RWM
Vocational Schools Database

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Once you've decided to pursue a vocational education, you need to research your options and make sure you meet the application requirements. Find out more about how to apply to vocational schools.

What You Need to Know About Vocational School Applications

By Kay Easton
RWM Columnist
Apr 22, 2011

Congratulations. You've decided on a career that interests you and have determined that the good way to prepare for it is to obtain a vocational education. Now that you've made the decision to attend one of the many vocational schools that are available, the first step is to review different schools and programs to find the one that is the best fit for you. If you cannot change locations to attend school, look at vocational schools in your area or think about applying to an online program. Online programs allow you to study at any school, from anywhere, as long as you have access to the Internet. If you plan to enroll online, be aware that some programs require you to be on campus for a portion of the program, so make sure to take that into account before submitting your application.

High school diploma or GED: First step toward vocational education

The primary prerequisite for vocational school applicants may be a high school diploma or General Education Diploma (GED). Other names for GED are Graduate Equivalency Degree or General Equivalency Diploma. Obtaining a GED certifies that the recipient has shown competence in high school level subjects. If you have not completed your high school degree, it's never too late--GED programs are available in your community or via online high schools. Take this first step toward your vocational education.

Applying to vocational schools

Begin the application process by visiting websites for the vocational schools that you're interested in. The website should provide information on how to apply, and most schools allow you to begin the application online. Applications generally require similar types of information:

Once your application has been received, a vocational school counselor should contact you to complete the admissions process. Depending on the vocational program and the school, you may need to submit additional academic information such as high school transcripts or transcripts from previous post-secondary work, particularly if you want to transfer coursework and receive credit toward your degree. The counselor should be able to answer your questions and help determine what additional information may be required. The counselor can also talk with you about how to apply for financial aid and provide other information about the school and its academic programs.

Some vocational schools or programs may have additional requirements

Depending on the type of career for which you want to prepare, your school may have additional non-academic qualifications. For example, one well-known welding school requires that you have acceptable vision and the necessary physical strength and mobility to perform the tasks associated with welding.

Other career paths require that you are eligible for a driver's license, do not have a criminal record, can pass a rigorous physical or other requirements. Before you submit your application, make sure you understand and can meet any special requirements necessary for the profession.

Research is important

Doing your research is extremely important if you want to choose the vocational program that can help you succeed. Begin by assessing your own abilities and interests, then thoroughly research your chosen profession, determine the vocational degree or certificate that is appropriate for that career, compare all of the vocational schools that are available to you and submit your application to the school that is the best fit. Start researching today; don't postpone your future.