There’s a prevailing belief among Aussies that getting a degree is the best way to get money. Of course, getting yourself a degree is a much safer bet than having no qualifications at all and those that succeed without any are either lucky, extremely connected or both.

However, there is a profitable post-school option out there that doesn’t involve going to uni-  an apprenticeship or traineeship.

The thing is, not many people are getting on board. In fact, a national survey shows that 79% of parents would rather their children go to university instead of pursuing a vocational training pathway.

Heck, we even asked you guys what you think and 75% of students said they simply didn’t consider doing an apprenticeship after school.

We’re here to tell you the facts and how much you can really earn without a degree.

During an apprenticeship/traineeship

When considering the earning capability of apprentices it’s important to consider not only the starting salaries once the qualification is gained, but also the conditions while the apprenticeship takes place.

Apprenticeships and traineeships are paid gigs, meaning this training pathway is at virtually no cost to the student.

On the other hand, the average cost of a degree in Australia is $28,600 (not to mention living costs that also go on top of that number) meaning university students/graduates are shouldering huge debt before they’ve even put their skills to use.

Organisations like Apprenticeships Matter also help sweeten up the deal by providing a free employment service to young people. They help match you up with the ideal business and can help you out with any questions or issues you have; making the entire process a whole lot easier and affordable.

After an apprenticeship/traineeship

Once somebody has completed their apprenticeship, they are eligible for the full award rate for their specific field and starting salaries can be roughly equal to or at times higher than starting salaries for university graduates. In 2015, the median full-time income for a VET graduate was $56,000, while the median salary for a Bachelor’s graduate under 25 was $54,000.

To get a full grasp on the earning capability of apprentices and trainees, it’s also important to consider their employability after completing their training.

The employment rate for VET graduates that completed an apprenticeship or traineeship is 82%, and it’s 92% for those that completed a trade apprenticeship.

Data from the same year shows that only 68.8% of university graduates are employed full-time within four months of finishing their studies.

Basically, once you look at the stats it’s pretty obvious that you can earn some big bucks without going to uni and the VET pathway is definitely something worth considering.

If doing an apprenticeship or traineeship is something you’re keen on, don’t let the myths surrounding how much money you can earn deter you.

If you’re located in Victoria and interested in starting an apprenticeship or traineeship (or just want some more info) head over to our mates at Apprenticeships Matter. Their recruitment service is completely free and they’ll help you sus out what your options are so you really have nothing to lose.