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Blue-Collar Jobs 101

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A blue-collar job largely refers to manual labor. Blue-collar workers normally perform their duties with their hands. Blue-collar job holders can either be skilled or non-skilled. Examples of blue-collar jobs that require skilled work include motor manufacturing industry engineering and construction site management.

The Origins of Blue Collar

The term ''blue collar'' originates from a code of dressing that dates back to the Industrial Revolution. These clothes, made of durable materials and sewn with several pockets for carrying tools, are still worn by industrial workers today. These clothes are multi-purpose and can be used while performing different types of duties in the various blue-collar industries. The companies which have blue-collar workers normally take on the burden of buying these types of clothes for workers.

The attire worn by blue-collar job workers is blue, naturally. It contrasts the term used for those who do office work, which is ''white collar.'' Both terms refer to an old-fashioned class segregation system. Blue-collar jobs were seen as the preserve of those with less educational opportunity and less privilege. However, this class segregation for blue-collar jobs is more blurred today. With increased governmental regulations and trade-union activism, the working conditions for blue-collar jobs have improved.

The Changing Nature of Blue-Collar Jobs

Blue-collar jobs have not always been granted the respect that they deserve. During the Industrial Revolution, blue-collar job holders were not allowed to develop trade unions. However, after several decades of struggle, many blue-collar sectors have been able to unionize. This marked the beginning of a reformation of working conditions for blue-collar jobs everywhere. They have thus evolved immensely since being stereotyped as dirty, demanding, low-class work. While the amount of education required for entry in the blue-collar job market is often not as high as that of the white collar market, most of the people working in blue-collar jobs are very skilled and offer high-quality services. Some blue-collar workers are even self-employed.

Blue-collar jobs continue to be shunned by some because of their lingering and out-dated bad reputation. Even though some people still look down on blue-collar jobs, many blue-collar workers have sharp business skills. In fact, extensive knowledge in business as well as science is very important nowadays to succeed at a blue-collar job. Since global trade has taken a new dimension, the roles of blue-collar workers have begun expanding. Production of competitive, manufactured products coupled with high demand for such goods have increased the profile of blue-collar jobs. Blue-collar jobs in many developed countries have become well-paying.

Nowadays, as the role of technology grows, blue-collar jobs are being advertised on the Internet. Well-respected magazines carry advertisements for blue-collar job positions as well. This shows how blue-collar jobs have gained prominence from historically-shunned jobs to front-page prominence.

Types of Blue Collar Work and Their Pay

Blue-collar jobs are plentiful and diverse. An operator of power plants is one such position. A person acting as a power plant manager maintains, operates and/or controls power plant machinery that is used to generate electricity. Some power plant managers earn an hourly rate that enables them to easily afford the finer things in life. Other blue-collar jobs that currently pay well include agricultural managers and farm ranch managers. You may have to get a little dirty sometimes, but you’ll also be able to run some marketing and business activities on the side.


Blue-collar jobs in some industries pay more than some white-collar jobs. If you are a college or high school student who is good with any type of manual work, then you may want to consider a job in the blue-collar sector. You will definitely be putting your abilities to good work.
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