Wisconsin Technical College System: New technical college grads earning more

Kathy Cullen, 608-266-9399

Kyle Schwarm, 608-266-0050

MADISON – Median starting salaries of technical college graduates continues to rise. The top 25 median salaries of new technical college graduates now range from $34,000 to $56,000, according to the Wisconsin Technical College System. The technical colleges conduct a survey of technical college graduates six months after graduation called the Graduate Follow-up Report.

Topping the list of high-paying programs (median salaries) from last year’s graduates are: Instrumentation, $56,138; Diagnostic Medical Sonography, $53,462; Dental Hygienist, $44,717; Industrial Welding Technician, $44,197; and Nursing (Associate Degree), $41,808.

“The impact this has on our state is dramatic when you consider the 2,300 graduates in the top 25 programs in ’04 are generating roughly $92 million a year in salaries,” said Dan Clancy, president of the Wisconsin Technical College System. “That’s a substantial impact on our communities and an incredibly strong return on investment for both students and taxpayers who fund the colleges,” Clancy added.

“The fact that the six highest paid technical careers are related to either health care or manufacturing demonstrates the need for more support of these high-demand occupational areas,” Clancy said.

According to the Graduate Follow-up Report, the median salary for all associate degree graduates is $31,198, up two percent from last year’s survey results. According to the report, there are 69 technical college occupations with median salaries for immediate graduates above $30,000. That compares with 47 just one year earlier. The study results also indicate 92 percent of the graduates were employed within six months of graduation and only six percent are employed out of state. Also, 97 percent of respondents indicated they were satisfied or very satisfied with the education they received from their local technical college.

The Graduate Follow-up Report was sent to 21,309 graduates from last year and had a 73-percent response rate. It examines employment, earnings status, and other factors approximately six months after students have graduated.

Wisconsin’s Technical Colleges offer more than 300 programs to community residents who receive two-year associate degrees, one- and two-year technical diplomas and short-term technical diplomas. Wisconsin’s business and industry turn to the technical colleges for customized training and technical assistance. One out of every nine adults in the state uses the 16 technical colleges for career preparation and continuing education each year. The Graduate Follow-up Report can be found online at http://www.wtcsystem.edu/reports/fact/graduate/index.htm