Tennessee continues to be the envy of many states in our country due to our booming economy, desirable business environment, skilled workforce and overall high quality of life.
However, there’s a common misconception that college is the main route in order to have a successful career path. While college is the right path for many, there are plenty of successful and desirable career paths that do not require a four-year degree.
Today, more than half of students finish higher education with debt – the average student loan equaling nearly $30,000. It takes 39% of college graduates more than 10 years to pay off their student loans.
Instead of taking on tens of thousands of dollars in debt – or perhaps even more – for those who want to pursue a different path, there are plenty of high-quality good paying jobs with tremendous career trajectories that do not require a four-year degree.
WHILE COLLEGE IS THE RIGHT PATH FOR MANY, THERE ARE PLENTY OF SUCCESSFUL AND DESIRABLE CAREER PATHS THAT DO NOT REQUIRE A FOUR-YEAR DEGREE.
WHY GROWTH POTENTIAL IS LIMITLESS
Professions in the trades include home builders, electricians, welders, road builders, carpenters, plumbers, pipefitters, painters, ironworkers, linemen, masons, equipment operators, sheet metal workers and boilermakers, to name a few. You can learn more about these and other professions at GoBuildTennessee.com. As an example, the average salary for an electrician is $65,000 a year.
The trades industry labor workforce is both shrinking and aging – with the average tradesperson at 46. And, for every five workers that retire, there is currently one replacement being trained in an apprenticeship program. And yet, the demand has never been greater with millions of workers needed across the country. The latest estimates for our state is that Tennessee is short about 278,000 construction workers across all trades.
The best part about the trades is that while you’ll start in an entry-level position – the growth potential is limitless as a lot of the learning and training is done on the job. Many folks in the trades progress in their careers to leadership within a company or even take their experience in the trades and start a business themselves.
MANY FOLKS IN THE TRADES PROGRESS IN THEIR CAREERS TO LEADERSHIP WITHIN A COMPANY OR EVEN TAKE THEIR EXPERIENCE IN THE TRADES AND START A BUSINESS THEMSELVES.
BOTH RECENT HIGH SCHOOL GRADS AND THOSE WANTING A CAREER CHANGE CAN APPLY
Depending upon the career you choose – you can receive training at one of our state’s 24 TCATs (Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology), vocational classes, apprenticeships or community colleges.
The career paths and ways to achieve success are endless – with many people having six figure jobs in the trades without a four-year degree. Overall, Tennessee has more than 100 training programs throughout the state. Visit GoBuildTennessee.com to find the trade and location that is the right fit for you.
And, the trades provide amazing career opportunities for everyone including students in grade school, young adults out of high school and even those in or who graduated from college.
Students in middle school and high school should take advantage of vocational classes and other educational opportunities to help gauge their interests in the trades and even help them enter a career field. The trades are also a great opportunity for those looking to change career paths.
While the trades include craftsmanship and skilled labor, they also include technical jobs working with design programs, technical skills and even drone operators.
Plus, the safety measures and protocols ensure that there’s never been a safer time to work in the trades. The best thing you can do is to explore your options, visit our website, review programs at your local TCAT and talk with people in the trades to hear about their experiences and career path. Together, let’s Go Build Tennessee!