Four benefits of working a trade job
Today, trade jobs and what we usually call “blue collar” work are making a big comeback in the U.S. Or, at least, in terms of public perception.
Really, these jobs never actually went away. But, younger generations focused more on four-year degrees than careers in precision production, craft, and repair files.
Now, older workers are retiring, and no one’s there to take their place.
That’s led to a shortage of much-needed workers. Today, trade jobs are in demand in fields like HVAC and manufacturing.
And now, more and more people recognize the need for – and benefits of – blue-collar careers in general.
Somehow, the trades got a bad rap over the last few decades. People started to think they were low-paying jobs for unskilled workers.
Now, that image is quickly fading away. Four benefits of working a trade job are:
- They pay more than you think
- You avoid student debt
- They are in growing fields
- They are more “skilled” than before
Trade job salaries are above national averages
Let’s start with one of the most important factors: Your paycheck.
A trade job salary in an industry like HVAC nets you at least the national average. In some cases, even more.
Let’s take a job like refrigeration mechanic. The salary ranges from $28,440 to $73,00 a year, depending on experience.
The average is $48,320 with typical hourly rates between $23 and $35.
By comparison, the average pay for all full-time workers in the first quarter of 2019 was just over $47,000 a year.
To be fair, a master’s or doctoral degree gets you an average of around $80,000 year. That’s a little more than the high end of your average HVAC salary.
But, those degrees aren’t cheap. And, they’re getting more expensive every year.
You avoid student debt with a trade job
There’s an elephant in the room when you talk about getting a good job these days.
It’s a pachyderm worth $1.5 trillion, and one that’s now referred to as a national crisis: Student loan debt.
In 1985, a bachelor’s degree, including books and room and board, was around five grand. That’s $12,000 in today’s dollars.
But, in 2015, that same degree cost $26,000. Today, it’s rising by another $1,000 every two or so years.
Now, the amount of debt people take on is more than the rate by which wages have increased over the same time. That means people are essentially earning less than they did before.
Sure, you need training and some education after high school. But, these rarely require four-year degrees. And, the programs are much less expensive.
In some cases, they won’t cost you anything at all.
Many employers pay for training
It’s common to learn your trade on-the-job. Sometimes, that’s a formal apprenticeship. Other times, you’re going to classes outside of working hours.
In any of these cases, it’s common for employers to pay for training.
At John Cipollone, we take on workers of all skill levels. More than anything, we look for a good attitude and a willingness to learn.
If live near Havertown, PA and are ready to put in the work, we’re prepared to put you on a career path.
We offer in-house and on-the-job training, as well as education through our distributors and other channels.
Once you’re working here, you can get refrigeration, North American Trade Excellence (NATE_ and Gastite/Flashfield certifications. They won’t cost you anything, and you’ll make money while you’re doing it.
Of course, you’ll have to hold up your end. That’s showing up on time, putting in the effort, and getting everything done right on the job and in training.
HVAC technicians are always in demand
Some industries may fall in and out of fashion. HVAC is not one of them. It’s a field with a constant demand for new workers for a few reasons.
Every home and office needs heating, as do most commercial spaces.
And, air conditioning isn’t far behind: 60 percent of U.S. homes have central air, and another 23 percent use smaller units.
Those numbers equal demand for people to install, repair, and maintain those units.
And, it’s worth that won’t get automated, either.
Sure, new technology alerts you to problems with your equipment. But, no algorithm, artificial intelligence, or automation can take the place of a human diagnostician.
Someone needs to account for every variable, challenge, and unseen circumstance during an installation or when
Human assessment is critical in the HVAC world, and companies are hiring.
New technology makes HVAC a growing industry
The world of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning is a fast-growing one. Not only are there more jobs than before. They also require higher levels of skill and expertise. Three big reasons for this are:
- Green infrastructure
- Smart/wifi systems
- Freon/R-22 phase out
Energy efficiency and low environmental impact are important in HVAC now. And, it takes a lot of know-how to do it right.
That’s everything from installing equipment that burns fewer fossil fuels to using energy analysis software. For people new to the industry, it’s an opportunity to handle new technology and strategies that some older workers don’t immediately understand as well.
Similarly, wi-fi-enabled products like smart thermostats and full heating and cooling systems are becoming more popular. People just entering the workforce grew up with these new technologies. And, that knowledge is valuable.
By some estimates, the “smart home” market will be an $80 billion industry in the next decade.
Finally, in with the new also means out with the old. In particular, that’s the nearly-complete Freon, or R-22, phase-out for air conditioners.
That’s the coolant used for decades in air conditioners. Now, thanks to new regulations, no units built after 2010 use it. And, 2019 was the last year any company produced R-22.
That means HVAC techs are learning new technology and how to address repairs for older units that still use it.
With a little hard work and know-how, you can find yourself making more than the average American – without paying thousands in student loans.
Are you looking for a secure, well-paying, and fulfilling career in the HVAC industry? John Cipollone, Inc in Delaware County, PA has the on-the-job training, access to certifications, and career paths to give you a bright future and fulfilling career. And, experience isn’t always necessary. Check out our Careers page, or call us at (610) 446-7877.