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Blue Collar is the New White Collar: 3 Advantages of a Career in the Trades

As continuing education costs continue to reach all-time highs and the corporate landscape adapts to remote work and the apparent end of the tech boom, the appeal of blue-collar work grows larger. Here are three reasons you may want to ditch the suit-and-tie for a job in the trades:

  1. Education costs are significantly lower. Average tuition for a standard four-year bachelor’s degree at a public in-state college is $37,508 – and the average student at one of these universities is taking out over $30,000 in loans to obtain their degree. On top of that, less than half of the students seeking bachelor's degrees graduate in that 4-year period. Learning a technical trade gives you options when it comes to education. Tuition for a 2-year associate degree at a public in-state college will cost, on average, $7,002. And there are other paths apart from traditional education, such as apprenticeship, that save you even more money.

  2. Earn as you learn with apprenticeship programs. Apprenticeships allow you to work and earn wages as you learn your trade. For example, HVAC Apprentices earn a median income of $16.38 per hour, with wages rising to an average of $23.38 per hour when you graduate from apprenticeship to become a technician. In 2021 there were 593,690 apprentices in the United States in 27,385 programs – 8,050 of those apprentices worked in HVAC Maintenance and Installation.

  3. The trades will always be here, no matter how much the world changes. We will always need workers to maintain our world, be it through landscaping, HVAC maintenance, plumbing, mortuary works, electrical repair, and more. While major tech companies such as Meta, Twitter, Netflix, Microsoft, and Tesla are cutting their employee base down through layoffs of hundreds or thousands of employees, trade workers have a long track record of job stability, and trade jobs are projected to continue growing through 2024 and beyond.

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