One of the biggest benefits to working in the skilled trades is the education required. While there are many positives to going to 4 years of school for a bachelor’s degree, there are also a few big negatives, including cost. Since 1990, tuition costs have risen over 300%, far outpacing the growth of the economy. When costs rise at 7-8% per year, while inflation grows 2-3% per year, you end up with a product that becomes unaffordable. For many folks, though, that unaffordability isn’t standing in the way, because student loans are easy to come by. Because of that, about 2/3 of students with bachelor’s degrees are leaving college with debt that averages $26,000 per student. All in all, your average bachelor’s degree is likely going to cost you over $100,000 — closer to $150k if completely financed through loans. The vast majority of training programs for the skilled trades, on the other hand, last from 6 months to 2 year, and will cost just over $30,000. Even if that cost is entirely financed by student loans, you're looking at a total of $40,000, which is still a savings of $110K.