Vocational Schools in Ohio
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Vocational School in Ohio

If you are one of the many Ohio residents who cannot afford a four-year college education or are not interested in a college degree, there is an alternative to a lifetime of low-wage, dead-end jobs. Vocational schools in Ohio offer programs that will put you on a path to any number of interesting and potentially high-paying careers.

Ohio Economic Overview

Ohio has a population of slightly over 11.5 million, according to the U.S. Census Bureau's 2009 estimate. The workforce is just under 6 million, with a mean annual income of $40,300 and an unemployment rate hovering at around 10 percent. Like almost every state, the construction industry has been hit hard by the recession, but there are other major economic drivers in Ohio that provide opportunity and jobs. Some of them are:

  • Agriculture and food processing
  • Distribution and logistics
  • Aerospace and aviation
  • Manufacturing: motor vehicles and parts, instruments/electronics, machinery
  • Clean energy

There are over 21,000 manufacturing companies in Ohio, and both Cleveland and Cincinnati are ranked in the top 10 manufacturing centers in the United States. Ohio's proximity to the Midwest grain belt makes it an important food processing center as well as a central location for distribution and logistics. And like many states, the health care industry is growing as the population ages and requires more medical services. Within all these industries there is a great need for workers with practical knowledge that can be obtained at trade and vocational schools in Ohio.

Vocational Careers

Vocational education in a variety of fields is available in Ohio, from community colleges, trade union apprentice programs, technical institutes, and trade schools. Many provide programs leading to certification or licensing in a number of professions, while others prepare students for careers in automotive repair, culinary arts, cosmetology, computer repair, locksmithing, and more. Depending on your skills and interests, you can find a vocational school in Ohio to give you the education you need to enter your chosen career. Here is a small sampling of some of the careers a vocational school in Ohio can prepare you for, and the mean annual income for each, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:

  • Avionics technician: $55,810
  • Aircraft mechanic/service technician: $51,260
  • Engine assembler: $49,440
  • Industrial machinery mechanic: $48,610
  • Physical therapist assistant: $51,180
  • Licensed practical nurse: $39,910

    All of these industry segments and many more will provide good job growth in the coming years in Ohio.

    There are 17,000 jobs in general aviation in Ohio, at the 172 general aviation airports, the 131 aircraft repair stations, the 60 charter flight companies, and 13 flight schools. In addition, many Fortune 500 companies based in Ohio operate their own aircraft.

    General aviation plays a critical role in the lives of Ohio citizens, as well as in the operation of Ohio businesses. The state of Ohio--the birthplace of aviation--has a significant interest in the continued vitality of general aviation, aerospace industry, aircraft manufacturing, educational institutions and aviation organizations and community airports and airport operators.

    Ohio is second only to Michigan in motor vehicle production, so demand for skilled employees in this industry should remain strong. Ohio has eight high-volume light vehicle plants representing 15 different models, as well as component suppliers who manufacture drive trains, auto air conditioning systems, and more. Other manufacturing in Ohio is evolving from the traditional products of iron, rubber, and consumer electronics into advanced machinery manufacturing. Ohio companies now make machines used in manufacturing other products around the world.

    And due to the increased demand for medical services, job demand in the healthcare industry is expected to grow much faster than average over the next 10 years, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Licensed practical nurse positions will grow by 21 percent and physical therapist assistant jobs by 35 percent, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics projections for the period between 2008 and 2018. Vocational schools in Ohio can prepare students for other healthcare careers with similar growth potential.

    Vocational Schools in Ohio

    Vocational schools in Ohio include for-profit technical and vocational institutes as well as community and junior colleges, and some colleges and universities. There are also apprenticeship programs offered by some trade unions. Many vocational schools in Ohio offer the choice of on-campus or online programs. Some are hybrid programs, offering distance learning study combined with hands-on practical experience. Some programs prepare the student for licensing and/or certification. For instance, aircraft mechanics must be FAA certified. Licensed practical nurses must go through a licensing process. And computer technology students can achieve certifications from companies like Microsoft through a vocational school.

    Despite a challenging economy, there are still industries that are growing, and vocational schools in Ohio can help you prepare for jobs in those industries.