Massive debt even before you start working? That’s what happens when you take a student loan. Aiming for a high-paying job that requires a college degree seems like a poor choice once you become burdened by student loans. A college degree doesn’t hold as much weight as it used to. Certain blue-collar jobs are now competing—and even surpassing—most white-collar jobs when it comes to salary. Here are seven of them:
1. Construction Worker
Gleaning from staffing companies such as PeopleReady, construction jobs are listed as one of the most in-demand jobs of 2018. Wages are soaring as companies scramble to hire workers and meet the demands of the industry. Construction wages have passed the $30/hour mark, and as companies continue to compete for skilled workers, wages will continue to rise. Construction work requires minimal training, though a certain degree of fitness can be helpful.
If you held on to your childhood dream of being a firefighter, it might be a suitable career for you. Firefighting pays remarkably well, but you’ll be putting yourself at considerable risk. Some field and EMT training might be required, as is a certain degree of fitness and athleticism.
3. Personal Trainer
Speaking of fitness and athleticism, personal training is also a good career choice. Millions of Americans are suffering from weight problems, and many of them seek the help of personal trainers. Certifications in your specific field of training can be helpful, and you will need to have excellent interpersonal skills to get along with clients.
4. Railroad Conductor
If you liked trains as a child, then why not consider being a railroad conductor? The job only requires a high school diploma and minimal training. Most railroad companies conduct their own training programs that typically lasts less than three months. Community colleges and trade schools also hold training for this profession.
You’ll need a long apprenticeship to be a boilermaker, but you’ll be getting paid well as you learn. You’ll need good manual dexterity, hand-eye coordination, and a little bit of strength and endurance. Technical schools will often have programs that teach the necessary skills and knowledge for the job, such as welding, drafting, rigging, and different boiler technology.
6. Truck Driver
Truck drivers are in demand as the industry faces a massive shortage. The trucking industry is attempting to attract drivers with higher wages and better benefits. As many as one million new drivers are needed to fill the needs of the industry for the next ten years. Truck driving requires a commercial driving license and some training. Having a high school diploma might be preferred by some employers, though some will count experience as more valuable.
Painting houses require very little skill and training. You can acquire a license by working as an apprentice or starting as a helper. Trade unions and contractor organizations also often sponsor apprenticeship programs in technical schools.
You don’t need to get saddled by massive student debts just to have a fruitful and high-paying career. College isn’t for everyone. Trade schools offer jobs that require minimal training and high wages, and they don’t burden you with thousands of dollars of debt.