Kansas Vocational and Technical Schools

The state of Kansas, largely known for its agribusiness industries, has been transforming and diversifying its economy by attracting new investments in bioscience, aviation, renewable energy and manufacturing. In fact, Manhattan, Kansas was selected as the site for the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility, a jointly sponsored, $1.4 billion project between the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The cutting-edge facility will be used to conduct research into and develop countermeasures for threats (such as zoonotic or foreign animal diseases) that could impact the nation's agricultural infrastructure.

As the state's economy continues to transform, students considering vocational education program should find numerous opportunities across a spectrum of program areas, including avionics, health care, financial services, manufacturing and more.

Top Kansas industries and employers

Five of the state's top employers are in the aviation and aerospace industries. According to the Kansas Department of Commerce, these employers include the following:

  • Spirit Aerosystems, aviation manufacturing
  • Cesna Aircraft, aviation manufacturing
  • Bombadier, aerospace manufacturing
  • Hawker Beechcraft, aviation manufacturing
  • Honeywell Aerospace, aerospace parts and product manufacturing

In addition to aerospace and aviation, other leading industries in the state include health care and social assistance, manufacturing, and finance and insurance. health care and social assistance accounted for nearly 170,000 jobs in the state in 2013, and vocational career students can pursue training in numerous health fields, from nursing aide to medical transcription, phlebotomy to nursing. Major employers in health care include Health Midwest and the St. Luke's-Shawnee Mission Health Systems.

Construction remains a robust industry in the state, growing by 6.8 percent between 2011 and 2013, notes data from the Kansas Department of Commerce. Vocational programs in construction include carpentry, plumbing, building inspection and more. Top employers in construction include JE Dunn Construction, an 85 year-old firm in Kansas City that has 20 offices across the country and produces approximately $3 billion in annual revenues.

Employment in Kansas City

Kansas City, home to almost 2.2 million people across 18 counties, is a regional hub that serves as headquarters for 12 Fortune 1000 companies, including major brands such as H&R Block, LabOne, Inc., Garmen International, AMC Theatres and Hallmark Cards, Inc. Other key employers in the area include Ford Motor Company, Honeywell, General Motors, Great Plains Energy, Seaboard Corporation and Bayer CropScience.

Data from the Regional Workforce Intelligence Network of Kansas City reveals employment growth in areas such as health, technology and financial services is expected to remain strong between 2012 and 2017.


% Job Growth (2012-17)

Total Job Openings

Nursing, psychiatric and home health aides



Sales representatives, services



Financial specialists



Health diagnosing and treating practitioners



Health technologists and technicians



Computer specialists



Business operations specialists



Financial clerks



According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS.gov), the average annual salary in Kansas City was $46,000 in 2013, and the most recent average listing price for a home in the area was under $160,000, which makes this city an affordable place to work and live.

Vocational careers in Kansas

Health care is projected to be one of the largest growing industries in Kansas between 2012 and 2022, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Yet, other areas such as manufacturing, technology and engineering are expected to see significant growth as well.

Here is a list of vocational-related careers in Kansas anticipated to experience major employment opportunities between 2012 and 2022:

Prospective students interested in pursuing a career in Kansas' diverse economy may want to consider a vocational education, learning more about how certificates, diploma and coursework can potentially pave the path to a new profession.


About JE Dunn, JE Dunn Construction, 2013, http://www.jedunn.com/about

Economy, Kansas Department of Commerce, Accessed October 23, 2014, http://www.kansascommerce.com/index.aspx?NID=438

Future NBAF Site: Manhattan, Kansas, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, October 16, 2014, http://www.dhs.gov/future-nbaf-site-manhattan-kansas

Kansas, Bureau of Labor Statistics, State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, May 2013, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_ks.htm

Kansas City, MO-KS, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Area Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, May 2013, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_28140.htm

KC Facts & Figures, Think KC, Accessed October 23, 2014, http://www.thinkkc.com/LivingWorking/FactsFigures/FactsFigures.php

Projected Growth Occupations for the Kansas City MSA, 2012-2017, KC Workforce, Accessed October 23, 2014, http://www.kcworkforce.org/Assets/30fastestgrowingjobs2012-2017.pdf

Vocational Schools in Kansas
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