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Who knew There was a Secret to Earn as Much as a College Graduate, But with No Debt?

Updated on June 22, 2016

The Money

A lot of people may view tradesmen as low class, but most are far from the fact. If you are one of the very lucky few and go to a trade high school, then you won't need to spend a dime on college. Being without debt in your 20's is a huge advantage, but it isn't the only appetizing part about the trades. A hard worker willing to learn, and go the extra mile can easily earn six figures. SIX FIGURES WITHOUT DEBT! That is truly astonishing.

If a salary of around 60k/yr at 21 doesn't satisfy you, then maybe these benefits will:

  • Working in a specific trade doesn't mean you won't learn other trades. For example, a refrigeration technician may pick up some A/C knowledge just by working in the field and in the future he can fix his A/C himself instead of paying someone too.
  • BE YOUR OWN BOSS! The trade is by FAR the cheapest way to start your own business! If you save up 10k, then you're ready to get started.
  • If you end up starting your own business, then you can choose your hours. I can't tell you how many people I come across every day that work 3-4 days a week and make about 3k a week.
  • Honestly, The people. I enjoy working with other tradesmen simply because they are humble. You wouldn't be able to tell that the plumber fixing your drain is making 120k a year, and he is really a plumbing service manager that happened to get sent to your call.


Opportunities

The opportunities!

Have any of you thought about changing careers, but you have a family to take care of so it would be impossible? If you were a skilled trade worker, it's honestly easy. Learning a skill opens the doors up to many jobs. For example, a licensed HVAC technician can choose if he wants to:

  • Work in Residential
  • Work in Small Commercial
  • Work in Large Commercial
  • THE UNION?!?!?
  • Sales in the specific career

In the above choices, the tech could then choose what position he wants to be in:

  • Installation Manager
  • Service Manager
  • Maintenance Manager
  • Service Dispatcher

These are only some of the higher paying positions available to that one particular person. The demand for trade workers is increasing gradually over the years, so work is never hard to find.

The sad fact today is that a lot of college graduates just aren't getting employed. They are coming out of college with 150k in debt, and can't land a job. Of course this number doesn't represent the majority of people who go to college, but it's a fair amount.

Work Hard, Play Hard!

From my experience, you have to go to work just to "get your 8" to be at the 50% marker. Almost every person I've come in contact with that had passion was at the 75% mark or higher.
From my experience, you have to go to work just to "get your 8" to be at the 50% marker. Almost every person I've come in contact with that had passion was at the 75% mark or higher. | Source

Steps to Learning a Trade

There are a few ways for someone to get started in the trade:

  • Enrolling in a program or school (high school / tech college)
  • Learning on the job as an apprentice
  • My personal favorite, READING BOOKS! Reading books consistently to learn more will increase your salary very quickly.
  • Although I haven't done it, joining the union as an apprentice is an amazing decision. If you are lucky enough. Extremely high pay.

After a year or at the most two (if you are reading your books!) you should be ready to take a senior position, or start thinking about where you should be that you could be put into a position of the sort in the future. This might even involve starting your own business, which I'll discuss more specifically.

Starting Your Own Business

Starting your own business can be one of the most satisfying experiences in your life.

Here's how to do it:

  1. Get a used van to do side jobs with. While keeping your full time job, you can start building a customer base by doing side jobs. You will also make some SERIOUS cash.
  2. Slowly build the structure of your business until you are ready to make the leap. By the leap, of course you must have a solid customer base.
  3. Once you have a customer base to get you 25-30 hours a week, you can start using your revenue to put back into the company with company cards, shirts, and other advertisement ideas, excluding van lettering.
  4. After you have full 40 hour work weeks you may want to consider bringing an apprentice on and training someone while you aren't swamped with work. Think of them as an investment.
  5. Once the apprentice is skilled enough where they can go on their own, then you will need another van. This is where the lettering comes in because having two vans is a better chance that people will notice the vans more frequently and be more likely to call you when they need service.

This philosophy is how very large companies are obtained. Repeating these steps to get 4 or 5 vans on the road, and then moving into a loading dock / shop area, possibly sales, etc.



Choosing a Trade

What trade would you choose if you had the chance?

See results

In Conclusion

Trade work isn't for everyone. When it comes down to it, you should do what interests you most. I am fascinated with repairing things with my own hands, but I would certainly not reprimand someone who prefers to work in an office cubicle for 50 hours a week. In 2016 it is an inspiring thing to see that people have many options when it comes to career choice.

In my personal opinion, I believe if you are unaware of what you want to do with your life, you should learn a trade before going to college. A lot of skills and a good foundation can be acquired from working in the many different environments with different situations daily. Mike Rowe is a very inspiring blue collar worker. He has the same philosophy as I do. Don't just work hard, and don't just work smart. "Work smart AND hard."


The genius work of Mike Rowe.
The genius work of Mike Rowe. | Source

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