My son is 17 and entered vo tech this year. I had always hoped he would go to college but he really enjoys working with his hands and besides me, most males on both sides of the family are tradesmen. Its a two year program. The teacher has 25 years experience and helps place kids after high school. Alot go on to get certified in Oklahoma or in Nevada Missouri, both top 5 welding schools in the country. 

I'm wondering what kind of money welders make starting out if they are certified? What kind of job opportunities, exotic locations, underwater welding, etc. I think he made the right decision considering the economy and the freakishly high cost of tuition and the likelyhood that he would quit and not graduate and I would have debt to pay. It took me 11 years to pay of 12k of student debt. I had the GI Bill which helped and a scholarship but it just isn't for him. For the first time ever, my son likes going to school.