There’s a shortage of workers in the diesel repair, heating, ventilation, air conditioning, electrical, and sheet metal industries. In an effort to fill those vacant positions, some high schools are offering students a means by which to gain certification before they graduation from high school.
One high school in southern Arizona gives its students a chance for direct employment after graduation. A typical dental assistant program costs about $7,000 in tuition, fees, and books. Through the CTE program at Santa Rita high school starting next year, students can obtain that certification at no charge while they attend normal high school classes. The school will also start offering diesel tech certifications during the 2019/2020 school year.
The demand for diesel technicians is expected to grow by 12% between 2014 and 2024 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. There’s also a severe shortage of dental assistants on the horizon. The BLS estimates an average growth rate of 18% over the next ten years. The median pay for dental assistants in 2015 was $35,980. That’s higher than the median pay across other healthcare assisting and support occupations.
While over 7.5 million Americans are currently unemployed, there are about 5.5 million jobs currently available. Many of those vacant positions require some kind of additional training or education, and now students can get that training without racking up debt.