Skilled 4 Work: Wages in New Mexico | KOB 4
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Skilled 4 Work: Wages in New Mexico

Steve Soliz
June 26, 2019 06:46 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Believe it or not, there are jobs in New Mexico that don't require a four-year degree and still pay well. 

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Meet Tyler Browder. 

"I am a sheet-metal contractor. I do a lot of HVAC, mainly installation of duct work," Browder said. He's an apprentice at Futures Mechanical. 

His road to this career path came with some stops along the way. 

"I've done some retail, some restaurant and delivery driving," he said. 

His friends told him he should consider a trade job. 

"I always thought that you'd have to go to school for it, but the ab apprenticeship that I'm on right now, you can make money while working and learning at the same time," Browder said. "I tell all my friends that are still trying to figure out what they want to do in college... I'm like you're kind of spending money to learn while I'm making money to learn." 

The latest numbers from New Mexico's Department of Workforce Solutions show the beginning salary for sheet metal workers is about $31,000 a year. 

"If you're willing to get a job in one of these sectors where we need the help so badly, there's an opportunity for you to do really well and to really help your community out," said Bill McCamley, the secretary of New Mexico's Workforce Solutions Department. 

His office is working to create programs across the state aimed to put people like Browder to work. 

"If you look at a lot of our registered apprenticeship programs, and most of those are building trades – so it's carpenters, plumbers, sheet metal workers, electricians – those sorts of things. You make 13, 14, 15 bucks an hour as an apprentice and once you get out, you start making over 20 dollars an hour," McCamley said. "The opportunities to make good money are really, really there." 

The average salary for sheet metal workers is a little more than $47,000. 

"After working here, I've been able to get a house with my wife and definitely been able to make more money than like in retail or the restaurant business," Browder said. "I do want to do this probably for the rest of my life. I want to retire with this company, for sure."

While this story only covers how much sheet metal workers can make, the Department of Workforce Solutions has a list of salaries for all skilled worker positions. 

Credits

Steve Soliz

Copyright 2019 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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