Learn Real-World Skills at Berks Career & Technology Center

Berks Career & Technology Center (BCTC) is a public career and technical education school located in Berks County, Pennsylvania. BCTC has been providing career-focused education to high school students and adults in the community for over 50 years.

BCTC was established in 1968 to provide vocational training opportunities beyond the typical high school curriculum. The goal was to prepare students for in-demand careers and jobs in various technical fields. Over the decades, BCTC has expanded its program offerings and campuses to keep up with evolving workforce needs.

Today, the mission of BCTC is to empower students to acquire the technical knowledge and skills required for success in postsecondary education and the workplace. The school aims to provide an education grounded in academic, technical, and professional knowledge while developing students’ critical thinking, leadership, and teamwork abilities.

With a variety of program areas from healthcare and IT to manufacturing and construction, BCTC serves high school students from 18 partner school districts as well as adult learners. The school has a long history of graduating students ready to enter skilled trades, continue technical training, or pursue college degrees.

Programs Offered

Berks Career & Technology Center offers over 20 career and technical education programs across 3 campuses. Programs are organized into several focus areas:

  • Health Careers
    • Dental Careers
    • Health Careers
    • Sports Medicine & Exercise Science
    • Veterinary Science
  • Human Services
    • Cosmetology
    • Culinary Arts
    • Early Childhood Education
    • Advertising Art & Design
  • Engineering & Advanced Manufacturing
    • Auto Collision & Refinishing
    • Automotive Technology
    • Cabinetmaking & Millwork
    • Carpentry
    • Computer & Networking Technology
    • Drafting & Design Technology
    • Electrical Construction & Maintenance
    • Electronics Technology
    • HVAC & Refrigeration
    • Precision/CNC Machining
    • Welding Technology
  • Business & Communication Technology
    • Accounting
    • Business Management & Administration
    • Graphic Communications & Printing
    • Marketing & Business Education
    • Programming & Web Development

The center aims to provide high school students with hands-on career & technical training to prepare them for college and future careers. Students can earn industry certifications and college credits while in high school through these programs.

Campuses and Locations

The Berks Career & Technology Center has three campuses in Berks County, Pennsylvania:

  • Main Campus at 1057 County Road in Leesport, PA. This 156,000-square-foot facility houses many of the trade and technical programs including automotive technology, carpentry, cosmetology, culinary arts, health occupations, HVAC, masonry, plumbing, and welding. The campus has modern shops, salons, and kitchens to provide students with hands-on training.

  • Agricultural Campus on 3076 Seisholtzville Rd in Leesport, PA. This campus offers agricultural and environmental programs with facilities including greenhouses, barns, pastures, crops, and natural resources. Programs include veterinary science, agribusiness, horticulture, and more.

  • Public Safety Training Center at 1010 Fairview St in Reading, PA. This facility provides training for careers in criminal justice, firefighting, and emergency services. It features a firing range, burn building, tactical training center, firefighter training tower, and simulation equipment.

The BCTC also operates an Adult Education Center in Reading and a Cyber Academy for virtual learning. With multiple campus locations, BCTC serves students from several school districts across Berks County. The facilities provide career-focused programs in many industries utilizing modern equipment and technologies to prepare students for the workforce.


Berks Career & Technology Center offers a wide variety of career-focused programs to high school students and adults. Students attend BCTC for part of the day and take academic classes at their home high school.

Grading & Credits

At BCTC, students receive traditional A-F letter grades for their technical courses. Academic credits earned at BCTC are transferable to the home school district. Most programs award 3-4 credits per year. Upon completing a program, students earn a Proficiency Certificate indicating their skill level and competencies achieved. Some programs also provide the opportunity to earn industry-recognized certifications.


BCTC is accredited by the Council on Occupational Education (COE). This demonstrates adherence to high educational standards set for career and technical institutions. The school’s programs are aligned to industry needs and undergo regular review and updates. Many programs hold additional accreditations from industry organizations.

College Opportunities

BCTC has developed many articulation agreements with local colleges. This allows students to earn advanced college credits for the skills and knowledge gained in their BCTC program. Some graduates are even able to enter directly into the second year of an associate’s or bachelor’s degree program. These opportunities make BCTC an affordable head start on a college education and career path.


Berks Career & Technology Center has an open admissions policy for high school students residing in the 10 participating school districts. To be eligible, students must be enrolled in grades 10-12 at a participating high school.

The admissions process begins in January when prospective students and their parents are invited to open house events at each campus. This is an opportunity to explore the facilities, meet instructors, and learn more about the programs. Students then rank their top program choices on an application that is submitted in February.

Acceptance into competitive programs is based on grades, attendance records, discipline records, teacher recommendations, and standardized test scores. Students are notified of acceptance in March. The deadline to confirm enrollment is May 1st by submitting the registration fee. Late applications may be accepted if space remains available after the initial enrollment period.

BCCTC also offers adult education programs for both part-time and full-time students. Adults can enroll in their desired program at any time, provided they meet eligibility criteria like possessing a high school diploma or GED certificate. Placement tests may be required for some programs.

Tuition and Fees

The Berks Career & Technology Center (BCTC) offers its career and technical education programs to high school students tuition-free. As a public school entity, BCTC does not charge tuition or fees to enrolled high school students from participating school districts.

BCTC receives funding from the sending school districts based on the number of students attending each program. The 18 participating school districts support BCTC through tax revenues as authorized by the Pennsylvania School Code. No additional costs are incurred by students to attend BCTC programs.

Some BCTC programs require students to purchase consumable project supplies, uniforms, safety equipment, and tools. The total costs vary by program but generally range from $50 to $300 per year. BCTC assists students who may have difficulty purchasing required consumable supplies or uniforms.

Financial aid and scholarships do not apply to BCTC since it serve only high school students. However, BCTC provides information to students on scholarships and financial assistance for postsecondary education after high school graduation. Guidance counselors are available to help students identify and apply for relevant scholarships, grants, loans, and work-study opportunities.

Student Life

BCTC provides a range of services to support student’s academic success and personal growth:


Academic, career, and personal counseling helps students set goals and deal with issues.


Free peer and teacher tutoring assists students who need help in specific subjects. 

Health Services

The health room is staffed by a nurse for basic medical care, health education, and referrals.

Food Services

The cafeteria provides breakfast and lunch. There are microwaves for student use. 


Buses transport students to and from their home high schools each day.

Academic Support

Services like credit recovery, summer programs, and learning support help struggling students.

Job Placement

Assistance with resumes, interviews, apprenticeships, and college applications.

BCTC aims to provide a supportive environment where students can thrive socially and emotionally as well as academically. Student life activities play an important role in student engagement and success.


Berks Career & Technology Center has an excellent track record of preparing students for careers and higher education after graduation. The school maintains high graduation rates, with over 95% of students completing their programs each year. 

Beyond graduation, BCTC graduates have tremendous success transitioning into employment or continuing their education. The job placement rate for BCTC graduates is consistently around 90% within 6 months of completing their program. Graduates obtain jobs directly within the field they studied, gaining valuable real-world experience. Many students receive multiple job offers from local and regional employers.

In addition to joining the workforce, approximately 25% of BCTC graduates continue into some form of postsecondary education. Some students attend trade schools or apprenticeship programs to further specialize in their field of study. Many others pursue associate’s or bachelor’s degrees at colleges and universities. BCTC has partnerships with higher education institutions to help graduates transition seamlessly.

Overall, BCTC delivers exceptional outcomes for students investing in career and technical education. The data highlights that graduates gain the knowledge and skills needed to excel in the modern job market or further their studies after high school.

Notable Alumni

The Berks Career & Technology Center has produced many successful alumni over the years across its various programs of study. Here are some of the standout alumni from BCTC:

Eric Dill

A 1986 graduate of the Culinary Arts program, Eric went on to become an executive chef at high-end restaurants along the East Coast. He earned a Michelin star in 2008 while serving as head chef of a French restaurant in New York City. 

Sarah Myers

After completing BCTC’s Dental Assistant program in 1992, Sarah continued her education to eventually become a dentist. She now owns and operates a successful dental practice in Reading, PA, serving many families in her hometown community.

Michael Kohler

A 1998 Cosmetology program alum, Michael has become one of Hollywood’s most sought-after hair and makeup artists. His work has appeared on magazine covers, runways, and the red carpet. He won an Emmy award in 2015 for Outstanding Hairstyling.

Jessica Reyes

Jessica graduated from the Health Occupations program in 2005 and is now the head nurse in the intensive care unit at Reading Hospital. She is admired by colleagues for her skills and compassion. 

David Sampson

David graduated from the Carpentry program in 1999. He started his own construction company that has now completed projects throughout Berks County and beyond. His company prioritizes energy-efficient and environmentally friendly building techniques.

The success of these BCTC alumni highlights the quality of education and training provided by the school’s career-focused programs. Many graduates have gone on to accomplish great things in their chosen trades and fields.


For over 50 years, Berks Career & Technology Center has made an immense impact on the lives of thousands of students by providing a high-quality career and technical education. BCTC continues to evolve and expand its program offerings to equip students with the most relevant job skills and prepare them for fulfilling careers.  

With over 20 programs across 2 campuses and several other Berks County high schools, BCTC offers students essential hands-on learning in fields like health sciences, information technology, engineering, business, and agriculture. By merging rigorous technical instruction and general education, BCTC enables students to graduate both college-ready and career-ready.

BCTC has an outstanding track record of student outcomes. Year after year, close to 100% of BCTC graduates pursue postsecondary education or enter the workforce immediately after high school. Many students secure industry certifications, college credits, and jobs while still attending BCTC. The school’s impressive job placement rates demonstrate the real-world value of a BCTC education.

As industries evolve, BCTC plans to stay ahead of the curve by continually updating its curriculum and facilities. For example, BCTC recently expanded infrastructure for health science programs in response to strong local demand for healthcare workers. The school also integrates new technologies like robotics, automation, and 3D printing to equip students for the future job market.

With such a strong foundation and dedication to student success, Berks Career & Technology Center is poised to continue empowering young people in Berks County to reach their career goals for decades to come. For any student considering a technical career path, BCTC is an excellent place to launch.

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