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Everyone and their mom and dog goes on and on about how good the trades are. Usually it's people who don't even work in the trades who recommend them. They will use a tradesmen in an example and not even mention:

1. They live in a very HCOL area.


2. A lot of times these tradesmen own their own business, making them an entrepreneur, not a tradesmen. That skews the wages.


3. They don't mention how many hours they work per week to get that salary. If Jim the programmer makes 65k working 40 hours a week and John the plumber makes 75k working 60 hours a week, that's huge. John had to do a far more laborious job for 50 percent more hours a week only to earn 10k more than Jim did.


4. Unions and union workers often try to fool people by including their benefits package into their hourly wage.


5. BLS median salaries tell the real story.

Tired of hearing non tradesmen tell people to just go learn a trade. Mike Rowe is probably the most at fault for this. Discuss.

I'm not saying these jobs aren't important or not needed. They have just been glorified by people.
 

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People are probably pushing trades for 3 reasons (i'm guessing)
1. Can't be offshored
2. Won't have your head reprogrammed at a college or saddled with college debt/student loans.
3. Beleif that more tradesman will get the country back on track to how it used to be before NAFTA in terms of the products we buy.

For my part, I never worked a trade as a civillian, but as military. Very different world. No unions, no small business, etc. All I know, is how much work it can actually be. Got paid the same no matter how much, or how little I worked. Be it 14 hours a day 6 days of week of heavy construction in a foreign country, of a leisurely 10 hours a day four days a week doing building maintenance in the states, or something in between with a lot of building renovation - i got paid the same. There's a big difference between constantly dealing with a sore body in the morning, extreme fatiuge, tendonitis, and cut fingers, then sitting in a computer chair getting vinyal butt. That much I know VERY well, and it's one aspect I know people don't talk about.. how much work it can actually be. I like to say that "Manwell La Boor" and I used to be close personal friends. Most millennials can't even be bothered to show up to work on time, let alone bust their ass.
 

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The tradesman are dying off/retiring and there isn't the numbers of "NEW" tradesman moving into those vacant positions. I know welders are of them and that's tuff hard work. Especially pipe welders, and they are paid very well as they should be.

It seems in todays world, a BS degree is like nothing. You better have that Masters or PHD to get that job, and even then, the pay may not be that great. A ton of focus 10-20 years ago was about getting an education and that piece of paper saying that you spent 150K for it and have debt, and need BIG salaries to offset the cost of living expenses while paying back that money for the colorful paper in the frame hanging on a wall.

I work in the Environmental Science industry. One of my duties is reviewing submitted plans from engineering companies for projects. Amazing to see simple errors from an individual that possesses 6-8 years of college education and still cant get it correct. Even after redlining deficiencies that need changed to fit/work for the project to follow EPA/DEQ regulations, I still have had the "updated" plans sent back without addressing those items that I mentioned. It can be a tennis match with the back and forth bullchit at times. They seem to get it after I call the individual that has drawn the plans and chew on them for a minute.

Trades are a necessity! I'd like to see the quality home a IT Geek would build or any other office chair sitter. Not saying it cant be done, but not all of those individuals in that line of work could do it.
Look at the word "TRADESMAN". I'm sure way back when, one would trade their talent (trade) for another talent (trade) to have something completed. Money wasn't paid, it was trading work, even better I think. But, YES.....we need more trades people to keep the world/country moving forward.
 

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The tradesman are dying off/retiring and there isn't the numbers of "NEW" tradesman moving into those vacant positions. I know welders are of them and that's tuff hard work. Especially pipe welders, and they are paid very well as they should be.
I may have related this before, pretty sure I have, but it's worth repreating.
My Dad's a machinist. Been a machinist almost all his life I think. He's about 69 or 70 years old now. What he would create from scratch, was machines that sealed the lids of cans with the product already in them. From cans of corn, to coca cola, odds are they used one of the machines he worked on. They often spit out 1000's of cans a minute. The company he worked for had floors like "fabrication" and "assembly". He worked both. Creating parts out of solid blocks of aluminum or steel with incredibly tight tolerances. So, logistically, from a national perspective, I think his trade was was incredibly important.

Now, I forget when exactly, but his company was bought out by a larger corporate. Berry wehmiller I think. What they did then, was lay off all the skilled machinists, guys who'd been doing this sort of thing for 20 years or more, and replaced them with what is tantamount to unskilled labor. They broke things down into widgets for lack of a better term. They took the machinists role, and made like 10 low skilled jobs out of it, each one of these jobs doing something very specific. No one guy having an overall larger picture of what was going on. After that, they unbolted everything and moved the factory to Akron Ohio. What machinists were left, they laid off. My Dad worked his way up to foreman, so they kept him. It's worth noting that previous to this point, there wasnt much going on in the way of apprentices. Now therre REALLY isn't anything going on with apprentices.

Fast forward to today. My Dad has been pulled out of retirement... twice. Travels to Ohio every so often to set things straight. They would spend two weeks working on a problem, couldn't figure it out, so they call up my Dad. He fly's in, and fixes it in two hours. From my Dad's account, nobody over there has a clue, and not many have any work ethic to speak of.

That's where we're at with trade skill from the looks of things. I hope it isn't like that everywhere, or we are screwed.
 

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The trades will never be over rated, and if you ask me it is the college degrees that are way over rated.

I started out as a electrician and worked along the Wasatch Front, I then headed out to the oil fields in the basin. Once I had my journeyman's license I was loving life. Sure it is hard work at times and the hours can be long but you are paid quite well. But I was young and found that I could work the winters and then play all summer until after the hunts and all was well. That was until I got married, then I found out that you need that check to show up every couple of weeks. The wife didn't want to travel so that meant that I had to find a job that would allow me to sit in one place, and at the time there wasn't any. So I went to work for the phone company. It ticked a lot of others off that I started 6 months off of top wage but because of my experience in the electrical field that is where they started me at. I stayed there for 35 years. But it still ticked my wife off that I worked all the OT and out of town assignments that came up, so my marriage didn't last.

Fast forward to today's world. I have a nephew who is a master electrician. He is working 6 10's on the job that he is on out Eagle Mountain way. I have no idea if it is the Facebook building or what but he is stuffing all the cash that he can into his retirement account and savings. He has 5 siblings, two with master degrees that are working as school teachers. Two others are just plain old teachers with degrees in teaching. But compare their wages. Sure my nephew is working his rear off but when he retires in 3 more years he'll be able to do just about anything that he wants. Those who are teachers will also be able to retire but there will be a vast difference in what they are getting during their retirements.

You also have to look at who is going to build your house, the office building that you are sitting in, who is going to repair that AC when you are sitting there sweating your rear off, how about the one who takes care of your vehicle?

In my book more kids need to look at the trades for a vocation. Right now anywhere you look they are looking for tradesmen to do the work and I don't believe that it is going to slow down any time soon.

It's a lot like a meme that I saw the other day. There was a person sitting at home with a masters degree who is unable to find a job with thousands in student debt, in the next picture there is a person who is working for the power company earning good money with a steady job shutting off the power to the gentleman with the masters degree for non payment.
 

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Everyone and their mom and dog goes on and on about how good the trades are. Usually it's people who don't even work in the trades who recommend them. They will use a tradesmen in an example and not even mention:

1. They live in a very HCOL area.


2. A lot of times these tradesmen own their own business, making them an entrepreneur, not a tradesmen. That skews the wages.


3. They don't mention how many hours they work per week to get that salary. If Jim the programmer makes 65k working 40 hours a week and John the plumber makes 75k working 60 hours a week, that's huge. John had to do a far more laborious job for 50 percent more hours a week only to earn 10k more than Jim did.


4. Unions and union workers often try to fool people by including their benefits package into their hourly wage.


5. BLS median salaries tell the real story.

Tired of hearing non tradesmen tell people to just go learn a trade. Mike Rowe is probably the most at fault for this. Discuss.

I'm not saying these jobs aren't important or not needed. They have just been glorified by people.
I don’t know how you think they’re being overrated. In my whole extended family my brothers and I are the only ones in the trades and we do pretty well for ourselves.

Unions don’t need to fluff their wages. Occasionally I’ll hear from someone in my trade that actually makes more on their check than me but without any benefits but most of the time there is no comparison, half the wage with very little or no benefits.

It’s sad to me how bad we push college on all the kids now. College isn’t for everyone. Most who graduate will be paying off their student debt for ten years or more.

My sons school doesn’t have any kind of shop classes. I don’t know who everybody thinks is going to keep building our country.
 

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The trades will never be over rated, and if you ask me it is the college degrees that are way over rated.
I sat here and thought about that for a minute. Your absolutely correct. As time goes on, given the way things are going these days, trade skills are going to become more and more valuable. Looking back, after I got out of the service and did the "go to college" thing, nothing I did after I graduated had anything to do with the wallpaper i received. Trade skills I've learned in my 20's I always come back to, at some point, or another, even though I no longer do it professionally. But nothing I learned in college, I ever come back to.
 

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I don’t know how you think they’re being overrated. In my whole extended family my brothers and I are the only ones in the trades and we do pretty well for ourselves.

Unions don’t need to fluff their wages. Occasionally I’ll hear from someone in my trade that actually makes more on their check than me but without any benefits but most of the time there is no comparison, half the wage with very little or no benefits.

It’s sad to me how bad we push college on all the kids now. College isn’t for everyone. Most who graduate will be paying off their student debt for ten years or more.

My sons school doesn’t have any kind of shop classes. I don’t know who everybody thinks is going to keep building our country.
We oversold college for the last 30 years with no interest in the consequences.

We really should even out how many kids go to a university, community college, trade school and/or certificate programs.

The trades will be needed for ages as they adapt to current systems and techniques. My brother is doing the best out of all of us and he's an electrician that studied in high school and spent his life mastering his skill. He's now a VP, though he misses the actual electrical work.

The chickens are coming home to roost in this country and it's going to be turbulent for a while regarding life after high school graduation.
 

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I do think it has been a mistake for our society to push college as the only way to success they way we have the last couple of decades. College is not for everyone, just like a trade is not for everyone. I say do your best to figure out what you want to do, then go make it happen. For the career I chose I didn’t have any other option than to go to school for way longer than I would have ever really wanted to. But there is no back door into the field, so I did it. Had I wanted to do something that didn’t require a degree, I very much would not have gone to college.

There will always be a demand for those skilled trade laborers out there. The challenge at this point is keeping those people employed in that market. Mechanics, machinists, construction, welding…etc, etc, etc are all having one heck of a time keeping folks long term. Hire someone and a couple months later they are quitting and going to do something different. The impact is being felt, and will no doubt continue to be felt for some time.
 

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All I will say is that if the pandemic tried to teach us anything, it is that every profession is important and no one is "dispensible". Remember the early pandemic when the people considered "essential workers" were doctors, nurses, grocery store workers, trash collectors, and truckers? While it is human nature to do so, nobody should look down on anothers occupation.

The job market is such now that if someone has an aptitude in a given field and is willing to work, he/she can make good money, regardless of it being white collar, blue collar, or other. Remember that you now need an "IT nerd" to get your truck fixed anymore.
 

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College is for morons and the mentally ill. If you look at it as just simply a process you go through in order to have a few letters next to your name that give you the ability to apply for jobs that you normally wouldn't be able to apply for, then sit down and do the math to figure out the rate at which you will acquire the net resources needed to repay your student loans at the average rate of accumulation of said resources, in many cases you will find that going to college is going to put you in poverty for 10-15 years of your life for a piece of paper that has nothing to do with the job you have. What's more, this really escalated 20 years ago so many of the people in both associate and tenured professor positions are the glue sniffing idiots who fell for this scam and had the dumb luck to fall into teaching positions at these indoctrination camps for the criminally insane. Learn a trade, ignore all colleges (even online), and be happy.
 

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I'm critical of the university pipeline situation but I may have to start substituting "indoctrination camp" into conversations just for the sheer ridiculousness of it. Gotta have some fun every now and again.
 

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I guess I have a problem with people who think there is some utopia out there that has everything provided for and doesn't require human intervention. People with skills will be needed for a long time. The trick may be determining what those will be. It amazes me that no matter how advanced the construction trade gets there seems to be a guy with a shovel needed to make sure it is done right.
People who can combine "book smarts" with practical knowledge of how things work will always be more successful than those who have just one or the other.
 

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I didn't say it explicitly but the point is that dumb people are the ones attracted to a scheme where you take a loan out for four years of an education that only allows you to pay off the loan at a rate that takes a quarter of your income for more than 10 years. It doesn't matter what book smarts they have picked up when they're already dumb enough to have fallen for the scheme. If it's a full scholarship situation that's a little different but not by much because they're still going to a school that has degenerated in quality from what they used to be 30+ years ago. Student loans are an epidemic because colleges have figured out that stupid people make better customers and when those stupid people get out of college they're still too dumb to make enough money to pay off the loans. They'll never stop being stupid, and generic four year degrees have become an earmark of that mental deficiency.
 

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Smart people can make stupid mistakes out of desperation. In the process they turn themselves into indentured servants. That pretty much sums up how I feel about student loan debt, not that I have any. I just know someone who does. They only way they'll get out of it, is to own and run their own practice.

College has become a racquet. All that sweet gov backed money they get, they spend it on stupid stuff to make it more "prestigious". LIke bronze statues on park benchs, or some fancy pool nobody asked for. Then they go, "look how nice it is here!" and raise their tuition, or actions to that effect. Meanwhile they make money hand over fist, pumping out more indendtured servants to the government; because that's who ultimately ends up owning most of, if not all of, the student loans. Oh and watch out for that compounding interest.....
 

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People who can combine "book smarts" with practical knowledge of how things work will always be more successful than those who have just one or the other.

Perfectly stated middlefork!
I have seen many times while looking over plans from a PE that what they have drawn on a plan, will not work in the field. I respond back to that section of the drawings and ask for something other than what is proposed. It has almost created a hostile situation when they "think" they are correct, and how dare I tell them they are wrong.
One project, the design engineer refused to make the changes asked for. When the construction came to that point where I asked for a change, the contractor called me and said it wasn't going to work per plan and would need an engineering change order. They submitted the CO, and funny how they were delayed two weeks for approval because of a simple fix that could have been taken care of in plan review. Needles to say, the entire project went 6 weeks past completion date. The "owners" weren't happy and they were head hunting the cause of the delay.

I dealt with another individual that hadn't a clue what was going on on a project, and would call me daily asking questions that related to simple tasks. After a month of this, I found out that the individual was hired because they had a Masters Degree. The degree was in Phycology and not a lick of experience in the field of work they were trying to manage.

IMO....I'd hire someone with 10 years of experience before an applicant with 0 experience and a BA.
 

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Everyone and their mom and dog goes on and on about how good the trades are. Usually it's people who don't even work in the trades who recommend them. They will use a tradesmen in an example and not even mention:

1. They live in a very HCOL area.


2. A lot of times these tradesmen own their own business, making them an entrepreneur, not a tradesmen. That skews the wages.


3. They don't mention how many hours they work per week to get that salary. If Jim the programmer makes 65k working 40 hours a week and John the plumber makes 75k working 60 hours a week, that's huge. John had to do a far more laborious job for 50 percent more hours a week only to earn 10k more than Jim did.


4. Unions and union workers often try to fool people by including their benefits package into their hourly wage.


5. BLS median salaries tell the real story.

Tired of hearing non tradesmen tell people to just go learn a trade. Mike Rowe is probably the most at fault for this. Discuss.

I'm not saying these jobs aren't important or not needed. They have just been glorified by people.
What's a "BLS"? Bureau of Labor Stats?
 
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Everyone and their mom and dog goes on and on about how good the trades are. Usually it's people who don't even work in the trades who recommend them. They will use a tradesmen in an example and not even mention:

1. They live in a very HCOL area.


2. A lot of times these tradesmen own their own business, making them an entrepreneur, not a tradesmen. That skews the wages.


3. They don't mention how many hours they work per week to get that salary. If Jim the programmer makes 65k working 40 hours a week and John the plumber makes 75k working 60 hours a week, that's huge. John had to do a far more laborious job for 50 percent more hours a week only to earn 10k more than Jim did.


4. Unions and union workers often try to fool people by including their benefits package into their hourly wage.


5. BLS median salaries tell the real story.

Tired of hearing non tradesmen tell people to just go learn a trade. Mike Rowe is probably the most at fault for this. Discuss.

I'm not saying these jobs aren't important or not needed. They have just been glorified by people.
To narrow the above post a little.
1: they live in areas that have a HCOL because that is where the work is and the area is usually booming.

2: Not that many tradesmen own their own business. There are a number of them that venture into it but overall there isn't that many.

3: Not all trade jobs require a heavy laborious job. In my trade job we had machines to do the real heavy work. Yes there were times that we needed to pick up and move heavy objects but I wouldn't of called it very strenuous. And yes we worked a lot of hours to get the job done. No different than a office worker who needed to finish a project and had to work OT.

4: That benefit package is worth more than you think. It includes medical, vacations, and retirement. It really isn't that different from the guy that sits behind a desk all day. He also includes his benefit package. But neither are figured into their hourly pay rates or what they make at the end of the year when it comes to tax time.

5: As for the BLS, I'd like to see the statistics that you are getting this information from. Starting wages for the trades is low because the person needs to be trained and doesn't jump right into the job earning top wages. But if you look at the top wages I'd wager that the trades jobs are right up there with that office worker.
 
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