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Machinist jobs could be the high-paying career hands-on students need

As a parent you want the best for your child as they grow up. You want them to seek a secondary education and follow a career path. But today, a four-year degree doesn’t hold the same necessity as it once did to attain a high-paying job in an in-demand field.

If you’re hoping for a high-paying job and the best possible future for your child, you may consider an unconventional path for them. While most students go on to four-year degrees, often incurring crippling debt in the process, more and more will be going a different route to achieve the American Dream and financial stability. 

According to a recent press release, a recent Manpower Inc. survey of 35,000 employers found that “skilled trade positions are the hardest to fill despite an urgent need.” Manpower Inc.’s 2010 Talent Shortage Survey named the U.S as a country where employers ranked skilled trades as their No. 1 or No. 2 hiring challenge. Just look at the sampling of jobs available to those with machinist training right now.

Do the math

Consider this: According to the National Center For Education Statistics the average cost of tuition for a four year degree at a public university was more than $15,000 from 2010 to 2011. If tuition costs remained stable, over four years your child would be looking at incurring $60,000 in student loan debt. However, from 2008 to 2010 the average cost of tuition at a four year public university rose 15 percent, and as much as 40 percent in states like California and Arizona.

Just as an example, compare those costs to that of the Advanced Manufacturing Machinist Training offered at Finger Lakes Community College. The price with tuition and fees for this six-month program is $2,400. Students can spend an additional three and half years and $58,000 earning a traditional degree, or be ready to join the job market in six months with little or no debt.

It makes sense

Does your child enjoy working with their hands, and dislike traditional classroom learning? Are they skilled at math, but lagging in other areas? Do they get a sense of pride from making things? Then it may be setting them up for failure to push them towards a four-year degree that they’re resistant to. Increasingly, students in skilled trade programs are getting hired even before they’ve finished a training program.

The gap

While slightly more technical programs such as CNC machining are becoming much more in demand, traditional machinists jobs will still need to be filled. According to the Department of Labor Statistics, the machining industries are expected to actually decline by three percent over the next decade. But skilled machinists are retiring at a rate that is much greater than they can be replenished at. This means that jobs will still be ample in the basic machining fields.

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