Technical schools in Hawaii could be your ticket to a job in key industries such as hospitality or with top employers like insurer HMSA, Hawaiian Airlines or Hawaiian Electric Industries. These schools specialize in degrees and certificates that can be completed in two years or less, meaning you may save time and money while preparing for an exciting new career.
What sort of careers are we talking about? Statewide, tractor-trailer truck drivers, massage therapists and paralegals have some of the hottest jobs for those with career or technical training, according to the Hawaii Department of Labor and Industrial Relations. However, your job prospects can vary by island.
On Maui, captains, mates and pilots of water vessels are expected to have some of the best job opportunities through 2026, as are licensed practical nurses and dental hygienists. Head to Kauai, and the government estimates firefighters and medical assistants will be in demand. Meanwhile, in Honolulu on Oahu, positions for computer user support specialists and medical and clinical laboratory technicians are growing.
Regardless of where you live, though, vocational schools in Hawaii can offer good value and hands-on training for these and other occupations.
Why is Hawaii Good for Vocational Schools?
Career technical education, or CTE, is a popular choice in Hawaii. Associate degrees and certificates made up 40% of all the degrees awarded in the state in 2017 according to Advance CTE, an association of career technical education professionals.
Pursuing a CTE education can also set Hawaiian students up for success. At the high school level, state students following a career-technical curriculum have a 99 percent graduation rate, Advance CTE says. That's 16 percent higher than the graduation rate for all high school students. What's more, 100 percent of those graduates have gone on to postsecondary education, advanced training, military service or employment within six months of finishing high school.
Highest-Paying and Fastest-Growing Careers
Financial Aid for Vocational Students in Hawaii
Despite being in a state that has a reputation for a high cost of living, many career schools in Hawaii offer affordable degree and certificate programs. According to the College Board, the average cost of tuition and fees at the state's public, two-year schools is $4,020 for 2019-2020. That's less than half the $10,980 charged, on average, by public four-year schools.
What's more, Hawaii has been working to make college affordable for its residents. In 2017, it launched a $2.5 million Hawaii Promise program to help cover the costs of financially needy students. That just one of the Hawaii scholarships and grants available to help reduce the cost of higher education in the state.
Before you can receive financial aid in Hawaii, you need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Known as the FAFSA, this form is used by the government and vocational schools in Hawaii to determine a student's financial need. Applicants may be eligible for the following scholarships, among others. You can learn more about the FAFSA and how to apply for financial aid in Hawaii by reading our financial aid guide.
- Hawaii Promise Scholarship: These awards are intended to pay the cost of tuition and fees not covered by other financial aid programs. The scholarship can be used at University of Hawaii Community Colleges, and students must demonstrate financial need.
- George H. and Kay K. Sasaki Endowed Scholarship: This scholarship is available to both traditional and adult students and is intended for those with GPAs between 1.7 and 2.7.
- Second Century Scholars Program: Native Hawaiian students pursuing their first degree may be eligible for assistance from this need-based financial aid program.
Resources for Vocational Students and Vocational Job Seekers in Hawaii
Keep reading about traditional and online trade schools in Hawaii by visiting the following websites:
- The Accrediting Commission for Schools, Western Association of Schools and Colleges provides regional accreditation for nonprofit colleges and universities in Hawaii.
- Links to all colleges, universities and technical schools in Hawaii can be found on the State of Hawaii education page.
- Job seekers can search for open positions or learn more about training opportunities such as apprenticeships through the state's Workforce Development Division.