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Shop Class Makes a Comeback

Choosing a vocational path can still lead to a solid job
Shop Class Makes a Comeback
Photograph by Roberto E. Rosales/Albuquerque Journal/Zuma Press

Two years out of high school, Evan Fischbach is earning $40,000 a year. His secret: shop class.

Fischbach, 19, wanted to work on cars ever since he took an automotive class in his junior year of high school in Saline, Mich. His college-educated parents wondered if he was aiming too low. When Fischbach was still a junior, a local auto dealer desperate for mechanics hired him as an apprentice in the service bay. Now he’s earning about three times as much as the average 19-year-old high school grad and slightly more than the national median for all working adults, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.