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5 High-Paying Skilled Trade Jobs to Explore with Your Teen

When you’re a parent to a teenager exploring post-secondary plans, it helps to remember that one size doesn’t fit all. Not every child is interested in or suited to the traditional path of earning a four-year college degree. And in the current job market — which has grown increasingly reliant on gig workers, freelancers, skilled trade workers and niche entrepreneurs — they don’t need to be!

Young people today have more opportunities than ever to monetize their unique abilities and passions through skilled trades, getting the specialized training necessary at a vocational school, community college, on the job or through an apprenticeship. Considerably less expensive than college or university tuition, trade programs take less time to complete and serve as an excellent choice for kids who prefer hands-on work and unconventional work environments.

The good news for cost-minded parents? Your Florida 529 Prepaid Plan and Florida 529 Savings Plans will not go to waste! Florida Prepaid Plans can be used at in-state and out-of-state trade and technical schools across the country. And 529 Savings Plans can be used to pay for certain apprenticeship programs, professional certifications and job training in a variety of fields.

Here are five skilled trade fields expected to grow in the coming years:

  • Aviation Mechanics. The aviation industry, in both the commercial and military sectors, needs skilled workers to repair and support its aircraft. At NWFSC, a 15-month program prepares students to earn the Federal Aviation Administration’s airframe mechanic’s certificate and license. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for aviation mechanics is $69,470, and the field will see steady growth in the next decade.
  • Culinary Arts. Is your child a foodie? With a Culinary Arts Management certificate — like the one offered at Miami Dade College — they can work as a cook, a food service manager, food production supervisor or chart their course to become a chef. The median salary for a head cook is $56,520, and the culinary industry is projected to grow faster than average in the next decade.
  • Cosmetology. This broad field includes barbers, hair stylists, manicurists and pedicurists, salon owners, skincare specialists and makeup artists. Florida Gateway College in Lake City offers an occupational certificate that provides students the skills necessary to become a licensed cosmetologist. The median pay for cosmetologists is $33,400, and the field is expected to grow by 8 percent in the next decade.
  • Web Development. At a time when digital communication and commerce is not only the norm but evolving in real time, web developers are trending across the public and private sectors. At Broward College in Weston, a web programming specialist certificate covers everything from Adobe Photoshop to computer hardware to project management and prepares students for jobs as database administrators, user experience designers, information technology specialists or graphic designers. The median pay for a web developer is $80,730, and the BLS predicts the field will grow by 16 percent in the next 10 years.
  • Welding Technology. Predicted to maintain steady growth over the next decade, this field encompasses a range of skills including sheet metal, fabrication, blueprinting and power tool operation. The Welding Technology certificate at Florida State College at Jacksonville provides students with hands-on experience in preparation for jobs in shipbuilding, construction, power plants, paper mills and automobile manufacturing. According to the BLS, the median welding, cutting and soldering salary is $47,540.

The world of career options — and the postsecondary education needed to maximize them — is changing. Fortunately, Prepaid Plans and Savings Plans were built for flexibility.

Have more questions? We’ve got answers! Explore our Frequently Asked Questions to learn more about our Prepaid Plans and Savings Plan. And click here to start your savings now!

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