Much of the problem is that career training in the U.S. hasn't evolved to keep up with the economy's transformation. Schools have cut vocational funding, while parents, guidance counselors, and even politicians keep pushing students into college programs. Meantime, jobs in traditional blue-collar trades — from manufacturing to automobile repair — have grown more sophisticated and demanding.
Although formal vocational education has been a part of American schooling since the early 20th century, career training has developed into something that teachers and guidance counselors encouraged only students of low academic achievement to pursue. Though the robust post-World War II American economy provided them solid middle-income living, vocational school became stigmatized. That only intensified as American industrial jobs, battered by global competition and automation, started to disappear during the early 1980s.
Unfortunately, many students wound up instead enrolling in four-year colleges who weren't suited for it. These days, only 55% of college students graduate within six years. Meanwhile, student-loan debt has swelled to a monstrous $1.3 trillion.
Many of the students would have been better off receiving vocational training. Plenty of good trade jobs exist, especially in a category known as middle-skilled, meaning jobs that require some post-secondary education — for instance, a certified apprenticeship or a two-year associate degree from a technical college. These jobs are found in health care, information technology, manufacturing, construction, and automobile repair.
Annual incomes in Auto Repair in St. Charles County, Missouri range from $30K for the newly appointed Auto Technician to as high as $75K and higher for the expert, diagnostic technician. And these incomes are often in independent shops with full benefits packages, no weekend hours, and a wide variety of vehicles on which to use your skills.
Sound interesting? Visit an Independent Auto Repair Shop like Fred's Complete Car Care. Contact Ranken, Vatterot, Missouri Technical or other local Vocational / Technical school to learn more about the Automotive Career field, and ask about scholarships. Although cars may be self-driving some day soon, humans will still need to know how to work on them.