Georgia Student Finance Commission


Why Skilled Trades?

Learn About Skilled Trades

Why Skilled Trades?

Career tradesmen and craftsmen - welders, brick masons, plumbers, electricians and carpenters - are in critical need now more than ever. This is a big opportunity for dedicated men and women to learn a skilled trade and benefit from the positives of these high demand occupations:

The Situation

  • Industries across the nation and right here in Georgia are facing a growing shortage of tradesmen such as pipefitters, steel workers, boilermakers, electricians and carpenters. But when you learn a skilled trade, the industry's big problem can become your big break. The skills of craft tradesmen are in high demand and these industries have the potential to take you farther (and pay you more) than the corporate ladder ever could.

The Salary

  • Learning a skilled trade gives you the opportunity to build a strong career with great potential - all without sinking into student debt. You do the math: Georgia students who earn a traditional four-year degree graduate with an average of $23,768 in student loan debt; an amount that can take years to pay off. There's nothing wrong with four-year degrees, but there is something wrong with acting like they're the only path to success. Skilled tradesmen can earn higher starting salaries than the average college graduate. With multiple opportunities for fast-track advancement and lots of specialties to choose from, the earning potential for a career in the skilled trades is virtually unlimited.

The Skills

  • From pipefitters and boilermakers to electricians and brick masons, every tradesman's career is built on the same foundation: solid skills learned through pre-apprenticeships, apprenticeships or technical college. Choose from apprenticeship programs and technical colleges, as well as opportunities offered by the Construction Education Foundation of Georgia.

Job Security

  • For every four people retiring from the trades, only one is stepping up to take their place. But the needs these people attended to, like indoor plumbing, air conditioning and smooth roads, will still require attention now and in the future.

HOPE Career Grant

  • HOPE Career Grant was created to support education within high-demand trades. It provides financial assistance to Georgia residents to gain certificates and diplomas in a variety of programs from industrial maintenance to precision manufacturing.