A few weeks ago a CNN anchor was interviewing some expert about the rising costs of a college education. The expert made the point that many people would be better off becoming plumbers than going to college.
You’d better believe it!
The news media keeps coming up with statistics showing that college graduates earn more than non-college graduates. Yet there are so many holes in that data the big picture looks a lot like Swiss cheese. Consider the following:
- Recent college graduates under the age of 25 had a jobless rate averaging 8.8% in 2013. That compares with 5.4% in 2007, before the Great Recession slammed into us.
- Among college graduates who do find work, a whole bunch of them are underemployed, meaning they are waiting tables, tending bar, telemarketing or otherwise struggling to earn a living with work that doesn’t require a college degree. According to a study by the New York Federal Reserve Bank, 44% of college graduates between the ages of 22 to 27 were underemployed as of 2012.
- More than two-thirds of today’s college graduates have to pay off student loans, which sometimes soar into six figures. Try doing that on a bartender’s income. No wonder so many twenty-somethings today are living with mom and dad. Some of them will be in debt the rest of their lives. Their default rate is now around 10% and climbing.
- Only 57% of college students obtain degrees within six years. What’s worse than being an unemployed or underemployed college graduate stuck with student loan debt? How about being a college dropout owing tens of thousands of dollars for a stunted education!
Now let’s see what life can be like for a plumber at a company like ours. Dutton Plumbing is always on the lookout for talented people with a mechanical aptitude who want to earn a good living in a trade that will never become obsolete or get farmed out overseas. Instead of paying for their training, we will pay them a living wage while they work as a helper while learning the trade. Depending on their experience and skill level, their training may last more than a year or just a few months. Then they become full-fledged technicians assigned to their own service truck and their earnings could double or even triple, depending on business conditions and how hard they choose to work.
Some people associate plumbers with construction work, which runs in cycles and typically leads to periodic layoffs. Dutton Plumbing doesn’t do new construction work. Ours is strictly a service business, which is much steadier and constantly growing.
Dutton Plumbing doesn’t hire dummies. Some of our technicians have been to college and even those who haven’t must be above average in math and science in order to understand the laws of physics that underpin the plumbing trade. They undergo background checks and must be drug-free. Also, our technicians undergo extensive customer service training to make sure they know not only how to turn a wrench but how to leave our customers 100% satisfied with the service we deliver.
Take a moment to check out our team of plumbing staff. We take a lot of pride in the fact that many of them have been with us for a long time. But you’ll also find newcomers among them, because our business continues to grow and we are always on the lookout for capable technicians.
Maybe there’s someone among your family and friends who would be a good fit with us. Is there someone you know who’s out of work or unhappy with their current job? Who can’t afford college or finds the classes boring? Who doesn’t feel like getting buried in debt? We welcome applicants of all ages, male or female, of any race or ethnic background. The main criteria we look for are interest and aptitude to learn a rewarding trade, plus a friendly personality.
Please send your candidates our way. Those who make the grade will find out it’s a win-win for them and for us.