Why Choose Trade School?
Trade schools in New Hampshire provide training through certificate and associate programs that take no longer than two years to complete. Graduates can begin entry-level careers in health sciences, the automotive industry, and information technology.
Unlike four-year colleges, most tech schools in New Hampshire admit both high school graduates and professionals with career experience. The flexibility, affordability, and convenience of online tech schools in New Hampshire appeal to students who want to advance quickly in their fields.
Vocational programs give students the practical training they need to work in New Hampshire's fastest-growing industries, including healthcare and social assistance.
Graduates of vocational schools have an excellent chance of finding jobs in the industry of their choice. The National Center for Education Statistics found that 86% of students who earned an occupational credential got jobs in their chosen field, compared to 82% of students who earned an academic degree.
Use this guide to learn more about vocational schools in New Hampshire and the career and salary outlook for graduates.
What do trade schools offer?
How much does a trade school cost?
What is the difference between a trade school and a college?
Can trade school credits transfer?
Accreditation and Licensing for Trade Schools
Accreditors evaluate schools to ensure that students receive a worthwhile education.
Accreditation helps students distinguish between quality institutions and degree mills. Accreditation also protects a student's financial investment. Schools with accreditation have successfully completed a review process from an independent agency approved by the U.S. Department of Education and Council for Higher Education Accreditation.
Accreditors assess each school's overall curriculum, learning outcomes, and performance of faculty. Third-party accreditors award either regional or national accreditation. Typically, national accreditation goes to tech schools, whereas academic four-year colleges receive regional accreditation. Regional accreditation is considered more prestigious.
The Distance Education Accrediting Commission accredits institutions that primarily deliver online programs. Accrediting agencies also review specific programs. For more information, visit our ranking of the country's best online accredited colleges.
Students need to attend accredited schools to receive federal financial aid. Accreditation also influences an employer's decision, with many companies seeking new hires from accredited trade schools in New Hampshire.
Vocational schools in New Hampshire must also earn licensure. Licensure signifies that schools meet minimum standards for operating. Accreditation ensures that schools meet higher educational standards.
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Vocational Trade Schools in New Hampshire
The top vocational schools in New Hampshire prepare students to take advantage of opportunities in growing industries like accommodation and food services, healthcare, and professional, scientific, and technical services.
We ranked the best tech schools in New Hampshire based on the following metrics.
Nashua Community CollegeLocation
Founded in 1970, Nashua Community College offers more than 50 programs in fields like technology, transportation, and health sciences. NCC offers its 2,300 students state-of-the-art equipment and labs. This, combined with focused, individualized instruction helps make NCC one of the best trade schools in New Hampshire.
Students at NCC can earn a degree in paralegal studies, culinary arts, or automotive technology. The college offers specialized degrees like the Honda automotive technology program. Students can also train in mechanical design technology, precision manufacturing, or aviation technology. In addition to associate programs, the college offers certificates in machine tool technology, collision repair, and aviation technology.
As part of the state's public community college system, NCC participates in the ApprenticeshipNH program, connecting students with paid apprenticeship opportunities in healthcare, manufacturing, construction, information technology, and hospitality.
NHTI-Concord's Community CollegeLocation
Opened in 1965 at the New Hampshire Technical Institute, NHTI-Concord's Community College offers more than 90 programs. The college's 240-acre campus sits on the Merrimack River, and welcomes more than 4,600 students. NHTI ranks among the top New Hampshire technical colleges thanks to its programs in manufacturing, engineering, and technology.
NHTI's program offerings include advanced manufacturing, electronic engineering technology, manufacturing engineering technology, or mechanical engineering technology. The college also offers programs in dental hygiene, paralegal studies, emergency medicine, and hospitality. At the certificate level, NHTI offers programs in automation, building inspection, medical coding, and orthopaedic technology.
NHTI offers a workforce training program that builds the soft skills required for career advancement. The college also partners with local businesses to create targeted training programs. NHTI supports students through career services like assessments, career advising, and an internship and job posting board.
Manchester Community College-New HampshireLocation
Founded in 1945, Manchester Community College offers more than 60 degree and certificate options. The school features flexible schedules, an affordable tuition rate, and partners with businesses in the Manchester area to incorporate experiential learning into its programs. These opportunities include paid internships, clinical rotations, and service-learning projects.
At MCC, students can pursue vocational training in automotive technology, construction technologies, or healthcare. The college offers degrees in medical assisting, automotive technology, and electrical technology. Students can also earn a certificate in medical coding, power sports, welding, or robotics. Local internship opportunities include paid internships, clinical rotations, and service-learning projects.
As one of the best vocational schools in New Hampshire, MCC also offers an apprenticeship option through the ApprenticeshipNH program. The program includes training in manufacturing, information technology, and healthcare. MCC operates as an open admission college. Students can work with admissions counselors to complete the enrollment process.
White Mountains Community CollegeLocation
Part of the state's public community college system, White Mountains Community College grants degrees from its campus in Berlin. WMCC offers STEM degrees and certificates for students interested in engineering and technology. Students can also pursue vocational training in the culinary arts, health sciences, and construction fields.
The vocational programs at WMCC train students for specific career paths. WMCC offers vocational degrees in automotive technology and automotive service management. The college also offers degrees in trades management, as well as resort and recreation management. WMCC's vocational certificates include programs in welding, massage therapy, medical coding, baking and pastry arts, and veterinary assisting.
WMCC partners with the Omni Mount Washington Resort to offer a culinary arts apprenticeship program. The three-year program trains future chefs in food operation while earning an associate degree. Apprentices gain on-the-job training in paid roles at the resort during the program.
Great Bay Community CollegeLocation
A public two-year college, Portsmouth-based Great Bay Community College is one of the best trade schools in New Hampshire. At GBCC, students can choose between more than 50 degrees and certificates in healthcare, technology, manufacturing, and other high-demand fields.
The vocational degrees at GBCC include programs in nursing, technical studies, and veterinary technology. Students can also earn a degree in surgical technology. GBCC's vocational certificates include advanced composites manufacturing, automotive technology, motorcycle maintenance, and welding.
In addition to its vocational programs, students can enroll in a registered apprenticeship to complete classroom instruction while completing on-the-job training. GBCC's apprenticeship programs range from 1-6 years, and they include programs in transportation, manufacturing, healthcare, and construction. GBCC uses an open-access admission policy, meaning the college accepts all students. The college admits new students on a rolling basis.
University of New HampshireLocation
Dating back to 1866, the University of New Hampshire is the state's flagship public research institution. From its campus in Durham, UNH provides cutting-edge facilities and vocational programs for its 15,000 students. With more than 200 programs, students can find an academic or vocational program to help them reach their career goals at UNH.
The university offers career-focused degrees in applied animal science, civil technology, and the culinary arts. Students can choose an animal agriculture concentration, pursue construction management, or sustainable energy management. The university's certificate programs train students in drone operations, soil science, and stormwater management.
UNH offers an apprenticeship experience for honors students. The program, which includes fellowship funding, supports students while they gain hands-on experience. Prospective students must submit an application, high school transcripts, and a letter of recommendation. UNH makes SAT or ACT scores optional.
River Valley Community CollegeLocation
Founded in 1968, River Valley Community College offers vocational programs from its campus in Claremont. RVCC reports that around two-thirds of graduates enter the workforce directly after earning their degree, while one-third transfer into a four-year college.
RVCC specializes in allied health and health science, with degrees for occupational therapy assistants, medical laboratory technicians, and physical therapist assistants. Students can also earn a degree in radiologic technology or respiratory therapy at RVCC. In addition to its degree-granting programs, the college offers certificates in healthcare management, healthcare applications, and medical assisting.
RVCC's advising and career center helps students succeed in class and transition to the workforce. The center offers career assessments to help students identify their strengths and professional interests. RVCC also connects students with paid internship and job opportunities.
University of New Hampshire at ManchesterLocation
Part of the state's public university system, the University of New Hampshire at Manchester offers undergraduate programs, including career-oriented associate degrees and certificates. UNH Manchester serves students through experiential learning. The university reports a low student-to-faculty ratio,16 labs and studios, and a high percentage of students who receive financial aid.
UNH Manchester offers more than 50 areas of study in high-demand fields. Students can earn an associate degree in the biological sciences, which blends classroom learning with laboratory training. Graduates from the program enter the workforce in industrial laboratories, clinical laboratories, or biotechnology jobs. The university also offers an associate degree in business administration that prepares students for entry-level job opportunities.
At UNH Manchester, students benefit from career and professional services. These include networking opportunities, career technology tools, and internship opportunities.
Franklin Pierce UniversityLocation
A private university, Rindge-based Franklin Pierce University dates back to 1962. The university encourages intellectual curiosity and experiential learning. By incorporating research, internships, and co-ops into its programs, Franklin Pierce builds career-ready skills. At Franklin Pierce, students can earn an associate degree or certificate from one of the top technical schools in New Hampshire.
Their career-oriented associate programs include options in business and criminal justice. The business program grants credit for certifications, professional licenses, and on-the-job training. The criminal justice degree trains students in policing, the courts, and corrections, meeting the educational requirements for several criminal justice careers.
Franklin Pierce also offers an online paralegal studies certificate, which emphasizes the practical skills needed for the legal field. The university supports students through academic assistance and career services.
Saint Joseph School of NursingLocation
A small, healthcare-focused school, St. Joseph School of Nursing provides individualized attention and clinical experience. St. Joseph offers an all-inclusive curriculum that does not require prerequisite courses for its degrees. Students can also access school and hospital resources during their study.
A private school associated with a Catholic hospital, St. Joseph offers an associate degree in nursing or medical assisting. The medical assisting program builds clinical skills and knowledge in a team-based learning model. With training in laboratory testing, assisting with outpatient procedures, and medical office administration, the degree leads to opportunities in hospitals and doctor's offices.
Prospective students submit an online application, an essay, and official transcripts. St. Joseph also requires minimum scores on a placement test during the admission process.
Find Vocational and Trade Schools in New Hampshire
New Hampshire students can participate in career and technical education (CTE) in high school. High school students can also enroll in vocational programs at New Hampshire's regional career and technical education centers, where they can earn 3-12 dual-enrollment credits.
Seven colleges within the Community College System of New Hampshire, along with the Thompson School of Applied Science at the University of New Hampshire, provide vocational education to New Hampshire's postsecondary students.
Prospective students can use this tool to help them find vocational and trade schools in New Hampshire.
Career and Salary Outlook for Trade School Graduates
Graduates of vocational schools in New Hampshire begin careers in several fields. Their salaries and growth potential depend on several factors, including location and experience.
Professionals in cities often earn higher salaries than their rural counterparts. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), healthcare support workers make an average annual salary of $35,270 in Manchester, New Hampshire. In the state's northern nonmetropolitan region, healthcare support workers earn an average annual salary of $32,290.
In most fields, professionals with more experience earn higher salaries than entry-level employees. According to the BLS, the average annual salary for all trade and vocational occupations is $55,270.
What Kinds of Trade School Programs Are Available?
Read on to learn more about four common trades in New Hampshire.
Dental Hygienist Schools
Dental hygienists conduct dental cleanings and examine patients for oral diseases. They also prepare patients to take exams and set up X-rays for dentists to review.
Salaries depend on each dental hygienist's experience and educational background. According to the BLS, dental hygienists earned a median annual salary of $76,220 in 2019. Most dental hygienists have an associate degree in dental hygiene. All dental hygienists need a state-issued license.
To learn more about how to find accredited dental hygiene programs, visit this page .
Students can also take specialized programs to become motorcycle mechanics, bus and truck mechanics, and diesel engine specialists. Mechanics work at dealerships, repair shops, and tire stores.
According to the BLS, mechanics earned a median annual salary of $42,090 in 2019.
Mechanics need a certificate, diploma, or degree in automotive service technology. Learners devote 6-24 months to automotive programs, many of which offer online courses. Programs may offer specializations in brake maintenance or diesel performance.
Explore this page to find an accredited school with a mechanic program.
Paralegals and legal assistants provide support services to attorneys at law firms, legal departments, and government agencies. They conduct research; interview witnesses; and compile correspondence relating to trials, meetings, and depositions.
Many paralegals specialize in either corporate law or litigation. Learners studying paralegal services can also focus on criminal law, personal injury, real estate, or family law.
Paralegals earned a median annual salary of $51,740 in 2019. The BLS projects a 12% growth rate for this profession between 2018 and 2028.
Paralegals need a two-year associate degree in paralegal studies. Many go on to earn bachelor's degrees and certificates.
Find an accredited paralegal school on this page .
Radiology Technician Schools
Radiology technologists begin their careers by earning an associate degree in medical imaging sciences or radiation therapy. Most states also require that radiology technicians hold licenses. In New Hampshire, radiology technicians must earn licensure through the Board of Medical Imaging Radiation Therapy.
Licensed radiology technicians work in hospitals, laboratories, physicians' offices, and outpatient care centers. Radiology technicians earned a median annual salary of $62,280 in 2019. The BLS projects the field to grow 9% between 2018 and 2028.
Learn more about the best online radiology technician programs by visiting here .
Financial Aid for Trade School Students
Vocational schools in New Hampshire cost less than a traditional four-year college. Nevertheless, students often need additional financial help to cover the cost of their education.
Accessing federal financial aid begins with completing the FAFSA . Applicants provide information about their financial situations, and that data determines how much aid they can receive.
The availability of federal financial aid depends on the school. Unaccredited schools cannot receive federal financial aid, and some programs may not meet guidelines.
Visit this page to learn more about completing the FAFSA.
Scholarship for Trade School Students
Scholarships offer vocational students aid that they can use toward tuition, books, and other college-related expenses. Scholarships are the best form of financial aid, as they do not need to be repaid. To receive scholarships, students must meet academic requirements or demonstrate financial need.
Read on for more information about scholarships for students who attend trade schools in New Hampshire.
Ann Theodore Foundation Scholarship - New Hampshire
Who Can Apply
: This scholarship helps students attending two-year colleges or trade schools. To apply, students must submit transcripts, essays, and recommendation letters. All applicants must also demonstrate financial need.
Amount : Up to $25,000
New Hampshire Charitable Foundation Scholarships
Who Can Apply
: This scholarship provides financial aid to students who are 17-23 years old. Candidates must be pursuing a two-year degree or enrolled in a career-focused program.
Amount : Varies
Coos County Farm Bureau Scholarship
Who Can Apply
: High school graduates pursuing a career in agriculture at a technical school or two-year college can apply for this scholarship. Eligible majors include diesel mechanic, horticulture, and forestry.
Amount : $500
The Medallion Fund
Who Can Apply
: Students enrolled in vocational programs such as nursing, plumbing, and automotive technology can apply for this scholarship.
Amount : Varies
Horatio Alger Career & Technical Scholarships
Who Can Apply
: The Horatio Alger Association offers this award to students pursuing career or technical education at an accredited school. Applicants must be under 30 years old and demonstrate financial need.
Amount : $2,500