Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

TNMCorps Structure: Technical / Trade School

Technical / Trade School: A building or building complex used for vocational or technical training and often for job-specific certification. 

Technical / Trade School 

The Guidelines define Technical / Trade Schools as follows: 

A building or building complex used for vocational or technical training and often for job-specific certification. 

INCLUDES: Business colleges or schools not offering academic degrees (e.g., cosmetology schools, secretarial schools, computer training, vocational training, etc.) 

DOES NOT INCLUDE: Schools offering any level of formal education for youth (e.g., grades K-12), community colleges offering associate’s degrees, 4-year universities offering baccalaureate degrees, professional schools (e.g., dentistry, law schools) offering degrees of equivalent certificates. 


What is a Technical / Trade School?  

A Technical / Trade School is an educational institution that students attend to acquire skills necessary for careers in a specific trade. Upon completion of the program, students receive certificates verifying the skills acquired. Technical / Trade Schools do not offer any type of academic degrees.  

Most trade schools are privately owned, though some school districts or higher education institutions (e.g., universities, etc.) may operate public vocational facilities. Common fields of study include cosmetology, nursing/medical, aviation, and welding, among others. 


Where can I find authoritative lists of Technical / Trade Schools?  

The best place to find information about a trade school is on a dedicated website. These websites are the first to reflect any changes in pertinent information (e.g., name, address, closures, etc.) and therefore are the most accurate.    

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) maintains a list of institutions that includes trade schools under colleges. Only those listed as offering certificates (vs. degrees) should be mapped as trade schools.  Note that this list is not 100% complete and therefore should only be used as a starting point. 

Each state also has a higher education agency that often list colleges and universities within their state. These lists may occasionally include trade schools.   


Where do I place a Technical / Trade School structure point?  

Trade schools often have their own establishment in a retail complex or commercial building.  They can also be co-located with school district facilities and colleges/universities.  Trade schools can generally be recognized by using a commercial mapping service with roadside imagery (e.g., Google Street View™) to examine the school’s address for visible street signage. If a trade school has its own building, place the point at the center of this building. If a trade school shares a building with others, try to identify which portion of the building the trade school is in and center the point on this portion of the building.  


How should I name Technical / Trade School structures? 

Use the name of the school as it appears on its website.  Remember to remove special characters and spell out abbreviations.