The former mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg, spoke at a Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) meeting in New York City where he gave some pretty controversial advice to young high school graduates. The question is whether or not it is good advice, and for some the answer is a resounding yes. Bloomberg recommended that some graduates would do well to consider not going to college but instead join the work force right away.
“If he’s not going to go to a great school and he’s not super smart academically, but is smart in terms of dealing with people and that sort of thing, being a plumber is a great job because you have pricing power, you have an enormous skill set,” Bloomberg explained. In today’s day and age college is an expensive investment and could leave students saddled with loans for the rest of their lives.
Instead of going that route and accruing student loan debts, consider becoming a plumber’s apprentice and earn $50,000 to $60,000 a year. While being a plumber might not be considered glamorous the payout can be handsomely rewarding, especially, if you stick with it and start your own company. Bloomberg cited the father of one of his very own employees who heads a successful plumbing business and chose not to attend college. “He’s got six plumbers working for him, he’s a scratch golfer, he goes around playing courses I only dream about,” Bloomberg said of the man.
Few people grow up dreaming about becoming a plumber or a garbage man or a sewer inspector but these are all worthwhile careers to pursue because you can make a handsome living doing them, without attending an expensive college or university. Garbage men make up to $60,000 a year and have the satisfaction of knowing they make a huge difference in the community everyday. A sewer inspector makes an average salary of $47,000 a year. Crab fishermen can make up to $50,000 over a 3 month period. Porta-potty cleaners maintain 10 to 60 porta-potties a day and take home an average salary of $50,000 a year. Owners of businesses that provide these services make even more money and don’t have to get their hands as dirty. So is college the best and only answer for everyone? Perhaps, the answer is no.