This paper deals with the professional technical education in Brazil and its interface with the high school level preliminary education, which prepares students for higher education (in Brazil called secondary, second degree or middle education). The study also analyzes its space in the Brazilian scenery, generally showing its relation with preliminary education since 1930, when the educational system was instated, to the current days. For that purpose, a survey was done both on the legislation concerning general education and the professional one, as well as the analysis rated by experts from that field. The survey shows that the professional technical education takes upon different forms and functions in the national scenery, according to the political phases, configuring itself as independent and distinctive from the preliminary education of high school level, sometimes sharing the function of preparation for the continuity of the studies and sometimes even taking over both possibilities. At the current context, the professional technical education has varied roles, i.e., it can take over the integrated model with the preliminary education of secondary level, regarding professional qualification functions and formation for the continuity of the studies. On the other hand, it can also accomplish itself at a distinct course, concomitant or sequentially, focusing on professional technical formation. It was verified the absence of the consensus about the outline of the professional technical education in the Brazilian educational legislation, even during a same government, developing models that are repeated independently of the management, which makes difficult the delimitation of the professional secondary education in the Brazilian educational system.