The high cost of university education continues to increase the strain of paying for the traditional university degree. Even so, the right college education for the right person pays off. But there are many people where that isn’t a great financial life decision.
Apprenticeships are a great option for many people. For one thing you don’t have to take on a huge debt burden (previous post: Personal Finance Considerations for Going into Debt for Education). Also for many careers and apprenticeship is what is needed, not a college degree.
In 2021, more than 241,000 new apprentices were entered in the USA national apprenticeship system (data from US Department of Labor, as is the rest of the data in this post). The United States Department of Defense United Services Military Apprenticeship Program is the largest Registered Apprenticeship program with over 100,000 active-duty service members.
In 2021 there were 593,600 people actively engaged in apprenticeships (Covid19 caused a decline from 2000 when there were 636,515 active apprenticeships); another 214,551 either completed or cancelled their apprenticeship.
Apprenticeships in the USA are largely held by men, they make up 86% of the total. The top occupations represented: electrician (71,812 active apprentices), carpenter (29,800), plumber (21,971), sprinkler fitter (17,595), construction craft laborer (15,009)… certified nurse assistant (4,619)…
Apprenticeship.gov is the one-stop source to connect career seekers, employers, and education partners with apprenticeship resources.
Related: In the USA More Education is Highly Correlated with More Wealth – Looking at the Value of Different College Degrees – The Time to Payback the Investment in a College Education in the USA Today is Nearly as Low as Ever – Surprisingly (2014) – Highest Paying Fields at Mid Career in USA: Engineering, Science and Math