How to Get an Apprenticeship and Avoid Student Loan Debt

Student loan debt in the USA has been a growing issue for a long time. Today’s total student debt soars over $1.7 trillion, with the average college graduate owing $20,000 to $25,000. If you’re thinking about your higher education journey or advising someone who is, it’s crucial to weigh the alternatives to traditional college that could greatly lower your financial burden.

One of the most desirable non-traditional career paths is enrolling in an apprenticeship program. Not only do apprentice programs offer a good path to a rewarding career, but they also relieve the financial burden commonly associated with higher education.

The Apprenticeship Advantage: Learning by Doing

Apprenticeships blend hands-on experience with a theoretical foundation. Unlike traditional higher education that may leave you buried in student loan debt, apprenticeships enable you to “earn while you learn.” These programs have been underutilized in the past but are acquiring renewed attention from employers and academic institutions as they realize the value of practical experience in career development.

Why the Focus on Apprenticeships?

Apprenticeship programs are not only about debt avoidance; they’re also about employability and skill mastery. Traditional degree programs often target on theoretical knowledge, which is unquestionably important but lacks the real-world application that employers want. Apprenticeships bridge this gap by making you job-ready and supplying you with the tools needed to stand out in your chosen field right from the start.

Apprenticeship Styles: Trade and Academic

Understanding the types of apprenticeships available can help you make a more informed decision. Here’s some of the key details of the two major options.

Trade Apprenticeships

These programs prepare you for fields where a college degree is often not needed. While society’s emphasis on higher education has resulted in a decline in these sort of apprenticeships, the lack of skilled tradespeople has caused a surge in demand and, as a result, higher salaries.

The Department of Labor reports that apprentices in trade fields earn around $15 per hour throughout training, or $31,200 yearly if training full time. Once the program is over, the average apprentice can earn the following salaries upon joining the workforce:

  • Electrician: $49,840
  • Plumber and pipe-fitter: $49,140
  • HVAC technician: $43,640
  • Solar panel installer: $37,900
  • Auto mechanic: $36,610
  • Construction worker: $30,000 to $45,000

Academic Apprenticeships

Academic institutions more and more are integrating apprenticeships in their degree programs, particularly for career paths in engineering, health care and information technology (IT). The benefits are two-fold: students receive real-world experience while fulfilling academic requirements, and they earn a wage, limiting the need for loans.

How to Get an Apprenticeship

A couple of different resources are available to help you get an apprenticeship. Here’s organizations and individuals who may have more information:

  • Trade organizations and unions: Begin by reaching out to specific institutions associated with your field of interest to see if they have any offerings.
  • US Department of Labor: The DOL website has a searchable database of apprenticeship positions that you can filter by geographic region, which is an outstanding resource for career seekers nationwide.
  • Educational institutions: If you want to work while seeking a degree, colleges and universities are a good point of contact. The programs most likely to incorporate apprenticeships as part of the degree program include computer and IT, engineering, nursing, business management or consumer science.
  • Trade company websites: Many companies post apprenticeship opportunities on their job pages.
  • Networking: Sometimes, the old-fashioned way is the best way. Talking to people in the field can offer you insider information on future opportunities.

Finding the Perfect Apprenticeship for You

When you go the traditional higher education route, you pick a major based on your personal strengths. Next, you explore job opportunities connected with that major. On the other hand, choosing an apprenticeship demands you to think in reverse.

Start off by choosing the majors and career paths that feature or require apprenticeships. Next, pick one of the available apprenticeships from your narrowed-down list that sparks your interest, meets your skill set or offers the most lucrative income, depending on your priorities. This approach helps you align your educational pathway with real-world opportunities, providing a smoother transition into the job market and a satisfying career for years to come.

Earn While You Learn at Service Experts Career Academy

Are you looking to avoid the student loan trap while pursuing a satisfying career? Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing offers an excellent apprenticeship program called Service Experts Career Academy (SECA). SECA offers cutting-edge HVAC training and on-the-job learning facilitated by knowledgeable industry professionals. The curriculum is created to equip you with essential skills and make you a master in your field—all while avoiding your own student debt crisis.

The path to a fulfilling, debt-free occupation begins with making informed choices. If you’re eager to take control of your future with help from Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing, please get a hold of us to learn more about Service Experts Career Academy. Call us at 866-397-3787 today to learn more!

Savings For You

See All Offers Here >

$50 OFF Any Repair

  • Save $50 on a Paid Service
  • Written 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
  • Plus, ask how to save an additional 15% and waive your trip charge!

$50 OFF HVAC Tune-up Special

There’s no reason to skip your seasonal maintenance that saves energy and helps ensure your air conditioner and heater will work reliably all season long.

  • Regularly $129, now only $79
  • Save up to 30% on energy bills
  • Written Expert Service Guarantee

© 2023 Service Experts, Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning, and the Service Experts logo and design are registered trademarks of Service Experts LLC and used under license by SE Canada Inc. All Rights Reserved. *Not applicable to the Advantage Program. See your signed Advantage Program Agreement for full details and exclusions. 100% Satisfaction Guarantee is subject to certain restrictions and limitations as set forth in the applicable Terms and Conditions.