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How to Get an Apprenticeship and Avoid Student Loan Debt

Student loan debt across the nation has been a growing problem for a long time. Today’s total student debt has reached some $1.7 trillion, with the average college graduate owing $20,000 to $25,000. If you’re considering your educational journey or advising someone who is, it’s crucial to weigh the alternatives to traditional college that could considerably lower your financial burden.

One of the easiest ways to go about this is enrolling in an apprenticeship program. Not only do apprentice programs offer a good path to a rewarding career, but they also relieve the financial burden commonly linked with higher education.

The Apprenticeship Advantage: Hands-On Learning

Apprenticeships blend hands-on experience with a theoretical foundation. Unlike traditional higher education that could leave you buried in student loan debt, apprenticeships let you to “earn while you learn.” These programs haven’t been fully utilized in the past but are getting renewed focus from employers and academic institutions as they understand the value of practical experience in career development.

Why the Resurgence in Apprenticeships?

Apprenticeship programs are not only about debt avoidance; they’re also about employability and skill mastery. Traditional degree programs usually target on theoretical knowledge, which is undoubtedly important but lacks the real-world application that employers covet. Apprenticeships bridge this gap by preparing you to be job-ready and outfitting you with the tools needed to stand out in your desired field right off the hop.

Apprenticeship Pathways: Trade and Academic

Learning the styles of apprenticeships available can help you make a more informed decision. Here’s an explanation of the two major options.

Trade Apprenticeships

These programs prepare you for jobs where a college degree is often unnecessary. While society’s concentration on higher education has resulted in a decline in these sort of apprenticeships, the lack of skilled tradespeople has created a surge in demand and, as a result, higher salaries.

The Department of Labor reports that apprentices in trade fields earn around $15 per hour during training, or $31,200 annually if training full time. As soon as the program is completed, the average apprentice could earn the following salaries upon joining the workforce:

    • Electrician: $49,840
    • Plumber and pipe-fitter: $49,140
    • HVAC technician: $43,640
    • Solar panel installer: $37,900
    • Auto mechanic: $36,610
    • Construction worker: $30,000 to $45,000

Academic Apprenticeships

Academic institutions are frequently including apprenticeships in their degree programs, especially for fields like engineering, health care and information technology (IT). The advantages are two-fold: students obtain real-world experience while fulfilling academic requirements, and they earn a wage, reducing the need for loans.

How to Get an Apprenticeship

A couple of different resources are available to support you in finding an apprenticeship. Here’s organizations and individuals who may have more information:

    • Trade organizations and unions: Get started by calling specific institutions associated with your field of interest to see if they have any available apprenticeships.
    • US Department of Labor: The DOL website has a searchable database of apprenticeship programs that you can filter by geographic region, which is a very good resource for career seekers all over the country.
    • Educational institutions: If you’d like to work while obtaining a degree, colleges and universities are a helpful initial point of contact. The programs most likely to offer apprenticeships as part of the degree program most often are in computer and IT, engineering, nursing, business management or consumer science.
    • Trade company websites: Lots of companies list apprenticeship opportunities on their career pages.
    • Networking: Sometimes, the old-school way is the best approach. Talking to people in the industry can offer you insider information on possible opportunities.

Choosing the Perfect Apprenticeship for You

When you follow the traditional college route, you select a major based on your interests. Next, you look for job opportunities affiliated with that major. On the other hand, choosing an apprenticeship demands you to think in reverse.

Begin by pinpointing the majors and career paths that utilize or require apprenticeships. And then, pick one of the available apprenticeships from your narrowed-down list that sparks your interest, meets your skill set or offers the best income, depending on your priorities. This strategy helps you coordinate your educational pathway with real-world opportunities, ensuring a smoother transition into the job market and a satisfying career for years to come.

Choose Service Experts Career Academy

Are you looking to avoid racking up student loan debt while developing a satisfying career? Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing offers a top-of-the-line apprenticeship program called Service Experts Career Academy (SECA). SECA offers cutting-edge HVAC training and on-the-job learning facilitated by experienced industry professionals. The curriculum is created to equip you with valuable skills and make you a master in your field—all while avoiding your own student debt crisis.

The path to a worthwhile, debt-free career starts with making informed choices. If you’re prepared to take control of your future with help from Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing, please contact us to learn more about Service Experts Career Academy. Reach out at 866-397-3787 today to learn more!

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