Sadly, many young people are finding that a college degree does not go as far as it used to. Fifty years ago, a college degree offered many graduates a ticket to a high-paying job. While many college grads are still landing great careers, some are finding that even with a degree they have to work in low-wage fields. Pasqualino Spadorcia, who works in construction and design, believes that a career in construction could offer a great opportunity for many.
“A lot of young people have turned away from careers in construction, believing that the jobs are boring or else offer low wages,” Pasqualino Spadorcia points out. “In my experience, however, the pay can be great, and you may find that working with your hands offers as much mental exercise as physical exercise.”
Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows that carpenters earn a median salary of about $48,000. This is far above minimum wage. And if you should go into skilled trades as an electrician, plumber, or something similar, the pay is even higher.
“A lot of people don’t realize how many different types of jobs construction offers. You need electricians, plumbers, millwrights, stonemasons, heavy equipment operators, designers, engineers, and more,” Pasqualino Spadorcia says. “Working conditions and salaries for these workers are often quite good.”
The BLS projects the demand for electricians to grow by 8 percent from 2019 to 2029. This growth is much faster than average, and for people with the right credentials and skills, it could translate to higher wages and more job opportunities. Many other skilled trade positions are also projected to enjoy strong growth.
Many college students are now graduating from college with huge debt loads. The average student in the United States now graduates with roughly $33,000 in debt, but some students are leaving with six-figure debts. For doctors, dentists, and the like, debt in excess of $200,000 is not unheard of. Yet you can often start a construction career debt-free.
“Student loans can saddle people with bills for decades to come, and you may not even enjoy much of a pay bump,” Pasqualino Spadorcia argues. “Often, you can start construction as an apprentice or as a helper. Instead of taking out loans, you’re earning money right from the get-go while also picking up valuable skills.”