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How to Get an Apprenticeship and Avoid Student Loan Debt

Student loan debt across the nation has been a growing concern 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 academic journey or advising someone who is, it’s essential 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 practical 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 activities with a theoretical foundation. In contrast to traditional higher education that may leave you mired in student loan debt, apprenticeships let you to “earn while you learn.” These programs haven’t been used as much as they could have in the past but are getting renewed attention from employers and academic institutions as they realize the value of practical experience in career development.

Why the Renewed Interest in Apprenticeships?

Apprenticeship programs aren’t just about debt avoidance; they’re also about employability and skill mastery. Traditional degree programs usually concentrate on theoretical knowledge, which is unquestionably important but lacks the real-world application that employers want. Apprenticeships bridge this gap by preparing you to be job-ready and equipping you with the tools needed to excel in your preferred field right from the get-go.

Apprenticeship Styles: Trade and Academic

Understanding the styles of apprenticeships available will help you make a more informed decision. Here’s a breakdown of the two major options.

Trade Apprenticeships

These programs prepare you for fields where a college degree is frequently not needed. While society’s emphasis on higher education has caused 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 estimates that apprentices in trade fields earn around $15 per hour throughout training, or $31,200 yearly if training full time. When the program is completed, the average apprentice can 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 more and more are incorporating apprenticeships in their degree programs, especially for professions such as engineering, health care and information technology (IT). The benefits are two-fold: students obtain real-world experience while fulfilling academic requirements, and they earn a wage, limiting the need for loans.

How to Find an Apprenticeship

A number of resources are able to support you in finding an apprenticeship. Here’s places that may have more details:

    • Trade organizations and unions: Get started by contacting specific institutions associated with your field of interest to see if they have any contacts.
    • US Department of Labor: The DOL website has a searchable database of apprenticeship programs that you can narrow down by geographic region, which is an excellent resource for career seekers nationwide.
    • Educational institutions: If you want to work while obtaining a degree, colleges and universities are the first 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: Numerous companies post apprenticeship opportunities on their career pages.
    • Networking: Sometimes, the old-school way is the best approach. Talking to people in the business can supply you with insider information on upcoming opportunities.

Finding the Appropriate Apprenticeship for You

When you follow the traditional academic route, you select a major based on your personal strengths. Next, you look for job opportunities affiliated with that major. But, seeking an apprenticeship requires you to think in reverse.

Start off by pinpointing the majors and career paths that utilize or require apprenticeships. Next, pick one of the available apprenticeships from your narrowed-down list that sparks your interest, matches your skill set or offers the most lucrative income, depending on your priorities. This method helps you coordinate your educational pathway with real-world opportunities, which makes for 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 gratifying career? Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing offers an excellent 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 designed to equip you with critical 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 eager to take control of your future with help from Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing, please get in touch with us to learn more about Service Experts Career Academy. Contact us at 866-397-3787 today to learn more!

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