Professional & Technical Career Training

The Seattle Colleges offer more than 130 career and technical education (CTE) and training programs (also known as professional and technical education). These programs offer certificates and/or degrees, and vary from 1 to 7 quarters in length. They are designed to prepare students for specific careers. Several professional/technical programs also offer short-term training certificates; in some programs students may build skills and add certificates over time to progress in their fields. Contact the program office for further information.

Explore career training programs each college offers by clicking the links below:

Learn more about different types of career training degrees and certificates:

The Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree prepares students to compete for employment through development of technical and related skills and instruction in academic subjects appropriate to the occupational field.

To earn a degree at Seattle Colleges, a student must complete at least 90 credits and have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0. At least 15 credits must be earned at the Seattle Colleges campus location granting the degree. Students should consult an advisor or division counselor for specific GPA requirements in their programs of study.

Programs are designed and updated by advisory committees, made up of local industry leaders and labor representatives, to reflect current employment trends. Instructors bring industry experience as well as education and training to the classroom. All full-time instructors hold vocational instructor certificates and stay informed of industry changes.

A core of general education and/or related instruction courses is regarded as essential for all A.A.S. degree programs and all certificate programs of an academic year or more in length. College-level courses (100 and above) in communications, computation, human relations and selected courses from humanities, natural sciences and social sciences are required. Additional topics may include safety and environmental awareness.

Some A.A.S. programs and some courses in A.A.S. degree programs may transfer to four-year colleges or universities. Consult a program advisor or transfer institution concerning course transferability prior to enrollment.

The Associate of Applied Science – T degree is designed to assist students who initially enrolled for a professional/technical degree and who then seek to transfer to a four-year institution for a bachelor’s degree. Degree requirements include satisfactory completion of at least 90 approved credits with a 2.0 cumulative GPA. At least 15 credits in college-level courses (100 or above) must be earned at the Seattle Colleges campus granting the degree. The A.A.S.-T degree is based on technical courses required for job preparation but also includes transfer degree general education courses. In general, technical degree programs are not designed for general transfer to other colleges or universities; the A.A.S.-T degree prepares students for specific bachelor’s degree programs at specific institutions. Students should contact the appropriate college division dean or Advising Office for a current list of baccalaureate institutions accepting the A.A.S.-T degree.

Earn a Bachelor of Applied Science (B.A.S.) degree in several different fields.

Certificate programs of 1–7 quarters in length prepare graduates for employment in a wide variety of professional and technical careers. Requirements include satisfactory completion of an approved program of study with a minimum 2.0 cumulative grade point average. For admission to a certificate program, an applicant must be at least 18 or be a high school graduate.

Tests and a minimum proficiency may be required for certain programs. Waiting lists and application fees may be required of others. Education and work experience may be accepted to satisfy part of the requirements if specifically related to the individual program of study. Credits earned in certificate programs are generally applicable toward the A.A.S. degree.

NOTE: Courses must be numbered 100 or above to count toward certificate programs.

Short-term certificates have fewer than 20 credits. They usually cover an entry-level or specific skill set needed for that industry. Students can complete a short-term certificate and enter/re-enter the workplace with improved skills. They may also continue on a pathway to a higher certificate or degree, and some or all of the credits from the short-term certificate may apply to the next level certificate or degree.

Among these short-term certificates are some that are considered “stackable” certificates. Stackable certificates are short-term certificates of fewer than 20 credits each, which are specifically designed to build, or “stack” sequential skills and credits. On completion of each certificate, students can return to the workplace with added skills or they can continue building additional skills at the next level in the stackable series of certificates. Taken together, stackable certificates lead to a sequence of increasing skills, potential job advancement, and/or cumulative credits toward a higher certificate or degree.

For example, in Wood Technology, students can take 18-credit certificates independently in Carpentry, Finishing, and/or Framing Fundamentals. These skills can lead to jobs, or students can accumulate the skills, which can lead to more job skills, further certificates, or an A.A.S.-T degree. In Welding, there are six levels of skill. Each new skill level can increase job potential for students who need to stop studies to work. On returning to school, students resume work at the next certificate level, accumulating skills which can lead to further certificates and/or an A.A.S. degree.


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