Benefits and Costs of a 4-Year Degree
The cost of a four-year college education has skyrocketed, making it less attainable for many students. The average tuition at Iowa’s four-year colleges for the 2014-15 school year was $22,116, up 7.35% from the previous year. At these rates, the cost of a bachelor’s degree can easily approach, or even exceed, $100,000. Add to that amount the interest paid over the life of student loans taken out to cover the cost of education, and the extra $18,000 per year in earnings may not seem like the best trade-off.
Demand for Tradespeople
The construction trades now present tremendous opportunities to young people interested in pursuing these fields. Following the burst of the housing bubble in 2008, construction slowed, and many skilled workers, such as carpenters, bricklayers, electricians, plumbers, and steamfitters, moved into other jobs. In addition, many experienced tradespeople are retiring, and there is a shortage of young workers to take their place. Estimates place the current number of unfilled trades positions at around 600,000 and predict that the U.S. will need 10 million new skilled workers by 2020.
The construction trades also offer young people the opportunity to immediately begin earning a livable wage and get paid while receiving training. Many local trade unions offer apprenticeship programs that consist of on-the-job training combined with classroom work to provide the knowledge and skills new workers need to begin building a career in one of these essential trades. Depending on the exact trade, location, and position, apprentices can enjoy starting salaries in the $30,000s or higher and see incomes approaching or exceeding $50,000 within five years (when their college-attending peers are still working in entry-level positions).
In addition to providing financial security, work in the skilled trades offers the intrinsic reward of building something that will benefit others for years to come. Tradespeople take pride in the fact that they create the functional and livable spaces that people rely on and enjoy every day. They possess valuable skills that allow us to have light at night, water indoors, roofs over our heads, and safe buildings to inhabit. Hubbell Realty recognizes the value of highly skilled tradespeople and relies on their expertise every day. Click here to learn more about apprenticeship opportunities in the various construction trades in Iowa.
Want to find out about more Hubbell career opportunities for skilled tradespeople? Contact us!