About private occupational schools

Private occupational schools prepare students for business or trade jobs.

Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 112, Section 263 defines a private occupational school as: 

A private school that charges tuition and offers courses to train people for jobs in business, trade, technical, or industrial fields. This includes schools that teach through mail, private business schools, private trade schools, and similar organizations.  

The law authorizes the Division of Occupational Licensure (DOL) to license private, post-secondary occupational schools operating in Massachusetts. The law does not apply to: 

  • Schools that grant degrees. However, DOL does license such schools’ non-degree programs offered through a third party. 
  • Schools that educate employees for free 
  • Schools specifically for training people with disabilities 
  • Schools offering online classes without a physical location in the state 
  • Recreational programs for fun, not job training 
  • Religious institutions providing religious education 
  • Classes held by public school districts 
  • Private schools for students in grades pre-kindergarten through 12 
  • Training provided by a vendor when purchasing a product, but no certificates or diplomas are given 

Contact   for About private occupational schools


To receive written instructions on how to submit an application, renew your license, change your name or address, request a duplicate license, or obtain a verification of license, please email us at: Email Office of Private Occupational School Education at occupational.schools@mass.gov




1000 Washington Street, 7th Floor, Boston, MA 02118

Help Us Improve Mass.gov  with your feedback

Please do not include personal or contact information.