Not every high school senior wants to go to college.
Fortunately, it’s becoming increasingly common to consider an alternative to the conventional four-year degree path. That means more academic and professional opportunities.
Whether you’ve thought about an HVAC career before or the possibility never crossed your mind, it’s worth considering this in-demand skilled trade and the advantages it offers.
The skilled trades vs a college education.
There’s been an ongoing debate in society for decades over the best path forward for high school seniors. For many years, students were encouraged to pursue a college education over alternatives such as the skilled trades.
However, the growing cost of a four-year degree is causing a shift in popular opinion. More and more people are looking to the skilled trades as a viable option as opposed to college, giving high school seniors more options to consider when they graduate.
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The benefits of an HVAC career for high schoolers.
Less time in school.
Some high school seniors are eager to enter the job market as quickly as possible.
While it’s possible to get hired immediately after graduation, strengthening your skills in a particular field can increase your opportunities in a competitive economy.
Not everyone wants to invest several years of studying to achieve a college degree. Besides, only 41% of college students graduate on time, according to the National Center of Education Statistics, tacking years onto the four-year standard.
Conversely, a skilled trades program required to become an HVAC technician takes just a few months to a year to complete.
For example, The Refrigeration School offers a Refrigeration Technologies program that only lasts six months. This path gets you to the job market much more quickly than a four-year degree.
An active job with daily variety.
If sitting for long periods of time sounds more like a punishment than a job, a career as an HVAC technician might pique your interest.
Roughly 43% of all jobs in the US are considered highly sedentary, according to the American Heart Association. Studies have linked prolonged sitting with a host of adverse health effects including obesity, high blood pressure, and increased weight gain.
In contrast to the average desk-job, HVAC technicians enjoy an active career requiring a lot of movement and travel to different locations.
Healthy job outlook.
The trades industry has been grappling with a skilled labor shortage as employers struggle to fill open positions.
The HVAC sector is no exception which is bad news for businesses in the field but great news for high school seniors looking for a career.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects to see a HVAC specialists are vital to keeping residential and commercial HVAC systems running optimally. It’s unlikely this need will change, securing job opportunities for experts in the field in the long run.
Lower cost for studies.
Cost is one of the most important factors to consider when comparing trade school to college.
For the past two decades, college tuition rates have continued to rise. The resulting student loans have burdened over 45 million graduates with nearly $1.75 trillion worth of debt.
If you’re eager to further your education without accumulating a significant amount of debt, an HVAC career is a great choice. The trade programs required to enter the field are often more affordable than a four-year education. Plus, you can still apply for scholarships, grants, and other forms of financial support to pay for refrigeration training.
There’s a popular misconception that trade careers don’t pay well which keeps many high school seniors from even considering a role as an HVAC tech.
In reality, HVAC professionals earn nearly as much as their college graduate counterparts on average.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports an average yearly income of $48,630 for HVAC technicians, with the highest 10% earning over $78,210.**
This is right around the income of college graduates from the Class of 2021, who are earning around $55,260.
Plus, trades professionals have the advantage of entering the workforce earlier with less debt which means more money in their pockets.
Start your career as an HVAC technician.
Becoming an HVAC technician through trade school is a rewarding process that equips you with the skills and knowledge you need to succeed in the field. The Refrigeration School has helped many high school graduates enter the field and increase their competitiveness. If you’re interested in this career path, get in touch with the RSI team today to discuss the trade programs available. Call 866-820-0823 today.
*Employment for Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers (499021) is expected to grow 31% in Arizona through 2030. https://www.careeronestop.org/Toolkit/Careers/Occupations/occupation-profile.aspx?keyword=Heating,%20Air%20Conditioning,%20and%20Refrigeration%20Mechanics%20and%20Installers&onetcode=49902100&location=arizona
**Average starting salary for Refrigeration Technologies is $37,078 for RSI graduates employed during the 12 month period of 7/1/20 – 6/30/21.