Skilled Trades

Think You Need University for a Well-Paid Job? Why Trade School May Be a Better Option

May 14, 2019

If you’re like many people, you may believe that if you want a high-paying job, you need to go to university. This belief has been repeated so often that for some people it seems almost self-evident. Fueling it is the fact that for some there is a stigma against the trades, with trades work unfairly seen as low-skilled, low-paid, and dirty, which couldn’t be further from the truth.

What you may not realize is that you don’t need university for a well-paying job. In fact, if it’s a hefty pay cheque that you’re after, you may be better off going into the trades. Let’s take a look at why trade school could be a better option if you’re looking to pursue an in-demand and well-paid career.

Trade School Takes a Lot Less Time Than a University Degree

If you want to pursue a university degree, chances are you’re going to be in school for at least 3 to 4 years. For some professions like law, architecture, and medicine, the amount of time you’ll spend in school could be much longer. During that time, you’ll likely be accumulating student debt and you’ll typically only have limited opportunities to work while studying.

When attending a trade school, however, the situation is completely different. You’ll be able to finish your studies in less than a year and then enter the job market. Furthermore, during your apprenticeship after trade school you’ll continue to learn, but you’ll also be getting paid. That can help you avoid the years of student debt that university students often acquire.

Trade school takes less time than university and allows students to start earning faster

The Trades Are Among the Most In-Demand Jobs in Canada

If you want a career that pays well, you’ll usually need to get one that is in demand. When it comes to the trades, it’s hard to overstate just how severe of a skills shortage there is in Canada. The unemployment rate in Canada is currently at a four-decade low, and the jobs that are in most demand are in the trades.

In fact, a recent survey found that 41 per cent of employers say they can’t fill open jobs, and the ones that are among the hardest to fill are in the skilled trades. In fact, according to that same survey, “One in four employers says filling skilled trades roles is harder this year than last.” Employers say the main reason they can’t fill those jobs is simply because there aren’t enough applicants. So, if you’re looking to get hired fast, then a trade may be for you.

The trades are among the most in-demand jobs in Canada

With a Career in Construction, You Can Earn a Good Salary

Of course, the big question you probably have is which is more likely to lead to a better paying job: the trades or a university degree. According to Statistics Canada, men with an apprenticeship certificate (in other words, those working in the trades) earn a median salary of $72,955, which is ahead of those with college diplomas or just high school qualifications. While that’s still 11 per cent lower than the median earnings for men with bachelor degrees, it’s important to keep in mind that that gap looks much smaller when you consider the high student debt university graduates accumulate along with the fact that trades people can usually enter the workforce much faster.

Plus, in some trades the average salary is higher than the average salary for degree holders. The median salary for men who work as electricians, for example, is $84,016, higher than the median $82,082 that men with bachelor’s degrees earn. In other words, if you’re after a well-paid job, then construction school may be a better fit for you than university.

Do you want a career in construction?

Contact North American Trade Schools to learn about our programs.

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