The co$t of living

Making ends meet on your own

Once you move out of Mom and Dad’s house, you’re going to need to make a budget. List your fixed monthly expenses (food, rent, transit, etc.) – that will provide a baseline for what you need to survive.

To figure out how to fund your lifestyle, you will need to estimate your earnings. Check out earnings for employees in different industries, and start making some career moves!

Our sample budget (below) is local to the area, designed to give you an idea of some costs. Every person’s budget will be different based on wants and needs. Some might have car loans, insurance and fuel to pay for instead of public transit, for example. If you factor in your savings and retirement planning (you want to retire someday, right?), you will have an even more solid financial plan when it comes to your desired lifestyle.

The salaries shown here reveal that some high-demand jobs require only two years or less of post-secondary schooling and offer comfortable wages that will allow you to save for bigger expenses (like a car or a home).

Compared to lower-wage service industry positions (see list, far right), which often have night and weekend hours and lack health care or paid time-off benefits, a career in manufacturing becomes even more appealing.

Get earning!

Monthly budget for a single person

  • Average rent for a furnished studio apartment $708
  • Utilities (heat, electricity, gas) for one person in studio apartment $87
  • Internet/phone $49
  • Public transportion $64
  • Gym membership $33
  • Groceries $150
  • Dining out & entertainment $400

Total monthly expenses: $1,491

(Source: Expatistan, cost of living estimates for Milwaukee)


Salaries for growth areas in manufacturing

  • Automation Systems – Robotics
    (Associate of applied science degree)
    Sample job titles: Field service technician, automation technician, electromechanical tech
    Median annual wage: $55,000
    Monthly earnings: $4,583
  • Industrial Maintenance Technology
    (Two-year technical diploma)
    Sample job titles: Maintenance technician, HVAC installer
    Median annual wage: $39,490
    Monthly earnings: $3,290
  • Metal Fabrication/Welding
    (One-year technical diploma)
    Sample job titles: Welder, welder one
    Median annual wage: $35,333
    Monthly earnings: $2,944
  • Tool & Die Making
    (Two-year technical diploma)
    Sample job titles: Engineer, machinist, mold making apprentice, owner, tool and die apprentice, toolmaker
    Median annual wage: $45,693
    Monthly earnings: $3,807
  • Automotive Technologies
    (One-year technical diploma)
    Sample job titles: Automotive technician, auto service technician, master technician, mechanic
    Median annual wage: $32,735
    Monthly earnings: $2,728

(Source: WCTC Graduate Success report, 2016)


Salaries for service industry jobs

  • Waiter
    Median annual wage: $18,330
    Monthly earnings: $1,527
  • Fast Food Worker
    Median annual wage: $18,480
    Monthly earnings: $1,540
  • Hotel Desk Clerk
    Median annual wage: $20,370
    Monthly earnings: $1,698
  • Retail Salesperson
    Median annual wage: $20,530
    Monthly earnings: $1,711
  • Restaurant Cook
    Median annual wage: $22,370
    Monthly earnings: $1,864

Read more about Stuff made and built in southeastern Wisconsin in the digital edition of this new publication.

(Source: Career Cruising)

Once you move out of Mom and Dad’s house, you’re going to need to make a budget. List your fixed monthly expenses (food, rent, transit, etc.) – that will provide a baseline for what you need to survive.

To figure out how to fund your lifestyle, you will need to estimate your earnings. Check out earnings for employees in different industries, and start making some career moves!

Our sample budget (below) is local to the area, designed to give you an idea of some costs. Every person’s budget will be different based on wants and needs. Some might have car loans, insurance and fuel to pay for instead of public transit, for example. If you factor in your savings and retirement planning (you want to retire someday, right?), you will have an even more solid financial plan when it comes to your desired lifestyle.

The salaries shown here reveal that some high-demand jobs require only two years or less of post-secondary schooling and offer comfortable wages that will allow you to save for bigger expenses (like a car or a home).

Compared to lower-wage service industry positions (see list, far right), which often have night and weekend hours and lack health care or paid time-off benefits, a career in manufacturing becomes even more appealing.

Get earning!

Monthly budget for a single person

  • Average rent for a furnished studio apartment $708
  • Utilities (heat, electricity, gas) for one person in studio apartment $87
  • Internet/phone $49
  • Public transportion $64
  • Gym membership $33
  • Groceries $150
  • Dining out & entertainment $400

Total monthly expenses: $1,491

(Source: Expatistan, cost of living estimates for Milwaukee)


Salaries for growth areas in manufacturing

  • Automation Systems – Robotics
    (Associate of applied science degree)
    Sample job titles: Field service technician, automation technician, electromechanical tech
    Median annual wage: $55,000
    Monthly earnings: $4,583
  • Industrial Maintenance Technology
    (Two-year technical diploma)
    Sample job titles: Maintenance technician, HVAC installer
    Median annual wage: $39,490
    Monthly earnings: $3,290
  • Metal Fabrication/Welding
    (One-year technical diploma)
    Sample job titles: Welder, welder one
    Median annual wage: $35,333
    Monthly earnings: $2,944
  • Tool & Die Making
    (Two-year technical diploma)
    Sample job titles: Engineer, machinist, mold making apprentice, owner, tool and die apprentice, toolmaker
    Median annual wage: $45,693
    Monthly earnings: $3,807
  • Automotive Technologies
    (One-year technical diploma)
    Sample job titles: Automotive technician, auto service technician, master technician, mechanic
    Median annual wage: $32,735
    Monthly earnings: $2,728

(Source: WCTC Graduate Success report, 2016)


Salaries for service industry jobs

  • Waiter
    Median annual wage: $18,330
    Monthly earnings: $1,527
  • Fast Food Worker
    Median annual wage: $18,480
    Monthly earnings: $1,540
  • Hotel Desk Clerk
    Median annual wage: $20,370
    Monthly earnings: $1,698
  • Retail Salesperson
    Median annual wage: $20,530
    Monthly earnings: $1,711
  • Restaurant Cook
    Median annual wage: $22,370
    Monthly earnings: $1,864

Read more about Stuff made and built in southeastern Wisconsin in the digital edition of this new publication.

(Source: Career Cruising)

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