However, there are also a lot of cultural differences that make comparisons difficult, for instance being wait staff in a sit-down restaurant is traditionally a career job in Germany, not a starter job for kids like it is here, where either an American high school dropout or astrophysics student might just as easily take the minimum wage (Or less) job for a year or two, then move on to something better.
It's not a system that's accommodating to late bloomers, for sure, but on the other hand there is a huge social safety net that keeps failure or nonselection for the academic track from being the life-ruining disaster that Americans imagine when they try to picture the same kind of student sorting applied here.
At least in my own experience, and perhaps ironically, the Germans are somewhat less class-conscious and snooty about looking down on blue collar work and workers than Americans are.
We do have a privately run prison operated by CCA. They start at 24.75 an hour and have the opportunity to advance. They follow prevailing wage rules.
We have heavy equipment operators making $39 an hour as they build our new roads and highways. Construction jobs are not as easy to get right now but several of the guys and gals are still working.
Here you go, Nova: http://transparentnevada.com/salarie...ce-department/
Much more is expected of a Mercedes-Benz line worker, both here (Vance, AL) and in Germany, than was expected of a typical US auto company assembly operator. I say was, because the bar is being raised.
A two-year degree is quickly becoming the minimum standard to get any kind of assembly line work, because workers are now expected to contribute to the process of problem-solving, error-proofing, and line efficiency.
Also, in Germany, it's entirely likely that a trade or vocational school that students are being funneled to is owned by the company that they will eventually work for...
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