Career-seeking students in the Sooner State have a world of opportunities to choose from. Aerospace, energy, information services and agriculture are all listed among the major industry sectors in Oklahoma, and entry-level positions in all of these industries may be accessible to candidates with career technical education (CTE) training.
Individual cities and regions may offer especially good opportunity to students with the right training. Oklahoma City is looking toward a high-tech future, prioritizing energy, bioscience and aviation/aerospace as its local key industries. Carpenters earn the state's highest wages for their profession in southeastern Oklahoma, and the area around Enid offers some of the highest salaries in the country for construction managers.
Why is Oklahoma Good for Vocational/Career Schools?
Seeking a CTE certification in Oklahoma can bring you two major benefits over a traditional four-year bachelor's degree. Time to completion is generally much shorter, for one — it takes roughly two years of full-time study to earn an associate degree, and many popular career-based certificate plans can take less than a year to complete.
Not only that, but the cost difference between universities and trade schools in Oklahoma can be significant. University students were charged an average amount of more than $7,600 in tuition and fees for the year in 2018, while those enrolled at community colleges and other public two-year institutions paid less than $3,900 for a full year of classes. Career and technical schools in Oklahoma can offer you as much as a 50 percent reduction in the cost of your education.
On the rest of the page, we've got some details about the best trade and vocational schools in Oklahoma and some other valuable information for potential students. Read on to find out the basics of how to apply for financial aid in Oklahoma and learn about some resources that can help you better understand the career training options available.
Highest-Paying and Fastest-Growing Careers in Oklahoma
How to Apply for Trade School Financial Aid in Oklahoma
It's no secret that the cost of college has been on the rise over the last several years, on trade school campuses as well as at the university level. Fortunately, there are numerous financial aid programs available for Oklahoma residents who take the steps they need to take to qualify.
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is one of the first documents you'll want to fill out once you've decided to earn a certificate or degree. By collecting a few pieces of information about your student status and your income situation, the FAFSA can help you qualify for Oklahoma scholarships and grants, federal grants and loans and other types of student financial assistance that can make a big difference in your college costs.
If learning how to apply for financial aid in Oklahoma is your top priority, check out our financial aid guide for more info on the FAFSA and some valuable tips about the aid process. Here are a few state-run Oklahoma scholarships and grants that you might be eligible for:
- Oklahoma's Promise - Oklahoma students in grades 8, 9 and 10 can apply for this program, which covers the cost of tuition at public institutions, if their family income is $55,000 or less per year.
- Academic Scholars Program - Available to National Merit Finalists and high school students with exceptional SAT or ACT scores, this program awards $3,500 per year to students at two-year schools.
- National Guard Tuition Waiver - Members of the Oklahoma National Guard are entitled to a full waiver of in-state college tuition, provided they meet a short list of eligibility requirements.
Resources for Vocational Students and Job Seekers in Oklahoma
- The online hub of Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education can give you extra insight into the state-based initiatives available to help students at career and technical schools in Oklahoma.
- Students of all ages, from middle school kids to working adults, can connect to OKcollegestart to get some help planning their route through college and into the career they want.
- Accreditationis a way for students to be sure that the training they receive will be current, relevant and up to an accepted quality standard. Community colleges and public trade schools in Oklahoma are institutionally accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC) and the Higher Learning Commission, and private institutions are recognized by industry groups like the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES).
You can also find some statistical details about career and technical schools in Oklahoma at the state's page on Advance CTE, and the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) is a great resource for students looking to learn about the greater vocational training environment.