Industrial vs. Commercial Electrician: What's the Difference?
Students are often pushed to go to college or university after high school. They’ve been taught that a college education is “superior” because there aren’t as many high-paying job opportunities out of high school.When it comes to jobs out of high school that offer competitive compensation and growth, careers in skilled trades check all the boxes. However, the result of surveys gauging the perspective of high schoolers regarding the skilled trades reveals the following:
- Approximately 68% of respondents say trade schools were never discussed by their guidance counsellors and two out of three say they don’t know enough about it to consider it as a career option.
- About 73% of them say traditional college gives you a better future than trade school. And shockingly, 55% say office workers earn more respect than those who work with their hands!
In this guide, we’ll dive into the details of skilled trades—a field of work that offers a multitude of high-paying jobs out of high school. Let’s also take a look at the benefits of getting into this industry straight from secondary education.
Why Is Going to College the Norm?
One of the motivating factors that drives college to be the norm is earning potential. There is a perception that people with a bachelor’s degree earn more than those who graduated from trade schools. Perhaps it’s because they think of university graduates as doctors, lawyers, IT professionals, and engineers. However, if the high-income professions are removed from the group, the income gap between trade school and university graduates are minimal or may not exist at all.Aside from underestimating how much they could earn in the skilled trades, there are other factors that drive young people away from it. Some of these factors include a lack of exposure to people in the trade, incorrect knowledge of the required skills, and the misconception that it is mostly for males. So, the majority of high school students line up for university enrollment, not knowing that it’s not the only route to a great, fulfilling, and rewarding career. Careers in skilled trades offer the same too—if not more—especially if you get into them straight from high school.
4 Benefits of Getting Into The Skilled Trades Straight From High School
There are several reasons why it’s advantageous to go straight into the skilled trades after high school:
1. Cut Back On Expensive Tuition Fees
On average, students pay $6,693 in tuition per year for undergraduate studies and $7,472 for graduate programs. In four years, that would total over $26,000. That doesn’t include books, miscellaneous expenses, food, and housing if you’re planning to attend a university away from home.And it only goes up from there because tuition fees can increase every year. People who can’t afford it get student loans, owing tens of thousands of dollars even before they start earning a salary. Once they graduate and find work, they pay around $300 a month for ten years—that’s higher than a car payment—to clear their debt. The long-term financial impact of post-secondary education is heavy and graduating with a huge debt doesn’t seem like a good way to start life.Skilled trades, on the other hand, generally cost less. That means you won’t get into this kind of financial bind if you start pursuing a career in trades straight from high school.
2. Reduce the Time Spent in School
Pursuing careers in skilled trades doesn’t just help you save money—it will save time too. A bachelor’s degree typically takes around four to six years to finish, with some even dropping out because of financial constraints before they can complete it.But an average trade school program can be finished in just two years. Some programs, like Skilled Trades College of Canada’s pre-apprenticeship programs, can even be completed in as little as three months! Also, conventional four-year institutions begin in the fall and spring. That means you’ll be waiting for the enrollment period to start before you can begin classes. Trade schools offer a lot more flexibility because they have multiple start dates all throughout the year. In fact, Skilled Trades College offers quarterly options for students.
3. Start Earning Good Money, Fast
One of the biggest benefits of entering a career in skilled trades is that you can jumpstart your career straight from high school and join the workforce sooner. You can be employment-ready by the time your peers are only halfway through university.And it isn’t just “any” career you’ll be pursuing, but one that pays well too. Young people aren’t aware of just how much one can earn in the skilled trades—some are even comparable to those with bachelor’s degrees. For example, the estimated annual salary of an electrician in Canada is over $82,000. Plumbers could earn as much as $100,000+, while long-haul truck drivers have an annual salary of about $140,000 a year! There’s no doubt that these are high-paying jobs out of high school.
4. Better Job Security
Unlike other professions and industries, there is a high demand for skilled tradespeople. In fact, the labour shortage in the industry is at one million vacancies in 2022. With 700,000 expected to retire this decade, the number of vacant spots is expected to go up.But aside from being in demand, it’s also easier to secure a job if you have a specific skill in line with the necessary services. Drivers, plumbers, electricians, and gas fitters, among others, are needed all over the world. That means you can easily find a job wherever you go.
Start Venturing Into The Skilled Trades Industry
Trade school students are out of school sooner—and with less debt too. They get a headstart in their career and forge a path that may not be mainstream but isn’t any less rewarding.Skilled Trades College of Canada is a credible and industry-recognized institution that helps students get ready to begin their careers in skilled trades by offering comprehensive pre-apprenticeship training in plumbing, elecetrical, home renovation, and other programs. If you need more information on how to get started, reach out to us today!