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Return On Your Investment - Oklahoma CareerTech graduates add $3.5 billion to the state’s economy.

CareerTech graduates are hired sooner and advance quicker in their careers than those with only a high school education.

Research results looking at the impact on lifetime income gain estimates revealed students who complete full-time CareerTech programs in technology centers could expect to earn significantly more than those with no education beyond high school. Each year these CareerTech graduates contribute more than $2 billion of additional income earned.

  • CareerTech graduates earn and save more money during a lifetime than those with only a high school diploma.

Of the 11,680 students completing full-time CareerTech training in the FY02 study, an expected $1.8 billion will be added to their lifetime income stream. Income gains will produce sizeable yearly economic ripple effects and support an estimated $990 million in future earnings for other workers, or a total income gain of more than $2 billion as a result of training.

Other key findings indicate the typical 25-year-old who completes a CareerTech full-time program can expect to add more than $152,000 (in current dollars) to their lifetime earnings stream, compared to those completing no additional education beyond high school.

  • The entry wage of CareerTech graduates is about 15 percent higher than high school graduates.

The study revealed that those completing full-time programs earn an estimated hourly wage of $10.47, or about 12 percent more than those of similar age with no education beyond high school. Hourly wage rates of $12.46 are significantly higher for adults, average age of 30 years, who complete full-time programs at technology centers than those completing high school, average age of 18 years, who earn $7.58.

The programs offering the highest reported post-training hourly rate are MRI technician, $25.78; respiratory care, $24.27; radiology technician, $22.17; physical therapist assistant, $18.10; database administrator, $17.93; law enforcement training, $16.45; orthotics/prosthetics technician, $15,84; and aviation maintenance, $15.52

In March 2013 economist Mark Snead with the Center for Applied Economic Research at Oklahoma State University updated a cost-benefit analysis of CareerTech career majors. According to the study annual benefits to the Oklahoma economy are $3.5 billion. 


  • CareerTech graduates enter the labor force quicker than high school graduates.
  • CareerTech graduates and are more likely to become a professional or manager than high school graduates.
  • Many CareerTech graduates continue their education and earn higher education degrees.
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