NAHB: Advocating for trade careers

(This story was originally published by the National Association of Home Builders.)

Washington, DC—While you may be encouraging your child to attend college, there is another option you may not have considered: promising careers in the trade. Today’s craftsmen use technology in ways we could never have dreamed of, making a lot of money and building a lifelong career. Here are 10 reasons why you should encourage your high school student to enter the skilled crafts after graduation.

  1. Vocational school is less expensive than university
    While the average price of a university in the US is almost $10,000 per year for tuition alone, the trade school is only $5,000 to $15,000 in total for a certificate of completion or trade degree. Tuition does not take into account extras such as housing and textbooks. The trade school is so short that students typically do not need long-term housing.
  2. They can get started quickly (and make money)
    Most students complete trade school in just 12 to 18 months, with paid, on-the-job training in between apprenticeships. After a few weeks in school, your teen can earn money while gaining valuable work experience.
  3. The money is good
    While the average wage for skilled craftsmen varies according to their experience and skill level, the professions usually offer a fantastic starting salary and high income.
  4. The most skilled trade work comes with benefit packs
    In addition to the excellent pay, the most skilled craftsmen in the construction industry receive benefits with their compensation packages.
  5. Feel a sense of accomplishment every day
    Encouraging your child to take up a career means encouraging them to invest in a career that gives them a sense of accomplishment every day and shows tangible results from good work.
  6. The sky is the limit when it comes to job growth
    Entering a skilled trade means committing to several levels of an apprenticeship before becoming a certified travel companion. That means that once your child starts their career, they will be eligible for various promotions (and pay raises), provided they complete their education and work experience at any student level. Once they become a travel person, there are still plenty of opportunities for growth.
  7. There is room for everyone in the profession
    The skilled professions provide ample opportunities for women, men and minorities seeking long-term employment. In fact, it is predicted that by 2028 there will be more than 3 million job vacancies in the skilled professions.
  8. They can choose a job they love
    There are plenty of choices when it comes to working in the skilled crafts. From construction worker to painter to welder, there is a job for just about every interest and skill level.
  9. They get safety training
    Craftsmanship may sound like a dangerous career, but in most cases, employees receive continuous safety training and certifications to ensure they work safely and within the regulations of their industry.
  10. Some Skilled Occupations Are Near Recession Proof
    Utilities like electricity and plumbing aren’t going anywhere anytime soon, and even in a substantial economic downturn, there is always a demand for skilled workers who can work in these specialized areas.

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