Trade Schools in Rhode Island

Written ByRWM Editors
Table of Contents

Rhode Island is attracting attention from businesses in industries such as life sciences, defense, IT software and advanced business services among others. That's good news for the state's workers who could reap the rewards with new job opportunities.

While some jobs will require a four-year degree, Rhode Island residents can be prepared for other high-growth careers in less than two years. Plumbers, welders, nursing assistants and paralegals are just a few of the state's hot jobs, according to the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training, and these occupations don't require a bachelor's degree.

To gain the skills needed for these and other positions, technical schools in Rhode Island offer associate degrees, certificates and other training programs. These programs teach the practical knowledge needed for specific occupations and career paths. There are even online trade schools in Rhode Island that can make it easier for busy adults to get the education they need to pursue a new career.

Why is Rhode Island Good for Vocational Schools?

In recent years, Rhode Island has taken steps to encourage workers to get the training needed for skilled jobs. The Real Jobs RI initiative is one example. It has focused on growing business-led partnerships that help employers train workers for specialized occupations in field such as construction, marine trades and manufacturing.

Vocational schools in Rhode Island complement the work of those partnerships and serve as another avenue for workers to get the education and training they need. The National Skills Coalition reports, as of 2015, 51 percent of Rhode Island jobs required middle skills, meaning workers needed an education past high school but not a bachelor's degree. However, only 41percent of state workers had middle skills training. Career schools in Rhode Island offer programs to help close that gap.

Highest-Paying and Fastest-Growing Careers in Rhode Island

Source: 2019 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2018-28 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics,

Financial Aid for Vocational Students in Rhode Island

CCRI notes it has the lowest tuition rate in the state, and students can save 55-70 percent off the tuition rates charged by the state's universities. However, students could actually attend CCRI for free for two years, thanks to the Rhode Island Promise. That's just one of several Rhode Island scholarships and grants that can help offset the cost of career training in the state.

Financial aid in Rhode Island comes from federal, state and private programs. All of them generally require students to complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid, known as the FAFSA. This form calculates a student's expected family contribution toward the cost of higher education and how much financial aid is needed to make college affordable.

More information about how to apply for financial aid in Rhode Island and the FAFSA can be found in our financial aid guide. And here's a look at a few of the student aid programs in the state.

  • Rhode Island Promise: The Rhode Island Promise pays for tuition not covered by other financial aid programs. It can be used at the state's public colleges and universities. Although currently only available to recent high school graduates, there is a proposal to extend the grant to adult learners as well.
  • Rhode Island State Grants: These grants provide funds to financially needy students.
  • Loan Forgiveness for Internships: Students with loans held by the Rhode Island Student Loan Authority may have $2,000 of their balance forgiven if they complete an eligible internship.

Resources for Vocational Students and Vocational Job Seekers in Rhode Island

More information about vocational schools and Rhode Island CTE programs is available through the following:

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