College enrollment has been on the decline in recent years, due to rising tuition costs and a lack of well-paying prospects. A bachelor’s degree was once thought to greatly increase an individual’s earnings potential, but there are many high-paying jobs that value experience, training, and skill over a degree.
Jobs You Can Get With a High School Diploma
The median income of a typical American adult with a bachelor’s degree is $52,782, while the median income of those with a high school diploma is around $31,600 per year. However, some jobs that do not require a college education, pay well above the median. Here are 6:
- HVAC Technician
- Railroad Operator
- USPS Processor
- Distribution Manager
- Property Manager
- Police Officer
1) HVAC Technician
HVAC (Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration) technicians repair, maintain, and install heating, air-conditioning and refrigeration systems. They are responsible for heating, cooling, and air quality in residential homes and businesses. This job requires HVAC training, experience, and certifications for handling certain hazardous materials.
Pro Tip: There is currently a shortage of skilled HVAC technicians, so demand for this trade is at an all-time high.
2) Railroad Operator
Railroad Operators operate railroad track switches. They couple or uncouple rolling stock to make up or break up trains. Signal engineers by hand or flagging. May inspect couplings, air hoses, journal boxes, and hand brakes. In addition to that, they receive oral or written instructions from yardmasters or yard conductors indicating track assignments and cars to be switched.
3) USPS Processor
A United States Postal Service Processor is responsible for sorting and preparing mail for distribution. They bundle, label, and route mail to designated areas depending on destinations and according to established procedures and deadlines.They assist in loading mail carrier vehicles, unloading vehicles at the end of each shift and properly filing away mail that could not be delivered.
4) Distribution Manager
A distribution manager organizes the storage and distribution of goods. They ensure that the right products are delivered to the right location on time and at a an agreed upon price. They may also be involved in transportation, stock control, warehousing and monitoring the flow of goods. Understanding the whole supply chain is important so that they can coordinate it effectively and liaise with suppliers of raw materials, manufacturers, retailers and consumers.
5) Property Manager
A property manager is hired by a landlord or property investor to manage the day-to-day operations of a multifamily or commercial rental property. Exact responsibilities will vary based on the type of property they are managing, the amount they are getting paid and the terms of the management contract. Generally they are responsible for all tenant requests, rent, evictions, rental contracts and maintenance requests.
6) Police Officer
A career in law enforcement can be exciting, rewarding, and even fun. However, you can’t walk into your local police station, hand in a job application, and begin patrolling the streets within days or even weeks. You’ll need to attend the police academy and receive field training. The process of going from new recruit to full-fledged police officer can take 6 to 12 months—or longer.
No Degree? No Problem
Some of these jobs are in higher-ranking positions, accessible only to those who worked their way up from low-level positions. Others don’t require a degree but do require specialized training, such as law enforcement or HVAC technician. Many of these jobs also require specific credentials or licenses, but none require more than a highschool diploma.
Contact Us to learn more about Houston HVAC training classes that can lead to a career as an HVAC technician.
Everyone has bad habits, and you are no exception, so think long and hard about your behaviors that tend to cause you trouble. Write everything down and implement a thoughtful strategy to address these tendencies. Most people aren’t aware that they have bad habits until they’re wreaked havoc on their personal or professional lives.
Common Bad Habits
You probably started your career with the best of intentions, but over time, it’s normal to develop so habits to help you get through the week. Some are harmless, like that second cup of coffee. But others may be having a negative impact on you. It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in, there are some common bad habits that might be hurting your professional reputation:
A negative attitude and constant complaining don’t make anyone feel sorry for you, it just makes coworkers and managers not want to be around you. Everyone has their own problems, so try to keep yours to yourself.
You Don’t Set Goals
You may not have your entire laugh mapped out, but it’s important to have some basic goals to keep you propelled forward. You should always be moving towards something, even if it’s just learning a new skill or getting a promotion.
You Don’t Like a Challenge
Sure you do your job, but is that all you do? Do you ever go above and beyond, or take on new responsibilities? If you don’t like to challenge yourself, you’ll soon find that your career path reaches a dead end.
Pro Tip: Learning new things and embracing challenges at work is how you grow in your career field.
The Power of a Positive Attitude
Whether you’re an HVAC technician or school teacher, having a negative outlook and lack of drive just won’t facilitate growth. Bad habits can be hard to break. Your best first step is to recognize the patterns of behavior that may be hurting your career. From there, you can take actions to reverse the damage and turn your bad habits into good practices.
Contact Us to learn more about the best practices to grow your HVAC career.
The first step to getting a great job as an HVAC tech doesn’t involve a resume or job hunt. Before you even get there you have to have training or experience that sets you apart. Once you’ve completed that and taken any necessary certification exams, then you can start looking for the right company to work for.
HVAC Employment in a Shortage
Given the technician shortage in the HVAC industry, you might think it would be a breeze to land a great job quickly. The problem with that thinking is that while employers are motivated, the shortage is of skilled workers. That is to say, technicians with hands-on training experience.
1) Get Trained
A reputable HVAC training course should center around hands-on experience so that upon completion, you’ll be able to get started in your career. The trades industries need highly skilled workers, and knowing that you have that training will prove invaluable. This will set you apart from other applicants, who lack training and are hoping a company will provide it to them upon hiring.
2) Ace the Interview
When your interview is scheduled, do some research about the company culture to ensure that you know your audience. This isn’t just to help you impress your interviewer, but to give you insight into whether or not the company is a good fit for you. Be sure to bring all relevant paperwork to the interview, such as your resume, diploma, or training certification, personal and professional references. Come in business casual with clean, unwrinkled clothes.
3) Don’t Settle
New HVAC techs with training are in a great position to get a very handsome job offer. Because of the shortage of technicians reaching an all-time high, many companies are offering signing bonuses and attractive benefits to get a qualified employee. This means that you can be a little picky, ask for what you want, and most likely get it.
A Sure Bet
If you’re a hard worker with a good attitude and HVAC training under your belt, you’re a sure bet. Much of the industry’s hiring is done through recommendations, so be sure to treat each employer and coworker with respect.
Contact Us to learn more about HVAC classes in Houston, or to find out how to find the right job.
College isn’t for everyone. For some students, vocational schools provide the freedom to work with their hands. For others, an associates program at a community college can offer a competitive edge at work. Or perhaps a four-year degree is the only way for you to achieve your goals.
College Isn’t For Everyone
Education is a wonderful thing, but encouraging students to pursue a degree for the sake of a degree is pointless. The recent popularity of 4-year degrees has made those who don’t feel inclined to pursue them feel inferior and unsure. The goal should be to put individuals in places where they will thrive, not to force students to conform.
1) It’s Expensive
The average public college education will run you about $40,000, or much more if you’re not a resident in the school’s state. The average vocational program will cost about $3500 annually, with certificate programs often less than that. Two-year degrees, vocational certificates, and trade programs can be a great way to set yourself up for financial security upon completion.
2) The Value of a Degree Varies
The value of a college degree varies dramatically, depending on factors such as field of study, type of college, graduation rate and future occupation. The higher paying the job, the more demanding the degree and often the longer it takes. The average student seeking out traditional 4-year degree might be surprised by how little it’s worth in the real world.
3) Vocational Jobs Need You
There are many US jobs that require education in a trade, such as an HVAC technician or electrician. These are well-paying jobs with good benefits that are increasingly lacking qualified applicants. With the rise in popularity of 4-year colleges, the pool of candidates has shrunk, leaving these industries desperate for experienced employees.
4) The Weight of Debt
U.S. colleges have fairly high dropout rates. Students who would rather be doing something else are pressured to attend four-year colleges. When they realize that perhaps this is not the path for them, they’ve often already paid thousands in tuition for an education that will not help them. Even if they find their calling elsewhere, they enter into it under a heavy weight of debt.
A Personal Decision
Ultimately, the decision to pursue a college education or alternative training should be made by individual students, based on their unique interests, strengths, and personal values, not only income and career prospects. Students should have realistic expectations about what they’re likely to get out of pursuing higher education, and the alternative options available to them.
Contact Us to learn more about finding the right vocational training program for your future!
Goal setting is a huge component of the career planning process and has the potential to change the course of your life. Your goals, and the steps you take to achieve them, will make up your action plan.
How to Approach Goal Setting
If the goal is important to you and attainable, you have to commit to it completely. It’s not enough to have a goal, you’ll need to decide how to reach it. Milestones will help point you in the right direction and keep you motivated throughout the process.
Set an End Goal
If it’s a new career, (HVAC technician) set something as your big end goal to strive for. Think about your goal as much as possible, visually reaching it. When you visualize your desired outcome, you’re able to see the possibility of achieving it—and you can start taking steps to create a plan.
If your goal involves changing your career, you may have to undergo some training. Learning new skills could take the form of earning a certification or taking a training course. Use these requirements as milestones guiding you towards your end goal.
Have a Realistic Timeline
No one likes to wait, but the bigger the goal, the more time it’s going to take. Don’t cut corners or set unrealistic expectations.
Find a Mentor
Identify a few key mentors to help guide you through the process, since they’ve already successfully navigated it. Each time you make some progress, share it with your mentors. They can help you make tweaks to your milestones based on what you’re learning. Having a feedback process allows you to stay motivated, stay on track, and feel a sense of accomplishments throughout the process.
Set a New Course
If you encounter barriers that threaten to impede your progress, don’t give up. Instead, modify your goals accordingly. Set a new course that will still get you where you want to be.
Contact Us for more information about starting a new career as an HVAC technician.
Are you looking to build better study habits? Whether you’re a college student or are taking steps to receive your HVAC certification, studying is crucial to your success. You’ve paid for the education, so it’s not wise to waste the investment by failing to prepare.
Study Habits That Work
If you feel like your daily routine isn’t as effective as it could be, maybe it’s time to change things up. Forming new study habits will help you retain material, manage your time and improve your concentration and focus. Here are 5 tips to help you maximize your study time:
- Make a Plan
- Be Consistent
- Find Your Best Learning Style
1) Make a Plan
Successful students develop a plan and routines that reinforce that plan. A student who devotes a certain number of hours to reading and reviewing each week will see greater success on exams or certifications. This doesn’t mean that you have to do everything immediately, but cultivate and maintain an awareness of exactly what needs to be done and when.
2) Be Consistent
Many people struggle to develop a consistent study routine. Developing good habits takes time and repetition, so being consistent is crucial to make studying time automatic.
The best plan won’t help you if you don’t prioritize your study time. Once you’ve made a list of upcoming exams and assignments, rank them in order of importance. This will help you prepare, manage your time and never let anything fall through the cracks.
4) Find Your Best Learning Style
This may seem like a no-brainer, but many students are not in tune with how they learn best. You could learn best with visual, auditory, reading-based or kinesthetic learning. Some people may learn better using a mix of various styles. For example, a hands-on HVAC training may teach you much more efficiently than an online course.
Weekends are precious to those who work Monday-Friday, but they’re also a good time to do some review. This will help you retain the information you’ve learned and be ready when it comes time for your next class.
Find What Works For You
There are no universal rules for studying. What works for you may not work for someone else. Everybody is different, so the best way to establish effective study habits is to try different things and see what works best for you, then modify your routine accordingly.
Contact us to learn more about hands-on HVAC training classes to prepare you for the Texas HVAC Technician Certification Exam.