You Don’t Like Earning Minimum Wage…Learn A New Skill

I recently had a Facebook debate about minimum wage earners.  Basically I stated:

“It’s a reason minimum wage jobs exist:  they require minimum skills.  I hear the argument for livable wages, but I don’t really hear too many discussing how to increase their skill sets that warrant a higher pay.  I hear the ‘college costs too much’ argument, but I don’t really hear too many talking about about going to a cheaply priced tech school to learn a new trade.”

As you can imagine the feels of opposition popped up to defend their belief that the government simply needs to just increase the minimum wage to $15/hr.  I was also given a brief history lesson on why minimum wage came into existence, which is as follows:

Minimum wage was established after the depression to establish a minimum standard of living for workers.

Now I’m probably going to hurt some feelings & piss some people off, but hey….this is what I do.  If you earn minimum wage & you feel as if you are struggling to maintain a decent standard of living, it’s probably time for you to learn a new trade in life that society deems valuable.  I’m honestly not interested in discussing all of the socio-political hoopla which has lead you to only being a minimum wage worker that is barely earning enough to keep your head above water.  Instead I’m going to present to you a simple solution based off of my professional experience that you can possibly use to help get your life moving in a better direction.

For those of you who don’t know me (which is damn near every last one of you reading this post), I have a 10+ year background in the IT world.  IT stands for information technology (some call it communications technology…same difference..sort of).  That means I have a background that deals with computers.  Also for those of you who don’t me, I also served 13 years on active duty in the US Army as an IT worker.  Back in November I exited the military due to medical reasons from a deployment.  Since then I’ve been enrolled as a full time college student pursuing the completion of TWO master degrees:  1) IT project management & 2) MBA.  In addition to finishing my master degrees, I’ve also been studying for more IT certifications.  Reason being, in the IT world, certifications hold way more weight than college degrees.  A college degree might (heavy emphasis on MIGHT) allow me to move up to management positions once I eventually apply for a job & get hired, but even still, I need the certifications to prove that I am competent in the field of the people I MIGHT one day be managing.

Why am I bringing this up?  Good question.

I’ve never been a fan of just complaining about shit just for the sake of complaining about shit.  If I saw a problem, I figured it was up to me to figure out how to correct the situation to the best of my abilities.  So now that I’ve entertained a Facebook debate of people expressing their disdain for the current minimum wage laws, I’m here to present a solution.

If you are a minimum wage worker who hates earning minimum wage & you are longing for an opportunity to increase your earning potential, here’s a solution that will only cost you about $25.  For $25, you can purchase a book to prepare you for an IT certification exam called A+.  A+ is the entry level certification to introduce you the exciting & prosperous world of IT.  An A+ certification can literally be the start to a new life if you feel your life is worth more than just earning minimum wage.  If you click on THIS LINK HERE, you can get a brief overview of the IT career fields & certification paths along with the average salary people earn in this field.  Why am I pushing IT?  Simple, it’s my professional background.  If I had a background in carpentry, I’d be pushing that.

Few things about the A+ cert…

  1.  The study book is over 1500 pages long.
  2. There aren’t a bunch of pictures in the book.
  3. You actually have to read it.
  4. You actually have to do the practice material it recommends (which isn’t hard).
  5. The book is written in such a manner that an 8th grader could comprehend the material.  Meaning it’s not written in IT techie-nerd lingo.
  6. It should take you at max 1 month to go through this book & be prepared to take the certification.
  7. A+ certification is a computer based, multiple choice, 2 part 90 minute long exam consisting of 90 questions.  As soon as you complete the test, you find out right then & there if you passed.
  8. The A+ certification costs $194 per voucher for the 2 part test.
  9. Most entry level IT jobs require this certification (in addition to another cert called Sec+).
  10. Most entry level IT jobs start off paying around $14/hr.

Here’s the reason why I’m bringing this up…

After I got out of the Army, I immediately got offered an entry level job paying $25/hr to do some basic IT work.  Basic IT work means working at a help desk.  A help desk is usually the first group of people a customer/client calls to solve a very basic problem with their computer and/or internet service.  Now for me, I turned down the job because due to my current finances, I’m able to afford to NOT have to go back to work immediately as to where I can go to school full time & still pay all of my bills.  So I opted to just finish my education.  But for somebody who may be a burger flipper earning minimum wage, if this same burger flipper bought this A+ study book, scraped up some money to take the certification test and passed, well this same burger flipper could have easily gotten that $25/hr job as well.  Seriously, the only requirement was that certification.  Matter of fact, the A+ certification alone can open up a whole new world of job opportunities that start paying above minimum wage.  Once you enter the IT world, with enough experience & certifications under you belt, there is a real possibility that you could eventually go on to be a 6-figure earner.  When I was in the Army, on my deployments I used to work side by side with civilian IT contract workers.  The lowest paid contractor that worked with me earned $125,000 for 1 year worth of work.  The highest paid contractor earned $300,000 for 1 year worth of work…the best part about it for these contractors was that the first $90,000 was TAX FREE.  Also, the vast majority of contract workers I worked with had no prior military experience.  Most just got certified & then applied for a job in a combat zone.  You can research jobs in combat zones by doing a simple Google search for DANGER ZONE JOBS or COMBAT ZONE JOBS.  Now if you have no desire to be a contract worker, that’s cool & totally understandable as well.  You can STILL work your way up to a 6-figure salary in the IT world here in America.  I have family members NOW that earn over 6 figures in the IT world that have never been to a combat zone.  Once I get back into the workforce after my full time schooling hiatus, I expect to be around the 6-figure mark as well.

Now I know some of you are saying to yourself “B-b-but I don’t like computers!”.  That’s fine.  IT isn’t the only option, it’s just the option I’m most fluent in.  You can pursue other trades as well.  You can be a plumber.  A plumber?!  Yes, a plumber.  Now I don’t know how much a plumber makes, but I do know that about a month ago my garbage disposal wasn’t working so I had to call a plumber.  JUST FOR ME TO GET ON HIS SCHEDULE the plumber was going to charge me $100.  Then to fix my garbage disposal problem, he was going to charge me another $200-300.  Luckily for me, I found a YouTube video to teach me how to fix my own disposal, but the point is….plumbers make very decent money because guess what, everybody needs some plumbing work done.

Here’s another trade for you to consider:  HVAC.  Basically installing & maintaining air conditioning units.  About a year ago the HVAC in my house tapped out completely after about 9 years of dedicated heating & cooling services.  At the time my youngest son was about 5 or 6 months old and the area I currently reside in was HOT.  So to remedy the situation, I had no option but to drop $3k on a brand new HVAC for my house.  If it was me alone, I would have gone the fans in the windows route…but the baby wasn’t trying to hear all of that.  Point is, you can enroll in your local tech school for probably 6 months or so & come out a certified HVAC technician & get hired damn near immediately making I’m assuming well above minimum wage.

I say all of this to say…there are affordable options to earn more than minimum wage.  I’m not sure how much tech school costs, but I know for a fact that tech school is nowhere near as expensive as college.  Plus, everybody doesn’t need a college degree to be successful.  We live in a world where skilled workers are in demand & shall forever be in demand for the foreseeable future…especially in the IT world so as long as there are computers & the internet exists.  So truth be told, I’m honestly not interested in hearing the plethora of bullshit excuses as to why a minimum wage worker can’t earn more & the minimum wage needs to be increased to $15/hr.

How about you invest some time into increasing your skill sets just incase the minimum wage doesn’t rise to $15/hr.  What’s wrong with pursuing that avenue?

“B-b-but…I have kids!  I need to feed my babies & family!”

Having kids was a choice you made.  If you can’t afford kids, don’t create them.  If you have kids now & you are struggling, I suggest saving $1 a day to buy that A+ book to study or ask somebody to front you the money.

“B-b-but…the man, the gubment, racism, white supremacy!!!”

Knee grow please.  It’s a lot of things you can blame the man, the gubment, racism & white supremacy on but I refuse to blame those things on your lack of ambition & drive.  It’s literally too many resources floating around on the internet that you can research to find something that interests you, but more importantly, something society deems as valuable that you could be learning at the speed of right now.

“B-b-but…I’m broke!  I earn minimum wage!”

Chances are if you are reading this, you have access to a device that is able to access the internet…internet you pay for or free internet.  Regardless, you have the money to research affordable resources to help point you in the right direction to learning a valuable skill.

“B-b-but…the gubment should just raise the minimum wage to $15/hr!”

What if they don’t, then what?  Are you just going to stand around crying and complaining or are you going to be proactive & take the necessary steps to fix the problem?

“B-b-but…everybody can’t be a skilled worker!  Somebody has to flip the burgers!  They should just pay the burger flippers more money!”

What if they don’t pay them more money?  Better yet, how about you just be the burger flipper and let somebody else go on to be a skilled worker who can earn at least $15/hr without people looking at them side eyed.

“Stop talking down on people like you are better than them!”

I never said I was better than them.  I’ve just done certain things to put myself in better positions as to where working a minimum wage job isn’t my only option in life.  One of my biggest motivators to never being a minimum wage worker in my 20s and beyond was a lady I used to work with at Burger King when I was 16.  This lady had to have been about 40 years old earning maybe $3/hr or so more than me.  This lady told me that if I didn’t stop fucking around in school I was going to wake up and be just like her.  The words she spoke were more powerful than all of the words my own parents spoke to me at that time because I was literally having a conversation with my potential future if I didn’t stop fucking around in school.  To this day I reflect on that brief conversation.

Anyways, I can go on & on with the list of excuses too many of you out there make but the bottom line is, if you want it then you need to go get it.  Does learning a new skill guarantee you a new job or a new life?  No, but I’d rather have the skill & not be able to use it than to not have the skill when an opportunity presents itself to use it.

Well, I’ve given you an affordable solution to breaking out of the world of minimum wage.  What you do with it is up to you.

PS:  There’s always the military…assuming you qualify because even the military doesn’t just take anybody these days. 🙂

Your favorite mulatto.
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