Day 65: Job Walk (No College Degree Required)

Today is Day 65 of the Papa’s Walk Challenge. Only 300 more days to go!  🙂

As I started my walk today, I noticed a plumbing truck parked in front of a house. Papa was a plumber (see picture of him at right) Papa Plumbingand I recognized the plumbing snake in the back of the truck used to clear a stoppage. (Watch this video tutorial on how to snake your own drain.)

As I continued walking, I saw a real estate associate setting up a sign announcing a broker tour of a home that was just listed for sale. Then, I saw a Fed Ex delivery person.

I began to think about the different jobs people have and kept my eyes open for other workers. Over the next two miles I saw a variety of people doing jobs and marveled at the fact that none of the positions required a college degree.

Having recently read an article in Rolling Stone magazine by Matt Taibbi about The College Loan Scandal, making a living without the “benefit” of a college degree was on my mind.

When I got home, I decided to visit the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics website to look up the annual mean wage (in the San Francisco Bay Area) for each of the jobs I identified on my walk. I found most of them, but not all. Here they are:

  • Plumber $66,000
  • Real Estate Sales Agent $52,280
  • Delivery Truck Driver $45,000
  • Tree Trimmer $45,000
  • Waste Collector (aka garbage man) $58,620
  • Gardener $42,000
  • U.S. Post Office Mail Carrier $52,920
  • Brick Mason $97,580
  • EMT (Emergency Medical Technician/Ambulance Driver)  $66,460
  • Day Care Provider $30,560

I couldn’t find information for these occupations:

  • Parks Department Maintenance Worker
  • Furniture Mover
  • Junk Hauler

None of the jobs above require a college degree, although some require trade school or extensive training and experience.  If you’re interested in this topic, you’ll enjoy reading Blake Boles’ book, Better Than College: How To Build a Successful Life Without a Four Year Degree.


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