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Exploring Utah’s Technical and Trade Schools

5/19/24  | Lindsay Gehman, Marketing Manager

A Different Type of Education: Exploring Utah’s Technical Colleges

Let’s face it, traditional universities aren’t the ideal path for everyone, and that’s perfectly fine. Many find that spending extensive periods of time in a traditional classroom environment and often studying subjects that don’t seem directly relevant to their career goals, isn’t the best use of their academic ability. Not to mention, there isn’t a guarantee the job market will have an opening in that particular field of study, making spending the high cost of tuition even more unappealing.

While education is essential to everyone’s growth, the benefits of traditional university—while there are many—may not seem worth it to some. Still, higher education, in any form, leads to improvements in many factors of a person’s quality of life, according to a recent article in the Salt Lake Tribune.

Technical school could be a much better alternative. With a focused curriculum and shorter programs, enrolling in a technical school and learning a useful trade can get a person out and running on a productive career much more quickly.

Utah has eight technical schools scattered throughout the state with several different programs and offerings. Here’s a look at each one:


Northern Utah

Davis Technical College

550 E 300 S Kaysville, UT 84037

Formerly known as DATC, Davis Technical College or Davis Tech, has been an institution of higher learning since 1978–providing affordable, hands-on training with programs that are flexible and self-paced, according to its website.

With more than 35 programs, Davis Tech’s schools of learning include Business and Information Technology, Construction, Health Professions, Manufacturing, Service Professions and Transportation.

Davis Tech’s website states that the average program cost is $3,000 with pay-as-you-go plans as well as scholarships and financial aid available.


 Ogden-Weber Technical College

200 N Washington Blvd, Ogden, Utah 84404

In the Weber County area, Ogden-Weber Technical College is the place to go for technical or trade industry education. The college prides itself on its strong standing in the community, leveraging partnerships with employers, students, educators and sponsors, to enhance business and industry competitiveness in the workforce.

Like many of the other technical colleges on this list, Ogden-Weber makes a point to stay on the cutting edge of whatever program its students choose. The Business and Computer Technology programs are intertwined, as well as the Construction program, which offers courses in Computer Aided Design.

Tuition at Ogden-Weber is less than $3,000 for both in-state and out-of-state students. 


Bridgerland Technical College

1301 North 600 West Logan, UT 84321

Set near the top of the state, Bridgerland Technical College also aims to educate its students with a practical, hands-on curriculum that prepares them to hit the ground running.

Depending on the program, students will attend either of Bridgerland’s two campuses in Logan and Brigham City. Programs include Business, Design, Food Services, Personal Care, Public Services, Transportation and Veterinary Technology.

For the 2023-24 academic year, tuition was set at $95 per credit hour before fees and cost of materials.


Southern Utah

Dixie Technical College

610 S Tech Ridge Dr, St. George, UT 84770

Nestled in the Greater Zion Region, Dixie Technical College, like all of the technical colleges in Utah, gets its students out in the local workforce as quickly and effectively as possible. The college makes no bones about it, proudly stating it’s less interested in time in the classroom and more so in time in the lab or the field, mastering practical skills.

Dixie Tech’s certificate-based programs include Computer Technology, which also breaks down into full-stack web development and mobile app development, as well as Construction Technology, Medical Technology, and Industrial Technology, among others.

Tuition and fees for the 2023-24 school year at $1,569. The college reported that nearly half of its students were able to secure enough grants or scholarships to cover the full amount.


Southwest Technical College

757 West 800 South, Cedar City, UT 84720

Southwest Technical College works to prepare students to contribute to Iron County’s prosperity. Southwest leverages strong partnerships with local businesses and industry leaders to create a dynamic, educated and productive workforce.

Flexible programs include fields such as Automotive, Business, Healthcare, Information Technology and Manufacturing. As the needs change—for both the students and the would-be employers—the programs stay up to date on the latest advancements and developments.

For the 2023-24 academic year, tuition was just over $3,000. However, like the other schools on this list, Southwest reported that nearly half of its students received a significant amount of financial aid in the form of scholarships and grants.


Central and North-Central Utah

Mountainland Technical College

2301 West Ashton Blvd., Lehi, Utah 84043

With a slew of campuses in Orem, Provo, Spanish Fork and Heber City, Mountainland Technical College (MTECH) also centers its mission on specialized and technical education. The programs are designed with employer needs in mind, especially in the area immediately surrounding MTECH.

There are a wide range of programs at MTECH, such as Construction, Electrical, HVAC, Plumbing, Automotive, Healthcare (which includes Dental, EMT and Nursing), Manufacturing, and many more.

Tuition is quite affordable at MTECH, coming in at $120 per credit hour. For those who aren’t seeking credit, but are just looking to take a course for their own personal enrichment, the rate is just $2.10 per hour.

Tooele Technical College

88 South Tooele Blvd., Tooele, UT 84074

In the West Desert, Tooele Technical College places a strong value on serving not only students but also the needs of employers and the community as a whole. Tooele Technical is constantly aware of the needs of the area and what skills its students need to be successful and productive professionals.

Tooele Technical offers many of the same programs as the other technical colleges on this list, such as Business and Technology, Healthcare, Manufacturing and Construction. Also, more specialized programs include Police Academy and Cosmetology and Barbering.

This last academic year, tuition came to $2,850. However, rather than paying for semester-based tuition, students at Tooele Technical pay by the course, which is very cost-effective for those who complete their courses faster.


Uintah Basin Technical College

1100 East Lagoon Street, Roosevelt, UT 84066

Known more casually as UBTech, Uintah Basin Technical College is also dedicated to serving the needs of the community in which it is located. Partnerships with local employers are also a key component of UBTech’s educational programs and skilled training. Whatever the need in the Uintah Basin may be, UBTech likely has a program to provide a very capable workforce.

Perhaps unique to the area, UBTech offers an Energy Services program in addition to commonly available programs such as Business, Medical and other Trade Services, designed to meet the needs of the area’s economic development.

For the most recent academic year, tuition fees at UBTech amounted to $2,760.


Benefits of Trade and Technical Schools

Shorter Programs

Attending a technical college ends up being cheaper, much cheaper, than a traditional university for multiple reasons. The most obvious reason: it takes much less time to complete than a Bachelor’s Degree or sometimes even an Associate’s Degree at a traditional university. Some certificate programs at a technical college can be completed in a matter of months. It’s much more cost-friendly than attending a college or university for eight or so semesters at a cost of thousands of dollars each.

Various Payment Options

Technical colleges want to make it as easy as possible for students to attend and get the training they need. While upfront payment is always available, other payment options may include payment plans in monthly or quarterly installments, financial aid, work-study programs, and veterans benefits.

Much like traditional universities, technical college students can also take advantage of programs such as My529, FAFSA, Pell Grants, and more.

As a refresher, My529 is a state-sponsored tax-advantaged savings plan designed to encourage saving for future education costs. A 529 plan is deferred from federal and state taxes, grow at a solid interest rate, and are tax-free at the time of withdrawal for qualified educational expenses.

FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is a form that students in the United States fill out to determine their eligibility for financial aid for higher education. This aid can include federal grants, work-study funds, and loans. The FAFSA assesses a student's financial need based on their family’s income and assets to help in the allocation of federal and state student aid.

Pell Grants are a form of federal financial aid awarded to undergraduate students who display exceptional financial need and have not yet earned a bachelor's, graduate, or professional degree. Unlike a loan, Pell Grants do not have to be repaid under most circumstances, making them highly beneficial for students. To apply for a Pell Grant, students must also fill out a FAFSA.

Among the many benefits service members, veterans and their families receive—known as VA benefits—a GI Bill can also cover tuition at a technical school with a stipend for textbooks and supplies.

The Federal Work-Study program may also be a good way to go for technical college students looking for financial assistance. The program provides part-time jobs that typically involve some sort of community service while that is also relevant to the student’s field of study.

The Utah Promise Grant is a needs-based scholarship program designed to boost the educational opportunities for state residents. Covering up to two years of tuition and fees, the grant may be able to comfortably foot the bill for a student’s entire program at a technical school, where completion can be achieved quickly.

If a potential student has exceptional financial need, the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant can cover what FAFSA and Pell Grants cannot. These grants are very limited so students are advised to apply as quickly as possible to better their chances of receiving funding.

And of course, scholarships are always available based on academic merit, diversity or inclusion initiatives, specific research or professional experience, or any other qualification.

It’s recommended to research the scholarships out there and how they can be applied for and potentially won. There are a lot. Some standouts include the Utah Fits All Scholarship Program, which is sponsored by the Utah State Board of Education, the Opportunity Scholarship, funded by the Utah System of Higher Education, and the Hope Scholarship Utah, which is championed by Utah Parents United.

Each specific technical college has its own network of scholarship opportunities as well.

More Affordable

Considered an essential part of a community’s economic development, tuition at technical colleges is often lower thanks to a large injection of public funding and subsidies. Those savings are passed on to the students, who can get into a career and start earning money faster, which can in turn stimulate the economy of the area around the technical college. It’s money well spent by the public and students reap the benefits.

Flexible Scheduling

Almost anyone in almost any circumstance can attend a technical college program, thanks to a deliberately designed flexible scheduling system. This allows parents, folks who already have full or part-time jobs, or even high school students to take advantage of the hands-on training and better their earning potential.

Flexible scheduling can vary by program, but it may consist of open-lab format courses, self-learning modules, or night classes.

Hands-On Learning

Perhaps the most appealing aspect of technical college is the hands-on learning and practical experience. There are no required general education courses. You don’t need to take a 100-level course on biology to become an electrician. Instead, you’ll get right to the nitty-gritty, learning exactly what you need to succeed in your career. Nothing more, nothing less.


Lindsay Gehman is the Marketing Manager at Altabank. She specializes in customer experience and sales and enjoys a long vacation to the beach.