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Rockford Career College

1 Campus
20 Programs

We’re here to put you to work.

Since 1862, Rockford Career College has been helping students succeed in starting new careers. Students gather here in Rockford in a friendly, small-class environment that feels like home. That means you’ll get plenty of one-on-one attention unlike a big school. You’ll learn from highly-qualified and caring instructors all of whom have real-world experience in their field. Classes are highly hands-on so you can get a feel for what you’re learning.

All of us here at Rockford Career College are here to help you succeed, whether it’s our free tutoring, helpful financial aid options, or connecting you with businesses for that great job. For over 160 years, our goal has remained the same: To give you the skills and knowledge to quickly become competitive in your high-demand career field.

Rockford Career College offers programs in six career fields:

  • Animal Sciences
  • Business
  • Medical
  • Legal
  • Skilled Trades
  • Online

What distinguishes us from other schools is our commitment to your success through personalized education. We’ll be with you every step of the way, from your first day of school through to graduation and beyond.

Available Programs

  • Construction Administration
    Building Systems, Construction, and Manufacturing

    Work with your hands, work outdoors and launch your career in Construction Administration. Generally speaking, construction management is a professional service that oversees the end-to-end aspects of a construction project. Construction administration may include:

    • Oversight of a project’s schedule.
    • Interpreting blueprints.
    • Budget and quality management of construction site’s development.
    • Maintaining a safe work environment and ensuring the safety of your team.

    Prior to getting into construction management, professionals typically have some experience in a given area of construction, manufacturing or a given trade. Our online program is designed for people who already have 54 credit hours in a skilled trade concentration and in as little as 7 months you will learn:

    • In-depth analysis of quality control and project supervision.
    • Advanced techniques for project planning and contract management.
    • In-depth analysis of quality control and project supervision.
    • Dedicated study of crew leadership and safety management.
    • General education course work to meet the requirements of an associate degree.

  • Electrical Technician
    Building Systems, Construction, and Manufacturing

    In today’s world, just about everything we do is in some way, shape or form owed to the work of an electrician. Without them, we couldn’t see in the dark, power up a computer or go online to read this page. Electrical Technicians are responsible for duties such as:

    • Wiring new construction sites for electrical use.
    • Installing electrical wiring and outlets.
    • Repairing or upgrading electrical systems.
    • Interpreting blueprints and maintaining safety protocols.

    Electrical Technicians primarily focus on the build, repair, safety, inspection and installation of electrical components and systems. Typically, this role works under the supervision of either an Electrician or an Electrical Engineer.

    One of the best ways to enter the electrical field is through a diploma program. The Rockford Career College Electrical Technician Program is designed to provide an opportunity for students to develop knowledge and skills relevant and required in an Electrical Technician context. Our program can be completed in just 10 months and will prepare you to:

    • Grasp electrical safety laws and regulations.
    • Establish safety protocols and best practices on a job site.
    • Understand conduit bending, AC/DC theory, motor controls and operations.
    • Utilize transformers, branch and feeder calculations to establish new electrical systems.

  • Heating Ventilation Air Conditioning and Refrigeration
    Building Systems, Construction, and Manufacturing

    Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration, often abbreviated as HVAC/R, is a skilled trade, in high demand and a wonderful career choice for those who enjoy working with their hands. A qualified HVAC/R technician has duties which include:

    • Installing heating and cooling systems.
    • Maintaining and repairing heating and cooling systems.
    • Providing excellent customer service for commercial and residential clientele.
    • Studying blueprints and assembling HVAC/R equipment.
    • Measuring and reporting on HVAC/R performance.
    • Evolving skill sets to the latest technology and understanding water-based heating systems, solar technology or other sub-domains of HVAC/R systems.

    To enter the HVAC/R field, it is important to have the proper training and understand safety protocols. One of the best ways to gain this knowledge is through an HVAC/R dedicated diploma program. Our program can be completed in just 10 months and will prepare you to:

    • Problem-solve and troubleshoot HVAC/R equipment and systems.
    • Complete required safety courses, necessary within the skilled trade for employment.
    • Be introduced to various systems and brands common to the industry.
    • Learn common terminology and procedures related to the HVAC/R field.

  • Welding
    Building Systems, Construction, and Manufacturing

    From construction to automotive, welding is an essential component of numerous industries and a necessary step in the construction of a great many structures. Simply put, welding is the process of joining metal parts into one individual unit through the use of heat. Duties of welders include:

    • Interpreting and diagnosing blueprints prior to construction.
    • Sourcing appropriate materials to progress a project.
    • Measuring and cutting metallic materials to spec.
    • Joining individual parts to construct a specific design.
    • Ensuring safety protocols are met and delivering high-quality products.

    If you like problem solving and working with your hands, while also enjoying a growing career field, welding may be the perfect career option for you.

    Welders are highly skilled and a great way to get the training you need is through the Rockford Career College diploma program. Our hands-on Welding program can be completed in as little as 10 months and will prepare you to:

    • Develop knowledge and skills relevant to the welding process.
    • Study the essentials of welding theory.
    • Grasp SMAW and GTAW specifications.
    • Learn the steps for thermal cutting, material crafting and related skills of the trade.
    • Gain competency in pipe welds.

  • Animal Welfare Business Administration
    Medicine and Health Care

    Love animals? Well, Animal Welfare Administration may offer the perfect career choice. Animal Welfare Administration is essential for the well-being of pets everywhere and caring for animals when owners or former owners cannot. Animal Welfare Administration involves:

    • Learning how animals cope with the conditions of their environment.
    • Gauging animal welfare, identifying potential risks to animals and mitigating those risks.
    • Fully understanding the essentials of animal care such as health & nutrition, animal ethics & law and pet behavior characteristics.
    • Providing customer service to pet owners through outstanding shelter management and client communications
    • Improving the lives of the animals under your care.

    While there are multiple avenues to enter Animal Welfare Administration, one of the best ways to get a leg up in the field is through related education and course work. Our Animal Welfare Administration program can be completed in as little as 9 months. You will learn:

    • The nature and process of animal shelter medicine, infectious disease, animal anatomy and physiology.
    • Coping techniques to improve and control animal behavior and animal enrichment.
    • Common veterinary terminology and procedure.
    • Proper facility management, volunteer management and customer service.

  • Veterinary Assisting & Grooming
    Medicine and Health Care

    Caring for animals is not only virtuous; it’s also an interesting and great career choice. Veterinary Assistant and Grooming typically involves:

    • Caring and nurturing for animals and tending to their daily needs.
    • Maintaining a clean and safe environment for animals.
    • Understanding the common language of Veterinary professionals.
    • Handling and restraining animals in an ethical manner.
    • Providing proper animal nutrition.

    A Veterinary Assistant career is one of the fastest paths to enter Veterinary services. Veterinary Assistants enjoy a diverse work environment and are critically important to the expanding industry of animal care.

    Some people just have a knack for communicating with animals. If you are one of these people, one of the best ways to start a career in the animal services is through a diploma program. At Rockford Career College, our Diploma in Veterinary Assistant and Grooming can be completed in just 12 months and has been carefully designed to:

    • Provide advanced lessons in professionalism, communication, and collaboration skills in a veterinary setting.
    • Identify and describe the legal and ethical standards, guidelines, and regulations pertinent to the veterinary assistant field.
    • Learn critical knowledge of anatomy, physiology, and medical terminology in small animals as it relates to a veterinary assistant profession.
    • Explain and perform appropriate administrative tasks effectively.

    In addition to attendance in all courses, students will be required to complete out-of-class assignments. These assignments include reading, exercises and problem solving, projects, and presentations. A student can anticipate out-of-class activities that equal to about two (2) hours for every one (1) hour of lecture.

  • Dental Assisting
    Medicine and Health Care

    Who doesn’t love a great smile? Dental Assistants are a sought after and strong contributing member of the overall dental team. Dental Assistants typically work in a comfortable dental office location in cities, suburbs and smaller towns. Dental assisting involves:

    • Working as part of a team to provide patient care.
    • Processing samples and performing laboratory functions.
    • Collecting billing and insurance information from patients.
    • Advising patients on proper oral hygiene.
    • Performing administrative and other such duties to support the clinic.

    A great way to launch your dental career is through a diploma program. Our diploma can be completed in just 10 months and has been carefully designed to:

    • Provide training in didactic, laboratory and clinical processes.
    • In-depth teachings of common dental procedures.
    • Instruction for dental office administration.
    • Gain knowledge of chairside assisting and infection control in an oral environment.

  • Medical Assistant
    Medicine and Health Care

    Few healthcare functions would be possible without Medical Assistants. This varied and fundamentally important career, is critical in providing services such as:

    • Working alongside physicians and nurses to provide administrative support.
    • Measuring and recording vital signs.
    • Ensuring stellar patient experiences through appointment scheduling, cleansing rooms and processing customer data.
    • In some cases, obtaining patient samples.
    • Helping patients improve healthcare outcomes and improve lives.

    Due to the complexities of healthcare and the importance of patient care, a diploma program is a great way to gain fundamental industry knowledge to launch a healthcare career. Our diploma program can be completed in just 10 months and has been carefully designed to provide:

    • Instruction in both clerical and clinical best practices and skills.
    • Development of medical communication and critical thinking.
    • Includes a 160-hour externship designed to gain hands-on experience.
    • Real-life examples of common challenges in the healthcare world.

  • Surgical Technology
    Medicine and Health Care

    Looking for a fast-paced, exciting career? This is it. A Surgical Technician assists with all manner of operating room (OR) procedures and patient care. They are critical to pre-operative processes and ensure the sterilization of equipment and the room itself. Some of their duties include:

    • Organizing pre-operative equipment and ready the OR for surgery.
    • Assisting surgeons during surgical procedures.
    • Preparing and administering medications, assisting in retracting tissues and passing surgical tools as necessary.
    • Applying bandages and removing patients after an operation.
    • Participating in the sterilization of equipment.

    Surgical Technology offers a rewarding career. To enter this field, one of the best paths is through an accredited degree program. Our program can be completed in just 18 months and will prepare you through:

    • Advanced studies in anatomy, microbiology and physiology.
    • In-depth study of medical terminology and operating room procedures.
    • An externship in a healthcare setting, providing real-world experience.
    • General education course work to meet the requirements of an associate degree.

  • Veterinary Technician
    Medicine and Health Care

    Animal Sciences

    Helping animals in their critical hour of need is at the core of what a Veterinary Technician does. This hands-on profession, sometimes referred to as simply a Vet Tech or Veterinary Assistant, involves:

    • Providing critical support services for Veterinarians and animal hospital staff
    • Participating in lab tests and sampling and ensure equipment is ready for administering services.
    • Taking x-rays and performing physical exams prior to veterinary procedures.
    • Supervising and training personnel in the essentials of animal care.
    • Delivering exceptional customer service to pet owners.

    To gain employment as a Veterinary Technician or Veterinary Assistant, it is highly valuable to graduate from an accredited program and have passed the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE). At Rockford Career College, our program will focus on the core subjects you need to master to pass this exam, including:

    • Anesthesia
    • Emergency Medicine/Critical Care
    • Pharmacy & Pharmacology
    • Pain Management/Analgesia
    • Dentistry
    • Laboratory Procedures
    • Diagnostic Imaging
    • Animal Care & Nursing
    • Surgical Nursing

  • Healthcare Administration
    Healthcare Administration

    A Healthcare Administration Associate of Applied Science (AAS) is fascinating program of study that can open multiple doors for entry-level positions in the Healthcare field. Healthcare Administration AAS involves:

    • General patient care through improved efficiency and quality of care.
    • Working as part of a team to establish and exceed institutional goals.
    • Managing patient data and working with insurance providers.
    • Maintaining compliance with healthcare laws and regulations.
    • Helping patients improve healthcare outcomes and improve lives.

    This program is designed for individuals who have already completed some coursework in a Healthcare concentration or are graduates of related programs.

    There are few better and faster ways to gain the necessary knowledge and get a leg up in healthcare than through an Associate degree program. Our degree program can be completed in just 7 months and has been carefully designed to provide:

    • Advanced study of healthcare management and best practices.
    • Examination of diversity issues facing today’s healthcare professional.
    • Coursework on digital communication strategies, including social media.
    • Oral, written communications and ethics courses.

  • Medical Office Billing and Coding
    Healthcare Administration

    If you love details and are always the dependable one in your group of friends, Medical Office Billing and Coding may be the perfect career choice. In the rapidly growing medical industry, Medical Record Specialists are needed to:

    • Process and transcribe diagnoses, treatments and patient procedures.
    • Standardize payer codes for government and commercial reimbursement.
    • Work as part of a team to meet medical reimbursement cycle goals.
    • Act as a key liaison between providers and insurers.
    • Help patients improve healthcare outcomes and improve lives.

    Medical Office Billing & Coding is highly complex and detailed work. To thrive in this environment is helpful to have the necessary background and fundamental knowledge necessary to succeed in the role. Our degree program can be completed in just 10 months and has been carefully designed to provide:

    • Real-world best practices for processing medical data.
    • Understand medical coding and the language of a healthcare office.
    • Understand medical coding and the language of a healthcare office.
    • Classes in CPT, ICD and HCPS coding and insurance claim processing.

  • Practical Nursing

    Practical Nursing, often referred to as Licensed Practical Nursing (LPN), is a very rewarding career and many are even considered as heroes in their communities. Practical Nurses have the power to change lives through their actions and are typically responsible for:

    • Providing basic nursing care and being responsible for patient comfort.
    • Checking blood pressure, changing bandages or other patient needs.
    • Monitoring and reporting patient vitals to doctors and other medical staff.
    • Under certain circumstances, administering medications.

    One of the most common paths to become a Licensed Practical Nurse is through a diploma program. This approach provides invaluable lessons that aid in preparing for the NCLEX exam and help you launch a career in practical nursing. Our diploma program can be completed in just 14 months and has been carefully designed to:

    • Provide necessary training to pass the NCLEX exam.
    • Studies in anatomy, pharmacology and nutrition.
    • Course work in clinical skills, critical thinking, medical ethics and nursing care.
    • How to create a safe environment for patients, family and the community.

  • Accounting & Payroll Clerk
    Business, Marketing, and Communication

    Accounting and Payroll Clerks make companies tick and are an essential part of almost any business. This profession is a perfect fit for detail-oriented individuals who enjoy pouring over numbers and working in a comfortable office setting. Accounting and Payroll duties involve:

    • Auditing, processing and recording inbound and outbound transactions.
    • Processing payments and ensuring P&L inputs are correct.
    • Ensuring payroll information is accurate by collecting, calculating and entering data.
    • Verifying timekeeping information for hourly employees.
    • Calculating taxes and deductions for products or services rendered.

    Without Accounting Clerks employees would not be paid, materials could not be purchased and the business as a whole could not operate financially.

    There are several paths to starting a career in accounting and payroll. However, one of the best ways to begin is through a diploma program. Accounting & Payroll Diploma program can be completed in as little as 7 months and offer you the opportunity to learn invaluable tools such as:

    • Practice & System Fundamentals
    • Laws & Regulations
    • Payroll Processes and Procedures
    • Payroll Accounting
    • Computerized Accounting
    • Income Tax Accounting
    • And Other Business Related Topics

  • Business Administration
    Business, Marketing, and Communication

    The opportunities in business are endless for those driven to succeed in this environment. Business Administration is a course of study that broadly prepares you for a career in this exciting world. Those with a background in Business Administration can expect to be prepared for common entry-level office positions that involve::

    • Building spreadsheets and working with numbers.
    • Learning the fundamentals of computer systems and common programs.
    • Understanding the business environment, language and structure.
    • Developing presentations and creating business outlines.

    Securing employment in a business environment requires you to go above and beyond and stand out in a crowded field of job applicants. Our Business Administration program can be completed in as little as 8 months and you will learn invaluable skills such as:

    • Administration Practice Fundamentals
    • Approaches to Maximize Resources
    • Management of Time, Money and Technology
    • Oral and Written Communication Best Practices
    • Interpersonal Skills and Writing Adaptability
    • And Other Business Related Topics

  • Cannabis Administration
    Business, Marketing, and Communication

    If you love working with people and want a truly unique and empowering career opportunity, Cannabis Dispensary Administration is a great choice for you. This multifaceted career involves:

    • Knowing patient and customer needs and concerns and being able to connect with the best products to fulfill their needs
    • Using CBD to help improve the health needs of dogs with issues like pain management, arthritis, anxiety, seizures and even cancer
    • Operating point-of-sale systems and managing sales processes
    • Being knowledgeable about local, state and federal laws that regulate cannabis distribution
    • Having a firm grasp on foundational knowledge to allow you to pursue additional careers in the cannabis industry

    The medical marijuana industry is new and expanding at a rapid pace. There are many growth opportunities for individuals interested in the cannabis dispensary field.

    In the program at Rockford Career College, you will learn skills that will make you a valuable employee while standing out from other applicants. In less than a year, you will be empowered to go further in your career by:

    • Enabling you with the ability to plan, purchase and manage inventories
    • Identifying needs and impacts on future customers
    • Teaching you the cannabis laws in your state
    • Providing critical knowledge on the medical use of marijuana
    • Developing foundational business management practices and approaches

  • Human Resource Administration
    Business, Marketing, and Communication

    If you are a “people person” and enjoy working with others, then Human Resource Administration, or as often referred HR Administration, may be the perfect field to advance your career. Human Resources is one of the primary divisions in corporate and business settings and typically involves duties such as:

    • Researching industry and state employment trends to locate potential talent.
    • Working as part of a team to ensure open positions are filled with qualified candidates.
    • Introducing new employees to your business and communicating specific steps in the application and employment process.
    • Some job functions may also include project management, problem-solving, presentations, reporting and assisting with employee surveys and communications.

    Human Resource Administration is a great field that offers numerous avenues to grow your career. Plus, as a Human Resource professional you will be a deciding factor in helping others find a great career for themselves.

    There are many ways to enter the Human Resource field, but like many positions, these roles are highly competitive. One of the best ways to stand out from the crowd is to distinguish yourself through your credentials. At Rockford Career College, our Human Resource Administration diploma can be completed in just 10 months and has been carefully designed to:

    • Prepare you through course work to demonstrate the skills employers are looking for in this field.
    • Introduce topics such as Human Resource Management, the Staffing and Hiring Process, Change Management and Employee Benefit Design.
    • Gain knowledge of employment law as it relates to the workplace.
    • Understand diversity and its importance in the workplace.

  • Paralegal Studies
    Legal, Law Enforcement, and Emergency Services

    Behind every successful verdict and in every area of law, a paralegal more than likely played a significant role in the outcome. Paralegals are indispensable members of the legal system and fulfill a number of essential roles in this fast-paced environment, including:

    • Providing tactical support to attorneys
    • Researching legal precedent
    • Preparing legal documents for court filings
    • Organizing and Coordinating law office activities
    • In some cases, investigative work.

    Due to the highly competitive job market, one of the best ways is to become a Paralegal is through a diploma program. specific degree. Such a program can be completed in just 10 months and provides essential information to launch your career such as:

    • Understanding fundamental computer software programs related to the legal field.
    • Law office terminology and typical procedural edict.
    • Legal research and writing techniques.
    • Civil litigation, torts, probate, criminal and family law basics.
    • Mock depositions to sharpen skills and become familiar with the courtroom environment.

  • Office Addiction Counseling and Social Advocacy
    Education and Human Services

    Addiction Counseling is all about improving the lives of those struggling with drugs and alcohol, suffering from eating disorders or other behavioral issues. Addiction Counselors or Addiction Counseling Techs are critical members of the support system for those in need and this career typically involves:

    • Overseeing individual or group therapy focused on addiction recovery and behavioral improvements.
    • Providing emotional support for individuals.
    • Helping patients navigate the various stages of addiction recovery.
    • Being a constant supporting shoulder and mentor.

    Rockford Career College offers a pathway for those interested in becoming Addiction Counselors. Our Addiction Counseling Technician diploma can be completed in just 9 months and has been carefully designed to:

    • Learn and apply theories of addiction, substance assessment, and counseling techniques.
    • Apply ethics and boundary considerations and practice an understanding of diversity and tolerance for others.
    • Develop motivational interviewing skills.
    • Understand the neurobiology of addiction, family addiction dynamics, and special population considerations in addiction counseling.
    • Demonstrate knowledge of group process, case management, crisis intervention, trauma and recovery, and vocational rehabilitation.

  • Early Childhood Education
    Education and Human Services

    Early Childhood Education involves:

    • Teaching social and emotional development to children.
    • Being knowledgeable of age-appropriate activities.
    • Recording individual learning progress of children in your care.
    • Recognizing signs of developmental delay in children with special needs.
    • Balancing each child’s individual needs and push children to their fullest potential.
    • Impacting each child’s growth as a future student.

    A multitude of studies suggest that early childhood is one of the most important learning periods in a child’s life. During this time period, high-quality developmental education can not only significantly impact a child’s ability to learn in later life, but also set the course for one’s opportunities in the future. For these overwhelming reasons, effective education during a child’s pre-school years requires careful training and is a highly-rewarding career.

    One of the best ways to start a career in Early Childhood Education is through a diploma program. At Rockford Career College, our Diploma in Early Childhood Education can be completed in just 6 months and has been carefully designed to:

    • Develop the knowledge, skills and behaviors necessary to gain employment as entry-level early childhood educators.
    • Course work designed to prepare students to work with young children of all abilities and special needs in a variety of settings.


Rockford Career College is proud to have achieved accreditation through the following:

Institutional Accreditation

Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges

Rockford Career College is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC). ACCSC is recognized by the United States Department of Education as the designated institutional accrediting body for over 650 post-secondary, trade and technical schools that provide education to over 150,000 students in a wide variety of vocational programs each year. 2017 marks 50 years of continuous recognition for ACCSC, including earning, in 2011 & 2016, consecutive five-year recognition grants from the U.S. Department of Education. ACCSC's scope of recognition with the U.S. Department of Education includes the accreditation of postsecondary, non-degree-granting institutions and degree-granting institutions, including those granting associate, baccalaureate and master's degrees, that are predominantly organized to educate students for occupational, trade and technical careers, and including institutions that offer programs via distance education.

Rockford Career College is approved by the Division of Private Business and Vocational Schools Division of the Illinois Board of Higher Education.


Financial Aid is available to those who qualify.

Campus Location

Campus Location