 680 29% $72,100 $71,500

Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Career One Stop

A Closer Look: Trade Schools in Dallas and Houston

Dallas

Dallas is home to numerous trade schools and colleges that offer career skills training and technical education for aspiring healthcare professionals, beauticians and cosmetologists, and business students, amongst other careers. Several schools in Dallas offer programs that train students for court reporting, entry-level health care positions, and computer-related technical jobs. Some of the top employers that may hire those who have completed a certification program or associate’s degree program around Dallas include Bank of America, Southwest Airlines, Texas Instruments, AT&T, and Comerica. Parkland Hospital and JPS Health Network employ thousands of healthcare professionals and may have job openings available for licensed practical nurses or nursing assistants.

Houston

In Houston, some of the largest employers of vocational graduates include Memorial Hermann Healthcare System, Continental Airlines, Inc., The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, and ExxonMobil. Companies like CenterPoint Energy and Kroger Company may also be hiring trade workers for various positions. Students will find several community college campuses around Houston and Pasadena, as well as specialized training schools such as the Culinary Institute and the Interactive College of Technology in Houston.

Resources for Students & Job Seekers in Texas

A comprehensive report listing economic trends job growth statistics, and the housing market. Provided by Senior Economist and Research Officer Keith Phillips of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas – San Antonio Branch.

National organization dedicated to helping youth and adults advance in their careers. Provides resources for professional development in any field and listing of associations by state and region.

Requirements from the State Board of Education for each subject of the required curriculum in career and technical education programs around the state. Maintained by the Texas Education Agency.

Information about scholarships and membership opportunities for those interested in completing a program at a licensed career school or college in Texas.

Maintained by the Texas Workforce Commission, this is a comprehensive database of licensed career schools and colleges in every city and town in the State of Texas. The online tool makes it easy to search for schools and review courses.

Information about guidelines and expectations for career training programs under the Texas Education Code. Includes guidelines for both middle schools and high schools. Maintained by the Texas Education Agency.

Provides tools for exploring educational opportunities with Texas CARES and tips for finding the right career school or college. Also covers financial aid options for vocational school students.