Skilled Trades Blog

Busting Skilled Trades Myths: "University Graduates make more Money"

Posted by Brad Dixon



The skilled trades industry is an important part of our society and economy — trades people touch almost every aspect of our daily lives. They build our homes and our cars. They work in manufacturing, mining, oil and gas. Canada is depends on the skilled trades, they keep our country going.

That said, the skilled trades have gotten a bad reputation, and we aren't sure why. With myths like these spreading, it's no wonder Canada is suffering from a severe skilled trades shortage. And so, over the next few weeks, we are going to be exposing myths about the skilled trades and revealing the truth. 


Myth 4: University graduates make more money

This myth goes hand-in-hand with our first busted myth, that university is the only way to be successful. Years of being told that university is the only way to get a successful career has put skilled trades training and careers in a negative light. Don't be fooled by studies showing that university graduates earn more than people without a degree. That only applies to high-demand degrees, and right now, skilled trades are the jobs that are in demand in Canada right now.



The Reality

Skilled trades workers usually earn more than the average liberal arts major or those with degrees that are not highly valued in today's market. While it's difficult to say definitively what trade workers make, it is safe to say that top-notch companies offer top-notch earnings. There is no point in thinking in terms of averages, this is where the myth comes from and no one wants to be average. Instead, think in terms of earning opportunity and a six-figure income is within reach.


Connect with the right company

To be completely honest, if you are working in a construction trade, you may have to work a lot of overtime to reach your six-figure goal. As a service trade worker, you need to be connected with the right company — one that operates on a performance-pay basis. That means find a company that pays their service technicians a percentage of the revenues they bring in. Depending on the company, you may receive this in addition to an hourly wage or it may be based solely on performance. Either way, that gives you more control over how much you are able to earn.


Strive to be the best

When all is said and done, proficiency with the tools of the trade is only part of what will make you a great gas technician. The highest paid service techs also have great customer service and a personality that allows them to establish a rapport with their customers. When you are working in the trades, trust is essential, this is what will keep your customers coming back to you.


Be your own boss

One of the benefits about entering the skilled trades industry is the opportunity to start your own successful business rather than simply searching for skilled trades jobs offered by other employers. When you are a fully licensed gas technician, for example, you can choose to then learn how to start and run a profitable business. Once you have a successful business underway, you can set your earning goals and work toward them. Few university degrees offer the same potential.


Once you learn a skilled trade and gain the skills and knowledge of the business side, your opportunities are endless. Your potential earnings can be just as high, likely even higher, than a university graduate's!


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Topics: Career Opportunities, Skilled Trades Myths