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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: 

ANEW Pre-Apprenticeship

green and blue circle with a ladder icon and ANEW in all uppercase letters

ANEW offers free, high-quality, pre-apprenticeship training programs that help individuals obtain careers in construction trades. They partner with registered apprenticeship programs to expose students directly to their training facilities. These training partners explain their industry, teach technical and math-related lessons, and emphasize the importance of fitness. You will gain experience, related OSHA safety certifications, and job preparation assistance. ANEW's facilities are in Tukwila. There are virtual info sessions available as you consider options. 

Biotechnology/ Biomanufacturing

dark green background with white writing with Shoreline Community College and a curved line below

There are several options, some for high school students and some for graduates. Watch a video for a glimpse of the programs. 

Biomanufacturing Training Program for high school students. Take a sequence of Running Start classes and then go into the Fred Hutch Lab Tech Program for a paid summer internship after senior year. After completing the Lab Tech Certificate, students will spend a full academic year at Shoreline in Biotech to complete the program.

Essentials of Biomanufacturing Certificate for high school graduates. Consists of hands-on classes at Shoreline and a paid internship with a local biotech company. Upon completion, students will be ready for a job in the industry. 

Biotech Lab Specialist Associate Degree for high school graduates. Gain hands-on laboratory skills for an entry level technician in a lab, with an option to transfer to a university. 


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. Please note that as of January 2024, the program is limited to residents of Snohomish County. There is a possibility of a waitlist in case spots open up, though we encourage students interested in a pre-apprenticeship to consider ANEW, Seattle Colleges' PACT Certificate Program, and other approved Apprenticeship Preparation Programs

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

JumpStart Clean Energy Career Training

gear-type image with a green background

JumpStart can launch your career in clean energy, with positions in fields like solar installation, electrical, HVAC, and more. Applicants must be 18 with a High School Diploma. 

What you'll gain:

  • Skill development: Choose from four high-demand programs in solar & HVAC installation, complete skilled trade certifications, and gain job-ready skills. 
  • Paid internship: Earn $25/hour for a 240-hour internship through JumpStart.
  • Career support: Get connected to employers and specialized job placement assistance.
  • Make a real impact: Contribute to a sustainable future and address climate change in your community.

The JumpStart interest form will connect students with a training or pre-apprenticeship program. After the training program, students will be matched with an employer to complete a paid internship in solar installation, electrical, HVAC, and related industries. 

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

Medical Assistant Training Program

Has Medical Assistant in black type plus a medical cross, a heart, and a syringe

This 18 month long program includes a paid, intensive, 10-week class session in Everett, then paid on-the-job training at a clinic in the Seattle-Everett area for the remaining 15 months. No experience is needed:  high school diploma or GED required to apply, and must be legally authorized to work in the US without restrictions. See Medical Assistant Trainee through United Healthcare Group.


Per Scholas

Blue grad copy plus PER SCHOLAS in all caps in blue

Per Scholas provides free training for high-tech jobs. Courses like IT Support & Training, AWS (Amazon Web Services) skills last 3 - 4 months. Students come out with IT certifications. Must live within 1 hour of location in Seattle. Applicants must be 18 with a high school diploma. 

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 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. 


Youth Maritime Career Launch Program

white background Port of Seattle in dark lettering with wave graphi

The Youth Maritime Career Launch program is for young people ages 18-24 to receive training and certification that qualifies them for entry-level roles in our region's maritime industry! The Port partners with maritime industry employers to host participants for three-month internships that may lead to permanent employment.
Learn more about the program in this short video, and apply for the program through the Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle.

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