College Vs the Trades

There has been a big push over the last few years by Mike Rowe to consider the trades as a career. Yes, that guy from Dirty Jobs, who has a college degree in communications has been singing the praises of the trades over college for years. Why?


The trades typically are a place where one gets paid to learn. A beginner in a trade might start out with a mindless job requiring no skill but can advance as they learn and are able to perform more complicated tasks. As they advance they become more valuable and earn more money. Rather than spend four years in college paying to get a ‘well rounded’ education someone could be learning a trade that is in high demand and typically better paid than the average college graduate. College is often heralded as the first step to a career path but there are certainly many who started college and never finished for a variety of reasons often including financial issues.


refrigeration technicians wearing safety gear install black evaporator for wine room.  The wine room has gray tile floor and dark wood to hold wine.  You can see a screwdriver and lineman pliers.
Tri-Point Refrigeration Technicians install wine room refrigeration at the Barton Creek Resort in Austin, Texas

One of the downsides of the trades is that it is a physically demanding job. It may not be as appealing to someone as a job in an office pushing paper but in most cases it pays considerably more. Modern trade contractors offer many perks to employees because they understand the need for more people in the trades. Companies all pay competitively, offer medical/dental/vision, yearly bonuses, 401K matching and of course paid vacation. They also aren’t stingy about full time or overtime. There is always work and it needs to be done so overtime is often a way to make a good paying job a great paying job. People in the trades are getting older and it has been more difficult to get young people into plumbing, electrical, HVAC/R despite the fact that they could make a good living fairly quickly. Employers know this and are working with local high schools and community colleges to offer young people a better option than crushing college debt in the future.


Higher education has its place but not everyone excels in it. Being able to excel in college is not always an indicator of future success. One of the things that it does show future employers is that you are able to follow instructions and complete what you start. Sometimes that is not worth the student loan payment that people are paying off for 15 years after college. Interestingly, Mike Rowe got a degree in communications and did something big with it. But to be honest many majors do not get you into a high paying job unless they are in the technical sciences. Michael Dell had a GPA of 0.0 at University Of Texas Austin when he dropped out during his first semester to continue pursuing his business which now grosses $100 billion a year. Granted he didn’t choose the trades but college wasn’t the end all be all that has been pounded into young people today.


The trades aren’t for everyone. It is sometimes a very difficult job in less than desirable conditions but can often be rewarding as you see the fruits of your labor come to fruition. Nothing has been more amazing living in Texas than turning on my A/C and feeling cold air flowing from it. Refrigeration and air conditioning are a miracle that makes Texas livable and it has been pretty exciting to take part in that miracle.


Feel like learning more about being in the trades? We are always looking for good people to teach the ways of HVAC/R. It's a little like Jedi training without the possibility of cutting off your own appendages with a laser sword. Visit our Indeed.com listings to see what available these days. You never know, this might be for you.


As always, if you need help getting your refrigeration problems solved, give us a call:


Austin: (512) 651-4565

Lubbock: (806) 686-0050


Or check out our website at www.tripointrefrigeration.com


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