Vocational Trade Schools in Vermont

ASO Staff Writers
Updated July 26, 2023
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Why Choose Trade School?

Vocational schools offer associate degrees and certifications to learners studying a trade. Students confident in their future career choice who want to enter the workforce quickly typically benefit from trade schools.

Anyone who wants to make a career switch can apply to trade school at any age. After earning their degrees, graduates become professionals like electricians, welders, medical assistants, physical therapists, and dental hygienists.

Trade schools differ from traditional four-year colleges. Trade programs focus on one subject, while a bachelor’s degree covers multiple subjects and requires general education courses.

Associate degrees from trade schools take about two years to complete, while certificates from these institutions often take one year. Students who want to graduate as soon as possible can pursue accelerated or self-paced options.

The number of students attending trade school is on the rise. Data from the U.S. Department of Labor reveals that trade school enrollment increased by 56% between 2013 and 2018. Additionally, the National Center for Education Statistics found that 74% of students who earn an occupational credential find a job directly related to their major.

Read on to learn more about types of trade degrees, career and salary information, the importance of accreditation, and the top vocational schools in Vermont.


Can I get financial aid for trade school?Yes. Accredited trade schools in Vermont typically accept financial aid from the FAFSA
Are scholarships available for vocational students?Yes. Many private companies and foundations offer scholarships specifically for vocational students.
Can trade school credits transfer?Most four-year colleges and universities accept a limited number of transfer credits from accredited vocational schools. Many schools also accept accredited associate degrees.
When can I apply to trade school?Students can apply to vocational school during their final years of high school. Adults who want to learn a new trade can go back to school at any point during their lives.

Accreditation and Licensing for Trade Schools

Prospective students should research a school’s accreditation status before applying. If a school earns accreditation, it means it receives quality evaluations from a third-party organization that the U.S. Department of Higher Education (ED) oversees. To check a school or program’s accreditation status, prospective students can use the ED’s database.

The accreditation process ensures that schools uphold academic integrity and provide learners with quality education. Trade schools can earn programmatic, regional, and national accreditation. Many vocational schools earn national accreditation through the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges. The Distance Education Accrediting Commission also provides online vocational programs with national accreditation.

Some regionally accredited schools offer trade degrees. The New England Commission of Higher Education grants accreditation to vocational schools in Vermont. Some employers prioritize job candidates with degrees from regionally accredited schools, and certain scholarships reserve funds exclusively for students attending a regionally accredited school.

Programs can also earn accreditation. For example, respiratory therapy programs can earn accreditation through the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care.

In addition to accreditation, vocational schools must have a license from a state agency or the ED. For more information about accreditation and licensure, applicants should contact their prospective school’s admissions department.

Vocational Trade Schools in Vermont

With so many tech schools in Vermont, finding the right one takes time. To help in the research process, we create and regularly update this list of top vocational schools in the state. We consider data like tuition cost and graduate success rates.

Community College of Vermont
LocationWinooski, VT

One of the top vocational schools in Vermont with multiple learning centers throughout the state, CCV offers nine fully online associate degrees in fields such as early childhood education, liberal studies, and information technology. CCV also awards online certificates in areas such as IT service desk specialist and STEM studies. The school's three registered apprenticeship programs feature paid on-the-job experience.

CCV's career services professionals help students create a career plan, hone professional writing skills, and research relevant job opportunities. Virtual tools include Focus 2 Career and College Central Network. The latter hosts millions of career opportunities throughout the United States and beyond.

Freshman applicants can submit GED scores. CCV also requires a placement test for new learners who did not take the ACT or SAT. CCV awards transfer credit for passing a challenge exam. Finally, scholarship opportunities require a separate application.

Vermont Technical College
LocationRandolph Center, VT

At Vermont Tech, learners can select from five fully online certificate programs in areas such as advanced software development, computer networking, and cybersecurity. This vocational school in Vermont also offers a hybrid certificate in web development. Additionally, on-campus learners can enroll in one of Vermont Tech's electrical or plumbing apprenticeships.

On the Career Services website, students can explore job postings, make an appointment with a career counselor, and access invaluable reference tools. These resources help nearly 100% of Vermont Tech alumni find a job within six months of earning a degree or certificate.

Application requirements include a high school or GED transcript, an essay of 250-500 words, and a fee. Vermont Tech uses a 2.0 undergraduate GPA cutoff for transfer credit. Prospective and current students can search and apply for scholarships on Vermont Tech's financial aid website.

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Career and Salary Outlook for Trade School Graduates

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average annual salary for technical and trade school occupations is $55,270. Individual salaries vary based on industry, location, and experience.

For example, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters earned a median annual wage of $55,160 in 2019, and the BLS projects the field to grow 14% between 2018 and 2028. Meanwhile, physical therapists earned a median annual salary of $89,440 in 2019 and benefit from a projected career growth rate of 22% between 2018 and 2028.

In Vermont, employers in large cities like Burlington may pay more than employers in smaller cities like Rutland. However, professionals who work in high-need locations, like rural towns, may qualify for federal loan forgiveness.

Seasoned professionals often earn more than entry-level professionals. For example, welders with less than one year of experience earn an average hourly rate of $15.32, according to PayScale. Welders with more than 20 years of experience earn $21.69 per hour on average.

What Kinds of Trade School Programs Are Available?

Most trade schools provide programs in healthcare, hospitality, manufacturing, and maintenance. Most trade programs take two years for associate degrees and one year for certificates.

See below for four common programs at vocational schools in Vermont.

Financial Aid for Trade School Students

Trade school costs less than most four-year colleges. Students can lower the cost even further by finding financial aid. Learners can apply for financial aid through one form by completing the FAFSA.

The FAFSA provides students with federal grants and loans. Students do not need to repay grants. The federal government provides subsidized loans to applicants who demonstrate financial need. Subsidized loans require payment following a six-month grace period after graduation.

Students can also accept unsubsidized loans through the FAFSA. These loans are not need-based, but they begin accruing interest as soon as the recipient accepts the funds. Interest rates vary by loan and typically follow a 10-year repayment schedule.

Unfortunately, not all trade schools in Vermont may accept FAFSA. Prospective students can find out which schools accept the FAFSA.

The FAFSA takes first-time applicants around 55 minutes to complete. Students must reapply each year, which takes about 45 minutes. Applicants who file their taxes as dependents must submit their guardian’s tax information.

Scholarship for Trade School Students

Although trade school presents an affordable education option, students can lower their future student loan payments even further by applying for scholarships. Read below for five scholarships reserved exclusively for learners studying a trade in Vermont.

Additional Education and Career Resources

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Trade and Vocational Schools

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