Best Trade Schools in Oregon

Students in Oregon can enroll in one of the state's 43 trade schools to train for a technical or skilled occupation.
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  • Oregon offers several trade schools to help prepare students for various skilled-trade jobs.
  • Some trade school graduates see higher employment rates than people with academic degrees.
  • Students should apply to trade schools with the appropriate accreditation.

Attending trade school in Oregon can provide you with access to job opportunities in your trade and the potential for competitive salaries. Many careers in healthcare, technology, and other skilled trades do not require a four-year degree. Instead, graduates with up to two years of specialized training and the necessary certification can qualify for many entry-level positions in the state.

Several Oregon trade schools offer affordable tuition, allowing many students to complete their education with little to no student loans. Also, graduating in two or fewer years lets individuals enter the workforce sooner. Many schools in the state offer online and accelerated programs, benefiting students who need to balance school with professional and family obligations. is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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Trade Jobs and Salaries in Oregon

Four-year or graduate degrees do not provide the only paths to stable employment. The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) reports that professionals with trade or occupational credentials experienced slightly higher employment rates than individuals with academic degrees in 2009. Trade school degrees can lead to jobs with higher than the national median annual salary of $45,760 or higher demand than the average job growth rate of 8%. In Oregon, some common careers include CDL driver, carpenter, and medical assistant.

CDL Driver

  • Projected job growth of 12% between 2020-2030
  • Median salary of $36,660 in 2021
  • The projected job growth rate exceeds the rate of the average of all occupations for the same period.


  • Projected job growth of 2% between 2020-2030
  • Median salary of $48,260 in 2021
  • The projected job growth rate for carpenters is below the average rate of all occupations for the same period. However, this profession earns more than the median annual salary for all other jobs.

Medical Assistant

  • Projected job growth of 18% between 2020-2030
  • Median salary of $37,190 in 2021
  • The projected job growth rate surpasses the average rate of all occupations for the same period.

Trade Schools in Oregon

People wanting to train for a specific career path might opt for trade school. These public or private vocational institutions d offer programs that take 1-2 years to complete. In comparison, associate degrees often require 2 years. Students attending accredited trade schools in Oregon may transfer their credits to a four-year college or university, however that is up to each school.

Students in Oregon can choose from 43 accredited trade schools to acquire specialized skills training. Vocational schools in the state offer programs in healthcare, cosmetology, legal services, carpentry, and other skilled professions.

Students attending an accredited trade school in Oregon can apply for federal financial aid if they meet other requirements. They can also receive scholarships and grants.

Average Cost of Trade School in Oregon

The average cost of trade school in Oregon is $15,011 total for tuition. In contrast, the NCES reports that in-state tuition in Oregon averaged $11,537 for four-year colleges and $5,136 for two-year colleges for the 2020-2021 school year. Net average in-state tuition for these degrees equals $46,148 and $10,272, respectively.

Some trade school graduates might see their education as a good return on their investment regarding post-study employment. The NCES also reports that people with occupational credentials enjoy slightly higher employment rates than professionals with academic degrees. They also generally find jobs in their field of study more often than graduates with bachelor's degrees or higher.

Financial Aid for Trade Schools in Oregon

Some of the best trade schools in Oregon offer grants and scholarships to students seeking financial assistance. Applicants with good grades can pursue merit-based awards. Individuals can also apply for some scholarships if they show financial need or demonstrate preparation for a particular trade.

Women in HVACR Scholarship

  • For the technical college or trade school scholarship, qualifying applicants include women preparing for a career in heating, ventilation, and air conditioning and currently enrolled in a trade or vocational school. Qualified individuals must also show a minimum 3.0 GPA.
  • One of six $5,000 scholarships
  • June 1
  • Qualified students can start submitting their applications on January 1. Awardees will receive their scholarships after providing proof of attendance for the semester of the award.

The Refrigeration School (RSI) Scholarship

  • Qualified applicants must meet application requirements and have already started to schedule training.
  • Award covers up to a few hundred dollars to cover tuition costs.
  • Deadlines vary by specific scholarship. RSI encourages students to start early in the application process.
  • A majority of students attending The Refrigeration School typically receive scholarships or grants. Students who change their start date might lose their scholarships. Students can apply for scholarships to study welding, electrical trades, HVAC/R, and general trades. RSI also offers scholarships to military veterans and family members.

American Trucks Scholarship

  • Eligible full-time students currently enrolled in a technical institute or trade school. High school seniors enrolled in one of these institutions can also apply.
  • $2,500 scholarship awarded in the fall semester and again in the spring
  • June 15 for the fall semester, October 15 for the spring semester
  • Applicants must write a 750-1000 word essay outlining their professional goals. In the essay, they must also describe how they will use their education to contribute to the continued development of workers in the trucking community.

Students in Oregon trade schools can seek financial aid for vocational education. Before applying for a grant or scholarship, students should read the application instructions carefully to ensure they meet eligibility requirements. They might also start early to complete and submit their applications to avoid missing important deadlines.

Accreditations in Oregon

Trade schools with accreditation demonstrate they meet educational standards. Furthermore, students enrolled in accredited schools can access federal financial aid. Trade schools can receive accreditation from the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges.

Private vocational and trade schools in Oregon need state-based licenses, which they can obtain from the Private Career School Unit of the Oregon Higher Education Coordinating Commission.

Apprenticeships in Oregon

Trade school graduates can pursue apprenticeships in Oregon, which offer on-the-job training and work experience under the supervision of qualified professionals. Vocational high schools in Oregon also offercareer and technical education, allowing students to acquire specialized skills and knowledge before they graduate and enter the workforce.

Frequently Asked Questions About Technical Schools in Oregon

How many trade schools are in Oregon?

Students can choose among 43 accredited trade schools in Oregon, some of which offer online and accelerated courses. These public and private institutions can prepare individuals for in-demand professions that require technical skills but not a four-year degree.

People graduating from vocational programs can pursue entry-level positions in their trade. With work experience and continuous training, some professionals can increase their earning potential and professional development in career tracks such as technology, HVAC, and healthcare.

What vocational training pays the most?

Some Oregon jobs requiring community college, trade school, or on-the-job training can offer relatively high pay, including electrical trades and healthcare positions. According to the BLS, elevator installers and repair persons in Oregon can earn more than $100,000, and these professionals might see promising job growth in the next few years.

Another high-paying job in the state, a position in radiation therapy, only requires an associate degree but can pay more than $95,000 with work experience. Also, power distributors and dispatchers with accumulated experience can make more than $90,000, and these positions typically require on-the-job training plus some coursework.

What is the shortest trade school?

While some individuals take about two years to earn an associate degree, others can spend up to one year earning a certification in a specialized trade. Some vocational programs, such as electrical trades, truck driving, or carpentry, allow students to complete their education in months or weeks, preparing them for entry-level employment. Some occupations with on-the-job training require only a high school diploma or GED certificate.

Best Oregon Trade Schools

Each program on the list will meet our criteria, being:

How We Rank Schools

Rankings Methodology:

  • Must offer less than one-year certifications
  • Accredited
  • Less than 18:1 faculty-to-student ratio
  • Less than $35,000 in tuition costs
  • Over 50% graduation rate

Aveda Institute-Portland

  • Private for-profit
  • Net price: $16,332
  • Portland
  • Admission requirements: 5-minute online application; $20 nonrefundable application fee; state or government-issued identification; signed Social Security card; high school diploma, official transcript, or GED certificate
  • 600-1835 credit hours, depending on the program; Total of 20 clock hours each in safety and sanitation and career development
  • Accreditation: National Accrediting Commission of Career Arts and Sciences (NACCAS)
  • Aveda Institute in Portland reports a 70% graduation rate. Cosmetology is the school's largest program.

Carrington College-Portland

  • Private for-profit
  • Net price: $25,850
  • Portland, blended, online
  • Application requirements: proof of high school graduation and a passing score on Wonderlic Scholastic Level Exam
  • To graduate, students must earn at least a C grade in all courses. Learners must graduate with a minimum GPA of 2.0 or higher, depending on the program.
  • Accreditations: Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, Western Association of Schools and Colleges
  • Carrington College offers vocational training in healthcare, dentistry, pharmaceutical services, veterinary medicine, and other trades. The medical/clinical assistant program typically attracts the largest number of students.

Concorde Career College-Portland

  • Private for-profit
  • Net price: $25,440
  • Portland, online
  • Application requirements: Campus tour and personal interview, completed Online Readiness Assessment, high school diploma and transcripts or GED certificate. Graduation requirements depend on the program of study.
  • Accreditation: Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges
  • Concorde Career College has a graduation rate of about 80%. The institution advances a blended education model that combines classroom instruction and practical experience. In addition to the Portland campus, Concorde includes 16 other campuses nationwide.

Institute of Technology (IOT)

  • Private for-profit
  • Net price: $27,460
  • Salem
  • Admission Requirements: High school diploma or equivalent, academic transcript, personal interview, criminal background check
  • Graduation requirements include 80% classroom attendance and 100% externship or practicum attendance. Students must also satisfy specific program requirements.
  • Accreditation: Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET)
  • IOT reports a 77% graduation rate, and its largest program is licensed practice/vocational nurse training. The school includes three additional campuses in California.

Northwest College-Tualatin

  • Private for-profit
  • Net price: $19,120
  • Tualatin
  • Application requirements: personal interview and campus visit with an admissions representative, be at least 18 years old, show proof of high school graduation or GED certificate.
  • Graduation requirements: 281-1150 clock hours and 130-545 practical operations, depending on the program. Students must also pass all written and practical examinations, maintain at least a 75% on all exams, and complete an exit interview.
  • Accreditation: National Accrediting Commission of Career Arts and Sciences (NACCAS)
  • Since 1976, Northwest College has provided a combination of classroom instruction and practical experience. General cosmetology represents the school's largest program.

Phagans Grants Pass College of Beauty

  • Private for-profit
  • Net price: $7,680
  • Grants Pass
  • Admission requirements: Applicants meet with an admissions representative, complete the application, and consult with a financial aid advisor. Students also need to provide a copy of a birth certificate or passport and show proof of high school graduation or GED diploma.
  • Graduation requirements: 320-1168 clock hours, depending on the specific program
  • Accreditation: National Accrediting Commission of Career Arts and Sciences (NACCAS)
  • The college reports a 79% graduation rate. Grants Pass represents one of five schools in the state.

Portland Actors Conservatory

  • Private nonprofit
  • Net price: $22,590
  • Portland
  • Admission requirements: Audition, personal interview, high school diploma or equivalent, two letters of recommendation, personal essay of 1-2 pages, official transcripts, acting resume, and headshot
  • Graduation requirements: Audition and acceptance into the second year of the program; Students must also complete the specified number of credit hours according to their chosen program.
  • Accreditation: National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST)
  • Students complete a two-year program. Portland Actors Conservatory reports a 100% graduation rate.

Premiere Aesthetics Institute

  • Private for-profit
  • Net price: $13,410
  • Bend
  • Admission requirements: Campus tour and interview, application form, high school diploma or GED equivalent, official transcript
  • Graduation requirements: 600 hours
  • Accreditation: The National Accrediting Commission of Career Arts and Sciences (NACCAS)
  • The aesthetician/esthetician and skincare specialist program generally attracts the most students. The institute reports a 100% graduation rate. The Oregon campus opened in 2015 and is the flagship campus.

Sage School of Massage & Esthetics

  • Private for-profit
  • Net price: $15,910
  • Bend, online
  • Admission requirements: Proof of having received a professional aesthetic treatment or massage, high school diploma or GED equivalent, official transcripts, application essay, criminal background check, proof of age (at least 18 years old), interview with a staff member, and proof of U.S. citizenship or Green Card
  • Graduation requirements: 740-900 hours, depending on program
  • Accreditation: Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation (COMTA)
  • The Sage School reports a 100% graduation rate. The institution also offers continuing education courses.

Summit Salon Academy-Portland

  • Private for-profit
  • Net price: $14,610
  • Tigard
  • Admission/application requirements: Campus tour, application form, proof of high school graduation or GED equivalent, official transcripts, proof of age (at least 17 years old)
  • Graduation requirements: 500-1800 hours, minimum of 85% attendance, passing of final written and practical exams, and 85% average grade on all exams
  • Accreditation: National Accrediting Commission of Career Arts & Sciences
  • Summit Salon Academy offers programs in esthetics, hair design, and nails. Students may also study all three programs and create their unique curriculum plans.

Other Notable Oregon Trade Schools is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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