You don’t need a college degree to earn big money. Fifty percent of all college graduates work in jobs that don’t even require a degree. Skilled work pays. Specific blue-collar industries are paying their workers over $30 per hour, and there is no shortage of job openings.
If you are non-disabled and willing to work, you can immediately get a job in construction. However, a little training can double or even triple your income. The average construction worker earnings have passed $30 per hour. Non-skilled laborers get paid a bit less, and skilled workers get paid more. The boom in construction ever since the Trump presidency has shown no sign of stopping and the strong economy has made construction workers — both skilled and non-skilled — in demand. Industry experts predict construction companies will need to fill hundreds of thousands of openings for many years to come. Learning a specialized construction skill not only increases your income, but it also insulates you in case of slumps in construction work.
The manufacturing industry has some of the highest paying blue-collar jobs. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 12 million Americans hold construction jobs, earning an average of $85,000 annually or around $40 per hour. Working in a factory or plant might not seem too glamorous, but the money speaks for itself. You can start as a laborer and get on-the-job training or an apprenticeship program, but it could take years to obtain a certification. While some employers do hire unskilled entry-level workers, most prefer hiring skilled workers that already have the necessary skills, training, and certification. While you do need a lot of practice to get those high-earning manufacturing jobs, trade schools are innovating to make learning those skills easier and safer. Welding institutes have been using virtual reality to simulate real-life welding conditions in training their students. This makes their training a lot safer and a bit more enjoyable.
Compared to manufacturing and construction, working in the trucking industry requires the least amount of skill and the least amount of training. However, you do need to be over 21. You can get a commercial driver’s license in as little as eight weeks, and most trucking companies will have training programs that would even pay for your training. You need to be able to drive your truck in different conditions: nighttime, across rough terrain, and in harsh weather. Being familiar with the dimensions of your vehicle is also essential, especially when you enter cities. An entry-level truck driver wage starts at $45,000 per year, going up to $65,000 in just a couple of years. The industry is currently facing a massive shortage of workers, so expect a quick hire and a steady rise in your income.
You don’t need to spend four or more years in college (and a ton of student loans) to earn a decent living. With just a year or two of training, almost anyone can get a high-paying career in construction, manufacturing or trucking.