Berufsbildende Schulen (Vocational schools), since the Education Act of 1962 general term for:
1) vocational schools up to age 14/15 Berufsschulen;
2) vocational middle schools: they take on students who have had eight years of compulsory schooling, usually after a standardized aptitude test. They provide students with a sound level of general education as well as with vocational training. A three-year course (minimum) is held equivalent to an apprenticeship certificate (Lehrabschlusspruefung). These schools offer technical, commercial and crafts courses (usually 4-year courses in mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, electronics, construction engineering, chemistry, textiles, wood, glass, graphics and in most art and craft subjects); there are lower-level commercial schools (Handelsschulen) with 3-year courses training students for commercial jobs; technical colleges with 3-year courses in domestic science and commercial skills as well as certain aspects of tourism and catering, colleges of fashion and dressmaking (4-year courses), colleges of hotel management (3-year courses training students for jobs in the hotel and catering industry as well as in tourist management), colleges of social studies (1 and 3-year courses, Training Colleges for Social Workers), colleges of agriculture and forestry (courses from two winter semesters up to four school years) Schools of Agriculture and Forestry), secretarial colleges (2-year courses), schools of home economics (2-year courses), schools of household management (1-year courses);
3) upper-level secondary schools: these take on students who have completed eight years of compulsory schooling and have passed a standardized aptitude test and provide them with a sound level of general education as well as with vocational training as a substitute for an apprenticeship certificate. The final exams of such schools entitle students to go to university, although in certain cases additional admission exams will have to be taken. Graduates of upper secondary schools of engineering and technology (Hoehere technische Lehranstalt), upper secondary schools of agriculture (Hoehere landwirtschaftliche Lehranstalt) with the exception of schools of agriculture and domestic science (Hoehere Lehranstalt fuer Land- und Hauswirtschaft) and of upper secondary schools of forestry (Hoehere Lehranstalt fuer Forstwirtschaft) acquire the right to the title "Ingenieur" (engineer) after at least three years of job experience. The upper secondary schools of technology and trades also belong to this group (Hoehere technische und gewerbliche Lehranstalten). They are usually divided in different branches: mechanical engineering, synthetics technology; electrical engineering, electronics; electronic data processing and organisation or industrial engineering; structural engineering, wood-processing and wood construction, carpentry and interior decoration and furnishing, chemistry, chemical engineering, silicate technology and processing of inorganic materials, textile chemistry, textile industry, reproduction and printing technology, photography and visual media, visual design and arts and crafts. There are also upper secondary schools of fashion and dressmaking, of tourism (Hoehere Lehranstalt fuer Tourismus), the Handelsakademie schools (commercial academies), which teach commercial skills for business and administration, upper secondary business schools (Hoehere Lehranstalt fuer wirtschaftliche Berufe) which provide specialised training in business management, dietetics, domestic science, social studies and health care, Hoehere land- und forstwirtschaftliche Lehranstalt ( Schools of Agriculture and Forestry);
4) vocational schools that take on students who have passed their secondary-school leaving examinations (Matura): Akademie fuer Sozialarbeit (Academy for Social Workers), which provides 6-semester courses ( Training Collegs for Social Workers), Kollegs (4-semester courses), special courses (1 to 4 semesters, provide special training or additional training for students who have passed their secondary-school leaving examinations or have completed their full vocational training elsewhere);
5) vocational schools for students who have completed their vocational training elsewhere (2 to 4 semesters): schools of the building trade, master classes or master schools, foremen's schools and other special courses.
A number of vocational middle and upper secondary schools also provide evening classes ( Abendschulen) or take specific handicaps into account, such as at the vocational college for the blind and visually challenged at Graz (Berufliche Lehranstalt fuer Sehbehinderte und Blinde), or at the special college for the vocational training of handicapped persons in Vienna (Sonderlehranstalt fuer die Berufsausbildung Behinderter) Schools for the Disabled).
Literature#ABC des berufsbildenden Schulwesens, ed. by the Ministry of Education and Art, 231994; H. Skala and. H. Schwarzer (eds.), Den Herausforderungen gewachsen, 1986.