Authored By: Ryan Mallmann (Human Resources)
Recent economic statistics have shown that there is a drastic difference between people with high school and college degrees. The unemployment rate is nearly twice as high for Americans with a high school diploma as for those with a four-year college degree or more. But economists say that doesn’t mean everybody needs a four-year degree. In fact, millions of good-paying jobs are opening up in the trades. And some pay better than what the average college graduate makes.
On average, it is true that people with a four-year college degree make more money than those with a two-year degree or less. But there is an asterisk next to that stat. The problem with those four-year college degree averages is it is inflated by higher paying jobs such as executive management, lawyers and CPAs that most college graduates do not get right after graduation.
Not Enough Training
After a ‘Nation at Risk’ report in 1983, that highlighted the horrendous quality of education in America, most high schools focused more on academics and getting students ready for college. For a lot of parents, they wanted their kids to have a four-year degree. However, that lead to the end of the old vocational education programs.
With the reduction in vocational high schools across the country, there just are not enough trade programs in high schools as there used to be. The problem is not enough young people are getting that kind of training needed to enter the trades.
With millions of baby-boom workers retiring, the country is going to need a lot more skilled tradespeople, leaving a lot of openings for millennials.
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Job Outlook
Employment of heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installers is projected to grow 15 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. Commercial and residential building construction is expected to drive employment growth, and job opportunities for HVACR technicians are expected to be good. This is a big opportunity for the millennial generation born between 1980 and 2000.
To begin a career in HVAC, there are typically two career paths in the HVAC field, installation or service. If you are interested in becoming a HVAC Service Technician will need to enroll in an accredited school program. After completion of the program, you will be able to begin your career as a Maintenance Technician, providing hands on working experience with HVAC equipment. After acquisition of appropriate licenses and gaining industry knowledge you will then proceed on your career path as a Service Technician, focusing on Commercial or Residential, or both.
To begin as an Installer, many companies will hire you and provide on-the-job training as an Installer Helper. Your initial upfront costs to start will be industry specific tools and proper work boots. Installation is usually either Residential/New Construction, Commercial or Retrofit (existing homes.)
Our role in getting people interested in the trades again
R&R Heating and Air Conditioning is working hard to help bring trade programs back. We see the need to prepare more young people for good, well-paying jobs in the trades. We work hard to develop strong partnerships with local high schools and community colleges to help make their training programs better. We know that college is not for everyone. We are willing to hire the right people looking to enter the trade and provide them industry leading on-the-job training and professional development. Our company philosophy is, “If you are willing to invest in yourself, the company will invest in you!”
If a career in the HVAC industry fits your professional goals, apply on our website here.