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.
Are you fed up? Are you tired of feeling like you’re not using even a tenth of your potential? When you’re at the point where the dissatisfaction of the present outweighs the sacrifice that change demands, you’re ready for a fresh start.
Embrace Change for a Fresh Start
Acknowledge that what got you where you are today isn’t going to get you where you want to go. If you keep repeating the same behaviors, you’ll end up exactly where you are now. Real change requires a mental shift that sticks.
Make a Plan
If you’re serious about making a significant life change, you need to establish a clear, actionable plan. How are you going to overcome all the obstacles? Where will you start? There shouldn’t be anything left to chance. If you’re looking towards a career as an HVAC technician in Houston, select the training course you’ll take and sign up. Then, make study goals for each week to set yourself up for success.
It’s easy to slack off when nobody’s holding you accountable. It’s also possible to fool yourself into thinking that you’re on track when you’re not. Take a moment to review each day to see if you consistently took the steps you outlined in your plan. It’s very easy to say you’re going to make a change. It’s more difficult to put it into action.
In the movies, life change happens instantly, by quitting a job or signing up for a gym membership. In real life, change takes work and dedication.
Don’t Be Afraid to Fail
One of the main reasons people stay in situations that make them miserable is an intense fear of failure. However, even with careful planning, you have to take a leap of faith at some point. Whether that’s changing course in your career or moving to a new state.
More Than Just a Job
Career dissatisfaction is often the biggest complaints of adults in the US. You feel grateful to have a job, you just wish it was something you enjoyed! There’s no shame in demanding more. With so many hours of your life spent at work, you should find what you excel at and run with it!
Contact Us to learn more about HVAC training classes or visit our website to read testimonials from former students.
In comparison with many other occupations, HVAC technicians tend to see a higher rate of injury. These often include electrical shocks, burns, falls, and straining the muscles or back when working with heavy equipment.
Industrial Safety Tips
An HVAC career can be rewarding and fun, but as is the case with many industrial professions, safety is a concern. The key to preventing injuries to proper training and preparation, as well as following state and federal regulations. Here are 5 tips to keep you safe on the job.
- Follow Regulations
- Required Training
- Appropriate Attire
- First Aid
1) Follow Regulations
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has safety regulations that provide guidance on how to handle dangerous materials, situations and events. Any HVAC business with at least one employee must comply with OSHA regulations and training.
2) Required Training
During your HVAC training and while on the job you should receive regular safety training and briefs. Safety should be a priority, and managers should lead by example, making safety training an integral part of the learning process.
3) Appropriate Attire
Accidents on the job can happen to anyone, even the most experienced HVAC technicians. However, wearing the correct protective gear can help prevent or mitigate injury. Examples of appropriate attire are:
- Eye Pro
- Long Sleeves or Arm Protectors
- Respirator (around unsafe materials/dust)
- Heat-Resistant Gloves (as needed)
4) First Aid
There should be a first aid kit in every technician’s vehicle, in case of minor injury. Consider getting CPR certified, or taking a first aid course with your entire staff. In the event of a serious injury, you may need to visit an urgent care or an ER (depending on the severity). In very critical accidents, call 911.
HVAC techs that handle refrigerant face exceptional risk: the extreme low temperatures may damage the skin upon contact and some are extremely flammable. Inhaling refrigerants is especially dangerous and special care should be taken when working with these toxic substances in confined spaces. Technicians should receive training and certification before being allowed to handle these dangerous substances.
A Safe Start
Every industry has its own risks, but trades that involve electricity, in particular, have a greater threat of injury. Protect yourself and your fellow technicians by following this safety guide.
Contact Us to learn more about a rewarding career as an HVAC tech. The next HVAC class in Houston starts soon, so register before it’s full!
For most businesses, the telephone plays a major role in daily operations. The HVAC industry is no different, with technicians contacting dispatch, coworkers, and customers. As important as the phone is, it’s going to do more harm than good if you don’t know the difference between good and bad phone etiquette.
Crucial Telephone Etiquette Tips
Online, you have the time to draft a great response and think about what you are going to say before you send. On the phone, there’s no time to overthink. That’s where good phone etiquette comes in. Here are 5 tips to ensure a positive phone interaction:
- Identify Yourself
- Don’t Interrupt
- Be Friendly
- Always Have an Answer
- Speak Clearly and Slowly
1) Identify Yourself
HVAC technicians spend most of their time on the go, so you’ll most likely be taking calls on a cell phone. You still need to identify yourself at the beginning of the call. Answer with, “Hello, this is Tom” so that people know they’ve reached the right person, and don’t have to clarify.
2) Don’t Interrupt
Don’t interrupt the caller, either by talking, eating or pausing for too long. This shows that you don’t value their time or what they have to say.
3) Be Friendly
Try not to sound defensive, aggressive or pushy, especially if the call is from an unhappy customer. It’s important that your tone conveys authority and confidence, but is friendly and willing to help.
4) Always Have an Answer
Even if you’re unsure of the answer, you should always provide the caller with something. Even if you that’s just, “Let me clarify this with my supervisor and then call you back when I have an answer.”
5) Speak Clearly and Slowly
When you’re on the phone with a customer or coworker, avoid using broken phrases, slang or idioms. Speak clearly and slowly to keep from having to repeat yourself. And remember to always end the call with a pleasantry!
Using the Phone For Conflict Resolution
Are you dealing with a dissatisfied customer or an upset manager? Don’t send an email or text that could be misconstrued. Instead, connect with that person over the phone to prevent both parties from stewing over the matter on their own, which only makes things worse.
Contact Us to learn more about becoming an HVAC technician.
If there’s one thing to remember about working as HVAC tech, it’s that there really isn’t an average day. Different technicians may specialize in certain things, and uncommon emergencies can flip your plans on their head! However, there should be a basic structure or pattern that most days follow.
The HVAC Tech Schedule
For the sake of simplicity, this article tackles the life of a tech working for an HVAC company, rather than an independent contractor. First and foremost, the HVAC checks in with dispatch, either in person or via phone to find out what their day will look like.
Go With The Flow
A high priority service call may alter the course of your day, so it’s important that you’re able to roll with the punches, taking last minute changes in stride. Dispatch will keep you aware of upcoming jobs, but when things come up it’s important not to stress out.
Talk to Customers
Every customer is unique, which means that each technician must be well-trained in communication. Interactions with customers takes real skill and patience. They’ve entrusted you with access to their home to accurately diagnose a problem that is going to cost them money (sometimes a considerable amount). They may feel stressed, wary, or inpatient. It’s crucial that you approach your customers with professionalism and empathy.
Steady Physical Exertion
There’s no way around it. Part of what makes being an HVAC tech so exciting is that you’re never stuck behind a desk, but the flip side of that is you’re seldom sitting. Much of your day will be spent in hot temperatures, maneuvering around tight spaces, or inspecting attics. You must be fit enough to handle the demands of the job.
At The End of The Day
As an HVAC tech, you’re responsible for managing your time throughout the day and tying up any loose ends before you walk away from the job. Once you’ve completed your work orders and submitted relevant information to the office, your day may be done. Depending on where you work, you may be required to work an occasional on-call shift.
If working in the HVAC industry intrigues you, learn more about the 14 week training program we offer, right here in Houston!
Contact Us for more information.
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!