Look, I am not a snoot. I believe in the value of work — real work — and I hold tremendous admiration for anyone who straps it up and puts in an honest day’s effort for an honest day’s pay. But there’s a part of me that has to laugh — so I don’t cry — when I read things like this report from career builder which highlights 20 Jobs You Can Get with a High School Diploma.
Look at how many jobs on this list pull down annual salaries that are in the 20’s. And then 30’s. And then 40’s? Now I know I live in California so things are skewed but for a family of 4 to live off of a $40,000 per year salary, well… let’s look at it.
Assume this family pays income tax. Ding!
And health care costs? (Don’t forget the dentist.) Ding!
And drives a car. With auto insurance and annual vehicle registration. Ding!
Plus, they need food, shelter and clothing. Ding!Ding!Ding!
Don’t forget 4 birthdays to celebrate, some holidays, a few special occasions and a few other moments where it’s just nice to go out to dinner or something. Ding!
Uhm, toilet paper, soap, toothpaste and so on. Ding!
Plus… well, do I need to Ding! on. I don’t think I can. We are probably out of Ding! room at this point. And this is for the person that draws a salary in the 40’s. How much more can a person who earns a salary in the 30’s be squeezed? Or the 20’s?
(Side note: Hmmm, how much is the starting teacher salary in your district? And we wonder why people are not flocking to the field of professional education.)
Now extrapolate this thinking out to those that do NOT have a high school diploma and whew, take a deep breath. According to the U.S. Census Bureau…
Look, I have no problem if one of my students wants to become a manicurist. I just want to empower them with the opportunity to own the dang nail salon if they so choose because at an average annual salary of $19,978.00 it’s gonna be tough to eat more than ramin noodles for lunch some days.