Everyone wants a job they love. Of course, love can mean different things to different people.

Some employees want challenges. Some workers look for flexible hours. Many people want long-term job security. Your list is going to suit your specific lifestyle and needs. But there is one attribute that everyone can agree on: good pay.

Ideally, you’re not just working for a paycheck, you’re doing something you enjoy. But at the end of the day, bills need to be paid (Except for student loans. We’ll tell you about that later).

So what can an electrician, HVAC technician or plumber expect to make? We’ll discuss each one. We’ll also explain why comparing income alone won’t give you the whole story. Lastly, we’ll explain how you can help make sure your earnings trend toward the higher end of the pay scale.

Salary expectations of a plumber.

All skilled trades do well, and plumbers are no exception. What’s unexpected to many is that as a student learning the trades, you’re also working in the trades as an apprentice. This means your earning while you’re learning.

So what can a plumber expect to earn as reported in the Nexstar Network 2018 Financial Survey?

  • Student/Apprentice:$12-$19 per hour
  • Journeyman License: $17-$43 per hour
  • Master or Contractor License: $36-$67 per hour

After having your Master or Contractor License you can look at moving upward in your career earnings by becoming a General Manager, Service Manager, Field Supervisor or owning your own company.

Salary expectations of an electrician.

What can an electrician expect to earn as reported in the Nexstar Network 2018 Financial Survey?

  • Student/Apprentice:$13-$21 per hour
  • Journeyman License: $17-$35 per hour
  • Master or Contractor License: $20-$39 per hour

After having your Master or Contractor License, you can look at moving upward in your career earnings by becoming a General Manager, Service Manager, Field Supervisor or owning your own company.

Salary expectations of an HVAC technician.

What can an HVAC technician expect to earn as reported in the Nexstar Network 2018 Financial Survey?

  • Student/Apprentice:$15-$25 per hour
  • Technician: $25-$40 per hour
  • Supervisor: $40-$50 per hour

After becoming a Supervisor, you can look at moving upward in your career earnings by becoming a General Manager, Warehouse Manager, Installation Manager or owning your own company.

What median income doesn’t tell you.

A salary or hourly wage is only one aspect of your compensation package. It’s likely you’ll also have other benefits that directly impact your financial situation today and long into the future. These can include dental, vision and health insurance programs, a 401(k) retirement program with matching contributions, paid time off, employee expense reimbursement paid training and more.

You’ll also need to consider how and when your money is being made.

In the skilled trades, working overtime, nights, weekends and holidays often offer the best pay. But, working these shifts might take a toll on your personal life. Then again, they might also provide an easy way for you to boost your yearly earnings. So this, too, will be something you need to consider.

You should also compare compensation rates from one employer to another. Some may offer double time for weekends, while others only time and a half or just a normal rate. So be sure you know what you’re agreeing to.

When comparing job opportunities and career choices, don’t look just at the paycheck, look at the total compensation offer and when you’ll be working. Then decide which choice gives you the right balance of income, benefits and career satisfaction. And never undervalue career satisfaction. Find a career path you enjoy and want to do for the long haul.

Earn more by increasing your value.

Many factors will go into how much you earn in various stages of your career. Among the most bankable variables is your knowledge base. What you know impacts the types of jobs you can handle, how long it takes you on-site, and how many callbacks you have to make. Your expertise also impacts how much of an asset you are to fellow colleagues. Can they turn to you for advice, insight, tips and wisdom? If you’re smart and you share what you know, you become an incredibly valuable asset to an employer.

For someone just thinking about becoming a skilled trade technician, and looking for HVAC technician training, electrical training or plumber training, our best advice is NexTech Academy. Our easy to complete, self-paced, online vocational training that can put you ahead.

A rewarding life begins with a rewarding career.

When you choose a career in the skilled trades, you can count on a career that’s stimulating, interesting, and financially rewarding. Plus many employers offer exceptional compensation plans and union benefits that make the compensation package hard to beat.

All it takes for you to succeed is dedication, interest and effort. Do that and your career will be a success. Begin the journey today. Take the first step of enrolling in self-paced, online vocational training with NexTech Academy. In fact, you can get started learning more about NexTech Academy or call us at (651) 426-2000.

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We have been working hard on improving NexTech Academy, making changes to the program that will reduce the operating expenses. We updated pricing in September 2019, and we are launching new training resources to Nexstar Network members in Spring 2020.

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