Photo by State Technical College of Missouri

Demand is growing for good-paying jobs in the skilled trades.

And you don’t have to have a four-year degree to get started.

The president of State Technical College of Missouri in Linn, Missouri, says he’s seeing more students get a technical degree.

“You can do a lot of different things with a good strong technical degree. You’re not maybe as pigeon-holed as you think you are. So just do something you think you would enjoy.”

Shawn Strong says there’s a big demand for workers in the skilled trades – and the pay is good.

“You’re gonna be there for two years. You’re gonna be in a co-hort. You’re more than likely gonna graduate. You’re probably gonna be on A+, so you’re most likely not gonna have any debt when you graduate. And you’re gonna get out and you’re gonna make somewhere between $15 and $30 dollars an hour on day one.”

Strong went to school for HVAC.

“As long as you have a good technical background, you can move around from career to career. That’s something that folks get a little bit hung up on. They think as long as I study HVAC, that’s all I can do. Well, myself, I studied HVAC, and now I’m a college president.”

The Springfield Chamber of Commerce says there’s a need for more workers in the skilled trades because older workers are retiring.

There are lots of good paying jobs available right now that don’t require a four-year degree.

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