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McCutcheon Air Conditioning and Heating Blog

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Apprenticeship vs. College Degree

With the exception of those with “high-end” majors, skilled apprentices in the U.S. earn more than the average 4-year college graduate over their lifetimes, According to Dr. Anthony Carnevale, director of the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce.

In addition to their higher lifetime-earnings potential, an apprenticeship allows workers to earn money while learning a trade and get the hands-on experience that employers are looking look for so they are at a distinct advantage over those that are coming straight out of a classroom.

In contrast to earning as you learn, many who attend 4-year college institutions enter the workforce with staggering amounts of debt.

So why is it that less than 1% of workers in the U.S. begin their careers as apprentices?

Colorado recently became first state to offer a statewide youth-apprenticeship program. The program dubbed “Careerwise Colorado” was instituted because industries in the state were facing a severe shortage of “middle-skilled” workers. Middle-skills are those that require more than a high school diploma but less than a bachelor’s degree.

This shortage of tradespeople is not unique to Colorado and it remains to be seen whether the success of Careerwise Colorado will lead to an increase in apprenticeship programs.

 

Apprenticeships and Sean McCutcheon’s Air Conditioning and Heating

Our very own Sean McCutcheon started his career as an apprentice in a local air conditioning company shortly after graduating from Riverview High School in 1992. His hard work paid off quickly, by 1998 he had become a partner in that company and in 2003 he went out on his own and formed Sean McCutcheon’s Air Conditioning and Heating.

Sean has paid it forward by sharing his knowledge and expertise with many would-be HVAC technicians who have trained at Sean McCutcheon’s Air Conditioning and Heating.

Download this fact sheet from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction

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