Study ranks Florida as one of the least affordable states to live in the U.S.


PANAMA CITY, Fla. — Americans work more hours than the average country, according to a new study by That study also found that for many, the long hours aren’t paying off, especially in Florida.

“One of the biggest industries is our tourism industry,” said Maria Goodwin, the Director of Workforce Services at CareerSource Gulf Coast. “Historically, those are industries that pay below your average wage.”

Also, she says high demand to live in the Sunshine State makes the cost of living in Florida especially high; the survey ranks Florida as one of the least affordable states to live in in the US.

If your current job isn’t paying the bills, you have a couple options; move to a better paying state, or think about changing careers. Learning a high-paying trade, like aircraft mechanics, is more attainable than you may think.

“Some of our programs are only six months long,” said Alexandra Murphy, the Chief Community Relations Officer at Haney Technical Center. She says learning a trade is a small investment with a big return; programs at Haney Technical Center range from six months to two years, and they all cost less than ten thousand dollars to complete.

Murphy says that often times, skilled trade workers earn more than college graduates fresh out of school, and accumulate less student debt.

“There are not a lot of limits for wage earnings for people with trades because it’s supply and demand,” said Murphy. “Our economy needs skilled trade workers.”

Trades like A&P mechanics make over the living wage in Florida, simply because they’re needed, and they’re not alone.

“People are always going to have a need for HVAC people, auto mechanics, plumbers, welders,” said Murphy.

To learn more about the programs offered at Haney Technical Center, click here.

If you’re wondering if you have what it takes to make the switch, Goodwin says, don’t be afraid.

“They’re high demand, they’re high-paying and so those are great opportunities to go to school for a short amount of time but really have a good way to increase your earnings,” she said. “We’ve helped several people get on a different career path.”

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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