Research Outline

Vocational Education in the US


To determine the number of postsecondary trade or vocational schools in the US, the number of students enrolled in them, their present occupancy rates, and the percentage of students who find jobs immediately after graduation.

Early Findings

Students in the US are gradually tending towards vocational or trade education. Below are some of our findings:
  • There are 16 million students enrolled in trade schools as of 2016, according to an article by the Atlantic.
  • As of 2015, 5,454 institutions offer sub-baccalaureate occupational education programs in the US. 1,614 were public, 794 were private nonprofit, and 3,046 were private for-profit institutions.
  • According to a report by NPR, trade and vocational professionals are short in supply. The U.S. Department of Education also reports that there will be 68 percent more job openings in infrastructure-related fields in the next five years.
  • The average tuition for private trade schools for the 2016-2017 academic calender was $15,135.
  • About 62 percent of US firms are struggling to fill important skilled trade positions, according to a report by Adecco.