Wyoming is a great place for students seeking a trade or vocational school education. Industries that employ trade school graduates are among the strongest in the state — the construction industry showed one of the highest rates of statewide growth in 2018-19, with opportunities increasing nearly 7 percent, and transportation and utility workers belong to the second-largest economic sector in Wyoming.
Specific areas of the state might present even better opportunity for workers with training that matches regional needs. Western Wyoming, which includes Jackson and Rock Springs, posted some of the highest average welding wages of any non-metro area in the country, and licensed practical nurses in the Cheyenne area earned nearly $10,000 more per year than the statewide average.
Why is Wyoming Good for Vocational/Technical Schools?
Career technical education (CTE) in Wyoming offers several benefits over most university bachelor's degrees for students hoping to go into the trades or other hands-on occupations. It's a quicker route to the workforce, for one — a bachelor's degree can take four or more years to complete while some Wyoming CTE programs can be completed in less than 12 months.
There's also a cost savings that comes with training at career and technical schools in Wyoming. Students at two-year schools in the Equality State pay roughly 30 percent less per year than university students, and the need to pay for fewer credit hours before graduating can lead to an overall lower total program cost.
Check out our list of the top campus-based and online trade schools in Wyoming to help you decide which institution might be right for you. There's also some helpful tips on how to apply for financial aid in Wyoming and information about Wyoming scholarships near the bottom of the page.
Highest-Paying and Fastest-Growing Careers in Wyoming
How to Apply for Trade School Financial Aid in Wyoming
Even though training at career and technical schools in Wyoming tends to cost less than earning a degree at a university, financial aid can still make a difference in affordability for most students. Wyoming scholarships, grants and other programs may be available for you, if you seek them out and take the right steps.
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, is probably the most important document in the financial aid process. Completing your FAFSA is the only way to qualify for Pell Grants, Stafford Loans and other instruments of federal aid, and most state-based Wyoming scholarships and other aid programs also require that you have a FAFSA on file with your financial aid department. It's important to get your FAFSA filled out and turned in as early as possible — you can even submit it before you're officially accepted at your chosen school.
For more detailed information about the FAFSA and tips on how to apply for financial aid in Wyoming, take a look at the financial aid guide on this site. Here's a quick list of Wyoming scholarships and grants might be able to help you with your tuition bills:
- Wyoming Works Grant - This state-funded program is designed to help adult students advance their employment skills and awards between $1,680 and $3,360 for one year of study in an eligible college program.
- Hathaway Scholarship - Depending on their academic record at Wyoming high schools, students may qualify for between $840 and $1,680 in aid per semester, plus any available need-based bonuses.
- Douvas Scholarship - First-generation Americans who plan to complete their training at a public community college in Wyoming may qualify for this award of $500 in aid for the year.
Resources for Vocational Students and Job Seekers in Wyoming
- The career and vocational education page on the Wyoming Department of Education website can give you some information about state standards for Wyoming CTE programs.
- Learn about trade and vocational programs at public two-year schools in Wyoming at the Wyoming Community College Commission info portal.
- Only accredited schools can be counted on to deliver training that's up to the quality standards of employers and higher education registrars. The Higher Learning Commission accredits public career and technical schools in Wyoming, and private colleges earn their accreditation from the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges and other national entities.
Check out Wyoming's state page at Advance CTE for some statistics and other information on Wyoming CTE programs, or learn more about career technical education in Wyoming and elsewhere from the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE).