Career & Technical Education


Career and technical education is a term applied nationally to schools, institutions, and educational programs that specialize in the skilled trades, applied sciences, modern technologies, and career preparation.


Interested in pursuing a CTE program? WCC offers more than 100 different degrees and certificates in CTE fields. We suggest starting the process by discussing your interests with an advisor from our Advising and Counseling department. Below are a few examples of CTE programs that have been deemed high-wage, in high-demand and requiring high-skill.

3D Animation
Accounting for Business
Administrative Assistant I
Administrative Assistant II
Advanced Automotive Services Technician
Advanced Manufacturing (CNC) – Operation Technician
Advanced Manufacturing (CNC) - Programming and Setup Technician Program
Animation for Film & Broadcast Art
Animation for Game Art
Audio Production and Engineering
Auto Body Repair
Automation Specialist
Automotive Cybersecurity
Automotive Services Technician
Business Enterprise Basics
Business Enterprise Essentials
C++ Programming
Child Development
Computer Networking Academy I
Computer Networking Operating Systems
Computer Software Applications
Computer Systems Technology
Core Business Skills
Custom Auto Body Fabrication and Chassis Design
Cybersecurity Operations
Digital Business Marketing and Sales
Electric Vehicle (EV) Safety & Fundamentals
Engineering & Design Technology
Entrepreneurship & Innovation
Entrepreneurship Essentials
Graphic Design
Health Care Foundations
Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration - Commercial Trade
Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration - Residential
Human Resource Essentials

Human Resource Skills and Operations
Industrial Electronics Technology
Introduction to Elementary Education

Ironworker Pre-Apprenticeship
Medical Billing and Coding
Photography: Digital Imaging
Photography: Portrait Imaging
Photography: Traditional Imaging
Police Academy
Principles of Cybersecurity
Program in Java
Retail and Business Operations
Robotics Technician
Sterile Processing
Supply Chain Essentials
Supply Chain Operations
Technical Communications
Welding and Fabrication Advanced Applications
Welding and Fabrication Principles

SkillsUSA - National Association
Michigan chapter
Student membership is $14 each. Contact lead instructor Alex Pazkowski for information.

National Society of Professional Engineers
Engineering and pre-engineering majors can join for free.

Local Michigan Chapter

SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers)
Student membership is $35 per year

Many CTE programs culminate with students taking an industry recognized certification or licensure exam. Often study resources are provided at WCC, and in some cases even a practice exam. The license/certification gives the student sort of a “stamp of approval” that they meet the industry standards for that profession. Oftentimes just having that license/certification allows the student more upward mobility and flexibility to move within that industry.

Each industry often has one or more state or national Associations. Members of these Associations are committed to their profession, serve as subject matter experts, and often offer networking and ongoing training for their membership. While there is often a yearly membership cost, student memberships are greatly reduced (often less than $50 per year). The connections students make within an Association can stay with them throughout their lifetime. They are often a source of camaraderie and where future job openings within that industry are shared. There may even be a student club at WCC tied to that Association. If not, students can still join the state or national Association as an individual member. If unsure about which Association to join, speak with a faculty member about which would be the best fit for your short and long-term goals.

Skilled Trades and Transportation Technologies

ASME - American Society of Mechanical Engineers
Individual student membership is $25, but is free for first year students.

AMPP – Association for Materials Protection and Performance (national group)
MI chapter
They offer a scholarship, and WCC students can apply.

AWA - American Welding Association
A national association that offers free student membership.
There is also a Detroit chapter. (In the 2022-2023 school year the AWS Detroit Section awarded 33 welding scholarships totaling $64,000.)

NIASE (ASE) Automotive Service Excellence
Offers ASE certification exams.

SME- Society of Manufacturing Engineers
No student chapter at WCC, but individual student membership is $20 and gives access to job fairs.
Students can join for $20 per year.

Heathcare Programs

American Association of Medical Assistants (national group)
Students can join for $36 per year.
Michigan Society of Medical Assistants 

American Dental Assistants Association
Cost $35/$45 with insurance to join for one year

American Society of Radiologic Technologist
Students can join for $35 per year.
Michigan Society of Radiologic Technologist
Students can join for $10 per year.

American Physical Therapy Association, Michigan chapter
$80 to join national association
$10 to join MI association 

Association of Surgical Technologist
Reach out to instructor for advice on individual membership or bundling with exam and study guide.

Michigan Dental Association
No membership fees.

National Student Nurses’ Association
Students can join for $27 for one year + state dues

Women in FIRE
(Women firefighters) No student membership, but individuals can join ($100/year) or departments can join.

American Assembly of Men in Nursing (AAMN) is a national group for men in nursing.  WCC is one of only two student chapters in the state of MI! Reach out to chapter advisor Benjamin Morhan at [email protected] for details on joining AAMN. Do this after you are admitted into the nursing program.


Washtenaw Economic Club - $100 per year to join as Young Leaders, can attend 2 meetings.

American Marketing Association (national) 
Detroit area Chapter

Women in Business can join the Women’s Exchange of Washtenaw for monthly meetings in downtown Ann Arbor to network and support one another. No student or yearly rate, but events are $30 - $40 each month. Come when you can.

Liberal Arts

Michigan Press Association - $10 for student membership

National Press Photographers Association - $75 for student membership

The Association for Women in Communications, Detroit Chapter (has members from all over SE Michigan) – currently revising membership structure, but should be affordable for students.

CTE Programs at WCC can provide students with an upfront and fast track to mentors. Mentors are those people we look up to for their leadership, professional advice, or other qualities we admire. Finding a mentor does not need to include a formal request to them. You can have a mentor that is a teacher or coach without them even knowing it. However, sharing with them what you admire may help them be even more intentional about passing on their knowledge and advocating for you. Our WCC faculty and staff come from diverse backgrounds, and chances are you will identify with one or more of them—and we could all use a mentor for personal or professional growth.

Each program at WCC has a designated Academic Advisor (to plan out your degree and/or obtain transfer credit) and Success Coach (to help navigate college and overcome obstacles). Our Student Resource Center (SRC) can also provide financial assistance in a number of ways for students in CTE programs. This would be beyond, or in addition, to Financial Aid. This two minute video gives you a quick overview of their services.

The Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) Education Foundation offers over $1 million in scholarships each year to thousands of students. Open to high schools seniors and current students in associate, bachelor, and graduate degrees in manufacturing, engineering, or related programs. Students can be part-time or full-time students, but must have at least a 2.0 GPA. Scholarships can be used for tuition, fees, lab, book or course fees. Awards range from $2,500 – $20,000.

While there are 60 different scholarships, students only need to complete ONE application for all eligible scholarships. 

Learn more about SME Education Foundation scholarships or begin the application at the SME Education Foundation website.

Scholarship applications are accepted each year from Nov. 1 – Feb. 1.

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