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Vocational Careers

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Vocational Careers

A vocational career is hands-on, nonacademic, and trade-specific. It is a good choice for those who would prefer being active and physical in their work versus sitting at a desk.

“Many of the skills most needed to compete in the global market of the 21st century are technical skills that fall into the technical/vocational area. The absence of excellence in many technical and vocational fields is also costing us economically as a nation.”1
–Mark Phillips, professor emeritus of secondary education, San Francisco State University

HVAC/R Technician

The Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) industry manages indoor environments, designs, builds, installs, services, maintains, troubleshoots, and repairs indoor comfort and cooling systems for residential, commercial, or industrial buildings.

The main purposes of an HVAC system are to help maintain good indoor air quality through adequate ventilation with filtration and provide thermal comfort.

A properly designed system will provide a comfortable indoor environment year round when properly maintained.

Learn more about HVAC careers and training.

Industrial Maintenance Technician

The Industrial Maintenance Technician industry works on industrial machines, commonly repairing or maintaining the operating condition of industrial production or processing machinery and equipment.

Along with maintaining and repairing machinery, the industry also focuses on observing and testing the operation of machinery or equipment to diagnose malfunctions.

Industrial Maintenance Technician is a growing industry with trained professionals considered high in demand.3

Learn more about Industrial Maintenance Technician careers and training.


Welding is a process for joining similar metals by melting and fusing the base metals being joined and the filler metal applied. Welding employs pinpointed, localized heat input. Most welding involves ferrous-based metals such as steel and stainless steel. Weld joints are usually as strong or stronger as the base metals being joined.

Welding is the most economical and efficient way to join metals permanently. It is the only way of joining two or more pieces of metal to make them act as a single piece. Welding ranks high among industrial processes and involves more sciences and variables than those involved in any other industrial process.

Find out more information on types of welding and training.

Applied Technology

Applied technology is a learning discipline that applies already learned knowledge to a practical environment. 

Applied technology programs and courses provide education and training for apprentices, craftsmen, technicians, and others. Specializations are available in numerous industrial and construction trades and skilled professions. Applied technology students might be currently employed or seeking ways to enter careers  or to upgrade their skills. Cooperation with industry keeps programs relevant to the job skills required in a competitive market. 

Earn your AAS degree in Applied Technology

1 Huffington Post, Lighting Up the Future of Vocational Education, Retrieved May 23, 2103,

2 Business Insider, Inc., Max Nissen, "30 Fastest Growing Jobs in Ameirca," December 20, 2013, retrieved Jan. 23, 2014, 

3 Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-2022 Edition, Industrial Machinery Mechanic. Retrieved 5/20/15.