Why Trade School Is A Viable Option For Your Child

trade school

A mom on posted on Facebook this beautiful wood carved table that her high school son had crafted. She asked, “Should I be sending my son to college when he can make items like this?” Many commented that yes, he needs to go to college and get a business degree because someday he might want to own his own woodworking business.

Unless the child has a desire to own a business, I challenge that he needs to go to college right now. The skills and traits needed between being a wood crafter and running a business are very different. He can always decide to go to a typical four-year college to get a business degree. There are other options to consider. Many schools have 2-year entrepreneurial courses, certificates, etc.  Seeing how beautiful that table was, I have no doubt he could make a lot of money woodworking that could help fund a business degree in the future. If he goes to college now but isn’t really interested or motivated, you run the risk of him dropping out and potentially being in debt. The average cost of going to a trade school to learn carpentry is $17,000.  It could be as high as $30,000 (see Career Igniter).  That’s still a far cry from the over $100,000 to get a degree at a four-year college.

We need to change our mindset as parents that after high-school our child must go to college. I grew up with that mindset. You go to high school, then your next step is to go to college. If you didn’t, you were perceived as a failure. The perception of a trade school, which are now called technical schools, has been that they didn’t prepare you for a well-paying career. But times have changed. There’s a growing demand for a skilled trades workforce that’s projected to continue. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics showed last month an increase in trade jobs in many categories including Transportation, Construction, Manufacturing, and Mining (see report)

One of my clients knew her child was not suited for a traditional college education. She was concerned about what the future held for him. In working with him, we found several high-paying trade jobs that we knew he would enjoy based on the traits needed for the roles and what he naturally likes to do. We found jobs that would pay in the $70,000 – $80,000 range very quickly after going to a trade school and getting a technical degree. We were able to create a path for him that he felt great about.

There was an article in CNBC recently stating that the aviation industry is need desperate need of mechanics as they will have many workers retiring. Click here for article. A young mechanic could quickly make $72,000 a year. In some trade jobs you could earn even more. Here are a few taken from Indeed.com:

  • Flight Inspector $84,000 a year
  • Head of Housekeeping $85,000 a year
  • Power Scheduler – $96,000 a year
  • Machine Operator Supervisor – $75,000

Now I am not saying that every child should go to trade school. My point is that we should steer our kids towards jobs they will naturally like to do, not towards what we think they should do.

Research shows that if your job contains at least 75% of what you naturally like to do, then you will be three times more successful.

As parents, we need to help our kids find those careers. We will better equip them for success if we do. Schedule a call with me or email me at laurie@myidealcollege.org if you would like to discuss how to help your child find a career they will be successful in.

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