Medical Trade Schools and Vocational Schools in the U.S.

Schooling for medical and trade careers, which include medical assistants and billers, can be obtained at two-year colleges and training centers. There are many vocational and medical trade programs in the U.S.

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Some medical trade and vocational professions include personal fitness, surgical technician, medical billing, pharmacy technician, medical assisting and vocational nursing. There are several certificate and degree options that may prepare a person for one of these careers.

Schools with Medical Trade and Vocational Programs

Here is a table that lists a few of the schools from around the nation that offer various medical trade programs.

College/University Location Institution Type Programs Offered Tuition (2015-2016)*
Miami Dade College Miami, FL 4-year, Public Certificate, Associate's & Bachelor's $2,834 (in-state), $9,661 (out-of-state)
Houston Community College System Houston, TX 2-year, Public Certificate & Associate's $3,360 (in-state), $3,756 (out-of-state)
Northern Virginia Community College Annandale, VA 2-year, Public Certificate & Associate's $5,138 (in-state), $11,055 (out-of-state)
Lone Star College System The Woodlands, TX 2-year, Public Certificate & Associate's $3,184 (in-state), $3,544 (out-of-state)
College of Southern Nevada Las Vegas, NV 4-year, Public Certificate, Associate's & Bachelor's $2,805 (in-state), $9,450 (out-of-state)
Tarrant County College District Fort Worth, TX 2-year, Public Certificate & Associate's $2,064 (in-state), $4,920 (out-of-state)
Austin Community College District Austin, TX 2-year, Public Certificate & Associate's $9,210 (in-state), $11,340 (out-of-state)
Valencia Community College Orlando, FL 2-year, Public Certificate & Associate's $2,474 (in-state), $9,383 (out-of-state)
City College of San Francisco San Francisco, CA 2-year, Public Certificate & Associate's $1,598 (in-state), $7,554 (out-of-state)

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics

School Selection Criteria

Consider the following when looking for medical trade and vocational schools:

  • Prospective students should look for schools with programs that are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Educational Programs (CAAHEP) or the state's board of nursing, depending on the career they wish to pursue.
  • Students may want to find out what the graduation rates are for graduates on required licensure exams and/or voluntary professional certification exams.
  • Prospective students may want to look into the laboratory and clinical training facilities at the school in order to ensure that they will gain experience with industry-standard medical equipment and computer software.
  • Students who work full-time or have other time commitments may want to look for programs that are available in part-time formats or include online courses.

Certificate Programs

Certificate programs typically consist of a basic set of career-focused courses that prepare students for entry-level medical jobs. They may also help students meet the eligibility requirements for licensure or professional credentialing exams. Usually, certificate programs can be completed in one year or less, but some programs take longer, especially when offered in part-time formats. Certificate programs are available for aspiring licensed practical nurses (LPNs), medical assistants and medical administrative assistants.

Associate's Degree Programs

Like certificate programs, associate's degree programs at medical trade/vocational schools consist of basic professional training and/or certification preparation classes. However, they also include general education coursework, so students can earn an Associate of Science (AS), Associate of Applied Science (AAS) or other associate-level degree. Some programs include internships in clinical settings. In total, associate's degree programs usually take two years of full-time study to complete.

Bachelor's Degree Programs

Although bachelor's-level medical vocational training programs are less common, there are a few schools that offer relevant programs for careers where this degree is required. For instance, medical and clinical laboratory technologists and technicians typically need a bachelor's degree before they can get a job. For aspiring nurses, some schools provide Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) programs. Bachelor's degree programs at medical vocational schools may be offered as four-year programs or as two-year degree-completion programs for associate's degree-holders.

A person interested in a medical trade school has a plethora of options to choose from, including which career they want to pursue, which educational level they want to earn and which school they want to attend.

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