Why Trade School Could Be the Better Choice for Young Professionals in Northeastern Pennsylvania

March 9, 2020

Students and young professionals living in Northeastern Pennsylvania are starting to plan for their futures. Did you know that pursuing a four-year college degree isn’t the only way to make money and build a career? Professions in the oil heat and HVAC industries are viable career paths that check all the boxes: competitive wages, valuable benefits, and career development opportunities. And the best part is, you can take advantage of all of these advantages without the time and expense of completing a four-year college degree.

Trade school is a great option for young people in Northeastern Pennsylvania that are looking to start a profitable career now. Recently, MoneyWise reported about how entering trade school and pursuing a trade industry job, like oil heat delivery drivers and HVAC service technicians, is a beneficial choice for students and young professionals in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Check out the main points from the article below to learn more about how going to trade school stacks up against a four-year college degree.

Why Trade School Might Be the Right Move for Your Career

From MoneyWise:

There are many perceived differences between college and trade school that simply aren’t relevant to the current job market. Having a college degree doesn’t translate to earning more money than finishing trade school. It won’t make job hunting easier, either.

These are the facts:

  • Americans owe more than $1.4 trillion in student loan debt
  • The average student loan is $37,172
  • The average repayment time is 21 years
  • 40% of students in four-year college programs drop out
  • 1 in 4 college graduates is unemployed or underemployed

In a nutshell:

  • Going to college means you’ll probably have a lot of debt
  • Going to college does not guarantee you’ll get a good job…or any job at all
  • Given the harsh realities of life after post-secondary education, why do career counselors and parents keep pushing young adults to go to college?

Essentially, a college education is highly respected in the workplace. Research also shows that having a degree can boost a person’s lifetime earnings by an average of $16,900 per year compared to having a high school diploma alone. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, that’s more than a $500,000 difference in income over a 30-year working career.

The big BUT: this average includes highly paid college-educated professionals like engineers, IT professionals, doctors, and lawyers. If these high-earning workers are removed from the average, there may not be much of an earning gap between college graduates and everyone else.

So, where does trade school stand in this scenario?

The financial impact of college vs. trade school

On the surface, a four-year college program costs $127,000, while the average trade school degree costs $33,000. If you get a loan to pay for your degree and you plan to pay it back over 10 years at an interest rate of 4%, the college degree would cost $154,000, while trade school would cost $40,000.

A college degree would also take four years to complete, while trade school programs usually take two years. So, choosing college over trade school could mean a loss of $80,000 or more for those two years you didn’t work.

Consider a Trade Career in the oil heat and HVAC Industry

When you leave trade school, you’ll graduate with the skills necessary to begin working right away. Employers in the Northeastern Pennsylvania oil heat and HVAC industry are looking for qualified candidates! Plus, trade careers like HVAC service technicians, oil delivery drivers, and service managers are in high demand and can be considered “recession proof.”

Northeastern Pennsylvania oil heat and HVAC companies are looking for qualified applicants now! Join Generation NEXT Energy Pros to upload your resume and start connecting with local employers for internship and job opportunities.