Explaining the Increasing Demand for the Underrated Blue Collar Job

Blue collar

In today’s digital world and economy, most people are now looking at careers that are integrated with technology and digitalization. People are now more inclined to taking advantage of technology and making it work for them. With the proliferation of online jobs, more folks are now making a living using various digital platforms. From online marketing to life coaching to affiliate marketing, people are making the most that technology has to offer to build careers on.

In light of this, there has been a steady decline in the blue-collar industry resulting in a spike in demand for skilled workers. 

What does the term “Blue Collar” mean?

Historically, especially during the industrial revolution, manual or skilled laborers wore dark-colored suits (blue, in most cases) because the dirt acquired through their work isn’t as visible as it would be on a light-colored suit. 

Blue-collar jobs are presently defined as occupations that require physical manual labor. Jobs of this nature originally didn’t necessarily require higher education. Laborers are hired because of certain skill sets they possess, such as carpentry, mechanics, and other highly technical skills, which require working with hands and a certain level of expertise, not just educational attainment.

This doesn’t mean, however, that education is not important to succeed in the field. Most of today’s blue-collar workers are well-educated and highly-paid. While most blue-collar jobs are paid by the hour, this doesn’t mean that all of them pay less than white-collar or clerical jobs. In fact, in light of today’s lack of manpower supply in the industrial field, a career in the blue-collar industry might actually be fruitful. 

Whether you choose a career as a train track and switch repairman in South Africa or a roofer who installs corrugated plastic roofing sheets in the UK, you have a chance of succeeding and having a good life. 

What is the projected outlook for the blue-collar industry?

With a greater number of students seeking degrees, the need for skilled workers is now at a high demand. In 2018, The Conference Board released a report saying that there is an increasing shortage of skilled manual laborers due to higher wages. Since the 2008 financial crisis, demands for industries like manufacturing, agribusiness, healthcare, construction, and more have continually increased. For example, in manufacturing alone, there is a projected 57% vacancy of the 3.5 million available jobs by the year 2025.

That being said, because industries cannot thrive without manual physical labor, employers and companies are significantly increasing salaries to attract the right skilled individuals to fill in these vacancies. 

As companies are now increasing their investments in blue-collar workers in the form of higher salaries and competitive packages, skilled workers are now in a position to enjoy life with jobs that offer highly satisfactory paychecks. 

How well do blue-collar jobs pay?

To give you an idea of how much certain blue-collar jobs pay, here is a shortlist based on the average annual salary, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics: 

  • Millwrights – $50,650

  • Brickmasons and Blockmasons – $50,760

  • Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters – $51,830

  • Precision Instrument and Equipment Repairers – $51,970

  • Pile Driver Operators – $52,140

  • Electrical and Electronics Repairers (Commercial and Industrial) – $52,420

  • Telecomms Installers and Repairers – $52,870

  • Electricians – $52,910

  • Locomotive Engineers – $52,940

  • Signal and Track Switch Repairers – $54,210

  • Aircraft Mechanics and Technicians – $54,500

  • Boilermakers – $56,650

  • Rotary Drills and Operators – $58,540

  • Commercial Divers – $58,640

  • Subway and Streetcar Operators – $59,400

  • Electrical Power-Line Installers and Repairers – $59,450

  • Petroleum Pump System Operators – $60,290

  • Transportation Inspectors – $65,770

  • Electrical and Electronics Repairers (Powerhouse and Substation) – $65,950

  • Elevator Installers and Repairers – $73,560

No matter how advanced technology may get, blue-collar jobs still need to be done and employers are willing to pay hefty amounts to get the right people to do the job. There are just some things that technology cannot do that only man can.

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