Vocational Trade Schools in Washington [2022 Guide]

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Updated October 27, 2022

Trade and technical schools in Washington offer career-focused programs in areas such as allied healthcare, the skilled trades, and STEM fields.

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Why Choose Trade School?

Trade schools in Washington provide career-focused training in high-demand fields such as healthcare, legal services, and emergency services. Learners can earn vocational certificates and degrees to prepare for careers as paramedics, medical assistants, occupational therapy assistants, and dental hygienists. Trade school graduates can also work as electricians, HVAC technicians, paralegals, cosmetologists, and mechanics.

Trade schools offer several benefits over four-year academic programs. Earning a vocational certificate or degree generally takes 1-2 years, allowing learners to enter the workforce more quickly. Vocational programs often cost less than academic degrees. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2009, professionals with an occupational credential had a 4% higher employment rate than professionals with an academic degree.

Many vocational schools offer self-paced or accelerated programs to accommodate busy schedules. A growing number of schools also offer online vocational programs, which can be ideal for working professionals.

This page introduces the top-ranked vocational schools in Washington to help prospective students find the best fit for their career goals. The following sections also include employment and salary data, descriptions of popular vocational programs, and a list of scholarship opportunities for learners at trade schools in Washington.

FAQ About Trade Schools in Washington


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

Trade schools train students for specific career paths, generally with programs that blend classroom and experiential learning. Many colleges offer both academic programs and vocational programs.

Can trade school credits transfer?

Yes. Credits earned at a trade school can transfer to other institutions. Credits earned from a regionally accredited school are the most likely to transfer.

What is the difference between trade school and technical school?

Both trade and technical schools offer career-focused programs in areas such as allied healthcare, the skilled trades, and STEM fields. Vocational programs at both types of institutions provide classroom instruction and hands-on training.

How much does a trade school cost?

The cost of trade school varies by program. Many trade schools in Washington offer vocational certificate and degree programs that cost less than $4,000 per year, including tuition and fees.

Accreditation and Licensing for Trade Schools

Students should check each prospective trade school's accreditation status before applying. Accreditation demonstrates that the institution delivers high-quality educational programs that prepare students to enter the workforce.

To earn accreditation, colleges and universities undergo a rigorous review process by an independent accrediting agency. During the review, the agency evaluates the school's student learning outcomes, academic mission, and faculty qualifications. Accredited schools must undergo regular evaluations to maintain their status.

Credits earned from an accredited school are more likely to transfer to other institutions, and many professional licenses and certifications require candidates to hold credentials from an accredited school. Additionally, only learners at accredited institutions can qualify for federal financial aid.

U.S. schools can hold regional or national accreditation. Community colleges and four-year universities typically obtain regional accreditation. The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities grants regional accreditation to Washington institutions. 

Trade and vocational schools in Washington often hold national accreditation from specialized agencies, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC). Approved by the Department of Education, ACCSC accredits more than 650 trade and technical colleges. Similarly, the Distance Education Accrediting Commission grants accreditation to online schools. This resource provides more information about the accreditation process.

Postsecondary institutions in Washington must also hold a license from the Washington Student Achievement Council.

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Vocational Trade Schools in Washingotn

Trade schools in Washington provide focused training that prepares students for specific career paths. By attending a top-ranked vocational program, students can advance their education and increase their earning potential. The ranking below includes the best vocational schools in Washington.

#1 Vocational Trade Schools in Washington [2022 Guide]

Spokane Community College

  • Spokane, WA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Spokane Community College lets learners choose from 55 associate programs and 60 certificate programs. From its main campus in Spokane, Washington, the public institution offers both online and on-campus enrollment options. Working students find the flexible options fit their busy schedules.

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 complete a focused curriculum with no general education requirements.

Professionals with a certificate qualify for entry-level roles in their field. With an associate degree, graduates apply for jobs or pursue a bachelor's degree.

Spokane Community College at a Glance:

Total Online Associate Programs: 7

Total Online Certificate Programs: 3

Undergrad Tuition In State: $2,875

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $3,680

Average Tuition
In-state
$2,875
Out-of-state
$3,680
Retention Rate
Not provided
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
10,225
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
28% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

#2 Vocational Trade Schools in Washington [2022 Guide]

Spokane Falls Community College

  • Spokane, WA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Spokane Falls Community College offers 30 associate programs and 17 certificate programs. Learners choose between online and on-campus courses offered from the Spokane, Washington, campus of the public institution. Students can sometimes work full time while in school.

The school's career-focused programs provide cutting-edge training in specific career paths. 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.

With a certificate, recipients qualify for entry-level roles in their field. With an associate degree, graduates enter the workforce or continue their education at the bachelor's level.

Spokane Falls Community College at a Glance:

Total Online Associate Programs: 5

Total Online Certificate Programs: 3

Undergrad Tuition In State: $2,875

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $3,680

Average Tuition
In-state
$2,875
Out-of-state
$3,680
Retention Rate
Not provided
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
5,023
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
51% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

#3 Vocational Trade Schools in Washington [2022 Guide]

Olympic College

  • Bremerton, WA
  • 4 years
  • Campus

Olympic College lets learners choose from 35 associate programs and 65 certificate programs. From its main campus in Bremerton, Washington, the public institution provides flexible enrollment options. Many students work while pursuing a degree or certificate.

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. Certificate candidates complete courses related specifically to one area of study, with no general education courses required.

Professionals apply for positions in their field with a certificate. After earning an associate degree, graduates enter the workforce or transfer into a bachelor's program. At the college, undergrad tuition averages $3,635 for in-state students and $4,116 for out-of-state students.

Average Tuition
In-state
$3,635
Out-of-state
$4,116
Retention Rate
Not provided
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
6,278
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
44% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

#4 Vocational Trade Schools in Washington [2022 Guide]

Edmonds College

  • Lynnwood, WA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

At Edmonds College, learners choose from 53 associate programs and 100 certificate programs. Attendees benefit from flexible enrollment options at the public institution, which include online enrollment and classes on the Lynnwood, Washington, campus. Degree and certificate students often balance school with work.

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 classes, certificate candidates complete a focused curriculum in their area of study.

A certificate trains recipients for entry-level positions in a specific field. An associate degree prepares graduates for entry-level careers or bachelor's programs.

Edmonds College at a Glance:

Total Online Associate Programs: 5

Total Online Certificate Programs: 5

Undergrad Tuition In State: $3,635

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $9,017

Average Tuition
In-state
$3,635
Out-of-state
$9,017
Retention Rate
Not provided
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
7,877
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
39% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

#5 Vocational Trade Schools in Washington [2022 Guide]

Bates Technical College

  • Tacoma, WA
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

At Bates Technical College, students advance their education in 50 associate programs and 92 certificate programs. Located in Tacoma, Washington, the public institution offers online and on-campus enrollment options, increasing flexibility for learners. These flexible options help enrollees work while in school.

Many of the school's programs strengthen career-focused skills that train participants for a particular role. In associate programs, degree-seekers take general education courses that strengthen critical thinking and writing skills. Certificate candidates complete a focused curriculum that does not include classes outside of their field.

Professionals apply for positions in their field with a certificate. Associate degree-holders can either pursue employment or transfer into a bachelor's program.

Bates Technical College at a Glance:

Total Online Associate Programs: 2

Total Online Certificate Programs: 3

Undergrad Tuition In State: $5,237

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $14,627

Average Tuition
In-state
$5,237
Out-of-state
$14,627
Retention Rate
67%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
4,377
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
17% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

#6 Vocational Trade Schools in Washington [2022 Guide]

Seattle Central College

  • Seattle, WA
  • 4 years
  • Campus

At Seattle Central College, students learn in 31 associate programs and 44 certificate programs. From its Seattle, Washington, location, the public institution welcomes learners to online and on-campus classes. These enrollment options appeal to working professionals and other busy attendees.

The school's career-focused programs train participants for specialized career paths. Associate programs include general education requirements that build broad, transferable skills. Certificate candidates complete courses related specifically to one area of study, with no general education courses required.

Professionals apply for entry-level roles in their field after completing a certificate. With an associate degree, graduates apply for jobs or continue their education with a bachelor's degree. At the college, undergraduate tuition averages $3,453 for both in-state and out-of-state students.

Average Tuition
In-state
$3,453
Out-of-state
$3,453
Retention Rate
Not provided
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
6,743
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
27% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

#7 Vocational Trade Schools in Washington [2022 Guide]

Grays Harbor College

  • Aberdeen, WA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Grays Harbor College lets learners choose from 17 associate programs and 42 certificate programs. The public institution offers flexible enrollment options, including online classes and courses offered at the Aberdeen, Washington, campus. Many students work while pursuing a degree or certificate.

Many of the school's certificate and associate programs emphasize industry-specific skills that prepare graduates for a particular career path. 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.

With a certificate, graduates pursue entry-level positions in their field. With an associate degree, alumni either enter the workforce or apply to four-year colleges as a transfer student.

Grays Harbor College at a Glance:

Total Online Associate Programs: 1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $3,635

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $9,007

Average Tuition
In-state
$3,635
Out-of-state
$9,007
Retention Rate
Not provided
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
1,853
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
47% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

#8 Vocational Trade Schools in Washington [2022 Guide]

Green River College

  • Auburn, WA
  • 4 years
  • Campus

Green River College offers vocational and academic programs, with 44 associate degrees and 43 certificates. Learners benefit from the public institution's diverse enrollment options, which include online classes and on-campus options from the Auburn, Washington, location. Many students work while pursuing a degree or certificate.

The school's career-focused programs train participants for specialized career paths. Associate programs include general education requirements that build broad, transferable skills. Certificate candidates take classes in their field of study without general education course requirements.

With a certificate, graduates apply for entry-level positions in their field. Associate degree-holders can either pursue employment or transfer into a bachelor's program. The college reports the in-state and out-of-state undergraduate tuition rates as $3,635 and $4,078, respectively.

Average Tuition
In-state
$3,635
Out-of-state
$4,078
Retention Rate
Not provided
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
8,435
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
41% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

#9 Vocational Trade Schools in Washington [2022 Guide]

Highline College

  • Des Moines, WA
  • 4 years
  • Campus

Highline College offers vocational and academic programs, with 37 associate degrees and 61 certificates. Located in Des Moines, Washington, the public institution stands out for its flexible enrollment options, which include online and on-campus classes. The flexible course choices make it easier for students to work while pursuing a certificate or degree.

The school's career-focused programs strengthen specialized skills that prepare graduates for the job market. The general education courses in associate programs build transferable skills like critical thinking, communication, and writing. Certificate candidates complete courses related specifically to one area of study, with no general education courses required.

Professionals apply for entry-level roles in their field after completing a certificate. After earning an associate degree, graduates apply for jobs or continue their education at a four-year college. In-state and out-of-state undergraduate tuition at the college both stand at $3,269.

Average Tuition
In-state
$3,269
Out-of-state
$3,269
Retention Rate
Not provided
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
6,310
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
44% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

#10 Vocational Trade Schools in Washington [2022 Guide]

South Seattle College

  • Seattle, WA
  • 4 years
  • Campus

At South Seattle College, learners can strengthen their skills in 29 associate programs and 61 certificate programs. The public institution, located in Seattle, Washington, offers online and on-campus enrollment options, which appeal to a variety of people. Students enrolled at the school rely on the flexible options to balance classes with work.

Many of the school's programs encourage participants to train for a particular vocation after graduation. Those in associate programs take general education courses that build transferable skills like writing and critical thinking. Certificate candidates take courses in their field with no required general education courses.

With a certificate, recipients enter the workforce prepared for many entry-level roles. With an associate degree, graduates enter the workforce or continue their education at the bachelor's level. The college's tuition rate stands at $4,324 for both in-state and out-of-state students.

Average Tuition
In-state
$4,324
Out-of-state
$4,324
Retention Rate
Not provided
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
6,141
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
18% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

#11 Vocational Trade Schools in Washington [2022 Guide]

Lake Washington Institute of Technology

  • Kirkland, WA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Students choose from 43 associate programs and 59 certificate programs at Lake Washington Institute of Technology. Learners benefit from flexible enrollment options at the public institution, which include online enrollment and classes on the Kirkland, Washington campus. Working professionals benefit from the flexibility to attend school without leaving their job.

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. Instead of general education courses, certificate candidates complete classes related to their field.

A certificate helps recipients advance their career or move into a new role. With an associate degree, graduates apply for jobs or continue their education with a bachelor's degree.

Lake Washington Institute of Technology at a Glance:

Total Online Certificate Programs: 1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $2,875

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $7,812

Average Tuition
In-state
$2,875
Out-of-state
$7,812
Retention Rate
Not provided
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
3,620
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
21% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

#12 Vocational Trade Schools in Washington [2022 Guide]

Renton Technical College

  • Renton, WA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Renton Technical College lets learners choose from 41 associate programs and 74 certificate programs. Learners choose between online and on-campus courses offered from the Renton, Washington, campus of the public institution. Students often choose to work while enrolled at the school.

The school's career-focused programs provide the knowledge and skills required for specialized roles. General education classes in associate programs build key soft skills like communication, writing, and critical thinking. Certificate candidates take courses in their area of study rather than general education courses.

With a certificate, graduates move into the workforce and pursue entry-level roles. After earning an associate degree, alumni enter the workforce or transfer into a bachelor's program.

Renton Technical College at a Glance:

Total Online Associate Programs: 3

Total Online Certificate Programs: 6

Undergrad Tuition In State: $3,688

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $4,137

Average Tuition
In-state
$3,688
Out-of-state
$4,137
Retention Rate
Not provided
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
3,755
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
21% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

#13 Vocational Trade Schools in Washington [2022 Guide]

Bellingham Technical College

  • Bellingham, WA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

At Bellingham Technical College, learners choose from 35 associate programs and 53 certificate programs. Students select from online and on-campus courses offered by the public institution from its location in Bellingham, Washington. Attendees often choose to work while enrolled at the school.

The school's career-focused programs train participants for specialized career paths. Associate programs include general education classes that strengthen soft skills like communication and writing. Certificate candidates take focused classes in their field rather than general education classes.

A certificate prepares recipients for the workforce. With an associate degree, graduates apply for jobs or pursue a bachelor's degree.

Bellingham Technical College at a Glance:

Total Online Associate Programs: 1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $2,688

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $3,184

Average Tuition
In-state
$2,688
Out-of-state
$3,184
Retention Rate
Not provided
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
2,325
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
34% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

#14 Vocational Trade Schools in Washington [2022 Guide]

Columbia Basin College

  • Pasco, WA
  • 4 years
  • Campus

At Columbia Basin College, students advance their education in 39 associate programs and 47 certificate programs. Based in Pasco, Washington, this public college features both online and on-campus enrollment options, creating flexibility for all types of learners. Working professionals find the flexible options fit their busy schedules.

The school's career-focused programs train participants for specialized career paths. Associate programs incorporate general education courses to build transferable skills like critical thinking and writing. Certificate candidates take classes related to their field with no requirements outside of their major.

With a certificate, graduates pursue entry-level positions in their field. An associate prepares degree-holders for the workforce or for bachelor's programs. The college's undergraduate tuition stands at $4,958 for in-state students and $6,639 for out-of-state students.

Average Tuition
In-state
$4,958
Out-of-state
$6,639
Retention Rate
Not provided
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
7,280
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
40% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

#15 Vocational Trade Schools in Washington [2022 Guide]

Shoreline Community College

  • Shoreline, WA
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

Shoreline Community College lets learners choose from 38 associate programs and 49 certificate programs. From its Shoreline, Washington, location, the public institution welcomes attendees 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 associate programs, degree-seekers take general education courses that strengthen critical thinking and writing skills. Certificate candidates take courses in their area of study rather than general education courses.

With a certificate, recipients enter the workforce prepared for many entry-level roles. With an associate degree, graduates apply for jobs or pursue a bachelor's degree.

Shoreline Community College at a Glance:

Total Online Associate Programs: 9

Total Online Certificate Programs: 15

Undergrad Tuition In State: $3,588

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $6,351

Average Tuition
In-state
$3,588
Out-of-state
$6,351
Retention Rate
59%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
5,884
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
42% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

#16 Vocational Trade Schools in Washington [2022 Guide]

Clover Park Technical College

  • Lakewood, WA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

At Clover Park Technical College, students advance their education in 35 associate programs and 70 certificate programs. From its Lakewood, Washington, location, the public institution welcomes learners to online and on-campus classes. Busy attendees benefit from the school's flexible options, which make it easier to work while in college.

In the school's career-focused programs, enrollees gain industry-specific skills. General education classes in associate programs strengthen transferable skills like critical thinking and writing. Instead of general education courses, certificate candidates take courses only in their field of study.

A certificate helps graduates advance their career or move into a new role. With an associate degree, alumni can enter the job market or apply to four-year colleges as a transfer student.

Clover Park Technical College at a Glance:

Total Online Certificate Programs: 1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $5,040

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $5,040

Average Tuition
In-state
$5,040
Out-of-state
$5,040
Retention Rate
Not provided
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
3,973
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
22% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

#17 Vocational Trade Schools in Washington [2022 Guide]

Walla Walla Community College

  • Walla Walla, WA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

At Walla Walla Community College, learners choose from 49 associate programs and 65 certificate programs. Located in Walla Walla, Washington, the public institution offers online and on-campus enrollment options, increasing flexibility for enrollees. Working students benefit from the flexible course options.

Many of the school's programs strengthen career-focused skills that train participants for a particular role. The general education courses in associate programs build transferable skills like critical thinking, communication, and writing. Certificate candidates complete a focused curriculum that does not include classes outside of their field.

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

Walla Walla Community College at a Glance:

Total Online Associate Programs: 2

Total Online Certificate Programs: 1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $4,700

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $6,200

Average Tuition
In-state
$4,700
Out-of-state
$6,200
Retention Rate
Not provided
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
3,671
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
32% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

#18 Vocational Trade Schools in Washington [2022 Guide]

Peninsula College

  • Port Angeles, WA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Peninsula College offers vocational and academic programs, with 25 associate degrees and 49 certificates. The public institution prioritizes flexibility in its course options, which include classes offered online and on the Port Angeles, Washington, campus. Degree and certificate students often balance school with work.

The school's career-focused programs train learners for specialized career paths. General education classes in associate programs strengthen transferable skills like critical thinking and writing. Instead of general education courses, certificate candidates complete classes related only to their field.

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

Peninsula College at a Glance:

Total Online Associate Programs: 16

Total Online Certificate Programs: 23

Undergrad Tuition In State: $3,635

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $4,079

Average Tuition
In-state
$3,635
Out-of-state
$4,079
Retention Rate
Not provided
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
1,966
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
54% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

#19 Vocational Trade Schools in Washington [2022 Guide]

South Puget Sound Community College

  • Olympia, WA
  • 2 years
  • Campus

At South Puget Sound Community College, students advance their education in 26 associate programs and 37 certificate programs. From its main campus in Olympia, Washington, the public institution provides flexible enrollment options. Many learners work while pursuing a degree or certificate.

The school's career-focused programs provide the knowledge and skills required for specialized roles. General education classes in associate programs strengthen transferable skills like critical thinking and writing. Certificate candidates take courses in their field with no required general education courses.

With a certificate, graduates pursue entry-level positions in their field. An associate degree prepares recipients for entry-level careers or bachelor's programs. The in-state and out-of-state undergrad tuition rates at the college stand at $4,127 and $9,458, respectively.

Average Tuition
In-state
$4,127
Out-of-state
$9,458
Retention Rate
67%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
4,974
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
53% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

#20 Vocational Trade Schools in Washington [2022 Guide]

Everett Community College

  • Everett, WA
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

At Everett Community College, students can study in 25 associate programs and 54 certificate programs. From its Everett, Washington, campus, the public institution lets learners choose from online and on-campus enrollment options. These flexible options make it easier for attendees to balance school with work or other responsibilities.

In the school's career-focused programs, enrollees train for a defined career path after graduation. Associate programs include general education classes that strengthen soft skills like communication and writing. Certificate candidates complete courses in their field of study without general education requirements.

With a certificate, recipients enter the workforce prepared for many entry-level roles. With an associate degree, graduates enter the workforce or continue their education at the bachelor's level.

Everett Community College at a Glance:

Total Online Certificate Programs: 3

Undergrad Tuition In State: $3,626

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $9,006

Average Tuition
In-state
$3,626
Out-of-state
$9,006
Retention Rate
64%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
7,977
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
38% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

Career and Salary Outlook for Trade School Graduates

Many trade school programs lead to careers with above-average salaries and strong demand. Salaries for trade school graduates vary depending on the individual's industry, location, and experience.

Graduates of trade schools earn an average of $55,000 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). However, salaries vary widely by field and position. For example, professionals in personal care and service occupations earn an average of $32,000 per year, while managers earn average salaries of more than $96,000 per year. Workers in healthcare practitioners and technical occupations earn an average of more than $55,000 per year, while the average salary for healthcare support professionals is about $45,000 per year.

According to BLS data, dental hygienists in Washington earn average salaries of more than $93,000 per year, and respiratory therapists in the state earn an average of nearly $72,000 annually. Washington paralegals earn an average of about $61,000 annually, and the average annual salary of electricians in the state is more than $71,000. Prospective trade school students can research the earning potential for individual occupations when choosing a field and program.

In addition, many occupations for trade school graduates report strong job growth. The BLS projects much faster-than-average job growth for dental hygienists, HVAC technicians, and paralegals between 2018 and 2028. The BLS also projects growth for careers in allied health, the skilled trades, and STEM fields.

What Kinds of Trade School Programs Are Available?

Vocational and trade schools in Washington offer certificates and degrees in many high-demand areas. Programs for dental hygienists, mechanics, paralegals, and radiology technicians typically take less than two years. Students can also pursue vocational programs to train for careers as occupational therapy assistants, cosmetologists, HVAC technicians, and pharmacy technicians.

See below for a few popular fields for trade school students.

  • Dental Hygienist Schools

    Dental hygienists conduct examinations and clean patients' teeth. These professionals look for signs of oral diseases and provide preventive care. Dental hygienists report their findings to dentists, and they document treatment plans.

    Most dental hygienists hold an associate degree with coursework in anatomy, periodontics, and oral hygiene. Dental hygienist programs also include laboratory and clinical instruction, which helps students gain skills in patient care. According to the BLS, dental hygienists earned a median annual salary of more than $76,000 in 2019. The BLS projects employment for dental hygienists to increase 11% from 2018 to 2028, much faster than the average for all occupations.

    Dental hygienists need a license. In Washington, the Washington State Department of Health licenses dental hygienists who complete an accredited dental hygiene program, pass the dental hygiene national board exam, and pass clinical examinations.

    This list includes the best dental hygienist programs.

  • Mechanic Schools

    Mechanics, also called service technicians, inspect and repair vehicles. They use diagnostic equipment to identify problems, and they repair worn parts and perform maintenance on cars and trucks. Mechanics may specialize in an area such as engine repair, transmissions, or electrical systems.

    Many mechanics complete a vocational program in automotive service technology. Students take courses in automotive repair, electronics, and brake maintenance. Learners gain practical training through practicum or laboratory requirements.

    After completing a mechanic program, graduates can pursue a specialty certification from an organization such as the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence, which offers certifications in areas including engine performance, suspension, and automatic transmissions. Mechanics earned a median annual salary of about $42,000 in 2019, according to the BLS.

    This resource provides information about the top mechanic programs.

  • Paralegal Schools

    Paralegals assist lawyers by conducting legal research, drafting documents, and summarizing reports. Paralegals can specialize in an area such as contract law, corporate law, or litigation. These legal professionals also file briefs and appeals with the court.

    Learners at vocational schools in Washington can pursue paralegal studies and legal studies programs. Paralegal studies programs typically include coursework in legal writing, business law, legal terminology, and legal research. Paralegals do not need a license or certification to practice, though some employers prefer certified candidates.

    Paralegals earned a median annual salary of more than $51,000 in 2019, and the BLS projects employment for these professionals to increase 12% from 2018 to 2028.

    This page offers additional information about paralegal studies programs.

  • Radiology Technician Schools

    Radiology technicians, also called radiographers, take diagnostic images to help physicians treat patients. They prepare patients for procedures, operate imaging equipment such as X-rays, and evaluate the quality of images. Radiology technicians must follow safety procedures to protect patients and themselves.

    Most radiology technicians hold an associate degree with coursework in anatomy, radiation protection, image evaluation, and patient care. Radiology students also complete clinical requirements.

    Graduates in the field typically earn professional 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. The Washington State Department of Health licenses radiology technicians.

    This guide provides information about the best radiology technician programs.

Financial Aid for Trade School Students

Trade school students often use financial aid to help fund their education. Learners can apply for federal loans, grants, and work-study programs. To receive federal financial aid, students must complete the FAFSA annually. However, only students at accredited schools qualify for federal financial aid. Students should understand whether each prospective vocational school meets the requirements for federal student aid eligibility.

Students can also lower the cost of their degree by choosing one of the more affordable vocational schools in Washington. The total cost of a vocational program varies widely by type of school. For example, the cost of tuition and fees at public universities is typically much less than at private universities. However, community colleges generally offer the most affordable tuition rates.

In addition to federal financial aid, trade school students can apply for grants and scholarships from private foundations, government agencies, and professional associations. Unlike loans, scholarships do not require repayment. The following section includes some scholarship opportunities for learners attending Washington trade schools.

Scholarship for Trade School Students

Students attending trade schools in Washington can qualify for many scholarships and grants. Scholarships can help learners reduce the cost of earning a vocational certificate or degree. In addition to the scholarships below, students can research opportunities based on their field or school.

AOFT Washington Scholarship

Who Can Apply: The Washington division of the American Occupational Therapy Foundation offers this scholarship to an occupational therapy assistant student in Washington State. Applicants must hold membership with the Washington Occupational Therapy Association.

Amount: Varies

WSEA Vocational Grant

Who Can Apply: The Washington State Elks Association offers this grant to graduating high school seniors pursuing a vocational certificate or degree. Applicants must be attending one of the community colleges or tech schools in Washington.

Amount: Varies

Matsuo Bridge Company, Ltd. of Japan Scholarship

Who Can Apply: The scholarship supports learners studying welding engineering, welding engineering technology, or a related field. Applicants must have a minimum 3.0 GPA and attend an accredited school. Washington residents receive priority.

Amount: $2,500

Pride Foundation Scholarship

Who Can Apply: The Pride Foundation offers multiple scholarships to students who identify as LGBTQ or allies. Recipients must be pursuing a postsecondary education at community college, four-year university, or vocational school in Washington.

Amount: Varies

Joseph Darimont Vocational Award

Who Can Apply: The scholarship from the Washington State Elks Association supports one student per year. Applicants must be between the ages of 18 and 50. Recipients can apply the funding toward the cost of tuition, fees, books, and supplies.

Amount: $1,000

Additional Education and Career Resources

The state's largest professional organization represents educators and staff employed in career and technical education. The organization sponsors an annual conference for members. The TSA serves high school students who have completed their technology education or pre-engineering courses and are eyeing careers in fields such as architecture, construction, engineering, graphic arts, manufacturing, or film/video production. Washington's official state site for career resources provides a resume help/skills center, and the organization hosts state and regional job fairs.

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