Many unions operate schools to train students for employment in the trades. This paid training can last several years. This period of training is called an apprenticeship, which is an earn-as-you-learn model. Students who like manual labor (could not see themselves at a desk or talking to people all day) typically thrive in this type of job/environment. There are great pay and benefits with this opportunity after high school!
Students may apply to unions right after high school to start their career, learning the trade & making money, but if they are not accepted into an apprenticeship program right away, students should look at local community colleges such as Waubonsee's industrial & manufacturing programs and apprenticeships to gain hands-on and transferable skills that will prepare students for the skilled trades.
Apprenticeship Guide: Find the local of your interest. Call the local union of interest to find out the wages and what the work entails. Call to set up a tour and ask any questions about the career and application process. This is a good way to start the networking process. If tours are allowed, tour the training facility.