Start a Career in Less Than a Year


By Roz Kirkelie, Publications Specialist, AVTEC–Alaska Vocational Technical Center

AVTEC Prepares Students with Skills Required for Success in the Alaska Workplace


Industrial Electrical student reads a multimeter.

For many looking for post-secondary education, a traditional four year college seems like the natural choice. As the cost of education and the lack of skilled tradespeople continues to rise, technical school is quickly becoming a more appealing option.

Students learn to read plans.

The Alaska Vocational Technical Center (AVTEC) is the only statewide post-secondary vocational training center operated by the State of Alaska; and strives to provide students with career-focused training that can be applied in the modern Alaska workforce. Integrated with industry standard technology, software, and equipment, students gain real-world, hands-on experience. With more than 16 professional programs, curriculum is designed to meet the specific needs of employers throughout Alaska. Prospective students can choose from career training programs in the growing fields of maritime, business, information technology, culinary arts and select trade careers.

AVTEC students practice welding.

AVTEC boasts a 90 percent placement rate, and offers career resource counseling to help students find a job after graduation. Professional programs range in length from six weeks to 11 months. While at AVTEC, students have access to supplementary foundational classes in reading, writing, and math; counseling and career counseling services, and tutoring. Unlike a traditional college, AVTEC students attend classes six hours a day, five days a week. Programs are shorter than a traditional university and offer students the convenience of gaining the skills and training needed to find employment in their chosen field quickly.

IT student checks cables.

Located at the headwaters of Resurrection Bay, in Seward, Alaska, AVTEC campuses stretch across multiple locations in the community and its training facilities provide students with a full range of resident life activities. A full-service gymnasium, racquetball court, climbing wall, auditorium, fitness center, sauna, crafts room, library, study areas, and snack bar provide students with a variety of recreational options; as well as, scheduled outings and activities that provide students opportunities to intermingle with the local community. State of the art dormitories provide comfortable accommodations for single students, while also providing apartment style housing options for students with families.

Culinary students work a food line.

Whether looking for a new career, or looking to expand their current career, while at AVTEC, students gain knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in their chosen vocation. AVTEC offers campus tours to prospective students, school groups, and residents of communities throughout Alaska. For more information or to schedule a tour, visit or call 800-478-5389.

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The views expressed here are the writer’s and are not necessarily endorsed by the Association of Alaska School Boards. AASB welcomes diverse perspectives and civil discourse. To submit a Guest Column for consideration, see our Guest Column Guidelines and email your 400-1000 word submission HERE.