San Antonio is the second-largest city in the state of Texas, and it's also one of the most affordable urban areas in the state. The city is also in the midst of growing several of its key industries, including health care, bioscience, aerospace, information technology, cybersecurity, and renewable energy.
San Antonio Trade Schools
The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) lists 53 institutions of higher education as active in the region, and that includes vocational and trade schools in San Antonio, in addition to four-year schools. Being such a large metro area, students here have a wide variety of programs and colleges to choose from. Here are a few examples of San Antonio schools that offer certification programs or two-year associate degree programs:
- Mims Classic Beauty College
- Career Point College
- Hallmark University
- Lamson Institute
- Quest College
- St. Philip's College
- The Art Institute of San Antonio
- The Healthcare Institute
Regardless of your choice of school, program, or career path, we recommend doing research on your school to make sure it's been properly accredited. Depending on the field or industry you choose, this could be a very important qualification when finding a job later on.
Expert Advice on Vocational Education in San Antonio
To learn more about the economy and options when it comes to vocational schools in San Antonio, we reached out to the City of Antonio Economic Development Department. Here are some tips and advice from Jeannette E. Garcia, marketing specialist for the Economic Development Department in the city, to help students make good choices when considering vocational schools.
About the Expert
Jeannette E. Garcia is a marketing specialist for the Economic Development Department in the City of San Antonio.
RWM: What are the top industries in San Antonio?
Garcia: The top jobs in San Antonio are in the business services sector. These jobs include professional level positions such as accountants, office managers, and administrative personnel. The annual average salaries for these jobs can go as high as $55,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The highest paying position in San Antonio is in the health care sector where healthcare practitioners can earn as high as $250,000 per year.
RWM: What is the cost of living in San Antonio?
Garcia: The cost of living in San Antonio is especially low in the areas of housing, grocery items and utilities. According to C2ER (ACCRA), Cost of Living Index, Annual 2014, San Antonio's cost of living index is 92.4, as oppose to a neighboring city such as Austin, whose cost of living index is 94.6. A higher index indicates a higher cost of living based on an average index of 100 among all U.S. metro areas.
The housing market in San Antonio is booming. Both sales and home prices are up. To date, from 2014, nearly 18,600 homes have been sold in the San Antonio area, according to the San Antonio Board of Realtor (SABOR). Approximately 51 percent of those homes sold are priced at less than $200,000. In August 2015, home sales in San Antonio reported a 5 percent increase (more than 2,550 homes) with average sale prices increasing by an additional 7 percent to $237,168.
RWM: What does the future look like in San Antonio?
Garcia: City leadership has implemented specific policy changes to guide San Antonio to prosperity. For example, the revitalization of downtown has become a focus for both public and private city officials. They have partnered together to implement policies that focus on increasing housing units in the downtown area to attract local San Antonians to play and live downtown. Specifically, millennials and even empty-nesters are being targeted to move to the downtown area to create a more vibrant, diverse downtown. High-quality paying jobs have also become a focus. Recently, the Mayor of San Antonio and the Bexar County Judge have made workforce development a top priority policy to not only bring San Antonio's workforce to a competitive level as compared to other cities, but also to bring higher paying jobs to the city.
To bring these high paying jobs to San Antonio, City leadership has targeted four specific industries they would like to see grow: Aerospace, IT/Cybersecurity, Bioscience/Healthcare and Green Energy. Also, according to a recent study conducted by Dr. Steve Nivin, an Economist from St. Mary's University, high paying jobs are also found in these targeted industries. For example, professionals seeking jobs in these targeted industries can earn an average wage of $53,000 to $77,000 per year. When City staff is recruiting or supporting company expansion in San Antonio, they are incentivizing companies that are in the targeted industries and bringing high paying jobs into the community.
RWM: What are the most prominent schools in San Antonio?
Garcia: San Antonio has several fine institutions. The most prominent are St. Mary's University, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UT HSCSA), University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA), Texas A&M University - San Antonio and University of the Incarnate Word. Further, San Antonio's Community Colleges are also quite dynamic. They have a renowned reputation nationwide to partnering with various businesses and organizations around the City to provide top notch training and various certifications, again, to reinforce the City's commitment to providing a top notch workforce.
RWM: Why would you recommend someone move to San Antonio?
Garcia: San Antonio is the seventh largest city in the U.S. and it has everything someone should desire in a city: perfect weather year around, excellent quality of life, a vibrant downtown, low cost of living, exemplary public and private school systems, quality institutions, a rich history and culture, and a very low unemployment rate, which makes getting a high paying job very feasible.
- Business Climate City of San Antonio, https://www.sanantonio.gov/EDD/BusinessClimate.aspx
- College Navigator, National Center for Education Statistics, https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?s=TX
- Interview with Jeannette E. Garcia, Marketing Specialist for the Economic Development Department, City of San Antonio
- State & County QuickFacts, U.S. Census Bureau, San Antonio, http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/48/4865000.html