Trade Schools, Colleges and Universities

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Trade Schools, Colleges and Universities
Join Over 1.5 Million Poeple We've Introduced to Awesome Schools Since 2001

Trade Schools & Colleges in Alabama

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Trade schools and colleges in Alabama specialize in helping students get valuable skills for growing occupational sectors. You can benefit from the state's low housing costs and great affordability while getting the kind of job-focused training that can enable you to achieve many more of your personal and professional ambitions.

Education & Training

Alabama colleges and trade schools feature a variety of vocational training options that help many students move closer to their career goals.

Key Benefits of the Region for College Students

  1. Rising incomes: Between the first and second quarters of 2020, personal income in Alabama rose by 34.9 percent—one of the highest rates in the Southeast.
  2. Growing opportunities: Employment has risen in Alabama for nine straight years (from 2010 to 2019), according to Bureau of Economic Analysis data.
  3. Financial assistance for school: A wide range of state-level programs are available to help qualifying Alabama students cover their educational expenses.


Specific costs vary between institutions and programs throughout Alabama. But according to 2017-18 data from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the average tuition and fees for undergraduate programs at four-year degree-granting schools in the state are:

  • Public schools: $9,827 (in-state); $24,939 (out-of-state)
  • Private schools: $16,321

If you attend a two-year school, you may find that costs are lower.

The same NCES data shows the average on-campus room and board costs as:

  • Public schools: $9,845
  • Private schools: $9,843

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Awards, loans, and repayment programs exist on the federal, state, local, and school levels. Additionally, financial assistance can come from government, academic, and private sources. This variety is promising for future students but can also be confusing, so it's important to know about all the options available to you before you begin.

Federal Financial Aid

Your first step in finding and applying for financial aid should be to fill out an application for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This application will help the government assess what U.S. student aid programs you are eligible for, including loans, grants, and work-study programs. More detailed information on federal financial options can be found here.

Alabama Scholarships and Grants

The Alabama Commission on Higher Education (ACHE) lists the following programs and awards as available through the state of Alabama:

Alabama GI Dependents' Educational Benefit Program

  • For undergraduate students with a parent or spouse who is a veteran with a disability
  • Assistance with fees, tuition, and books

Alabama Math and Science Teacher Education Program

  • Available to teachers who graduated no earlier than Spring 2018
  • Federal student loan repayment program designed to encourage teachers to take math and science positions at public schools in return for payment toward their student debt; up to $7500 per year

Alabama National Guard Education Assistance Program

  • For students who are members of the National Guard
  • Need-based award to help with tuition and fees

Alabama Scholarships for Dependents of Blind Parents

  • For students with a blind parent and the inability to pay for school
  • Covers tuition and instructional fees

Alabama Student Assistance Program

  • For undergrads attending an eligible school
  • Need-based grant awarded yearly, ranging from $300-$500

Alabama Student Grant Program

  • For undergrads attending an eligible independent school
  • Amount varies depending on the funds available but can pay up to $1200 per school year

American Legion Auxiliary Scholarship Program

  • Open to students with a parent or grandparent who is a veteran of WWI, WWII, the Korean War, or the Vietnam War
  • To be used for tuition, on-campus housing, and fees

American Legion Scholarship Program

  • Open to students with a parent or grandparent who is a veteran of WWI, WWII, the Korean War, or the Vietnam War
  • To be used for tuition, on-campus housing, and fees

Junior and Community College Athletic Scholarship Program

  • For full-time students attending public and junior colleges in Alabama
  • Award amount based on observed athletic ability, not based on need, and varies per sport

Junior and Community College Performing Arts Scholarship Program

  • For full-time public junior and community college students
  • Award based on demonstrated talent and not financial need

Police/Firefighters' Survivors Educational Assistance Program

  • For undergrad students who are children or spouses of firefighters and police officers killed in the line of duty
  • Covers tuition, fees, supplies, and books

Senior Adult Scholarship Program

  • Open to seniors aged 60+ who are eligible to attend a public two-year institution
  • Offers free tuition

Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) Minority Doctoral Scholarship Program

  • Available to accredited graduate degree holders currently enrolled in a Ph.D. program who are of Black, Asian American, Hispanic/Latino, Native American, Pacific Islander, or Alaskan Native heritage
  • Pays $20,000 annually provided the recipient intends to become a full-time faculty member after graduation

Two-Year College Academic Scholarship Program

  • Open to students accepted to a public, two-year post-secondary school
  • Covers up to the full cost of tuition and books; award amount based on demonstrated academic ability

Local, National, and Institutional Financial Aid

Financial awards and aid programs are available to students at both the local and national levels. Eligibility can be based on a variety of factors, including academic major, GPA, gender, location, financial need, life circumstances, sexual orientation, military status, and more.

Many colleges, universities, and trade schools offer their own financial aid services, which can include significant financial awards. Some schools even offer "full-ride" scholarships that cover the entire cost of your program.

School representatives and advisors can let you know what aid you may be eligible for through the school and give you guidance on how to apply. Additionally, advisors can help you find out what other non-governmental options are available to you.

FAQs About Being a Student in Alabama

How affordable is it to live in Alabama?

The state's cost of living is one of the lowest in the country. In Alabama, the median monthly rent for a studio apartment is $562. That's 39.8 percent lower than the national median.

What's the transportation situation?

According to census data, the vast majority of state residents get to work by either driving their own vehicles or riding in someone else's car. So it's good to know that the average commute time in Alabama is a little shorter than the U.S. average.

Alternatively, public transit is available in urban centers like Birmingham, Mobile, Montgomery, and Huntsville.

What other resources are available to students?

The Economic Development Association of Alabama Young Professional Group aims to help those under 40 connect with networking and training opportunities in the state. It hosts a variety of industry tours and socializing events throughout the year.

Accreditation and State Authorization

State Authorization

Alabama academic institutions with their main, physical campus located in-state may be eligible for authorization through National State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA).

Non-resident post-secondary institutions generally must be authorized by the state of Alabama to operate. This authorization is overseen by:


Accreditation is an important signal of quality in a school or program and is generally required if you want to qualify for financial aid. Here's a more detailed, in-depth look at accreditation so you can familiarize yourself with the process and what it all means for your training.

Fortis College

  • Dothan
  • Foley
  • Mobile
  • Montgomery
  • Dental Assisting
  • Medical Assisting
  • Pharmacy Technician

Fortis Institute

  • Birmingham
  • Dental Assisting
  • Dental Hygiene
  • Electrical Trades
  • Medical Assisting
  • Medical Billing and Coding
  • Medical Laboratory Technology
  • Welding Technology

Remington College

  • Mobile
  • Cosmetology
  • Database Management and Administration
  • Facility Maintenance
  • Facility Maintenance and Technology
  • Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning
  • Medical Assisting
  • Medical Assisting with X-Ray Tech (Limited Scope)
  • Medical Billing and Coding
  • Medical Office Administration
  • Process Technology

Industry Information

The automotive and aerospace industries are major players in Alabama. Other sectors with promising outlooks include life sciences, logistics, and information technology.

Fastest-Growing Industries

Young woman smiling, holding notebooks, wearing a backpack on one shoulder, and standing outside in front of a large buildingData from the Alabama Department of Labor shows that these sub-sectors are expected to see the highest rates of job growth between 2016 and 2026:

Other transportation equipment manufacturing (182.1%): The projected growth in the production of components for things like bikes and motorcycles will likely generate opportunities for a wide range of engineers and skilled tradespeople.

Other fabricated metal product manufacturing (64.1%): Shaping or joining pieces of metal to create a variety of end products is a rapidly growing industry in Alabama. Those with the right skills should find their expertise in demand.

Motor vehicle manufacturing (58.3%): Alabama is where many vehicles for Honda, Mercedes-Benz, and Hyundai are produced, and more automakers are expected to join that list.

Other information services (48.2%): The state is projected to see ongoing demand for professionals who are involved in connecting people with information via websites, libraries, and archives.

Aerospace product and parts manufacturing (44.9%): Job openings for workers who specialize in producing engines and other equipment for airplanes and space vehicles will likely multiply in the years ahead.

Careers Related to the Industries Above
Average Annual Wages

  • Aerospace engineers
  • Industrial mechanics
  • Engine assemblers
  • Machinists
  • Welders

Other Key Industries

According to the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama (EDPA), a few other notable industries powering the state's economic growth include:

Chemical production: More than 200 companies throughout Alabama produce everything from antifreeze and auto parts to shampoo and specialty plastics. This industry directly supports over 9,000 jobs, according to EDPA.

Information technology: EDPA says that around 15,000 people work in Alabama's IT sector, supplying critical expertise in areas like data management and software development.

Life sciences: Hundreds of firms in Alabama are involved in health research, medical device development, and pharmaceutical manufacturing. Collectively, they employ close to 48,000 of the state's residents, according to EDPA.

Logistics and distribution: With seven commercial airports, six interstate highways, five major railroads, and an extensive network of waterways, Alabama makes it easy for companies to connect with their customers. In fact, EDPA says firms in the state ship to destinations in over 200 countries.

Careers Related to the Industries Above
Average Annual Wages

  • Software developers
  • Logisticians
  • Database administrators
  • Medical scientists
  • Chemical technicians

Career Information

Career opportunities related to transportation, technology, and health care are on the rise in Alabama. And many well-paying roles are opening up in areas like business, education, and skilled trades.

Alabama Snapshot

Job Growth
6.9% from 2016 to 2026

Job Openings
Yearly Average

Average Salary
(all occupations)


Number of Employers

Key Industries

Advanced manufacturing, aerospace and aviation, chemical production, information technology, life sciences, logistics and distribution

  • Alabama Department of Labor
  • U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
  • U.S. Census Bureau
  • Economic Development Partnership of Alabama

Fastest-Growing Careers

The state labor department estimates that the most rapid employment growth between 2016 and 2026 will occur in the occupations below. Unless otherwise noted, average wages are based on Alabama-specific 2019 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Home health aides (38.6%): Provide valuable in-home assistance with daily activities and carry out basic medical tasks like monitoring vital signs and giving medications. Completing a short certification program is necessary in order to work for a Medicare-certified agency.

  • Average yearly wage: $19,960

Transportation inspectors (38.5%): Check vehicles like buses, trains, and airplanes to ensure that they are operating properly and meet safety standards. You'll likely need to have a few years of maintenance experience.

  • Average yearly wage: $77,980

Aircraft mechanics (38.1%): Examine, repair, and maintain the mechanical and electrical systems on airplanes and helicopters. Certification from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is required.

  • Average yearly wage: $64,230

Information security analysts (37%): Implement measures to safeguard an organization's data and develop procedures for dealing with a security breach or other disaster. A bachelor's degree is typically required.

  • Average yearly wage: $88,750

Avionics technicians (37%): Focus on maintaining an aircraft's electronic instruments, such as navigational aids and communication systems. Most techs have associate degrees, and all of them need to be certified by the FAA.

Good-Paying Careers With the Most Yearly Job Openings

Smiling young woman wearing a backpack on one shoulder and standing against a railing, in front of a large indoor windowA large number of well-paying positions open up every year in Alabama, but you will likely need some post-secondary training in order to take advantage of them. The following are just a few examples drawn from state labor department average annual projections for the 2016-to-2026 period and BLS wage data from 2019.

Registered nurses (3,275 yearly openings): Collaborate with doctors in order to treat and support ill and injured people. Once you complete a registered nursing program, you must pass a national exam to become licensed in Alabama.

  • Average yearly wage: $60,230

General and operations managers (2,610 yearly openings): Lead the forward progress of an organization by coordinating the actions of various departments. You'll need to work your way up to this high-level position; you may also need a bachelor's degree.

  • Average yearly wage: $117,340

Elementary school teachers (1,840 yearly openings): Help Alabama's students reach their full potential by providing instruction in a wide range of subject areas. A bachelor's degree and a state license are necessary in order to teach in public schools.

  • Average yearly wage: $50,270

Accountants and auditors (1,735 yearly openings): Record a business's financial transactions and check that all statements and records adhere to governmental regulations. A bachelor's degree is the usual requirement.

  • Average yearly wage: $72,120

Electricians (1,165 yearly openings): Install, troubleshoot, and maintain the essential systems that keep power flowing to homes, schools, hospitals, factories, and other buildings. Most electricians learn the trade by completing an apprenticeship.

  • Average yearly wage: $47,490

Trade School Can Help You Get Ahead

By focusing on the development of skills needed for today's workplaces, trade schools and colleges in Alabama help countless adults advance their career aspirations.