The Average Cost of Vocational School in USA 2020

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The overall average cost of vocational school in the United States is about $33,000.

Although that may initially seem like a large chunk of change, the average cost of a Bachelor’s degree is $127,000.

That is a staggering difference.

With such a large cost gap, vocational school is a much more attainable option than traditional college for many people.

Additionally, many are also drawn to vocational training because you focus on learning only what you will need in your field.

Essentially, you can bypass much general education and elective courses – which are required in four-year colleges.

Different areas of study do cost a different amount, however.

Below are some of the most popular vocational school fields.

Each area of study is broken down by average cost in the United States.

Culinary School

Culinary School

Culinary school is a wonderful schooling option for those who wish to become a professional chef.

Hundreds of culinary schools are scattered all across the United States.

You can choose to study in The Big Apple (NYC), at the beach in LA, or anything in between.

Although different schools will have different tuition, the average is around $17,550-$47,000.

With a relatively large tuition range, you can find a culinary school to fit your budget.

Tuition is generally comprised of preparing entrees and desserts, mastering knife skills, plating food, menu designing, and learning about exotic cuisines.

Culinary school can last anywhere from 7 months to 4 years, making tuition costs fluctuate between different schools and programs.

Real Estate

Many may not automatically think of real estate agents and vocational schools as a couple.

However, there are specific real estate schools for individuals looking to become agents or brokers.

Like with all vocational schools, the price will vary from state-to-state and between training programs.

Typically, there is not one complete fee for one schooling program.

There are multiple fees across different areas that comprise the total cost of becoming a real estate agent.

real estate

For all intents and purposes, in the state of Colorado after schooling, fees, final exam cost, etc. the total comes to around $2,923.

Although the final price will vary between states, it is safe to say the running total will end around this number.

Being a property manager is also a high paying profession you may consider.

Massage Therapy

massage therapistMost states in the US require an average of 500 to 600 hours of schooling to become a licensed massage therapist.

Depending on your state and choice of schooling program, the total cost ranges from $6,000 to $10,000.

Completing the training will provide you with a certificate as a certified massage therapist in your state of choice.

If you are looking to become certified in more than one state, or nationally, then vocational school costs will increase.

See massage therapy programs by state here >>

Information Systems

Programming / Information SystemsThe computer technology field is exploding in the US and the demand for trained professionals is high.

Information systems encompass a wide range of topics in the IT industry.

Information systems include but not limited to:

  • Web design and development
  • Operating systems
  • Network administration and application of wireless networks
  • Programming
  • Security analyst
  • E-commerce
  • Software development
  • Data communications

Although specific pricing will depend on what exact area of study you are looking to complete and the type of school, the average cost for an IT/Information Systems degree is $3,000 to $20,000.


Locksmith School

Locksmithing is an interesting trade, on average a locksmith earns $46,504 a year.

There’s an opportunity to gain experience and training in the field through apprenticeships.

Online training can be as little as $400, in more professional schools, a good locksmithing program can cost around $4,200.

On average, locksmithing training costs $1,700-$2,800.

Final Thoughts

Vocational training school costs are normally around average but it can differ…

…depending mainly on your:

  • Location
  • Profession Chosen
  • With/Without Financial Aid
  • etc…

Good luck!

  1. Avatar for John John

    I am a Journeyman Diesel Mechanic and have worked in and managed shops all over the USA. I would prefer to hire someone with some mechanical aptitude and apprentice them as see them spend their money on a school that won’t elevate them in their field of endeavor. Okay, that being said; if they don’t have a clue where the dipstick on their car is then by all means go to tech college. When talking about the cost of a 4 yr bachelors degree verses a 1 yr tech school please factor in the cost of those shiny tools u will need $70.000 and up. My highest paid mechanic did over $160.000 in 2019 working over 60 hrs/wk. Downside; look at a mechanic at age 65 then look at your banker with a college degree at age 65. I am not degrading the trades as I would probably do it all again just want everyone to go in with eyes open.

  2. Avatar for Alex Edwards Alex Edwards

    When my friends heard I am opting for a local school over a university or college campus, they kind of laughed at me. Having seen my brother end up in nearly $100,000 in debt and still living at home basically woke me up to the reality. My father is not happy with my choice but my mother understands. She doesn’t want me to be stuck in mounds of debt like my brother.

  3. Avatar for Kathy F. Kathy F.

    Culinary school is not worth it unless you either get famous, working for someone who is famous as a private chef, or plan on owning a restaurant. I have been through the training. I am currently making $34,000 a year as a head chef at a local restaurant.

    I love working with food and cooking in general but this is not enough for me to live on my own. I am currently living with my sister who is making more than I am as a blogger. Great list but I just want people to be aware that most trained chefs don’t make a whole lot.

    I know someone who has been doing it for 30 years and doesn’t even make $50,000 a year.

  4. Avatar for Dina N Bastola Dina N Bastola

    I intrested to learn vocational class . Iam from Cincinnati Fairfield ohio

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