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Old 04-12-2021, 10:34 AM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, 615' Elevation, Zone 8b - originally from SF Bay Area
44,104 posts, read 80,174,082 times
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Average Journeyman Plumber pay: $83k
Average union Carpenter pay: $81k
Average HVAC Mechanic pay: $60k
Average Auto Mechanic pay: $69k

Average computer application developer pay: $160k
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Old 04-12-2021, 11:13 AM
 
28,564 posts, read 18,573,551 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hemlock140 View Post
Average Journeyman Plumber pay: $83k
Average union Carpenter pay: $81k
Average HVAC Mechanic pay: $60k
Average Auto Mechanic pay: $69k

Average computer application developer pay: $160k
You speak as though they were equal options for every person...that every plumber or carpenter or mechanic could just as well have been an application developer.

And I'd point out that the average American income is only $31,000. So if more of those average Americans were working those trades, they'd be doing twice as well.
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Old 04-12-2021, 11:16 AM
 
28,564 posts, read 18,573,551 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by riffle View Post
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.
Heck, that's been proven true of lawyers.

There will always be finite capacity in the group of highest earners. That's true of carpenters as it is of lawyers. Yes, there is a cadre of elite carpenters making stupid money. And there is also a vast field of lawyers who are barely making ends meet.
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Old 04-12-2021, 11:43 AM
 
Location: Moving?!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph_Kirk View Post
You speak as though they were equal options for every person...that every plumber or carpenter or mechanic could just as well have been an application developer.

And I'd point out that the average American income is only $31,000. So if more of those average Americans were working those trades, they'd be doing twice as well.
I agree with your first paragraph but disagree with the second. I have not seen any evidence of barriers to entry which would create a persistent shortage of qualified workers in the skilled trades, except perhaps in heavily unionized areas where the number of apprenticeships is limited (and it's no coincidence that these areas have the highest pay.) Why do you think that there should be more Americans working in the trades than are presently doing so? What will they be building or maintaining that is presently going unbuilt or unmaintained?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph_Kirk View Post
Heck, that's been proven true of lawyers.

There will always be finite capacity in the group of highest earners. That's true of carpenters as it is of lawyers. Yes, there is a cadre of elite carpenters making stupid money. And there is also a vast field of lawyers who are barely making ends meet.
Without going too far off topic, I think the problem is that conspicuous consumption is the religion of America and there is a myth that everyone can be "making stupid money" if they work at it. "Heavily promoting" the trades is no different from "heavily promoting" college education. Either way, society requires people to work as cashiers, fast food cooks, home health aides, etc. Society does not require a highly skilled and paid master plumber on every block, just as we don't need a litigation partner on every block.
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Old 04-12-2021, 11:59 AM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, 615' Elevation, Zone 8b - originally from SF Bay Area
44,104 posts, read 80,174,082 times
Reputation: 56924
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph_Kirk View Post
You speak as though they were equal options for every person...that every plumber or carpenter or mechanic could just as well have been an application developer.

And I'd point out that the average American income is only $31,000. So if more of those average Americans were working those trades, they'd be doing twice as well.
No, all I'm saying is that people are looking for a career that is not hard physical labor and pays well. Of course, not everyone can be a developer, but many will go that route in college rather than go to trade school, regardless of whether they will succeed or end up working at Starbucks or Target making $31,000.
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Old 08-04-2021, 09:40 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigCityDreamer View Post
I think the suggestion is that trade school is a good alternative for people who may not have done so well academically.

If you performed average or below in school, then you’re probably not college material. But you still have to make a living somehow, right?
I was a B-student in HS. Not sure if that qualifies as "academically average." Nevertheless, my college entrance exam results landed me in a solid higher ed. institution. Unfortunately, distance from home-to-school, lack of transportation, and parents of modest income prevented me from staying in college. Thankfully, the US Navy provided a very good alternative.

I learned the fundamentals of power generation in the US Navy; a trade which has served my family and I rather well over the course of 36 years. After my obligatory service, I attended a very affordable trade school for 2.5 years. The trade school education allowed me to obtained the required licensing and certifications to enter the power generation field as a Power Plant Operator (PPO's). Subsequent basic college ed. courses cemented my qualifications.

PPO's are required to have a good grasp of various STEM fields such as mechanical, electrical, thermodynamic, and chemical engineering. For many years my yearly income has been within the 6 figure tier. One fellow PPO made $250K in one year due to an extreme staff shortage at his facility.

The staff shortage is the result of not enough people entering the power generation trade while opting for college degrees which leave many with obscene student debt and average paying jobs.

I am close to retirement. Frankly, it pains me to see how difficult it is to find qualified potential staff now a days.

Skilled Trades are an excellent alternative, especially if you wish not to find yourself sacked with insurmountable student debt.

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Old 08-04-2021, 10:09 AM
 
28,564 posts, read 18,573,551 times
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Originally Posted by chacho_keva View Post
I was a B-student in HS. Not sure if that qualifies as "academically average." Nevertheless, my college entrance exam results landed me in a solid higher ed. institution. Unfortunately, distance from home-to-school, lack of transportation, and parents of modest income prevented me from staying in college. Thankfully, the US Navy provided a very good alternative.

I learned the fundamentals of power generation in the US Navy; a trade which has served my family and I rather well over the course of 36 years. After my obligatory service, I attended a very affordable trade school for 2.5 years. The trade school education allowed me to obtained the required licensing and certifications to enter the power generation field as a Power Plant Operator (PPO's). Subsequent basic college ed. courses cemented my qualifications.

PPO's are required to have a good grasp of various STEM fields such as mechanical, electrical, thermodynamic, and chemical engineering. For many years my yearly income has been within the 6 figure tier. One fellow PPO made $250K in one year due to an extreme staff shortage at his facility.

The staff shortage is the result of not enough people entering the power generation trade while opting for college degrees which leave many with obscene student debt and average paying jobs.

I am close to retirement. Frankly, it pains me to see how difficult it is to find qualified potential staff now a days.

Skilled Trades are an excellent alternative, especially if you wish not to find yourself sacked with insurmountable student debt.

The nation's need for bachelor's degree holders is actually quite small, probably no more than 25% of each graduating high school class, and that includes everyone going farther to a graduate degree.

Most kids need to be going to advanced technical training (and they needed to have gotten the basics of that in high school). The country has been going the wrong way pushing college for everyone, and the education industry hasn't figured that out yet.
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Old 08-04-2021, 10:11 AM
 
3,554 posts, read 4,365,887 times
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Originally Posted by tnff View Post
At one time the trades were considered honorable work. When I grew up most high schools had shop. Even my tiny high school had woodshop, auto mechanics, and beginning welding. Most counties had at least one Vo-Tech high school where kids throughout the county who had an interest in a specific trade would spend half a day learning that trade and then when they graduated, could get an apprenticeship based on that.

However about the same time, late 60s and into the 70s, the education establishment began pushing the everyone should go to college mantra. The message to all students was you had to go to college to be a successful person and if you didn't you weren't successful (at least in how the education establishment defined "success"). High schools began cutting their shop and even home ec programs and adding more college prep curricula. While adding more college prep was good for those planning college, taking away the vocational programs provided less options for those who weren't.

Somehow the trades became associated with being less desirable and "beneath" the professions. We know that everyone is different and has different skills and different things they enjoy doing, suggesting the trades become, for some reason, considered both an insult to someone's intelligence and racist.

Out state even had college a the goal for everyone in policy until our new governor came in who recognizes the value of the trades. Things are slowly starting to change back to recognizing a career path in the trades as viable, which is why you now hear so much about it. But there are still plenty in the education system who are focused on college as the only goal.
Very well stated! Indeed, there was a time in which trades were promoted in high schools. There were/are some HS's dedicated to a particular trade (see https://www.aviationhs.net/).

IMHO, younger folks now a days have been sold and brainwashed on the idea that a 4-year college degree in "something" - even if it's underwater basket weaving - equates to a higher IQ than that of a Trade Person. Go figure.

One of those other high paying electrical trades is Load Dispatcher. Not sure what the entry level salary is now a days but, > 10 years ago, it was somewhere around $90K with the average being $150K.
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Old 08-04-2021, 02:13 PM
 
17,183 posts, read 22,762,600 times
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My grandchildren's high school has a career and technical cluster which includes:

Automotive technology
Welding
Agriculture
Licensed Veterinary Technician
State Floral Certification
Refrigerant Handling
Autocad Certification
Carpentry
Commercial Electrician
Plumbing
Coding
Dental Assistant

and lots more
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Old 08-04-2021, 03:12 PM
 
4,624 posts, read 2,165,026 times
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Originally Posted by sportslover View Post
People act like working in a trade is the greatest job in the world. Then why do so few people want to do it then? Why doesn’t society push going into trade school rather than going into college ?
You can make really good money in a trade, my thoughts on it is society doesn't push the trades because they're looked down on. People who go to trade school will learn a lot about their trade but not much else. So they aren't considered well-rounded and sophisticated. The jobs you go into our blue collar which do require a lot of brain power but they also require some Braun and some tactile skill which is also looked down upon.

Then you have the trade schools themselves. There are some really good ones out there where you can learn a lot about what your trade is but then there are some that are when I call certificate farms. Private trade schools are exorbitantly expensive. And they don't do a good job helping the people they teach gain the skills.

If you go to a public trade school or even a community college it's cheaper. And sometimes not requiring anything like that student loan.


Then you have tradesmen there is a perception of them being less sophisticated rubes. And I think this is mostly because they didn't take philosophy classes and whatnot when they're gaining their skills they might not have you been taking any official class. Some trades you can drop out of high school and still be successful.

Our society for whatever reason and I've got a notion on the reason if you're interested places academia on a pedestal and I don't necessarily think that's wrong per se but the result is not promoting these sorts of jobs that we need people for and that can be very lucrative.

Right after I graduated high school my doctor told me don't go to medical school don't go to college due to trade school to be an HVAC technician.
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