West Palm Beach, Florida
Trade Schools, Colleges & Universities
By Crystal Lee
| Last Updated
Every year, thousands of students enroll in trade schools in West Palm Beach to prepare for new opportunities in a range of expanding, well-paying career fields. It's the kind of education that can help you gain a competitive edge in today's employment market.
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West Palm Beach Snapshot
11% from 2019 to 2027
Number of Employers
Financial services, information technology, entertainment, tourism
Sources: Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Census Bureau, City of West Palm Beach, Business Development Board of Palm Beach County
- Hospitality Management
- Human Resources Management
- International Business
- Transportation and Logistics
- Crime Scene Technology
- Criminal Justice
- Cyber Forensics/Information Security
- Forensic Investigations: Science Concentration
- Health Science
- Health Services Administration
- Homeland Security
- Information Technology
- Information Technology Management
- Integrated Marketing Communications
- Legal Studies
- Medical Assisting
- Nursing BSN (RN to BSN)
- Occupational Therapy Assistant
- Paralegal Studies
- Physical Therapist Assistant
- Radiologic Technology
- Sports Medicine & Fitness Technology
- Accounting - Online
- Criminal Justice - Online
- Medical Assistant - Online
- Psychology - Online
- Business Office Administration
- Computer & Network Technician
- Dental Assistant
- Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning
- Medical Assistant Technician
- Medical Front Office and Billing
- Patient Care Technician
A diverse range of industries are supporting West Palm Beach's economic growth, from hospitality and health care to financial services and administration.
A range of industries are projected to see rapid growth between 2019 and 2027. According to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO), the sub-sectors below should experience the highest rates of job growth in Palm Beach County:
Ambulatory health care services (22.7%): Meeting the outpatient medical needs of the area's residents should generate abundant job opportunities for a wide range of professionals in the years ahead.
Transportation equipment manufacturing (22.2%): As the area produces more components for cars, trucks, trailers, ships, and airplanes, it will require more engineers and skilled tradespeople.
Truck transportation (18.1%): Moving cargo and freight over highways and interstates is a growing industry in Palm Beach County. That spells opportunity for truck drivers, material movers, and diesel engine mechanics.
Food services and drinking places (16.7%): Restaurants, bars, and nightclubs around West Palm Beach will continue to need new workers to serve both local residents and visitors from other areas.
Administrative and support services (16.3%): This sector encompasses workers who provide key support in areas like office administration, security, and cleaning. Landscaping workers, office clerks, and security guards could see new opportunities.
Careers Related to the Industries Above
Average Annual Wages
- Restaurant managers$70K
- Diagnostic medical sonographers$63K
- Heavy truck drivers$42K
- Office clerks$35K
Other Key Industries
A few other industries are also driving West Palm Beach's economy forward. According to two reports from the City of West Palm Beach, some outstanding examples include:
Financial services: Managing money is big business in West Palm Beach. The Business Development Board of Palm Beach County (BDB) notes that there are over 200 financial services companies in the city. This sector grew by 12 percent between 2012 and 2017 and is poised to continue that trend.
Information technology: Palm Beach County as a whole features more than 1,400 information technology companies, says the BDB. And city reports reveal that IT employment in West Palm Beach increased by 24 percent between 2012 and 2017.
Entertainment: Helping people enjoy their leisure time is a growth industry in this city. The arts and culture sectors in West Palm Beach support close to 5,300 jobs and generate $222 million in economic activity.
Tourism: West Palm Beach has a high concentration of tourism-related jobs. Around 9,800 residents are employed in this sector, which expanded by more than 16 percent between 2012 and 2017.
Careers Related to the Industries Above
Average Annual Wages
- Personal financial advisors$118K
- Software developers$99K
- Financial services sales agents$88K
- Sound engineering technicians$53K
- Tour guides$30K
Careers related to statistics and health care are on the rise in West Palm Beach. And plenty of well-paying positions are expected to open up in areas like management, accounting, and law.
Data from DEO show that the following occupations are likely to see the fastest rates of employment growth between 2019 and 2027. Wages are based on 2019 Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data for the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach metro area.
Physician assistants (36.2%): Take on a lead role in patient care under the supervision of a doctor. A master's degree, state license, and some experience as a registered nurse or paramedic are generally required.
- Average yearly wage: $108,490
Statisticians (34.8%): Find meaningful patterns in numerical data in order to help businesses and government agencies make appropriate policy decisions. Most positions require a master's degree in statistics or math.
- Average yearly wage: $74,510
Nurse practitioners (33.9%): Obtain advanced clinical training in order to become a primary care provider for medical patients. After becoming a registered nurse, you'll need to complete a master's degree.
- Average yearly wage: $103,960
Home health aides (30.6%): Provide essential support as well as basic medical services to people in their own residences. Aides who work for Medicare-certified agencies must complete a short certification program.
- Average yearly wage: $24,410
Carpenters' helpers (30%): Assist in the building and repair of wooden structures by preparing materials, holding tools, and cleaning work sites. No formal training is required.
- Average yearly wage: $28,770
Good-Paying Careers With the Most Yearly Job Openings
In Palm Beach County, hundreds of positions open up each year in occupations that pay more than the overall average wage for the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach metro area. Below are some of the top prospects that post-secondary training can help you prepare for, based on 2019-to-2027 projections from DEO and 2019 wage information from the BLS.
Registered nurses (917 yearly openings): Bring a caring touch to patients in hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, or other settings. You'll have to complete a registered nursing program and pass a national exam to get your state license.
- Average yearly wage: $69,920
Accountants and auditors (721 yearly openings): Track the money coming into and going out of a business and ensure that the records present a complete and accurate picture of the organization's financial status. You'll need a bachelor's degree in accounting or business administration.
- Average yearly wage: $78,420
General and operations managers (650 yearly openings): Be responsible for managing staff and coordinating the overall functioning of an organization. Managers usually have bachelor's degrees and several years of experience in their chosen industries.
- Average yearly wage: $111,690
Management analysts (552 yearly openings): Study an organization's processes and come up with recommendations to solve a problem or improve efficiency. A bachelor's degree is the usual requirement, though some positions call for an MBA.
- Average yearly wage: $82,150
Lawyers (421 yearly openings): Provide advice about legal rights and responsibilities, draw up documents, and advocate for your clients in court. You'll need to complete a law degree and pass the bar exam in order to practice.
- Average yearly wage: $150,340
Education & Training
Colleges and trade schools in West Palm Beach offer a wide range of career-driven programs that can help you embrace new opportunities.
Key Benefits of the Area for College Students
- Strong job growth: According to a report by the City of West Palm Beach, employment in the city increased more than 20 percent in a five-year period, outpacing the overall rates for both the state and the country.
- Cultural diversity: With close to 26 percent of the city's population having been born outside of the United States (according to the report cited above), students can benefit from an enriching mix of people and perspectives.
- Big-city opportunities with a laid-back vibe: Students in West Palm Beach can study and live in a more relaxed environment while still having easy access to the major commercial centers of South Florida.
Educational costs vary by program and institution. According to Data USA, the median tuition at four-year colleges in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach metro area are as follows:
- Public schools: $2,424 (in-state); $8,712 (out-of-state)
- Private schools: $16,200
FAQs About Being a Student in West Palm Beach
How expensive is it to live in West Palm Beach?
Utility and health costs in West Palm Beach are lower than the national average. The overall cost of living is higher than the U.S. average, but it is lower than in neighboring areas like Fort Lauderdale and Miami.
How easy is it to get around?
On average, the one-way commute time in West Palm Beach is 22.7 minutes. That's significantly lower than the nationwide average of 26.4 minutes.
What sorts of amenities can students enjoy outside of school?
West Palm Beach has plenty of green spaces and waterfront areas that lend themselves to active pursuits like golfing and boating. Students can also take in the area's many nightclubs, museums, art galleries, boutiques, and restaurants.