Beating debt with technical training
Mon, 02 Apr 2012 21:31:33 GMT —
You may have graduated college, but chances are you're still paying for it.
Two thirds of students graduating this spring will enter the real world with loan debt.
Others are opting for careers that require less expense and more money post graduation.
"I knew college wasn't for me so I chose this route and I was pretty confident in my choice because I wasn't really interested in spending four years of my life doing something that I wasn't going to use," electrician apprentice Andrew Briney said.
Briney didn't go to college after high school he applied for an apprenticeship.
"You get to learn from people that actually do it every day," he said. "Your instructors in the classroom are either former or current journeymen so your learning from people that have actually done it day in and day out."
Briney is just one of the 400,000 apprentices in trades in the United States.
"Well I think part of it is the fact that it cost so much," Richard Jones, a business representative for International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 34 said. "I mean you're looking at probably a $100,000 in loans or some way of getting that money for a four year college. Ours is the apprentice goes to work right away he gets paid to work."
"A lot of people that may go to college may not necessarily like what their getting into," Briney said. "Where as I have already experienced everything and have learned the skills."
Briney is on the last leg of a five-year apprentice program with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. And after his 8,000 hours of on the job training and 180 hours of yearly classroom work he'll have an electrician position waiting for him...an unlikely situation for the 1.7 million Americans graduating from college in the spring.
"You pretty much just continue on, each year you go up in hourly wage and when you're done you're topped out and your take the journeyman test and become a journeyman electrician," Briney said. "You still continue your same job, there's pretty much seamless transition."
The IBEW apprenticeship program is highly competitive. The union only take applications one day a year during a four hour time frame and a high score on a aptitude test is preferred.