Why Becoming a Plumbing Apprentice Might Be Better Than Attending College
When it comes to paying for college, the rules of the game have changed drastically in recent years. College costs are growing at an alarmingly fast rate, and student loan debt now tops $1 trillion.
As a result, those who invest in their education now discover that they need to earn more money after graduating than ever before just to cover the interest on their loans. What's really frustrating is that many of these students graduate with degrees that are not even relevant to today's job market.
If you're still facing this dilemma or if you're looking into your next educational move, then look no further than the plumbing profession. There are three good reasons why becoming a plumber might be better than attending college.
The first reason is that plumbers make very good money. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary for a plumber in 2020 was $51,590. That's more than twice as much as what a college graduate working in information technology (IT) made and it ranks #16 on CareerCast's list of America's best-paying jobs for 2021.
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What's also great about becoming a plumber is that even if you're interested mainly in entering this career right out of high school, there are still plenty of options. For example, if you want more time to focus on your academics before deciding whether or not to become a professional tradesman then you can look into plumbing apprenticeships.
Apprenticeship is a great way to discover if you like the work while you earn money, instead of paying tuition and accumulating student loan debt. On average, plumbing apprentices make $16.81 an hour during their first year of training, which adds up to around $34,300 per year. This process can last anywhere from three to four years depending on your state's requirements or possibly even less if you decide that it's not for you. If so, then congratulations! You've learned what it takes to be a professional plumber without owing anyone any money.
Not bad for only putting forth the effort required to change schools in your senior year of high school. And when compared with college, this option allows you to learn faster and better without the financial pressures of student debt.
If you can't see yourself pursuing your apprenticeship until after graduating high school, then there is great news for you too. Plumbers are in such high demand right now that many companies accept applications from college students who have a few years under their belts . In fact, a survey conducted by the National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB) revealed that 60% of homebuilders currently employ at least one person who started out as a laborer or apprentice!
This statistic has received increasing attention among millennials mainly because it's an excellent example of how rewarding an investment in your career outside of can be. In other words, it's a great way to offset the cost of tuition and student loan debt. However, it should be noted that college overall still offers better job security than your overall employment prospects.
While there are no guarantees, having a degree shows future employers that you have at least some level of commitment to learning . That means someone who has already invested four years of their life in higher education probably won't disappear after they receive their first paycheck.
On the other hand, many people find themselves with thousands of dollars in debt without any real experience or marketable skills . Even if they do end up finding employment quickly, they are likely to lose that job during the next economic recession.