Vocational, technical and trades education

Prepare to join a career through a combination of guided instruction and applied learning opportunities

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Why vocational, technical and trades education?

Vocational — also known as technical — and trades training focuses on the practical, relevant training needed to enter a specific trade or job.

These types of schools and on-the-job training can lead to careers in various industries: automotive, healthcare, software and more.

Duration: 2 years or less


American Association of Community Colleges

In addition to degrees, community colleges offer vocational and technical education. Search for a school near you and check out their workforce and career training programs.

American Association of Community Colleges logo


Home Depot Trades Training

The Home Depot has pledged to train over 20K new skilled tradespeople by 2028 through partnerships with nonprofits and institutions.  These educational programs provide certifications and job placement support in various trades. One example is the Home Builders Institute, which trains veterans in the trades. Veteran-friendly.

Home Depot Trades Training logo


Western Governors University’s nursing prelicensure program

A unique, competency-based program combining online learning and hands-on clinical experiences to become a licensed RN and earn your BSN.

Western Governors University’s nursing prelicensure program logo

Still in high school?

CTE (Career Technical Education) schools focus on training for specific trades and vocations by industry “clusters.” All clusters follow a common core curriculum so that students enter trades trained by industry standards. Find a CTE high school in your state and see if it’s the right fit for you.

Home Builders Institute

The Home Builders Institute provides the vocational training and education needed to join the U.S. building industry. Check out certification programs and pre-apprenticeship programs in your area. Veteran-friendly.

SkillCat Online HVAC Training

SkillCat offers free training to HVAC fundamentals where students study videos instead of textbooks and practice on simulations. Upon completing an end-of-course assessment, students receive their competency certificate and can continue to NATE Ready to Work Training or join SkillCat's talent network. Veteran-friendly.