Renewable energy, marine technology, advanced materials and environmental technology are all key industry sectors in Maine, according to the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development. Training at trade schools in Maine can prepare you for entry-level jobs in these sectors and more, all for less time and money than a university degree.
Choosing the right training program for your local economy can provide an even bigger boost to your job search. Students in the Bangor area might do well to study health care or manufacturing, since those industries are well-represented among the city's top employers. Aspiring construction pros might want to consider the area around Sanford — York County is the fastest growing county in the state.
Why is Maine Good for Vocational/Technical Schools?
Attending a career technical education (CTE) program can have a few advantages over jumping straight into a university bachelor's degree program to advance your career. Cost is a big factor in most students' decisions, for one, and tuition and fees for trade school training costs about $3,200 less per year than they do at four-year universities.
It's also the case that CTE certification in Maine tends to take far less time to complete than a bachelor's degree. Associate degrees from career and technical schools in Maine typically require no more than two years of full-time study, and numerous certificate plans can be completed in a year or less with the right schedule.
We've got more detailed information about Maine trade schools to follow, as well as some handy advice on how to apply for financial aid in Maine. Check out our college rankings below and learn about how CTE certification in Maine is making a difference for both students and employers.
Highest-Paying and Fastest-Growing Careers in Maine
How to Apply for Trade School Financial Aid in Maine
No matter how you look at it, college-level training doesn't exactly come cheap. Students who could use some help with their tuition bills and other expenses should take care to look into Maine scholarships and other available financial aid programs as early as possible to make sure they have the best chance of receiving a substantial award.
The most important document in the college financial aid process is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, known to most students and advisors as the FAFSA. Most financial aid programs require applicants to have a completed FAFSA on file, including those funded at the state or institutional level, and filing your FAFSA is the only way to qualify for valuable federal aid programs like the Pell Grant.
If you're interested in going deeper, we put together a comprehensive guide to financial aid to help students better understand the specifics of the FAFSA and their aid options in general. For now, take a look at this quick list of Maine scholarships and grants that might come in handy on your college journey:
- Maine State Grant Program - This need-based program provides Maine students at eligible institutions with up to $1,500 per year in assistance.
- Maine State Grant Program for Adult Learners - Open only to students born before January 1, 1996, this program is designed to help working adults return to school with up to $1,500 in aid.
- Adult Learner Scholarship Fund - The Maine Community Foundation administrates this award, which provides up to $1,500 in aid for students who either are over the age of 25, have dependent children or work full time while enrolled.
Resources for Vocational Students and Vocational Job Seekers in Maine
- The seven public vocational schools in Maine combine to form the Maine Community College System, which makes information about its schools and programs available on its website.
- The Finance Authority of Maine (FAME) is a great resource for information about Maine scholarships, grant and loan programs and more, as well as news that affects students and businesses in the state.
- Unless you attend an accredited school, you can't be sure that your training will be up to today's standard for your profession. Public trade schools in Maine are accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE). Private institutions earn accreditation from national bodies like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC), and individual programs are accredited by industry groups like the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).
You can also take a look at some hard data about CTE certification in Maine on the state's page at Advance CTE, and learn more about CTE on a national level at the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) Web portal.