Skip To Main Content

Careers & Programs in WA State

The selected local career training programs listed below are open to high school graduates, and sometimes have other qualifications. Cost varies, from programs that charge tuition, to FREE, to a program that provides a stipend to help with expenses. We recommend that students use the search tools at right to find a wide variety after-high-school options.

Highlighted programs, listed in alphabetical order: 

City Year

red circle with black City Year text, and zig zag detail in black and yellow

City Year is a gap year program in which students will earn a stipend while helping out with a worthy cause and developing career skills. Though there are City Year project nationwide, most students decide to select a program nearby so that they can live at home and their stipend  goes farther. City Year Seattle/ King County runs programs in underprivileged schools. City Year leaders connect with students and support school staff. Learn more about the experience and impact of the program.  


Edmonds College Advanced Manufacturing Skills Center

logo is text except one leg of the M is shaped like a screw

Edmonds College has several programs within its Advanced Manufacturing Skills Center located in Everett. Three programs are linked below, and soon they will open a Maritime Program in Spring of 2024 and an AI & Robotics Program in the Fall of 2024. 

Construction Pre-Apprenticeship Program

hexagon with a construction crane image and Construction Pre-Apprenticeship in text

This free 10 week training program, nicknamed Edmonds CAP, allows students to try out several different skilled trades, and then offers support for obtaining a registered apprenticeship. CAP includes math, blueprint reading and drawing, health and safety, work readiness, industry awareness, tool training, construction basics, and more. The training facility is near Paine Field in Everett. 

Creative Technology Program

image of robotic hand with Creative Technology in text below

The relatively new Creative Technology program through Edmonds College focuses on providing students with high-tech skills needed for the current & future manufacturing environment. Students will study 3D design, electronics, automation, drone technology, and materials science and take classes like Blender Industrial Design, SMD Soldering, and Remote Aerial Service Platform

Washington Aerospace Training & Research Center

image of an airport control tower and a jet taking off with Aerospace WATR Center below

The Washington Aerospace Training & Research Center, WATR, offers five speciality programs that can give you the skills to earn a high-wage, high-demand job in manufacturing. 12 week program combines online modules and in-person lab sessions. There are free tours every Wednesday at noon. 


Job Corps

red white and blue Job Corps logo

Job Corps is a national program providing free career training to young people; Cascades Job Corps is our local office. Students must be 16-24 years old, low income, and must meet approved status and background requirements. There are several programs available in each of the following areas:  Computer Technician, Medical Assistant, Culinary Arts, Office Administration, and Security & Protective Services. Take a virtual tour of the campus, located in Sedro-Wooley, WA and read about campus life and training programs


Long Term Care Careers

image of a person, a caring hand, and Washington Care Careers in text

See Washington Care Careers and the graphic at right for information about the options for entering this high-demand industry. Outlines career opportunities in long-term care. 18-year old students could become certified to be either an Individual Provider or a Home Care Aide.  Also see the 2022 publication WA Care Careers:  Opportunities for High School Students

Seattle Jobs Initiative

letters SJI are large, with Seattle Jobs Initiative in text

The Seattle Jobs Initiative seeks to help area residents prepare for living-wage careers in five possible pathways:  Healthcare, Maritime, Electronics, Logistics, and Green Jobs. Healthcare and Maritime are listed below. Programs are open to low-income residents of King County.

Participants in the programs have the support of a career navigator who provides individualized career planning, resources, and strategies. The programs help develop technical and performance skills.

All SJI pathway programs have the added benefit of Digital Bridge. This service provides free laptops, hotspots, and internet to participants in need. 

Introduction to Healthcare Employment and Apprenticeships Program (IHAP)

IHAP is a FREE, two-phase employment program that offers paid training for entry-level job seekers in the healthcare sector. Most of Phase 1 is online, and Phase 2 includes hands-on training. New phases begin about every three months. To be eligible, students must be:  18+, a low-income resident of King County, have a high school diploma or GED, and able to work in the U.S.

Upon successful completion of both phases, students may qualify for an apprenticeship program to become a Sterile Technician, Pharmacy Technician, or Medical Assistant. IHAP works with Kaiser Permanente and HealthPoint Community Centers for these positions, so this program can be an excellent way to obtain training, guidance, and insider eligibility when permanent positions open up. 

Maritime Training/ Working on the Water (WOW) Ship Handling Instruction Program

Working on the Water (WOW) is a 12-week introduction to maritime training program. The program is designed to equip participants with the necessary skills and certifications to pursue a career in the maritime and construction sectors. The program includes 2 weeks of Seamanship Training, Digital Bridge computer classes, Job Readiness courses, and trade-related certifications. 

Year Up Training & Internship Program

stylized person in orange plus Year Up in blue

Year Up is a free career training program for young people. The model provides both direct instruction and in-person, hands-on internships with local companies. Year Up Seattle offers programs in Application Development & Support, Banking, Business Fundamentals, Customer Success, Google Project Management, Helpdesk/ Desktop Support and Quality Assurance. Programs may be hybrid or in person, and training areas vary by location. Year Up has locations at Seattle Central College on Capitol Hill and at South Seattle College in the Georgetown neighborhood. Some training sessions are a hybrid model. 

Search Tools

These specialized tools can identify options that fit your interests & location.

basic map of Washington State with Career Bridge in dark pring has three main functions:  Explore Careers, View Job Trends, and Find Education which is the most useful. Go do Find Education, type in a keyword like welding or accounting or medical and select preferred counties. King and Snohomish counties are closest. Then, scroll down to see options. 

green text and zig zag design

Career Connect WA has overlap with CareerBridge, plus includes internships and other types of training options. Career Connect gives map-based results that may be easier to go through. Search by interest and zip code to get a map showing options near you. 

Professional/ Technical Certificates

has a half-star graphic plus Community and Technical Colleges

The Community & Technical Colleges in Washington have hundreds of specialized programs through which you can earn a certificate for a particular job. Search for programs that fit your interests and goals. 

Certificate programs are an average of 1-2 years, though there are some 3-month programs. 

All of the public Community & Technical colleges in Washington share the same application, so whether you access the application through the Apply button on Shoreline Community College's website or through another college's site, the application process will the same, and the application is free. For more instructions, see the College Applications page and look for the Two-Year College section. 

Shoreline CC has 64 Professional/ Technical Programs in 21 areas, including Accounting, Biotechnology, Computer Graphics, Digital Audio/ Video, Manufacturing, Retail Management, and several healthcare options. 

Long Term Care Career Pathways

See details & link at left.

Infographic about several options for long term care positions