Invest in as much of yourself as you can, you are your own biggest asset by far.

An education is the biggest investment you could make in yourself. You’ll carry the skills you learn with you for the rest of your life. No one can take them away. You can’t default on them.

But you can fall behind on student loans. That’s why it’s important to consider the returns on your training investment. How does the cost of trade school stack up against other educational options, the job prospects after graduation and the satisfaction you could find in your career choice?

Cost vs. Career Potential

  • 81% of construction companies are having a hard time filling salaried and hourly skilled trades positions.ii.
  • Vocational training can prepare you for them at a fraction of the cost of college.

Average Training Cost Comparison

4-Year University


2-Year college


Trade School


Earning Potential

  • 4 years of college is not the only route to a good paying job. In the U.S., there are 30 million jobs with a median yearly salary of $55,000 that don’t require a bachelor’s degreev.
  • Supply and Demand: The skilled trade shortage is forcing more companies to raise wages for workers with the right skillsvi.

Earnings Comparison

Bachelor’s Degree from a 4-year College

$64,896 in 2019vii

Associate Degree from a Community College

$46,124 in 2019vii

Diploma/Degree from a Trade School


High School Diploma

$38,792 in 2019vii

Career Satisfaction

  1. "Engaging work" was the top reason American workers cited for staying at their job in 2020.ix.
  2. Skilled trades jobs aren’t boring. Welders, electricians and HVAC/R technicians put their skills to work to rebuild and repair America’s infrastructure.
    • Building and fixing thingsxi.
    • Active workx.
    • Working with your hands.
    • Travel opportunities for welders.
    • 80% or more of TWS welding graduates were employed in their field of studyx, xi, xii.
    • More than 40 percent of college graduates worked jobs that didn’t require a degree in 2020.xiv.

Skilled Trades Training: A Smart Investment

A post-secondary education could be the first major investment you make after high school. It’s a big decision because it could impact how soon you can hit other major milestones in your life:

  • Supporting yourself
  • Getting Married
  • Buying A Home
  • Starting a Family

With lower training costs compared to college, healthy job prospects and the potential for career satisfaction, skilled trades training can be the first smart investment of many you make.

Fund Your Investment in Your Future

See if you qualify and map out a plan to fund your investment in your future with the resources and tools below.

Sign Up Today for Skilled Trades Training

Ready to get started with skilled trades training? We can answer any questions you may have and walk you through the admissions, enrollment, and financial aid process. Call us today!

Additional Sources

Accredited School, ACCSC. TWS-Jacksonville located at 1750 Southside Blvd., Jacksonville, FL 32216 is recognized by ACCSC as a satellite location of TWS-Jacksonville located at 3500 Southside Blvd., Jacksonville, FL 32216. Tulsa Welding School & Technology Center (TWSTC) in Houston and TWS-Jacksonville are branch campuses of Tulsa Welding School, located at 2545 E. 11th St., Tulsa, OK 74104. Tulsa, OK campus is licensed by OBPVS and ASBPCE. Jacksonville, FL campus is licensed by the Florida Commission for Independent Education, License No. 2331. TWSTC and TWS in Tulsa, OK are approved by TWC. TWS in Jacksonville is licensed by the Mississippi Commission on Proprietary School and College Registration, License No. C-668. Licensure indicates only that minimum standards have been met; it is not an endorsement or guarantee of quality. Licensure is not equivalent to or synonymous with accreditation by an accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. TWS in Jacksonville is also regulated by: Indiana Department of Office for Career and Technical Schools, 10 N. Senate Ave, Suite SE 308, Indianapolis, IN 46204; [email protected]; GI Bill® Eligible (check with local campus for specific eligibility). The AOSWT program is an Associate of Occupational Studies degree program and is not an academic degree. The AOSWT program is not approved for the following states: CO, GA, LA, MN, and TX. For more information about our programs, please visit our website at:

GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government Web site at

Financial aid and scholarships available to those who qualify. Candidates need to refer to the scholarship information page to determine topic of essay (where applicable) and must meet all regular admissions requirements and be scheduled to start training prior to applying for a scholarship. If a student changes his/her re-enter date, the scholarship award may be forfeited. Scholarships are not transferable and most scholarships cannot be used in conjunction with any other scholarship TWS offers. In most cases, only one award will be given per student. If a student is eligible for multiple scholarships, the scholarship that is most beneficial to the student will be awarded. Scholarships will be distributed incrementally over the entire duration of the program. Scholarship eligibility requires continuous enrollment. Failure to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress may result in the probation and possible loss of scholarship. Termination from training may also result in the loss of a scholarship, which may increase your tuition obligation to TWS. Tuition charges will be based on the amount reflected on your Enrollment Agreement. See the reverse side of your Enrollment Agreement or the School Catalog for the school’s refund policy.

iEmployment is expected to grow for Welders, Cutters, Solderers & Brazers (514121) in the US by 44,600 jobs, Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers (499021) in the US by 37,700 jobs, Electricians (472111) in the US by 73,500 jobs, Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters (472152) in the US by 42,600 jobs, Electrical Power-Line Installers and Repairers (499051) in the US by 9,700 jobs from 2022 to 2032. - sponsored by the Department of Labor,, reported as of May 2023. Data pulled April 2024. Visit for specific details and data backups.

* According to 2019 IPEDS data TWS has the largest total combined enrollment of students for all post-secondary schools in the U.S. with the designated largest program of CIP Code Welding Technology/Welder.


**** Electrical Lineworker program is a short program and not eligible for Title IV funding due to the definition of an Academic Year.

1 Total number of estimated graduates for TWS calculated based on historic data available as of Jan 1, 2023.

2 Indicates the total number of current partnered employers across all TWS locations as of May 2023.

***, 2 Entry Level Welder Salary: Hourly Rate, Entry Level Hvac Technician Salary: Hourly Rate, Electrician Entry Level Annual Salary.

3 For students who started and completed their training during the 12-month period for which 150% of normal time for completion has elapsed and who attained employment in their field of study as outlined on our annual accreditation report dated July 2022. Refer to the most current Student Right-to-know Information for more details on calculation details

**, 10 AWS Welding Employment Stats: Essential Disclaimer: Welding Employment Stats: According to BLS data Oklahoma employed 9,010, Texas employed 48,380 and Florida employed 14,320, Tulsa employed 3,590, the Houston area employed 15,440, the Dallas area employed 9,910, and Jacksonville employed 1,260 Welders, Cutters, Solderers, and Brazers (514121). HVAC/R Employment Stats: According to BLS data Oklahoma employed 5,370, Texas employed 30,670 and Florida employed 33,560, Tulsa employed 1,680, the Houston area employed 6,610, the Dallas area employed 10,230, and Jacksonville employed 2,320 Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanical and Installers (499021). Electrician Employment Stats: According to BLS data Oklahoma employed 7,910, Texas employed 64,360 and Florida employed 42,250, Tulsa employed 2,340, the Houston area employed 18,160, the Dallas area employed 17,600, and Jacksonville employed 3,510 Electricians (472111). Pipefitting Employment Stats: According to BLS data Texas employed 37,980,Florida employed 26930, Houston area employed 9,680 and Jacksonville employed 2,760 Plumbers, Pipefitters and Steamfitters (472152). Lineworker Employment Stats: According to BLS data Texas employed 11,960 and the Dallas area employed 2,300 Electrical Power-Line Installers and Repairers (499051). BLS data is reported through May 2022

12 Graduates initially employed in all 50 states according to our ACCSC Annual Report data for reports dated 7/1/18 – 7/1/2023.

13 Indicates the total number of current partnered employers across all TWS locations as of May 2023.

14 Total number of estimated graduates for TWS calculated based on historic data available as of Jan 1, 2023.

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