Skilled Trades Career

Deciding what you want to do with your life can be daunting and scary. It’s a big decision. The first step in the right direction is to figure out things you like to do and then see if you can make a career out of them. You may feel pressure that the career has to come from a traditional 4-year degree, but that’s not the case! A technical college is a viable option to produce a happy and successful career.

Here are four benefits of choosing a career in the skilled trades according to The Art of Manliness.

  1. College is Cheaper + Shorter

A technical college is usually cheaper and always shorter than a traditional four year degree.

If a Bachelor’s degree is completely financed through grants and scholarships, it’s going to be cheaper. But what if it’s not? All in all, your average Bachelor’s degree is likely going to cost you over $100,000 if completely financed through loans (yikes!), while your average technical college is around $30,000 if financed entirely through student loans. Talk about savings!

If the cost alone doesn’t get you thinking about a technical college, the time saved might. Technical programs get you working in your field of choice in as little as six months to two years.

  1. Skilled Trades Pay Well

There is a common misconception that in order to have a well-paying career you must have at least a Bachelor’s degree, but that’s not the case! The range for the skilled trades (per hour) was $13-$34, for a median of $21/hour. For all other occupations, the range was $8-$39, for a median of $16/hour.

Here are the average salaries for programs offered at Oklahoma Technical College according to

  • Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics – $36,610
  • Diesel Service Technicians and Mechanics – $42,320
  • Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers – $43,640
  • Welders, Cutters, Solderers, and Brazers – $36,300

All of these are subjective, but a good starting place!

  1. Job Security

You’re always going to have a car or form of transportation and it is always going to need worked on. There will always be a need for central heating/cooling and refrigeration. We will always need welders to build and maintain things. The main thing here is – these careers aren’t going anywhere.

  1. Job Availability

A majority of workers in blue-collar careers are working their way towards retirement, meaning there will be an abundance of jobs that need to be filled. “In fact, in just the next two years, an expected 2.5 million middle-skill jobs (those that require less than a Bachelor’s degree but more than a high school diploma) will be added to the workforce, accounting for an incredible 40 percent of all job growth.”