Plumbing v. Harvard: Why Craft Training Beats College
Are you better off going to Harvard or joining a construction craft training or apprenticeship program and becoming a plumber?
New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg is betting on plumbers.
According to a May article from MSN Money Bloomberg answered a question during his weekly radio address:
“Compare a plumber to going to Harvard College; being a plumber, actually for the average person, probably would be the better deal.”
And the numbers agree with him:
- Nonresidential pipelayers, plumbers, pipefitters and steamfitters made a mean annual wage of $56,300 in 2012, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
- $26,000 is the average debt for college graduates in 2011.
- 284,000 college graduates worked minimum wage jobs last year.
It’s a clear message to students and parents: construction craft training is a viable career path and college isn’t always the answer.