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Starting a Private Career School in Washington

First steps

Determining if your vocational training program is required to be licensed.
If you are a provider offering a vocational education training program to the general public with a program length of more than three days, and charging tuition, you may need to obtain a "Private Vocational School License" to comply with the State's Private Vocational School Act. You'll want to take the “self-test” and send it to us, amanda.dell@wtb.wa.gov, to determine your requirements. If you have more specific questions please contact our Consumer Protection Unit for more information, 360-709-4600.

What's next

If the questionnaire determines you need a license to operate a private career school in Washington State, or to advertise your school in Washington, you'll need to participate in a new school orientation before applying. If you haven’t already, you will need to:

  • Finally, be sure to comply with any local ordinances governing businesses in the city or county where you plan to operate.

Please review the New School Orientation PowerPoint. If you need further clarification, a call-in conference style orientation is available monthly, see dates below. Please contact the Consumer Protection Unit for dial-in information, 360-709-4600. Space is limited, you must preregister with staff to ensure your place on the call.

  • May 12, 2017
  • June 15, 2017
  • July 20, 2017
  • August 17, 2017
  • September 21, 2017
  • October 19, 2017
  • November 16, 2017
  • December 21, 2017

We recommend you familiarize yourself with the private vocational school licensing statute,and regulations. You can download the orientation materials here:


Online application
After you have completed these necessary first steps, you’ll be able to fill out an online application. Please contact staff, 360-709-4600 for a user name and password.

Back to main Private Career School page

Opening a school in Oregon?
Get info on state requirements.

Note: The application process takes an average of 60 days from the time the complete application and fees have been received, pending prior applications.



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