• 100 Best Low-Cost Vocational Schools By Region

    Are you looking for something more hands-on? There are lots of options out there - some here in NJ, and others across the country. You do not have to "stay home", if that's not what you're looking for! Check out this article of the top Two-Year Trade Schools - #1 is the Pittsburgh School of Aeronautics, and 60% of their students are from out-of-state. In two years, you could become an Aviation Mechanic - a field where the median salary is $63K a year.


    What should you be looking for?

    • Programs Offered

    • Structure and Length of Program

    • % of students who finish the program in the intended amount of time

    • Employment rate within 6 months of graduation

    • Starting and median salaries in the field

    • Career services support provided by the school

    • Cost - and what type of financial aid is available

    • Accreditation of the school; For-profit vs not-for-profit status

    For some jobs, you might be able to find an apprenticeship program. These are structured programs where you take some coursework but are otherwise learning on the job, from experienced workers. Some apprenticeships (especially in the typical "trade" fields) run their apprenticeships through their local unions. Applications only come out once a year, and it's a competitive process. Google is your friend. Try something like "Bergen county nj plumbers union". PLAN AHEAD!

    Apprenticeship Programs

    Public County Vocational Schools (always check websites for most current info):

    CAREER TECH NJ:  https://www.careertechnj.org/

    Bergen County Technical Schools, Hackensack

    Full-time day programs: Business professional/administrative assistant, Plumbing & Heating, Electrical Technology, HVAC & Refrigeration

     Burlington County Institute of Technology

    Certified Home Health Aide, Certified Nurse Aide, Dental Assisting, ECG Technician, Licensed Practical Nursing, Medical Assisting, Patient Care Technician, Pet Grooming, Phlebotomy Technician, Veterinary Assistant, Carpentry, Electrician, HVAC, Plumbing, Auto Collision, Auto Technology, Diesel Technology, Welding, Cosmetology, Wastewater Operations, 

    Essex County Schools of Technology, Newark

    Auto Repair, Carpentry, Cosmetology, Culinary Arts, Forklift Training, Plumbing Apprenticeship, Welding,

     Hunterdon County Vocational Technical School, Flemington

    Veterinary Assistant, Aesthetics,Certified Nurse Aide, Child Development Associate credential, Cosmetology, Drone Piloting, Fire Academy, Heavy Equipment Operator, Massage Therapy, Medical Assistant, Phlebotomy, Welding, Wastewater Operations

    Apprenticeship Programs: Automotive, Electrician, Plumbing, HVAC-R, Culinary, Vet Asst/Lab Tech

    Additional basic, continuing education courses available.

     Mercer County Vocational Technical School, Pennington and Trenton

    Evening programs: Automotive Technology, Barbering, Cosmetology, Diesel and Truck Technology, Esthetics, Welding, Wastewater Operations

    Certified Home Health Aide, EKG Technician, Massage Therapy, Venipuncture

     Middlesex County Vocational Technical School, East Brunswick and Piscataway

    Full-time Programs (afternoon or evening, depending upon program): Automotive Technology, Electrical Technology, HVAC and Refrigeration, Plumbing Technology, Practical Nursing, Cosmetology

     Monmouth County Vocational School District, multiple locations in Monmouth County

    Pre-Licensure Real Estate, Legal Secretary Training, Child Development Associate, Automotive Technology, Welding, Dental Assistant, Certified Nurse Aide, Phlebotomy Technician, Practical Nursing, Cosmetology

    Note: FREE pre-apprenticeship program available for women and minorities, FREE ESL Healthcare classes, FREE Certified Nurse Aide program

     Morris County Vocational School District, Denville

    HVAC/Refrigeration, Clinical Medical Assistant, EKG or Phlebotomy Technician, Patient Care Technician, Pharmacy Technician, Veterinary Assistant, Plumbing, Real Estate Pre-Licensing, Automotive Technology

    Intro courses in Carpentry, Woodworking, Intro to Electrical Trades

     Union County Vocational Technical School, Scotch Plains

    Full-time programs (8am-2pm or 2pm-8pm, depending on program): Cosmetology, Automotive Technology, Electrical Technology, HVAC/Plumbing

    Real Estate Training Programs



    Private Career Training Options (check sites for most current info):

    AIMS Education, Piscataway and Edison

    MRI Technologist, Diagnostic Medical Sonography, Cardiovascular Technologist, Diagnostic Cardiac Sonography, Neurodiagnostic Technologist, Surgical Technologist, Endoscopy Technician, Sterile Processing Technician, Medical Assistant, Medical Billing & Coding Specialist, Pharmacy Technician, Cardiac Monitor Technician, EKG/Phlebotomy Technician, Phlebotomy Technician

     American Institute, Somerset

    Administrative Office Professional, Medical/Dental Assisting, Massage Therapy

     American Institute of Alternative Medicine, East Brunswick

    Massage Therapy

     Artistic Academy, Morris Plans

    Cosmetology, Aesthetics (facials, body treatment, makeup)

     Berkeley College, several locations (degree programs also offered)

    Medical Assistant, Medical Insurance, Billing and Coding, Patient Care Technician, Practical Nurse, Surgical Processing Technician

     Central Career School, South Plainfield

    Medical/Dental Assisting, Medical Billing and Coding, Computer Networking and Security, Business and Technology Administrative Professional

     duCret School of Art, Plainfield

    Fine Arts, Graphic Design, Illustration

     Eastwick College, Ramsey, Hackensack and Nutley

    Bilingual Licensed Practical Nursing, Business and Hospitality, Culinary Arts, Diagnostic Cardiovascular Sonography, Electronics and Computer Technology, Funeral Service, Health Information Technology, Health Science, HVACR, Medical Assisting, Medical Billing and Coding, OB/Gyn - Diagnostic Medical Sonography, Occupational Therapy Assistant, Registered Nurse, Surgical Technology, Ultrasound Technology

     Fortis Institute, Lawrenceville

    Medical/Dental Assisting, Medical Billing and Coding, HVAC & Refrigeration, Electrical Systems Technician

     HoHoKus School of Trade and Technical Sciences, Paterson

    Electrician Apprenticeship, Facilities Management, Manufacturing Technology, Plumber Apprenticeship, Welding, 

     The Kubert School, Dover

    Cartooning and Graphic Art

     Lincoln Tech, South Plainfield

    Diesel and Truck Technology, Heavy Equipment and Truck Technology, Welding and Metal Fabrication Technology

     Lincoln Tech, Iselin

    Medical Assisting, Practical Nursing, Computer & Network Support Technician

     Lincoln Tech, Union

    Automotive Technology, Electrical and Electronic Systems Technology, HVAC

    Parisian Beauty Academy (Hackensack) 


     Robert Fiance Beauty Schools, North Plainfield, other locations

    Cosmetology, Barbering, Esthetics/Makeup Artistry, Nail Technology

     The Pro Beauty Academy

    Cosmetology, Skin Care, Nail Technology, Barbering

     Universal Technical Institute, Bloomfield (other locations nationwide with different programs)

    Automotive Technology, Diesel Technology

    Orlando, FL - Marine Mechanics

    Orlando, FL and Phoenix, AZ - Motorcycle Mechanics


    Some Special Tuition Assistance Options (info subject to change, check websites for updates):

    NJ Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services

    This agency provides tuition assistance with career training for individuals with learning disabilities and physical or mental impairments. Speak to your Case Manager for information about the referral process.

     NJ Division of Developmental Disabilities

    Division-funded services for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities eligible to receive prevocational and life skills training. 

     NJ Workforce Development - One Stop Career Centers - WIOA Grant

    These centers are staffed with qualified professionals who assist youth (16-24 years old), unemployed or underemployed individuals with obtaining tuition grants for training needed to meet the demands of our present workforce

     NJ-GIVS Scholarship

    NJ Governor’s Industry Vocations Scholarship (NJ-GIVS) awards tuition benefits to women and minority students pursuing a certificate or degree program in a construction-related field. Please call 973-627-4601 x.245 for more information or go to http://www.hesaa.org/Documents/NJ-GIVS_program.pdf for a brochure.

     American Welding Society Welder Training Scholarships

    The AWS Welder Training Scholarship is for students seeking welder training in a program up to two years through a trade school, community college, or other facility providing welder training, and cannot be used for credits towards a four-year program. Each AWS District has 25-$1,000 scholarships to award in 2019. Five scholarships will be designated for high schools senior for training following graduation.

     Imagine America Scholarship

    This annual scholarship program has helped thousands of high school seniors afford a career education at hundreds of career schools across the United States. Each year, every high school in the United States and Puerto Rico may nominate up to five graduating seniors to receive a $1,000 Imagine America scholarship! Contact Mrs. Thomson to be nominated. Students must plan to attend one of these specific schools.

     Automotive Hall of Fame Scholarships

    Applicants must plan to pursue a career in the automotive industry and enroll in an accredited 2 or 4 year college or technical/trade school Minimum GPA: 3.0

     Mike Rowe Works Work Ethic Scholarship

    A scholarship for hard working students pursuing further study in a trade. Must enrolled in an approved program: automotive technology, aviation technology, carpentry, commercial driving, construction, diesel technology, electrical technology, farming and agriculture, fire science and technology, heavy equipment operation, HVAC, machinery, manufacturing, marine technology, pipefitting, plumbing or welding.

     NJUA Trade and Vocational School Scholarship

    Qualified students who will be pursuing a Trade or Vocational degree at an accredited school located in New Jersey. Must be a US citizen or legal resident. (2) awards valued up to a total of $6,000 depending on the total cost of the program, to be applied to tuition only.


    What Credentials/Certifications are Available?


    Top 25 Trade Schools (Forbes Magazine)