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Published On: Fri, Nov 9th, 2018

26-Year Old Electrician Who is Debt-free Shows College Isn’t the Only Dream

Ben Bailey, 26-years old, is showing that college isn’t the only dream for Americans. Bailey graduated from high school in 2010, enrolled in an associate’s degree program and become a member of the IBEW Local 41 Union.

Bailey earns $28.25 per hour as an apprentice electrician, with rates going up to $34 an hour when he graduates to a journeyman. He lives the American Dream with zero debt, a house and two vehicles.

photo/ Public domain pictures via Pixabay

The top electricians know that the industry is projected to grow 9% between 2016 and 2026, offering ample job opportunities for the leading electricians.

Reports suggest that college isn’t the only ticket to the American Dream. There are 210 million Americans without a four-year degree. Just 28% of people in Illinois have a four-year degree, and this figure dips to 26% in South Carolina.

The trend of going to college to reach the American Dream isn’t the only option. Electricians, plumbers and other blue-collar jobs are paying higher wages. Work will change for many blue-collar jobs as artificial intelligence advances, and this is already being seen in assembly plants where employees are working less on equipment and more on higher-order activities.

Rolls Royce is a prime example of how automation will change these blue-collar jobs. The company’s factory has fewer workers doing repetitive tasks and working on tasks that are considered “more human.” These tasks include problem solving and complex solutions that automation cannot offer.

The change in the company’s factory include machinists able to work on a variety of tasks, consulting with engineers, maintaining equipment and monitoring operations that they weren’t able to do in the past. Rolls Royce shows that automation will change the way that workers spend their time rather than replacing workers.

Electricians and plumbers have less to worry about in the immediate future, and as the population continues to age, there is an expected rise in the trades as older generations retire.

Well-paying jobs not requiring a degree are increasing at their fastest rate in three decades. Economists warn that women are missing the blue-collar wave. Georgetown University found that there are 13 million jobs nationwide paying a minimum of $35,000 and only require a high school diploma.

The problem is that 75% of these jobs go to men. Goods-producing positions rose 3.3% to hit its highest pace since 1984 in the year before July. Worker shortages are also helping boost trades, which don’t have enough employees to fill them all. Women recruitment has increased as labor unions and employers are trying to entice women into trades that have been dominated by men through paid maternity leave and other perks.

Author: Jacob Maslow

About the Author

- Outside contributors to the Dispatch are always welcome to offer their unique voices, contradictory opinions or presentation of information not included on the site.

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