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Old 04-10-2021, 09:34 AM
 
853 posts, read 846,391 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dingo Gibby View Post
First off, I think too many posters are confusing working as a tradesperson versus being a successful business owner. Owning and running a business is actually another job, and not all competent tradespeople have the drive, skills or finances to be successful business owners.
Excellent point. Those that lack drive and motivation will struggle no matter what career they choose. Too many posters act like this is a one size fits all decision or post with a narrow mind.

There are two basic advantages to the trades over traditional 4 year college:

1) Trade don't cost anything to get into and you get paid while learning on the job. You don't learn trades at a tech college, you apprentice out and get paid while learning your trade. The college student is losing out on 4 years of wages (opportunity cost) along with the cost of tuition. You have to weigh the benefits of the career opportunities post college vs the trades against the costs of college. This is a different calculation for everyone.

2) The trades offer the easiest and most straightforward path to business ownership and all the financial benefits that confers. A tradesperson is going to learn a lot of the skills needed to open their own shop by working for someone else. A sharp person is going to pick up on that and figure out how to go out on their own. Most people won't but those are the same people that would be worker drones at Amazon or in an office.
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Old 04-10-2021, 06:03 PM
 
Location: San Francisco
8,433 posts, read 3,692,094 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph_Kirk View Post
Admin assistants is "pink collar" work.

A "trade" does not necessarily denote someone with dirty fingernails.
Agreed, but that's part of the 'stigma' i.e. one who works with their 'hands' as opposed to their brain. Hence the reason it isn't 'heavily promoted/discussed' within the context of (basic) education.
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Old 04-10-2021, 06:36 PM
 
Location: Arizona
2,548 posts, read 2,191,634 times
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I'm not sure if you would consider truck driving as a trade, but a driver has to know a lot about laws in the different states, the mechanical layout of his truck and trailer, load distribution/weights, and it takes a lot of practice to get the hang of a manual transmission with 13 gears (if that's the type of tractor you have). Plus, it can be a boring and lonely job. No wonder there's a chronic shortage of drivers.
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Old 04-10-2021, 07:04 PM
 
28,559 posts, read 18,560,412 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CorporateCowboy View Post
Agreed, but that's part of the 'stigma' i.e. one who works with their 'hands' as opposed to their brain. Hence the reason it isn't 'heavily promoted/discussed' within the context of (basic) education.
Most trades are a considerable amount of hands and brains, particularly at the "master" level.

You think it doesn't take brains to figure out the proper electrical or plumbing layout of a commercial building or even a residence? Do you know how to calculate the legal and safe "fill" of a 3-inch conduit that you determine must pass four 20-amp circuits and eight 15-amp circuits? Or how to calculate the necessary ventage needed for a plumbing segment that will contain two full and one half-bath?

That takes a much knowledge as building and maintaining a server farm.
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Old 04-10-2021, 07:04 PM
 
Location: Oregon, formerly Texas
10,001 posts, read 7,139,323 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slater View Post
I'm not sure if you would consider truck driving as a trade, but a driver has to know a lot about laws in the different states, the mechanical layout of his truck and trailer, load distribution/weights, and it takes a lot of practice to get the hang of a manual transmission with 13 gears (if that's the type of tractor you have). Plus, it can be a boring and lonely job. No wonder there's a chronic shortage of drivers.
And not all that well paid I would add. The local and short range truckers aren't paid very well. The truckers that make real bank are the long haul ones who face the worst of the negative aspects of the job you mentioned.

I've known a few truck drivers, and few were able to do it for a career because of the exhausting nature of the work that they said just wasn't worth the money.
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Old 04-10-2021, 09:46 PM
 
Location: San Francisco
8,433 posts, read 3,692,094 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph_Kirk View Post
A "trade" does not necessarily denote someone with dirty fingernails.
Quote:
Originally Posted by CorporateCowboy View Post
Agreed, but that's part of the 'stigma' i.e. one who works with their 'hands' as opposed to their brain. Hence the reason it isn't 'heavily promoted/discussed' within the context of (basic) education.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph_Kirk View Post
Most trades are a considerable amount of hands and brains, particularly at the "master" level.

You think it doesn't take brains to figure out the proper electrical or plumbing layout of a commercial building or even a residence?
As I said, I was speaking to the 'stigma' associated with blue-collar work relative to your statement (above) and to the thread; nothing personal.

That said, it isn't the average hands-on plumber who is designing the layout of a commercial building; rather, you're speaking to a plumbing engineer (which would require a Bachelor's Degree), particularly relative to a commercial project or development.
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Old 04-11-2021, 10:27 AM
 
7,114 posts, read 3,941,309 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CorporateCowboy View Post
That said, it isn't the average hands-on plumber who is designing the layout of a commercial building; rather, you're speaking to a plumbing engineer (which would require a Bachelor's Degree), particularly relative to a commercial project or development.
There is no reason why a plumber couldn't get additional education to be a plumbing engineer.

It's isn't a black and white - either college or trade school. Some people do both.
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Old 04-11-2021, 11:54 AM
 
28,559 posts, read 18,560,412 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YorktownGal View Post
There is no reason why a plumber couldn't get additional education to be a plumbing engineer.

It's isn't a black and white - either college or trade school. Some people do both.

Building a financial foundation from a decently paying vocation as a springboard into an academic profession is how millions of military veterans have done it.

Perhaps government educational grants should be structured like the GI Bill: Give us x years of service and you get X years of education without charge. Right now, they're structured the opposite way: Get a loan and if you give us x years of service (unerringly following a host of truly arcane caveats to the letter) then we might forgive your loan. But one error along the way, even at the very end, and the entire loan plus all interim interest will be due.
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Old 04-11-2021, 03:26 PM
 
Location: San Francisco
8,433 posts, read 3,692,094 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YorktownGal View Post
There is no reason why a plumber couldn't get additional education to be a plumbing engineer.

It's isn't a black and white - either college or trade school. Some people do both.
Sure, but then it (obviously) isn't relative to the blue-collar/trade school point, per the thread - or the associated stigma, for that matter.
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Old 04-12-2021, 09:52 AM
 
Location: Moving?!
1,222 posts, read 802,947 times
Reputation: 2456
This publication is a bit dated, but the historical context is interesting. See Charts 12 and 13, and the related discussion.
https://www.bls.gov/mlr/2006/03/art3full.pdf

The skilled trades were, are, and will continue to be very important niche professions. For individuals with the right aptitude, the skilled trades can offer a very good livelihood and I think it can be good individual advice to encourage someone with such aptitude to pursue an interest in the trades. However, I do not think that there is any need to "heavily promote" the trades as a path to prosperity for society in general. There is a very real need for skilled tradesmen (and women) but the need is finite. A substantial increase in the number of trade school graduates would simply decrease the pay in these occupations and/or increase the number of trade school grads not working in their field of study.

The reality is that a demand exists for workers in low-paying and low-status jobs, and there will still be people working in such jobs even if everyone has a college degree or trade school diploma.
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