Vo­ca­tional school­ing

Paving the way to higher-pay­ing jobs

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - CLASSIFIED MARKETPLACE -

Many stu­dents be­lieve that the next nat­u­ral step af­ter grad­u­at­ing from high school is to go off to col­lege. Sec­ondary ed­u­ca­tion has be­come such a com­mon tran­si­tion that many par­ents be­gin sav­ing for col­lege tu­ition as soon as their chil­dren are born. Al­though col­lege can be the next chap­ter in a stu­dent’s ed­u­ca­tion, many teenagers still choose to at­tend trade school.

Tele­vi­sion per­son­al­ity Mike Rowe says the coun­try is in the midst of a skilled la­bor short­age be­cause work­ers lack the nec­es­sary train­ing to fill the hun­dreds of thou­sands of avail­able jobs. Lack of in­for­ma­tion may drive the no­tion that trade jobs are noth­ing more than a backup plan if col­lege doesn’t pan out. How­ever, by re­al­iz­ing that trade jobs, along with short-term vo­ca­tional train­ing, is a smart in­vest­ment — and even­tu­ally a lu­cra­tive ca­reer choice — at­ti­tudes about trade schools and la­bor­in­ten­sive jobs may shift.

A great num­ber of col­lege grad­u­ates en­ter the work­force with de­grees that may not help them land jobs. And th­ese stu­dents typ­i­cally carry thou­sands of dol­lars in tu­ition debt. Many col­lege grads are un­der­em­ployed and work­ing in jobs that aren’t even in their fields of study. Ca­reer and tech­ni­cal schools help stu­dents de­velop spe­cial­ized skills that make grad­u­ates im­me­di­ately mar­ketable in their cho­sen fields, and trade salaries can be very com­pet­i­tive.

The fol­low­ing are some of the fastest-grow­ing and high­est-pay­ing trade ca­reers to con­sider, based on data from the Bureau of La­bor Statis­tics and Forbes magazine.

Con­struc­tion man­ager

Con­struc­tion pro­fes­sion­als with great or­ga­ni­za­tional and com­mu­ni­ca­tion skills can en­joy high earn­ing po­ten­tial as con­struc­tion man­agers. Ex­pected growth of this ca­reer over the next 10 years is 5 per­cent. The av­er­age in­come of a con­struc­tion man­ager is $87,000. How­ever, with a top-end hourly pay of around $75 per hour, it’s easy for man­agers to earn into six fig­ures.

El­e­va­tor in­staller and re­pairer

This ca­reer is listed as a top-earner. Th­ese em­ploy­ees can earn any­where from $74,000 to $105,000 per year. El­e­va­tors are in de­mand as ur­ban cen­ters in­crease, so this ca­reer has stay­ing po­ten­tial.

Ro­tary drill op­er­a­tor

The oil and gas in­dus­try re­lies on ro­tary drill op­er­a­tors to ex­tract oil or nat­u­ral gas from un­der­ground sources. Salaries for th­ese jobs can range from $30 to $40 per hour.

Den­tal hy­gien­ist

Clean­ing teeth and in­spect­ing mouths for dis­ease is an im­por­tant role. Job growth is still hov­er­ing around 20 per­cent, and hy­gien­ists can ex­pect to earn up to $98,000.

Elec­tri­cians and plumbers

Elec­tri­cians and plumbers are con­tin­u­ally in de­mand. With a short amount of trade school and ap­pren­tice­ship, it’s pos­si­ble to earn up to $90,000 per year.

Th­ese are just a few of the many skilled pro­fes­sions that vo­ca­tional schools pre­pare their stu­dents for. Schol­ar­ships and fund­ing pro­grams are avail­able to help make vo­ca­tional train­ing an af­ford­able pos­si­bil­ity

Photo by Metro Cre­ative

There are many re­ward­ing ca­reers avail­able that do not re­quire a col­lege de­gree. For ex­am­ple, qual­ifi ed den­tal hy­gien­ists have the po­ten­tial to earn as much as $98,000 an­nu­ally.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.