Blue-collar Jobs that Are Better Alternatives to College

College is great if you’re really in to studying and want to pursue a higher degree. However, if you’re thinking about going to college just because of the job opportunities, college might not be for you. That college degree doesn’t necessarily guarantee a decent job, and specific industries pay blue-collar workers more than the usual college graduate.


There will always be a demand for skilled welders and machinists. Blue-collar jobs in manufacturing provide wages that often exceed $35 per hour. Trump’s deregulations and tax deductions on big businesses and corporations have led to a boom in the manufacturing industry. Companies have more money to expand their operations, allowing them to hire more people than ever before. The skills you learn in manufacturing are easily transferable and adaptable, and there will always be an available job if you have the necessary skills. Welding may be a dangerous job — but not without adequate training. Individual trade schools even provide welding simulations through the use of virtual reality, making your first forays in welding as safe as possible.


You can start working in development as a laborer the moment you finish high school, but your pay can skyrocket if you complete a year or two of trade school. It can give you the finer points of construction or help you focus on a specific field of expertise. The recent boom in construction has companies fiercely competing for skilled workers, driving wages over $30 per hour aside from additional benefits, bonuses, and incentives. Construction firms are desperate for new workers and are also doing their utmost to keep the ones they already have. This gives you a bit of wiggle room in negotiating your contract, especially if you perform well.


truck driving job

Getting into trucking is a little bit more complicated. You’ll need a commercial driver’s license, and you also need to be over 21 to cross state lines. You can get your commercial driver’s license (CDL) through a trade school, or you can directly sign up for local truck-driving jobs. Aside from getting you that CDL, a company driving program allows you to experience how the company functions as well as the basics of handling and maintaining your truck. Your first year as a driver will pay an average of $20-$25 per hour, but your wages can go up to more than $30 per hour in as little as two to three years. Aside from the high salaries, truckers usually receive bonuses and incentives for arriving on schedule or keeping their records accident-free. The trucking industry is so in need of drivers; most companies will pay for your schooling, give you an allowance while you’re studying, and then give you a signing bonus when you finally get to work.

It’s true that college graduates earn more than non-college graduates, but trade school graduates earn more than your average college graduate. Half of all college graduates work in jobs that don’t require college degrees, and a majority don’t even get to practice what they studied for. On the other hand, trade school graduates get hired almost immediately, performing jobs that they studied for.

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