Tuesday, January 25, 2005

College vs. trucking school

Grumpy Old Man recommends trucking school over college:

If college costs $50K a year, the college-bound will cost $200K in four years (and it often takes longer). Meanwhile, the truckers will be earning, say $50K a year. At the end of four years, your trucker kids will be $400K ahead. And at the end of four years, most college kids will either be (a) going into occupations with mediocre pay, like teaching; (b) going to graduate school; or (c) going into rehab.

Can you really earn $50K a year right out of trucking school?

UPDATE

The comments point out that Gumpy Old Man used a best case scenario for the salary of a trucking job and a worst case scenario for the cost of a college education.

But a teaching salary is typical of the type of starting pay a college graduate might get. His point, that you have to pay a lot of money to get a college degree which doesn't lead to a starting salary any greater than you would make driving a truck, is a valid one.

The UNLV guy makes a valid point that the trucker lifestyle may be so bad that it's not worth the extra money. On the other hand, some truckers may be glad they don't have to have a boss looking over their shoulder all day micromanaging their job, and glad they don't have to deal with other annoyances of yuppie jobs like commuting and wearing uncomfortable shoes.

16 comments:

Chad said...

More if your not particular who or what you haul.

TWM said...

Yeah, you can make that much if you push yourself to almost dangerous driving times. But you are going to be on the road constantly and your home life is gonna suffer. Fifty grand is a high-side believe me

Here's a Hint said...

That argument is highly fallacious. For one, there are many careers college prepares you for that, over time, will earn you a hell of a lot better quality of life than being a trucker/drywall guy/plumber. Furthermore, you may not want some shitty job sitting on the road all day away from your friends/family hauling shit.

Plus, who's college costs $50k a year? And, seriously, it's not hard to graduate in 4 years.

Most college kids go into teaching? Yeah right.

Ron Chusid said...

Certainly there are cases of some people who didn't go to college doing better than some who did. (For example, see the current installment of The Apprentice). These are the exceptions, with those going to college generally doing signficantly better than those who don't.

If many decided against college in favor of trucking school, flooding the market with truckers would also reduce their potential income.

$50,000 may sound like a lot for someone young (and for many people I realize even this is an unobtainable goal). However, I would think that someone out of school would have higher aspirations--$50,000 is not really that much money. Besides, would you really want to spend your life driving a truck?

guy in the UNLV jacket said...

Who wouldn't want to be a truck driver? There are so many advantages:
1. You get to talk on the CB radio
2. You get to sleep with how truckstop waitresses and hookers
3. You get to smoke at work
4. You get to park your truck overnight at resstops
5. You don't have to sit around the house listening to the wife nag all the time...
SWcrew this corporate shit I'm going to sign up at the American truck driving school, While I am there I am going to take a couple classes in heating and air conditioning repair

guy in the UNLV jacket said...

Who wouldn't want to be a truck driver? There are so many advantages:
1. You get to talk on the CB radio
2. You get to sleep with how truckstop waitresses and hookers
3. You get to smoke at work
4. You get to park your truck overnight at resstops
5. You don't have to sit around the house listening to the wife nag all the time...
SWcrew this corporate shit I'm going to sign up at the American truck driving school, While I am there I am going to take a couple classes in heating and air conditioning repair

Jacqueline Mackie Paisley Passey said...

My school's total cost of attendance (tuition, books, living expenses) is estimated at less than $15,000 a year.

Trucking may have a higher initial starting pay, but the careers available with a college degree have much higher pay once you get experience, whereas I doubt trucking will ever pay that well.

Maybe if you were thinking about majoring in literature you'd be better off trucking (think of all the books on tapes you could listen to, too!)...

R said...

My school cost $6000/yr. I made nearly $50k/yr out of college, and now make over $50k/yr.

40 hour work weeks, with more money than I know what to do with, fuck trucking school.

dadahead said...

Who the fuck pays 50k a year for college?

Ron Chusid said...

If sex is the goal (per UNLV jacket's post), I'd still recommend spending the time on a college campus instead of as a truck driver. The company will probably be better if you actually want a conversation before or after, and the risk of disease is probably much lower.

While there may be some advantages to being a truck driver (not that I saw any posted here), truck drivers are on the road all day and therefore can't keep an eye on the blogs. A serious disadvantage?

Playerslight said...

As an individual with both a trucking license and who is finishing up a graduate degree, I have to say that you are both right. I got my trucking license just before I entered university (for my undergrad) and it has paid great dividends. Trucking is an easy job that pays far more than most jobs available to University students. I could easily make $12-13000 in a summer, while my fellow students would work themselves to the bone to make half that amount.

I repeat: it's a relatively easy job that won't wear you out like landscaping or tree planting and that pays extraordinarily well. The current shortage of truckers means that I will never be out of a job, as there are always drivers seats to fill.

But I would never want to do it as a career; when you are trained as a truck driver that is all you are able to do. You can drive dump trucks, car haulers, flatbeds, long hauls, local deliveries, but you will always be driving a truck. If that is all you want to do, than all the best to you.

My university degrees will provide me with a much higher level of mobility between careers. If I get sick of one industry I can completely change my career with relative ease. While the money may or may not be as good as trucking, I think that the real benefit of a university degree is that freedom.

But I will force my kids to get their truck licenses, if only so that they actually know how to drive. As much as many of you may think otherwise, 99% of car drivers are absolutely horrible behind the wheel. The percentage is at least 1% higher for people driving SUVS.

Glen.

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