Adults looking for vocational training in Tennessee have a number of options that are open to them across the state and are available in online, on-campus and hybrid formats. Decide what career path you want to take and then find a vocational program that fits your needs.
Schools and Programs
Several institutions in Tennessee provide training programs for those seeking to develop or enhance their professional skills. More than 25 technology centers in Tennessee, including one in Memphis, provide training in various occupations, ranging from business-oriented and healthcare careers to cosmetology and welding. Some programs can last for more than one year and several provide hands-on learning experiences in addition to classroom instruction. More information about these centers and the programs they provide is found below.
Schools At a Glance
Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology
- Located in Memphis, TN, this two-year public school is part of a Tennessee-wide network that offers a wide range of on-campus and online options for vocational training programs.
- This particular school is the largest in the state, with programs offered in areas such as cosmetology, aircraft mechanics, truck driving, dental assisting and other fields of study.
Roane State Community College
- Another two-year public school, this community college in Roane Harriman, TN, offers programs at the certificate, diploma and associate's degree level, variously available online and on-campus.
- Students can enroll in programs designed to help them enter the workforce in fields such as computer science, massage therapy, early childhood education and more.
Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology Vocational Programs
There are 27 Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology located throughout the state, providing workforce development programs and vocational training. The centers are governed by the Tennessee Board of Regents and offer certificate and diploma programs. Over 50 occupational programs are offered in areas such as aircraft mechanics, cosmetology and dental assisting. The largest center is the Tennessee Technology Center at Memphis, which features the programs discussed below.
Administrative Office Technology Program
Students can select to study general office technology or information processing. Individuals who complete the program are prepared for a variety of professional office positions. Related diploma programs are also available in accounting assistance, administrative assistance, and medical administrative assistance.
Welding, Brazing & Soldering Program
Through the welding, brazing and soldering certificate program, students gain proficiency in various welding techniques, such as plasma arc cutting and gas metal arc welding. Students also discuss safety, blueprint reading, shop operations and industry standards.
Aircraft Mechanics Diploma
The 18-month aircraft mechanics program trains students for employment as aviation airframe and power plant maintenance mechanics. Individuals who complete the program are eligible to sit for the Federal Aviation Administration airframe and power plant licensure exams.
Truck Driving Diploma
Individuals who complete the truck driving program are prepared for entry-level employment driving tractor-trailers. The program prepares students for the Commercial Driver's test through hands-on driving experience as well as instruction in matters such as recordkeeping and inspection.
Practical Nursing Diploma
The practical nursing programs teaches skills such as taking vital signs, giving injections and caring for the patient's overall comfort. Graduates of the program are eligible for the State Board of Nursing Exam to become licensed practical nurses (LPNs).
Upon completion of the cosmetology program, students have the necessary skills to complete the state board licensing exam and become employed as entry-level cosmetologists. Coursework covers hair, nail and skin care techniques and client-building skills. Certificate programs are also offered in shampooing and manicuring.
Dental Assisting Diploma
The dental assisting program covers all the basic skills, such as patient prep and x-ray processing, required to find employment as a dental assistant. Office management skills are also covered.
Pharmacy Technician Program
The program in pharmacy technology prepares students for the Pharmacy Technician Certification exam. Graduates might find employment at retail and wholesale pharmacies and other healthcare facilities under the supervision of a pharmacist. Students receive training in prescription preparation, patient records, packaging and inventory control.
Roane State Community College Programs
Roane State Community College does not solely offer vocational training programs, but there are plenty of options available. Programs are tailored to students' needs, whether they want to enter the workforce immediately, transfer to another university later on in their educational career or simply gain basic workforce training.
Early Childhood Education Certificate
This one-year technical certificate will help students prepare for the nationally awarded Child Development Associate credential. Students will learn about child development and will graduate prepared to work as educators to young children. This program can be studied online and through evening classes, or it can be integrated as part of an associate's degree program.
Massage Therapy Certificate
This 11-month program gives students a thorough education of massage, both through hands-on education and theoretical study. Students also will gain some insight on the business and professionalism side of the industry. After completing this program, students will be eligible for the National Certification Exam in Therapeutic Massage, though they will also need to ensure that they meet all state regulation and licensing requirements before practicing in the field.
Emergency Medical Technician Certificate
This program prepares students for the high-stress job of working as an emergency medical technician, requiring one semester of work and a clinical/field internship of approximately 134 hours. Students will gain an understanding of medical and anatomical science, medical techniques and emergency response skills, which will prepare them for work as an entry level EMT. An advanced EMT program is also available for graduates of this program.
There are a fair number of options for vocational learners in Tennessee, many of which are part of the Tennessee College of Applied Technology network. Students can gain training in areas as diverse as pharmacology, administration, massage therapy and child education, preparing them to enter the workforce as trained professionals.