If you like working with your hands, blue-collar jobs might be exactly what you are looking for. According to a recent survey, most blue-collar workers (as much as 86%) say they are satisfied with their job, with 33% saying they are very satisfied.
Blue-collar work is rewarding despite its physically demanding nature for many jobs. There is a lower barrier to entry with these kinds of jobs since a college education and specialized experience are typically not required. Keep reading to learn some of the top blue collar jobs to consider.
Quickstart Guide To Landing A Blue Collar Job
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What Is A Blue Collar Job?
A blue-collar job is a manual labor job in industries like manufacturing, agriculture, or construction, to name a few.
These jobs will require hard skills like training on specific machinery, repair, or maintenance. Blue-collar jobs are some of the most rewarding careers. They can be a lot of hard work but, as shared above, many blue-collar workers are happy with their job.
If you’re interested in landing a blue-collar job, here are 13 blue-collar professions you can explore.
13 Of Top Blue Collar Jobs
Median National Salary: $59,843/year
Education Required: Plumbers are typically required to complete a high school diploma and an apprenticeship program. Additionally, most states require plumbers to be licensed.
Job Duties: Plumbers work with pipes, faucets, and other plumbing equipment for assembly, testing, repair, and restoration.
Plumbing is one of those industries that will be around forever. There will always be plumbing equipment and the need for professionals to install and repair that equipment will be present. This is one of the best professions for job security.
If you want to become a plumber, check out our guide on how to create a plumber resume.
2. Construction Worker
Median National Salary: $38,658/year.
Education Required: No formal education, expertise, or background is required to work in construction.
Job Duties: Construction workers build structures. They work alone and within a team to perform on-site tasks including operating heavy machinery, removing debris, etc.
Working in construction is about working independently and in a team in the physical construction of buildings and structures.
3. Police Officer
Median National Salary: $67,600/year
Education Required: To work as a police officer, you’ll need a high school diploma or G.E.D with no legal restrictions operating a motor vehicle and a clean background (no prior history of family violence).
Job Duties: Police officers protect and enforce the law and protect the community. Common things you might do include assigning traffic violations, being present during eviction to keep the peace, etc.
Working in law enforcement as a police officer is a respected but dangerous blue-collar job. Police officers are responsible for enforcing the law. Making arrests and reporting violations is a primary part of their job and they do so to protect the community and enforce the law.
4. General Contractor
Median National Salary: $80,000/year
Education Required: Licensing may be required, depending on your area.
Job Duties: You will have managerial-based job duties like overseeing the team, management, leading execution of the project, and related duties.
A general contractor is like the boss of the construction project. This could be for helping homeowners renovate their kitchen, or coordinate and manage the activities of a new home build or other construction project.
5. Production Manager
Median National Salary: $68,000/year.
Education Required: Production managers will need a bachelor’s degree, equivalent work experience or a combination of the two.
Job Duties: Production managers work to oversee, manage, and help plan the production part of the project. That can include setting production schedules, estimating costs, negotiating with clients and other key members of the production process, and more.
Production managers are in charge of the production of projects. They work with peers, team members, and staff to ensure the on-time and in-compliance completion of the production project.
For more information, check out our production worker job description.
Median National Salary: $34.16/hour
Education Required: This is a skilled labor position and will require training and/or passing an apprentice program to work in this job.
Job Duties: The assembly, maintenance, and repair of steam boilers are in the hands of boilermakers. These are skilled laborers that have the skillset to work on boilers.
Boilermakers work with steam boilers. Like other jobs on the list, boilermakers’ jobs can be labor-intensive and it may require travel.
Median National Salary: $52,173/year
Education Required: High school diploma or equivalent, plus additional training
Job Duties: The job duties include installing, repairing, and maintaining the electrical system for houses, businesses, and commercial properties.
An electrician is a skilled professional who can repair, maintain, and install electrical power in residential properties and/or commercial facilities. This is a learned skill that you can develop through on-the-job training in an apprentice program or learn at a trade school.
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8. Train Conductor
Median National Salary: $66,000/year
Education Required: On the job training and licensing required
Job Duties: Managing the operation of the train can include coordinating and working with other team members like dispatch or engineers.
A train conductor is the operator of the train. They manage the train route, coordinate with engineers, and other crew to ensure the safe operation of the train.
They will work with a time schedule, cargo, and other components to make sure passengers and crew are safely transported on the train as safely and efficiently as possible.
9. Avionics Technician
Median National Salary: $70,000/year
Education Required: Associates or Bachelor’s Degree
Job Duties: An avionics technician will maintain and repair aircraft. This can include working on an aircraft’s mechanical system, radio, radar, communications, digital technology, and more.
An avionics technician is an aircraft mechanic. This is a specialized skill that you will need to learn in a trade school. This is an in-demand job projected to grow by 11% by the year 2030.
Median National Salary: $48,800/year
Education Required: You will need to have a high school diploma or GED, be at least 18 years old (max age restrictions may also apply depending on your area), be in good physical condition, and be EMT-certified (in some departments).
Job Duties: Firefighters will extinguish the fire and rescue people and animals. This can include wildfires in the forest, house fires, car fires, etc.
Firefighters are rescue workers that help put fires out. There is firefighter training that you will need to go through and pass to get this job.
Median National Salary: $41,521/year
Education Required: This is a skill that can be learned and developed over time. You can also go to school and attend mechanic training to learn how to do this job.
Job Duties: Mechanics work to maintain and repair vehicles which can include:
- Oil changes
- Tire rotation
- Maintenance inspections
- Assemble or repair mechanical parts
Mechanics (or service technicians) are repairmen. When you think of a mechanic, you usually imagine a car mechanic that can maintain and repair vehicles.
Median National Salary: $58,692/year
Education Required: Carpenters should have a high school diploma or G.E.D. This job generally has on-the-job training and/or an apprentice program you should attend and pass.
Job Duties: Carpenters work with building materials for construction. This can include the construction of buildings, ships, homes, and more. There are different kinds of carpentry as well, like furniture carpentry, construction carpentry, trim carpentry, etc.
Carpenters are skilled workers that create, assemble, maintain, and repair wooden structures. This is useful in construction, whether you’re building kitchen cabinets, repairing a home’s roof, or working on a ship.
Median National Salary: $31,735/year
Education Required: Janitors generally don’t need professional training or education to work this job. It has a low barrier to entry with no credentials required to secure this job.
Job Duties: Janitors are known for cleaning and picking up garbage at facilities like commercial buildings, schools, etc. They can also do minor repairs and act as a doorkeeper, depending on the job.
Janitors (or custodians) do caretaking for buildings. This can include doing minor repairs, cleaning, picking up garbage and being a doorkeeper.
Where To Find Blue Collar Jobs
You can find blue-collar jobs by searching online in job posting sites and job search websites. Here are 3 of the best websites to start with.
ZipRecruiter is one of the top career search websites online. They host millions of job postings that you can research and review to find a blue collar job in your area.
For more information, read our full ZipRecruiter review.
Indeed is an easy-to-use job search website. You can search blue collar jobs by keyword and location to turn up thousands of search results at your fingertips.
For more information, read our Indeed review.
Glassdoor is a job search website and research tool. Not only can you search blue collar jobs in your area but you can also do job search to look into what other employees are earning, review the company rating, read employee reviews, and more.
For more information, read our Glassdoor review.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are blue-collar jobs?
Blue-collar jobs are manual labor jobs that usually involve working with your hands to perform a skilled trade. Some blue-collar jobs require training and education while others don’t.
What are 5 blue-collar jobs?
Examples of 5 blue-collar jobs are:
- Police Officer
What are some high-paying blue-collar jobs?
Some of the highest paying blue collar jobs are:
- Police Officer
- Train engineer
What jobs are white-collar?
White collar jobs are jobs that typically require work behind a desk in a suit and tie. These are professional jobs that usually require more formal training and education to land them.
Examples of white collar jobs are:
- Computer programmers
The Bottom Line
Blue collar jobs are on the rise and with high job satisfaction rates, it’s clear they are definitely here to stay and will continue attracting workers in these professions. If you’re considering a blue collar job, we hope you found some inspiration here for jobs you can potentially pursue.
When starting the job search, make sure you have a polished resume when you apply. These are the best resume writing services online, which can aid in this process.
To start your job hunt, visit ZipRecruiter to get started.