The pressures modern high school students face are stacking up. Exams, extracurriculars, and planning for post-secondary education plague students everywhere. And as a high school career counselor, you want to help relieve some of the stress these students feel by helping them find the right post-secondary education option. Although every student has different needs and goals, they all have the same question on their minds: What am I going to do after graduating high school?

Some students will choose education, pursuing a degree at a traditional four-year, two-year, or community college. Others will want to start working right away. At Carpenters Training Institute, students get to experience both. As an apprentice, students receive high-quality, on-the-job training to become a professional carpenter, millwright, pile driver, floor coverer, or cabinet maker. And the best part? It’s tuition-free, and students earn a living wage while they develop their craft.

Chances are, you know a handful of high school students in fear of adding thousands of dollars of debt to their name, or maybe some who are ready to enter the workforce right after graduation. Perhaps you’ve talked to students who like working with their hands, but aren’t sure how that translates into a career. A trade career might be just the right solution.

Trade Career Salaries

Apprentices earn a living wage while going to school and learning on-the-job skills. On average, students can expect to spend roughly 1,700 hours working on the job, and 160 hours in the classroom during each year of their apprenticeship. Here’s what they can expect to earn:

Average Apprentice Earnings

  • Year One: $30,675-$42,535 + benefits
  • Year Two: $41,835-$58,000 + benefits
  • Year Three: $47,400-$65,730 + benefits
  • Year Four: $52,980-$73,465 + benefits

After successfully completing their programs, apprentices become journeyworkers in the field. The average journeyworker makes between $55,770 and $77,335 a year, plus benefits.

Average Journeyworker Earnings

As a journeyworker, former students can advance their training and education by enrolling in continuing education courses; or, they can begin working as a foreman, superintendent, course instructor—or anything else they choose. Here’s what they might make after graduating:

  • Regional Average Journeyworker Salary: $68,785 + benefits
  • Average Foreman Salary: $66,500-$89,000 + benefits
  • Average Superintendent Salary: $90,000-$120,200 + benefits

Trade Career Opportunities

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 225,000 construction jobs are available for professional tradespeople in the U.S. each month. And, carpenter job opportunities are expected to grow 10% over the next decade. Needless to say, jobs aren’t too hard to come by in the trades.

Being a professional carpenter is one of the most rewarding and in-demand careers your students can choose for themselves. They’ll get to work on countless different types of projects, including bridges, retail centers, medical facilities, schools, universities, sports arenas, and so much more.

Trade Career Job Security

The Bureau of Labor Statistics included the construction industry among the fastest-growing industries in 2016. Employment of construction managers is projected to grow almost 11 percent between now and 2026—faster than the average for all occupations. Why? Trades can’t be outsourced. They’re hands-on, after all.

Without the trades, our society’s infrastructure would start to crumble. As communities grow and change, we rely on skilled tradespeople to handle developments, maintenance, construction work, and more. So, as your students begin contemplating possible career paths after high school, let them know that a job in the trades is a job with security.

Helping Students Find Their Fit

It’s never too early to start talking to students about possible career opportunities; it’s probably already on their minds! In addition to contemplating what career path they might want to pursue, high school students are wondering how they might pay for secondary education, and how to land a job once they’re done. With a career in the trades, things are a little more predictable.

A trade career provides a stable salary and benefits package, countless job opportunities, and job security no matter which craft apprentices specialize in. At Carpenters Training Institute, we offer the training and support students need for a successful, lifelong career in the trades.

Could a trade career be the right fit for one of your students? Learn more about Carpenters Training Institute and how we partner with high schools.