Vocational Trade Schools in Virginia

Why Choose Trade School?

Trade schools in Virginia offer career-focused training in high-demand fields like healthcare, the skilled trades, personal care, and hospitality. Graduates can pursue jobs like medical assistant, dental hygienist, mechanic, and electrician.

During a vocational program, students complete classroom and experiential learning requirements. For example, electrician students typically apply classroom learning during a laboratory or practicum, gaining hands-on experience in the field.

Vocational programs offer several benefits compared to four-year programs. For instance, earning a vocational certificate or degree typically takes 1-2 years, meaning students can complete their training faster than students in four-year programs. Professionals with an occupational credential also benefit from a higher employment rate than those with an academic credential, according to 2009 data from the National Center for Education Statistics.


Many vocational and tech schools in Virginia offer self-paced or accelerated options to fit the schedule of busy students. Learners can also choose an online program to maximize flexibility.

Our list ranks the best vocational schools in Virginia to help prospective students find the right program for their needs. This page also provides career and salary data for trade school occupations, introduces popular vocational programs, and lists scholarship opportunities for trade school students in Virginia.

FAQ

Question Answer
What do trade schools offer? Trade schools offer a blend of classroom and hands-on training to prepare graduates for the workforce. A vocational certificate or degree generally takes 1-2 years to complete.
How much does a trade school cost? The cost of trade school varies depending on the institution. In general, community colleges cost less than four-year institutions. Trade school students can pursue financial aid opportunities to help pay for their education.
What is the difference between a trade school and a college? Trade schools provide career-oriented training to prepare students for specific career paths, while colleges focus more on providing academic training in diverse disciplines. However, many colleges offer vocational programs.
Can trade school credits transfer? Yes, trade school credits often transfer to other institutions. Generally, credits earned from a regionally accredited institution are most likely to transfer.

Accreditation and Licensing for Trade Schools

Prospective trade school students should always research a school's accreditation and licensing status before submitting an application. Accredited schools meet high standards for educating students. Colleges and universities must undergo a rigorous review from an independent accrediting agency to earn accreditation. During the review, the accrediting agency evaluates the school's student learning outcomes, faculty qualifications, and academic mission. Learn more about the accreditation process here.

Accreditation benefits students in several ways. For example, only students at accredited schools qualify for federal financial aid, and many schools only accept degrees and transfer credits from accredited institutions. Additionally, many professional licenses and certifications require an accredited degree.

Schools may hold regional or national accreditation. Community colleges and four-year universities typically hold regional accreditation. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges regionally accredits schools in Virginia.

Trade and vocational schools in Virginia may hold national accreditation from a specialized agency like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges, which accredits over 650 trade and technical schools nationwide. Other accrediting agencies include the Distance Education Accrediting Commission, which accredits online schools. Accrediting agencies should hold approval from the Department of Education.

Postsecondary institutions should also hold a state license to operate. The State Council of Education for Virginia provides a list of approved public and private institutions in the state.

Vocational Trade Schools in Virginia

Vocational and Trade Schools

Trade schools in Virginia provide career-focused training for growing fields like healthcare, industrial technology, legal services, and the skilled trades. By choosing a top-ranked vocational program, professionals can advance their education and increase their earning potential in just 1-2 years. This section introduces the best vocational schools in Virginia.

Rank Logo School Tuition # of Online Programs Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid Credit For Experience Placement Service Counseling Services Description & Additional Information Toggle
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1 Thomas Nelson Community College Hampton, VA Tuition $6,627 # of Online Programs 15 Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate 16% Financial Aid 5% Credit For Experience Yes Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes

TNCC features 18 online degrees and certificates in subjects such as cybersecurity for enterprise, general education, and management. Students complete programs asynchronously and gain access to free tutoring resources. Learners who live near this vocational school in Virginia's Hampton or Williamsburg campus can enroll in a shipbuilding apprenticeship program.

TNCC's Career Services (CS) advisors host career workshops, career networking events, and job fairs. Online services include career assessments and resume assistance. The CS website also provides links to career guides and job boards that focus on Virginia career opportunities.

Applicants complete an eight-step admissions process that involves individual advising, submitting high school or GED transcripts, and finishing new student orientation. Active-duty military personnel pay the in-state tuition rate. Students who maintain a minimum 2.0 undergraduate GPA can apply for institutional scholarships.

2 Virginia Western Community College Roanoke, VA Tuition $6,927 # of Online Programs Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate - Financial Aid - Credit For Experience - Placement Service - Counseling Services -

VWCC offers more than 400 online courses each semester, allowing most students to earn a degree in a hybrid format. Fully only associate degrees include management, visual design, and social sciences-education. VWCC also plans to launch an apprenticeship program for learners interested in an IT, construction, finance, or hospitality career.

The college's Hall Associates Career Center (HACC) features many 24/7 online resources that include the College Central Network job board, Career Spots advice videos, and Big Interview mock interview software. HACC also maintains social media accounts that post job trends and career-hunting best practices.

Prospective students can apply online or in person. VWCC does not offer a per-semester tuition rate to full-time degree- and certificate-seekers, and out-of-state learners pay twice the in-state rate. However, all students can apply for a $500-$2,000 Foundational Scholarship regardless of residency or enrollment status.

3 Tidewater Community College Norfolk, VA Tuition $7,618 # of Online Programs 32 Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate 14% Financial Aid 3% Credit For Experience Yes Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes

TCC's online programs include associate degrees in accounting, criminal justice, and business administration. This tech school in Virginia also offers numerous online certificates in areas such as land surveying and law enforcement. TCC features apprenticeship opportunities in six fields. Although apprentices do not receive a salary, apprenticeship programs do not charge tuition.

On the TCC Career Services (CS) website, students and alumni can join the Career Success Network, a free job and internship board. Learners can also meet with counselors virtually to discuss resume-writing best practices. CS also offers virtual workshops that convey essential interview and networking skills.

Admission steps include placement testing and new student orientation. Out-of-state learners who work for a TCC business partner receive a tuition discount. The Our Opportunities website features hundreds of institutional and private scholarship opportunities.

4 Northern Virginia Community College Annandale, VA Tuition $9,124 # of Online Programs 29 Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate 23% Financial Aid 10% Credit For Experience Yes Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes

NOVA offers 18 online associate degrees in fields such as accounting, business administration, and social sciences . Virtual career studies certificates impart in-demand early childhood development and information systems technology skills. Aspiring cybersecurity and cloud computing workers should research NOVA's apprenticeship opportunities.

The college's Career Services (CS) professionals help learners create career goals, explore job opportunities, and hone vital job-hunting skills. NOVA's online career videos discuss over a dozen topics, such as writing a compelling resume and preparing for a career fair. Additionally, the CS website features links to employment opportunities in the Arlington and Alexandria areas.

Like many other vocational schools in Virginia, prospective undergraduates must submit high school or GED diplomas. Other admission steps include placement testing and speaking with an academic advisor. NOVA offers multiple financial aid opportunities, and institutional scholarships award $250-$5,000. The college uses four scholarship application windows each year.

5 Dabney S Lancaster Community College Clifton Forge, VA Tuition $5,951 # of Online Programs Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate - Financial Aid - Credit For Experience - Placement Service - Counseling Services -

At DSLCC, on-campus undergraduates can earn a degree or certificates in one of 14 academic fields, such as business, community education, and forestry and agriculture. Learners can also enroll in a construction and manufacturing apprenticeship. This vocational school in Virginia also offers dozens of online personal enrichment courses through ed2go.

DSLCC's Academic and Career Advising department helps degree- and certificate-seekers select courses, craft a career plan, and explore transfer opportunities. Learners can work one-on-one or in a small group with a career advisor. The college provides mock interviewing and soft skills workshops. First-generation and economically disadvantaged students can access specialized resources.

High school upperclassmen can take advantage of concurrent enrollment. The admissions process for freshmen includes FAFSA results and the Virginia Placement Test. Finally, the DSLCC Educational Foundation Scholarships awards $250-$5,000 to eligible students.

6 New River Community College Dublin, VA Tuition $6,741 # of Online Programs 17 Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate 24% Financial Aid 11% Credit For Experience Yes Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes

NRCC's distance-education opportunities include associate degrees in general studies, science, and administrative support technology with a specialization in medical administrative support. Registered apprenticeship programs provide learners with over 2,000 hours of on-the-job training. This trade school in Virginia also awards career studies certificates in areas such as paralegal assistant and cost accounting clerk.

Career Services (CS) advisors offer students and alumni multiple virtual resources that include self-assessments, major resource kits, and information on thousands of career paths. Other services include one-on-one training sessions that cover soft skills and business writing fundamentals. Learners can also download resume and cover letter templates on the CS website.

The application process for prospective freshmen includes high school or GED diplomas. Applicants can also submit standardized test scores. NRCC awards credit for satisfactory AP scores. New degree-seekers may qualify for up to $1,500 in aid through the NRCC Educational Foundation.

7 John Tyler Community College Chester, VA Tuition $6,458 # of Online Programs Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate - Financial Aid - Credit For Experience - Placement Service - Counseling Services -

Prospective students planning to transfer to a bachelor's-completion program should consider JTCC. This tech school in Virginia offers online transfer degrees in multiple subjects, including secondary teacher education, health sciences, and psychology. On-campus learning opportunities include the PEER Consortium, an apprenticeship program that trains aspiring Virginia public school educators.

The JTCC Career Services (CS) website provides information on jobs and internships, interviewing and networking tips, and career planning guides. CS also links students to the latest Virginia state employment data and allows all learners to sign up for a virtual counseling appointment. Degree-seekers who live near JTCC's Chester campus can receive one set of professional clothes at no charge.

Applicants create an online account, submit relevant documents, and complete new student orientation. Eligible learners may qualify for a tuition payment plan or military benefits. Additionally, students who maintain a minimum 2.5 undergraduate GPA can apply for a Foundation Scholarship.

8 J Sargeant Reynolds Community College Richmond, VA Tuition $7,426 # of Online Programs Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate - Financial Aid - Credit For Experience - Placement Service - Counseling Services -

Reynolds offers over a dozen fully online associate degrees in areas such as business administration, early childhood development, and social sciences. Career-focused online certificates train future medical technologists and entrepreneurs. The college also offers a culinary and hospitality apprenticeship program that educates aspiring chefs.

This vocational school in Virginia provides degree- and certificate-seekers with many essential career and transfer resources, such as self-discovery guides, career exploration websites, and a personalized care plan. Transfer learners can use the Career and Transfer Services website to explore four-year Virginia colleges and information regarding on-campus college transfer days.

Reynolds does not charge an admissions fee. Students can apply online or through the mail. Other application requirements may apply depending on applicants' academic and personal backgrounds. Some of the college's scholarship opportunities award up to $4,000. Students submit only one financial aid application to apply for all aid packages.

9 Germanna Community College Locust Grove, VA Tuition $7,426 # of Online Programs Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate - Financial Aid - Credit For Experience - Placement Service - Counseling Services -

Germanna's on-campus associate degrees include options in the health science, humanities and arts, and IT and technical studies fields. Virtual learners can select from 10 fully online credential programs that include QuickBooks for small business and OSHA for construction/general industry. This vocational school in Virginia also offers 12 apprenticeship programs with plans to add four more.

Students can access career assessment, exploration, and preparation resources on Germanna's Career Services (CS) website. CS also offers links to the best job-search websites, including Indeed and Virginia View. Additionally, learners can find other resources by creating a College Central Network account.

Prospective students can attend a virtual group information session that covers admission requirements and different academic programs. Out-of-state online learners pay less on tuition than on-campus nonresident students.

10 Paul D Camp Community College Franklin, VA Tuition $4,261 # of Online Programs Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate - Financial Aid - Credit For Experience - Placement Service - Counseling Services -

Students living in and around PDCCC's three Virginia campuses can earn an associate degree in one of eight academic fields, including education, public safety, and general studies/transfer. Transfer learners can choose from four degrees. PDCCC also features a welding program, and learners who maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA can start an apprenticeship with RepairTech LLC.

This trade school in Virginia offers career coaching to not just students and alumni but also local high school learners. The PDCCC Career Research and Resources website features a multistep plan emphasizing self-assessments, the importance of internships, and researching different industries.

Applicants create a Virginia's Community Colleges account before submitting high school or GED transcripts. Active-duty military personnel pay the in-state tuition rate regardless of location. Other financial aid programs include institutional scholarships for transfer learners and recent high school graduates.

11 Liberty University Lynchburg, VA Tuition $27,432 # of Online Programs Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate - Financial Aid - Credit For Experience - Placement Service - Counseling Services -

Liberty offers multiple online learning opportunities, including associate degrees in areas such as creative writing, psychology with a specialization in Christian counseling, and STEM mathematics. Liberty's on-campus technical studies program offers apprenticeships in five areas including plumbing and welding.

Career Services (CS) resources include virtual career coaching appointments, workshops, and resume critiques. Popular workshops cover federal jobs and remote work best practices. CS also runs a fellowship program for academically gifted learners in which students gain hands-on work experience in either Washington, D.C. or New York City.

Liberty requires that associate or bachelor's program applicants possess a high school diploma. All incoming learners submit FAFSA results, and no student pays out-of-state tuition. This tech school in Virginia considers applicants' race, major, and religious affiliation when making scholarship decisions.

12 Mountain Empire Community College Big Stone Gap, VA Tuition $6,688 # of Online Programs Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate - Financial Aid - Credit For Experience - Placement Service - Counseling Services -

MECC's academic pathways feature on-campus associate degrees in education, science, and technology. Many areas offer a certificate for learners who want to attain a job in approximately one year. Students can also earn a four-year university transfer associate degree with a specialization in one of seven subjects, including business administration and pre-teacher education.

The MECC Career Services (CS) website allows students and alumni to access application and resume tips, interviewing advice, and outside resources. CS also features new job opportunities each month. Learners can use the Virginia Education Wizard career assessment at no charge.

This vocational school in Virginia uses a placement score cutoff for prospective students. Additional requirements may apply. In-state learners pay the lowest per-credit tuition rate at this public institution. Virginia residents who excelled in high school can apply for the full-tuition AIMS Higher Scholarships.

13 Lord Fairfax Community College Middletown, VA Tuition $6,738 # of Online Programs 13 Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate 33% Financial Aid 12% Credit For Experience Yes Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes

LFCC's fully online associate degrees include business administration, general studies, and health information management. Certificate-seekers can choose from five options, such as health science and general education. This vocational school in Virginia also awards hybrid degrees and certificates in 12 academic subjects.

When students need help planning for life after graduation, they can turn to Career Services' (CS) Online Career Coach. Virtual CS resources include a job board and career-planning videos. The CS website also features links to resume and cover letter guides.

LFCC's application process requires five steps that include applying for financial aid, taking placement tests, and attending virtual or in-person orientation. The college accepts GED scores from the prior four years. LFCC awards need- and merit-based scholarships to eligible students. Scholarship amounts vary, and each posts different application requirements.

14 Virginia Highlands Community College Abingdon, VA Tuition $6,812 # of Online Programs 17 Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate 24% Financial Aid 17% Credit For Experience No Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes

VHCC appeals to prospective students who want to explore multiple on-campus degree and certificate programs. Degrees that can lead to an in-demand career include nursing, administration of justice, and science with a specialization in engineering. Learners who already or aspire to work in the computer science field can earn a certificate in CISCO networking or computer programming.

This trade school in Virginia's Career Services Resource Center (CSRC) features a private job board connecting students and alumni with jobs in and around Abingdon. Learners can also attend a virtual Career Connection webinar. Webinar topics cover transferable skills, related careers, and how additional education can help individuals advance their career.

Both current high school students and recent graduates interested in attending VHCC make an enrollment appointment so a counselor can review required materials and other application steps. Out-of-state learners who live within 30 miles of the VHCC campus pay the in-state tuition rate.

15 Wytheville Community College Wytheville, VA Tuition $2,304 # of Online Programs Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate - Financial Aid - Credit For Experience - Placement Service - Counseling Services -

With over 20 online associate degrees and certificates, WCC prepares virtual learners for a career in cybersecurity, legal assisting, or administrative support technology. Each degree's website breaks down graduation requirements and potential careers. Prospective students can also click on most courses to learn more about their academic content.

In addition to providing traditional career resources, WCC features FastForward Programs that help learners attain a career as a commercial truck driver, power line worker, welder, or underground electrician. These full-time, on-campus programs last 1-3 months and may post special application requirements, depending on the program.

This tech school in Virginia uses a simple application process that involves applying for financial aid and taking placement tests. The college awards over 100 scholarships. Eligibility requirements include a minimum 2.0 undergraduate GPA and living in the WCC College Service Region.

16 Blue Ridge Community College Weyers Cave, VA Tuition $10,478 # of Online Programs 12 Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate 25% Financial Aid 15% Credit For Experience Yes Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes

At BRCC, online learners can earn an AA or AS college transfer degree. Career-aligned associate degrees include administration of justice, aviation maintenance technology, and information systems technology with a specialization in cloud computing. Additionally, the college's Registered Apprentice program offers a three- and four-year welding apprenticeship experience that pays participants.

BRCC Career Services (CS) virtual resources include a job board, a virtual career coach, and Big Interview. Big Interview allows users to practice and hone interviewing skills through different exercises. Students can also make an appointment for a virtual counseling session on the CS website.

This vocational school in Virginia requires that applicants submit FAFSA results. Prospective international learners can also apply. Active-duty service members pay the in-state tuition rate. Other financial aid opportunities include scholarships for nontraditional learners, business majors, and transfer degree-seekers. Multiple scholarships use a 2.5-2.75 undergraduate GPA cutoff.

17 Eastern Shore Community College Melfa, VA Tuition $5,499 # of Online Programs 10 Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate 26% Financial Aid 12% Credit For Experience No Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes

ESCC's on-campus associate degrees feature transfer programs in general studies, liberal arts with an education specialization, and business administration. Career and technical programs last 1-2 years and include certificates in electronics technology and practical nursing. All courses last eight weeks, making this vocational school in Virginia an excellent choice for accelerated learners.

Career Resources (CR) advisors provide learners with advice about the job application process, how to find the right job, and interviewing skills. The ESCC Job Share website highlights career opportunities. Learners can find additional jobs by visiting College Grad or Job Search USA. Other services on the CR website include three self-assessments.

Applicants submit high school or GED transcripts, and ESCC accepts transfer credit. Out-of-state degree- and certificate-seekers who work with an ESCC business partner pay a lower tuition rate than other nonresident learners. Finally, institutional scholarships award up to $5,000. Some scholarships require an additional application.

18 Danville Community College Danville, VA Tuition $7,751 # of Online Programs 17 Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate 23% Financial Aid 16% Credit For Experience No Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes

DCC's online learners can select from nine programs that include associate degrees in administration of justice, gaming and mobile applications, and liberal arts. This trade school in Virginia also offers online certificates, three of which use a self-paced curriculum. All online courses use ed2go. Graduation requirements may include hybrid coursework.

Learners approaching graduation can visit the DCC Career Service (CS) website to sign up for a mock interview and career counseling. Other CS resources include a career survey for nontraditional learners. Additionally, students who use College Central Network can read free publications covering the latest job trends.

All learners who either graduated high school or passed the GED can attain admission. Other application steps include either taking placement tests or submitting standardized test scores. Degree- and certificate-seekers can apply for more than 70 institutional scholarships by submitting just one financial aid application.

19 Patrick Henry Community College Martinsville, VA Tuition $4,838 # of Online Programs 17 Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate 29% Financial Aid 1% Credit For Experience No Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes

PHCC's distance learning opportunities include hybrid associate degrees in multiple areas, such as general engineering technologies, general studies with a specialization in performing arts, and administrative support technology. Each academic field also awards numerous certificates that include office assisting and internet service webmaster. Many courses at this tech school in Virginia offer both eight- and 16-week options.

PHCC Career Center (CC) advisors strive to provide the best job-hunting resources, such as workshops covering career strategies, interviewing techniques, and how to create and project a professional image. The CC website also features the Virginia Education Wizard, a virtual resource that explains the latest job forecasts and a how-to transfer guide.

Applicants receive admission if they possess a high school or GED diploma. In-state degree- and certificate-seekers pay the most affordable tuition rate. PHCC considers multiple factors when awarding institutional aid, such as high school grades and community service participation.

20 Central Virginia Community College Lynchburg, VA Tuition $4,650 # of Online Programs Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate - Financial Aid - Credit For Experience - Placement Service - Counseling Services -

CVCC provides degree- and certificate seekers with exceptional online programs, such as administration of justice, general studies, and management with a human resources specialization. Some courses may use a synchronous or hybrid curriculum. Remote learning resources cover how to contribute to an online discussion, take a test or quiz, and view grades.

Career Services (CS) prepares learners for their life's next step by offering on-campus career events and virtual career resources that include personality guides, a career exploration guide, and Candid Career informational videos. Additionally, this vocational school in Virginia's alumni can attend on-campus job fairs and access other CS benefits.

The CVCC new student checklist includes submitting FAFSA results, determining college readiness by taking placement tests, and creating an online account. Online learners can complete advising virtually. Once students create an account, they can research and apply for scholarships on the CVCC Academic Works website.

21 Rappahannock Community College Glenns, VA Tuition $7,555 # of Online Programs Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate - Financial Aid - Credit For Experience - Placement Service - Counseling Services -

RCC's online associate degrees include business administration, psychology, and sustainable science, all of which transfer to a bachelor's-completion program. This vocational school in Virginia also awards career studies certificates in five areas, such as game design and development and computer applications specialist. RCC also offers approximately 3,500 virtual skill-building courses.

The RCC website provides links to top employment websites, professionalism tips, and skill and interest assessments. Learners can also contact the Office of Career and Transition Services to make an appointment with a career coach or access College Central Network.

Prospective students need only submit high school or GED transcripts. Degree- and certificate-seekers can pay tuition either online or in person. Learners can check the financial aid website to learn more about institutional scholarships.

22 Southside Virginia Community College Alberta, VA Tuition $7,612 # of Online Programs 21 Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate 35% Financial Aid 15% Credit For Experience Yes Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes

SVCC's distance-education learners can earn an associate degree in a hybrid format. The college offers transfer degrees and applied degrees, which prepare students for a career. This trade school in Virginia also offers certificates that require 30-59 credits in areas such as clerical studies and general education.

SVCC career counselors assist learners with discovering interest and career goals, creating a list of potential jobs, and honing networking skills. Students can prepare a resume and cover letter through Virginia Workforce Connection. The university also offers the WISE mentoring program, a unique opportunity for female students interested in learning leadership time-management skills from a mentor.

SVCC hosts a virtual information session for prospective students every week. Admission steps include submitting FAFSA results. Both new and returning learners meet with a faculty advisor each semester to review academic goals and future courses. SVCC posts all institutional scholarships on its Our Opportunities website.

23 Southwest Virginia Community College Cedar Bluff, VA Tuition $8,493 # of Online Programs 19 Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate 32% Financial Aid 58% Credit For Experience Yes Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes

SWCC students can select from associate degrees and certificates in seven fields, including administration of justice and human services, education, and engineering and information technology. The general studies transfer track features six concentrations, such as agribusiness and psychology. Learners planning for a career in the manufacturing trades can earn a certificate or diploma in welding.

Career Services (CS) pairs learners with resources relating to unemployment assistance, social services, and childcare. Students can contact a CS advisor directly for personalized assistance. CS also hosts virtual workshops that explain how to use the VA Wizard Career Site.

This tech school in Virginia asks applicants to choose a program of study, complete an enrollment survey, and apply for financial aid. Learners who live in Buchanan, Russel, or Tazewell County may qualify for free tuition. Students who maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA and take at least six credits per semester can apply for institutional scholarships.

24 Piedmont Virginia Community College Charlottesville, VA Tuition $7,038 # of Online Programs Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate - Financial Aid - Credit For Experience - Placement Service - Counseling Services -

At PVCC, on-campus learners can earn an associate degree or certificate in one of five fields, such as health sciences, business, and education and human services. Degrees that can lead to a lucrative career include biotechnology, industrial electronics technology, and science with a specialization in physics.

The college's Career Services website displays a helpful calendar that highlights upcoming workshops covering topics such as resume best practices, how to perform a proactive job search, and loyal employers. Students who live in and around Charlottesville can research and apply for local internship and volunteer opportunities.

PVCC's enrollment steps include submitting the online application, applying for financial aid, and speaking with an advisor. Prospective learners ages 17 and younger may attend as long as they either passed the GED or graduated high school.

25 Shenandoah University Winchester, VA Tuition $29,729 # of Online Programs Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate - Financial Aid - Credit For Experience - Placement Service - Counseling Services -

Shenandoah's online areas of study feature an undergraduate certificate in sports management and accelerated tracks in public health and performing arts leadership and management. Other virtual opportunities include three continuing education programs for healthcare professionals. On-campus students can earn different degrees or certificates by attending courses on Shanandoah's Winchester, Loudoun, or Fairfax campus.

The Career and Professional Development department provides students with virtual resources relating to career exploration, job searching, and how to prepare for graduate school or an interview. Learners can enhance a resume by joining Omicron Delta Kappa, an honor society for students who excel in extracurricular activities.

Shenandoah recommends but does not require ACT or SAT scores from freshman applicants. This vocational school in Virginia does not use an application deadline. Automatic scholarship opportunities for new learners award up to $20,000 per year and renew as long as recipients earn a satisfactory undergraduate GPA.

Find Vocational and Trade Schools in Virginia

Virginia secondary and postsecondary students can pursue vocational and trade programs through a variety of settings, like comprehensive high schools, technical high schools, career centers, and community colleges.

Students can use the following tool to find career and technical programs in Virginia.

State
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Career and Salary Outlook for Trade School Graduates

Many vocational careers offer strong demand. For example, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects much faster-than-average job growth for dental hygienists, HVAC technicians, and paralegals between 2018 and 2028.

On average, trade school occupations pay around $55,000 per year. However, salaries vary by factors like experience and industry. For example, personal care professions often pay below-average salaries, while management trade school occupations pay over $96,000 per year, on average.

Salaries also vary by location. According to the BLS, paralegals in Virginia earn around $52,500 per year, on average, while occupational therapy assistants make over $68,000 annually. Meanwhile, dental hygienists earn over $79,000 per year, while electricians earn around $54,500 per year. Prospective trade school students can research the earning potential in their specific field to learn more.

What Kinds of Trade School Programs Are Available?

Trade school programs prepare graduates for careers in healthcare, the skilled trades, and other growing fields. This section introduces popular vocational programs, including salary data and licensing requirements. In addition to the following options, prospective students can research vocational programs in other fields.

Dental Hygienist Schools

Dental hygienists work under the supervision of dentists, conducting oral examinations and cleaning teeth. They look for signs of oral disease, provide preventive treatments, and educate patients about oral health. Dental hygienists must report their findings to dentists.

Most dental hygienists hold an associate degree. During an associate program, students complete coursework in areas like anatomy, periodontics, and oral hygiene. Students also complete clinical training to build patient care skills.

After completing the degree, dental hygienists must apply for a state license to practice. The Virginia Board of Dentistry licenses dental hygienists in Virginia. In 2019, dental hygienists earned an annual median salary of $76,220, with much faster-than-average projected job growth between 2018 and 2028.

Learn more about dental hygienist programs.

Mechanic Schools

Mechanics, also known as automotive service technicians, inspect and repair cars and trucks. They identify problems using diagnostic equipment, repair and replace parts, and perform maintenance on vehicles. They must also explain repairs to clients.

Automotive technology degree and certificate programs prepare graduates for mechanic jobs. During the program, students may gain specialized training in areas like engine repair, brake systems, or electronic systems. Many schools also offer general automotive repair programs. Students also complete hands-on training through a laboratory or practicum.

Mechanics can pursue specialty certification from an organization like the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence to demonstrate their skills. The median annual pay for mechanics exceeded $42,000 in 2019.

Learn more about mechanic programs.

Paralegal Schools

Paralegals assist lawyers by conducting legal research and drafting documents like contracts. They may also investigate the facts of a case, take affidavits and formal statements, and arrange evidence for attorney review. Many paralegals specialize in an area like corporate law or litigation.

Many vocational schools in Virginia offer paralegal studies degree or certificate programs. During a paralegal studies program, students take classes in areas like contract law, legal writing, and legal research. Paralegals do not need to hold a license to practice, but some paralegals pursue professional certification to demonstrate their skills.

The BLS reports that paralegals earned a median annual pay of over $51,000 in 2019, with much faster-than-average projected job growth between 2018 and 2028.

Learn more about paralegal studies programs.

Radiology Technician Schools

Radiology technicians capture diagnostic images using machines like X-rays. They maintain imaging equipment, prepare patients for procedures, and evaluate image quality. They also maintain patient records.

An associate degree is the entry-level education requirement for radiology technicians. During an associate program, students take courses in areas like radiation physics, anatomy, and image evaluation. Students also complete clinical training to gain hands-on skills in the field.

Radiology technicians need a license from the Virginia Board of Medicine to practice. Many radiology technicians also pursue professional certification from The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists. The BLS reports that radiology technicians earned a median annual pay of over $62,000 ini 2019, with faster-than-average projected job growth between 2018 and 2028.

Learn more about radiology technician programs.

Financial Aid for Trade School Students

Trade school students can help offset the cost of their education through financial aid opportunities, such as loans, grants, and scholarships. To qualify for federal financial aid, such as Pell Grants and work-study programs, students must submit the FAFSA. However, only students at accredited schools qualify for federal aid. Unlike loans, scholarships and grants do not require repayment, making them ideal forms of financial aid.

Trade school students can also choose an affordable program to help lower the cost of their education. For example, Virginia public universities charge over $12,500 per year in tuition and fees, on average, while private universities cost more than $23,000 per year, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. In contrast, Virginia community colleges charge around $5,000 per year, on average.

Scholarship for Trade School Students

Many private foundations, government agencies, and professional organizations offer scholarships and grants for trade school students. In addition to the following opportunities, students can research scholarships based on factors like their school or field of study.

Virginia Tuition Assistance Grant

Who Can Apply: This grant supports Virginia residents attending eligible private schools as full-time students. Recipients can receive an automatic renewal.
Amount: $3,400

Apply for Scholarship
Lettie Pate Whitehead Foundation Scholarship

Who Can Apply: Students attending qualifying accredited schools in Virginia can apply for this scholarship. Applicants studying nursing and allied health fields receive preference.
Amount: Varies

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John Randolph Foundation Scholarship

Who Can Apply: The John Randolph Foundation offers multiple scholarships for students living in Hopewell, Prince George, and other cities in central Virginia. Application requirements vary by scholarship.
Amount: Varies

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Leo Bourassa Scholarship

Who Can Apply: Offered by the Virginia Lakes and Watersheds Association, this scholarship supports learners studying fields related to water resources. Applicants must attend an accredited college or university in Virginia.
Amount: $500-$3,000

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Horatio Alger Career & Technical Scholarships

Who Can Apply: This scholarship funds students enrolled in a career or technical program at an accredited postsecondary institution. Applicants must demonstrate financial need.
Amount: Up to $2,500

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Additional Education and Career Resources

Virginia Beach Economic Development

Designed for those interested in doing business in Virginia Beach, the publications offered here are of good use to those who are entering the workforce in the area.

Virginia Beach Economic Development

Designed for those interested in doing business in Virginia Beach, the publications offered here are of good use to those who are entering the workforce in the area.

Virginia's CTE Resource Center

Designed for educators in the vocational and career colleges system, this site also offers information for students who are considering CTE training.

Virginia Employment Commission

The perfect place for students to learn what to expect from their future careers.

Learn More...

Trade and Vocational Schools