Around 13.9% of Americans work in blue-collar jobs. They usually have very physical duties that can involve hard labor and can be taxing on the body.
They may be salaried or hourly, but the most important thing to know is what exactly they’re paid before taking on a blue-collar job.
To help you decide which career is for you, let’s take a look at the highest-paying blue-collar jobs. These jobs are in high demand and willing to shell out the money for workers.
With general electricians making up to $75k and even more in specialized parts of the industry, it’s become a great job for people who are looking to make some money in a blue-collar job. You may work in homes or businesses and there’s always demand for more, so it’s a great field to get into.
You don’t have to go to school to become an electrical and can make money while training, which is another huge bonus of taking on this career. There are plenty of apprenticeships available which you can view here.
2. Elevator Installation and Repair
If you want to make around $75k on average in another job, elevator installation and repair isn’t usually a career people think to get into — but it’s a great one that will pay you well.
Usually, these people will go in and do the initial installation of elevators and escalators in buildings and then maintain them by performing necessary repairs over time and inspecting them to ensure they’re still safe. They usually have to complete a five-year apprenticeship but, like many blue-collar jobs, you can get paid while doing this rather than going into a ton of debt while in school
The idea of getting paid while training to go into a full career is what attracts many people to this type of employment.
3. Police Officer
The police officers on the front line are blue-collar workers and are highly skilled at what they do. They can earn up to $90k in the USA, and one of the best things about being one is that there are a ton of advancement opportunities. It’s not hard to move up the career ladder when you’re in the police force.
To become a police officer, you’ll have to contact the regional academy and then take an entrance exam.
A very noble blue-collar profession is a firefighter. These people work to control fires in the area and respond to emergency calls, often having to rescue people from the fires.
There is a lot of training and exams to go through, and you may have to volunteer some of your time for this one until you find a position as a paid firefighter. However, much like the police, there’s plenty of career advancement to be had and the average salary is around $50k a year with opportunities to work up and earn more.
Plumbers take on an apprenticeship, much like some of the other blue-collar positions so they also have the advantage of getting paid while they train. They may choose to do residential plumbing, commercial, or both.
Plumbers earn a median salary of $56k, but this can vary greatly. Some people may go on to start their own company or work for themselves which gives them the opportunity to learn a lot more than a newcomer to the profession who just started working for another company.
You can work your way up as a plumber (though maybe not in the same way a police officer or firefighter would).
6. Power Plant Operators
Power plant operators are the people who make sure your electricity is running, by distributing the electricity out from the power plant and, eventually, to homes and residences.
Although this is all trained on the job, it’s a skilled profession that’s not to be taken lightly. It usually requires a high school diploma to begin training, so you don’t have to worry about a college degree like most blue-collar jobs.
The salary can go up to $76k in the United States.
The salary of a mechanic can vary wildly because someone training with a company in the first year of their career isn’t going to make as much as the business owner. Still, a business owner could make a six-figure salary and that’s where to work your way up to.
Mechanics are usually trained on the job and there are a number of certifications you can get to prove to people you’re experienced and trustworthy.
8. Aviation Technician
Aviation technicians work on planes rather than cars and can demand a huge salary. Some of them make up to 110k! Though it very much depends on what state you work in and for what company.
They usually work eight-hour shifts and don’t have to do a lot of overtime unlike some of the other blue-collar jobs mentioned, which is another huge bonus if you’d like to limit your working hours for a good salary.
You can become an aviation technician by enrolling in aircraft mechanic school as well as finding other private training opportunities.
There Are Many Great Blue-Collar Jobs
Some people mistakenly think that blue-collar jobs tend to pay less than white-collar jobs, but this is far from the case if you find the right career. You can make a great living out of some blue-collar jobs so if this is the lifestyle for you, you just need to find the right focus and the right opportunity.
For more career advice, check out the rest of our blog.