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Massachusetts Vocational and Technical Schools

According to an October 2014 report from the New England Economic Partnership, Massachusetts residents have a lot to celebrate when it comes to the state's economy and the overall economic outlook. Some key stats from the report:

  • Job growth in the state has noticeably accelerated in the 12-month period leading up to August 2014,
  • The unemployment rate in Massachusetts was at 5.8% in August 2014, and is predicted to fall modestly to 5.3% by the end of 2018.
  • Professional and business services jobs are expected to grow 14.2% in the state through 2018, which is twice as fast as the predicted growth for all jobs combined.
  • Construction is another sector where job growth is expected to grow faster than average in Massachusetts during the same timeframe.

In addition to a healthy job market, Massachusetts also features an incredibly educated population. As of 2013, 51.5 percent of the state's adults ages 25-64 held at least a two-year degree compared to just 40 percent nationally. Further, according to a report from the Lumina Foundation, 24.86 percent of adults held a bachelor's degree in 2013 and 18.48 percent held a graduate degree.

Vocational trends and opportunities in Massachusetts

Students who choose to attend Massachusetts vocational schools will find plenty of options to choose from. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the state is home to 201 colleges, universities, trade schools and vocational career centers. Included in that figure are 90 schools that offer bachelor's degree programs, 58 that offer associate degrees, and 120 that offer certificate programs. Additionally, 66 Massachusetts technical schools focus only on less-than-two-year vocational or career training programs.

According to the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Economic Development, key industries in the state include:

Meanwhile, 2014 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics highlights the industries with the highest rate of employment in Massachusetts that year. As you will see, several of the industries with the highest level of employment in Massachusetts are vocational in nature. The following chart shares pertinent data on these industries:


Total Employment in Massachusetts (2014)

Average Salary in Massachusetts (2014)

Office and Administrative Support Occupations



Sales and Related Occupations



Food Preparation and Serving Related Occupations



Management Occupations



Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Occupations



Education, Training, and Library Occupations



Business and Financial Operations Occupations



Transportation and Material Moving Occupations



Production Occupations



Computer and Mathematical Occupations



Massachusetts vocational schools prepare students for many jobs that fall into these specific industry categories. And with the right training, students interested in pursuing technical and vocational careers will find that anything is possible.

Careers for graduates of Massachusetts trade schools

According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and U.S. Department of Labor's CareerOneStop, careers in vocational and technical fields such as health care, construction and the skilled trades are expected to see exceptional growth in the coming years. The following charts highlight some of the technical jobs students of Massachusetts trade schools may want to consider, plus important career details:

Careers that require an associate degree:


% Job Growth in Massachusetts (2012 to 2022)

Average Salary in Massachusetts (2014)

Diagnostic Medical Sonographer



Physical Therapy Assistant



Cardiovascular Technologist or Technician



Occupational Therapy Assistant



Medical Equipment Repairers



Careers that require a postsecondary non-degree award:


% Job Growth in Massachusetts (2012 to 2022)

Average Salary in Massachusetts (2014)

Skincare Specialist



Surgical Technologist



Manicurist or Pedicurist



Massage Therapist



Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses



Expert advice on vocational education with Amy Courtheyn

There are many opportunities for graduates of Massachusetts vocational schools. To learn more about vocational education in general, we reached out to Amy Courtheyn of Eastland-Fairfield Career & Technical Schools in Groveport, Ohio.

What are the benefits to trade school?

Technical training and trade schools give students the hard skills required on the job, so they're job-ready. It saves employees time and money in regards to training them after they're hired. In many cases, our students go on to post-secondary training or college and they've already been exposed to the mechanics that their peers have not previously been exposed to. It's that familiarity that allows them to fine tune their education and training while others are only beginning to grasp the concepts.

What should students look for in a technical program?

Potential students should try to match up their interests, strengths and career goals with the programs we offer. We work with local businesses and industry to respond to the local job market, so we're training students for jobs that are available where they live. It helps students become contributing members of society, while strengthening the communities we serve at the same time.

How does your school prepare students for technical careers?

Eastland-Fairfield Career & Technical Schools prepares students for their future with industry-specific lab instruction and real-world experience, including school-to-work programs, job shadowing, internships and volunteer opportunities. It's supported by the academics to put it all in proper context. In addition, students learn the soft skills needed to succeed-resume-writing, job interview skills, etiquette-the things that many of us take for granted but can make or break your chances of getting hired. We also have a fairly strict attendance policy, not unlike what is expected in the workplace, so we try to build a strong work ethic, as well.

How do you think vocational education will change over the next decade?

I think Career & Technical Education is on the upswing and will continue to expand. Now that the job market has begun to rebound, there is more demand for skilled laborers and workers in general. Plus, people are beginning to see that the money they're investing in a four-year or advanced degree doesn't always equal a higher salary or better quality of life.

About the Expert

Amy Courtheyn works for Eastland-Fairfield Career & Technical Schools in Groveport, Ohio.


  1. A Stronger Nation through Higher Education, Lumina Foundation, Massachusetts, http://strongernation.luminafoundation.org/report/#massachusetts
  2. College Navigator, National Center for Education Statistics, https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?s=MA
  3. Fastest Growing Occupations, CareerOneStop, Massachusetts, http://acinet.org/oview1.asp?next=oview1&Level=edu5-6&optstatus=&jobfam=&id=1&nodeid=3&soccode=&stfips=25&ShowAll=
  4. Interview with Amy Courtheyn of Eastland-Fairfield Career & Technical Schools
  5. Key Industries, Massachusetts Department of Housing and Development, http://www.mass.gov/hed/economic/industries/
  6. Massachusetts Economic Outlook Report, New England Economic Partnership, October 2014, file:///C:/Users/Holly/Downloads/Massachusetts-Outlook-2014q2-2018q4-Exec-Summary.pdf
  7. May 2014 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Massachusetts, Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_ma.htm
Vocational Schools in Massachusetts
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