During the late 1950s, the Georgia State Department of Education began the construction of area technical schools. Several research projects and studies within the state had shown the great need for these schools. Industry was moving into the state while agricultural jobs were decreasing at an accelerated rate. Georgia was rapidly changing from an agrarian economy to an industrial economy. This necessitated a rapid transition from the previous general education to the training of technicians, craftsmen, skilled and semi-skilled workers. Georgia now has twenty-six technical colleges, located strategically throughout the state.

In 1964 planning began for the funding and construction of the Gainesville-Hall County Area Vocational Trade School. The school would be under the governance of the Hall County Area Board of Education. The Georgia State Board of Education adopted the charter of the institution in December 1964 and became a partner in the governance of the new vocational school which was renamed ten months later as Lanier Area Vocational-Technical School.

Lanier Technical College began its first classes in the fall of 1966. The first classes were conducted in local schools, churches, and civic buildings. In January 1967 the classes were moved into a 47,000 square foot administrative and classroom building. During the mid-1970s, Lanier Technical College's facilities were expanded to include a modern industrial training facility and 20,000 square feet of classroom, shop, and administrative space. An additional 26,000 square foot annex building was added in 1981. In 1996 an additional 47,000 square foot classroom building was added. The Forsyth Campus is composed of two buildings. This 57,000 square foot facility opened in 1998. Three other campuses followed. In 2002 a campus was opened in Winder; in 2003 a campus was opened in Commerce; and in 2005 a campus was opened in Dawsonville. Also, in 2005 Lanier Technical College established its presence in cooperation with Hall County Board of Education, at the Lanier Career Center in Gainesville.

Lanier Technical College provides Adult Education classes in an eight a seven-county area. Many classes are taught on our existing Forsyth and Jackson campuses; however, GED and ESL classes are also held in specialized facilities in Banks, Barrow, Dawson, Hall and Lumpkin Counties. In 2003, we opened a new facility in Lumpkin County. In 2007 an additional Adult Education Center opened in Banks County, and in 2008 another Center opened in Dawson County. In 2014, the Hall County facility divided to house ELS instruction at the Stallworth Street location in Gainesville and GED instruction at Wood’s Mill Adult Education Center in Gainesville. When the College opened the new Barrow Campus in 2015, the old campus converted to the Winder-Barrow Adult Education Center.

In 2006 The Governor's Center for Innovation in Manufacturing Excellence opened at the college's Oakwood campus. This center provides research, training, and support services in advanced manufacturing techniques. Also, in 2006 The Manufacturing Development Center opened in the Featherbone Communiversity campus in Gainesville. The Manufacturing Development Center is attached operationally to the Center of Innovation and is an incubator devoted to assisting and renting space to small start-up companies specializing in manufacturing.

In 2006 the Georgia General Assembly approved funding for a Health Science and Economic Development Center at the Lanier Technical College Forsyth Campus. Construction for that facility began in late 2008 with completion in October 2010.

In 2008 the General Assembly approved funding for a classroom addition at the Dawson Campus. Construction for the new facility began in July 2011 and it opened on August 20, 2012, the first day of Fall Semester 2012

Lanier Technical College expanded its service delivery area in July 2002 to include Barrow County. The Winder-Barrow campus evolved through a partnership with the City of Winder, Barrow County government, Barrow County Board of Education, and the Barrow County Industrial Development Authority. The 25,000 square foot facility was located in the heart of downtown Winder and had a student enrollment of approximately 300 credit students. Ground was broken on June 25, 2014 for a new $16,000,000, high tech campus, which opened on January 7, 2015 at 965 Austin Road, Winder, GA 30680, near the intersection of Highways 316 and 53.