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Learning a Trade: 3 Career Options for Manual Workers

Manual worker’s jobs can get us back to our roots, to working with our hands, and to a simple way of life that, in a lot of situations, can end up having better earning potential than if we had gone to a traditional college. In fact, according to SHRM.org, a 2018 report estimated that between 2018 and 2028 there “could be as many as 2.4 million unfilled manufacturing jobs.”

While the fear was that the strain on the U.S. economy that this could pose would create even fewer jobs, the report found that the opposite was happening and that, “more jobs are actually being created.”

This tends to point to the fact that a  traditional “blue-collar” job in manual work can not only cost us less in terms of tuition (statistically, trade school is way cheaper and take considerably less time to complete than a traditional four-year degree program), but there is reason to believe we will also experience more job security and still be able to establish a sizeable income.

So, why do we still encounter this attitude that college is the only way to make a decent living? According to SHRM.org, experts say that most high school graduates pursue a college education because of pressure from their parents. Plus, they say that the term “blue-collar worker” alone is often met with a stigma in our society leading to a decrease in the pursuit of these types of jobs.

In fact, Mason Bishop, principal at WorkED Consulting, says that we should get rid of the term “blue-collar” altogether and instead refer to manual workers as “skilled trades workers.” Perhaps, this would be a helpful step towards changing the mindset. However, the terminology doesn’t change the fact that people are proving that a traditional college education isn’t always the most profitable way to make a living.

Check out these three career options for manual workers:

Automotive Service Technician

Considering that we will always need cars, we will always need repairs done on these cars. Therefore, this is a career that will always need workers. Plus, according to Glassdoor, the national average annual salary for an automotive service technician is $41,400.00 (not too shabby).

Although it can be considerably higher depending on the company that hires us and whether we get certified for diesel engines. Meaning that getting automotive and diesel certifications can really give us a leg up in this field and help us gain even more earning potential.

Construction Work

According to U.S. News, construction workers on average made an annual income of $38,890.00 in 2017. Although it can be considerably higher in certain states. Also, for those that worked up to becoming a construction manager the average annual salary in 2017 was a whopping $101,000.00 giving manual laborers everywhere a chuckle at those that went to college all those years who are making less than them.

Note: A lot of manual work jobs are going to expose us to the elements (perhaps, especially construction). Therefore, it is essential to get the proper gear to stay properly warm (or cool) while simultaneously being protected. A great one-stop-shop for doing this is to check out western apparel to get everything we need to do our job safely and comfortably.

Electrical work

According to PayScale, the average annual income for an electrician is $55,477.00. Becoming an electrician generally involves trade school as opposed to a traditional four-year degree program (therefore, saving us money in tuition and student loan debt). Plus, being an electrician almost guarantees that we won’t end up stuck at a desk like a lot of us dread. Instead, electricians tend to be on the move and get to work with their hands on a daily basis.

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