TOP 10 PAYING BLUE COLLAR JOBS IN AMERICA

Herbert Post January 20, 2021 5 min read

Top 10 Paying Blue Collar Jobs in America

There is no shortage of blue-collar jobs in America. There are so many in fact, that it can be difficult to decide what type of career to pursue. Having so many choices can be paralyzing. When considering a career, it’s important to look at what you’re good at, as well as how in-demand that particular career is. Using this list of high-paying blue collar jobs, with information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, can help you choose the best career path for you. Let’s get started.

blue collar job, carpenter

10. CARPENTER

    What do they get paid?

    $48,330 a year.

    What do they do?

    Carpenters work with wood in a variety of different situations. They might be working on a chair or table indoors, or they might be involved in constructing various structures outdoors. The situation can vary a great deal, so you must be able to adapt.

    How can I become one?

    Most carpenters learn through an apprenticeship with another experienced carpenter. However, many learn to work with wood through on-the-job training.

    Blue Collar Job, Wind Turbine Technician

    9. WIND TURBINE TECHNICIAN

      What do they get paid?

      $52,910 a year.

      What do they do?

      Wind turbine technicians oversee maintenance of wind turbines to make sure they are operating properly. This requires the technician to go to the top of the turbines sometimes, so if you have a fear of heights, this job might not be for you. The position is also currently experiencing a great deal of growth, with a 57% increase in available positions in the past year.

      How can I become one?

      To become a wind turbine technician, you need to go to a technical school, and you may be required to go through a lot of on-the-job training.

      Blue Collar Job, Iron Worker

      8. IRON WORKER

        What do they get paid?

        $53,650 a year.

        What do they do?

        Ironworkers are in charge or installing and reinforcing iron and steel in a variety of structures. These structures can range from buildings, to bridges and roads. The work can be physically demanding and, at times, dangerous, requiring you to work high up in the sky for certain projects.

        How can I become one?

        Most ironworkers get their training through an apprenticeship from another ironworker and a lot of on-the-job training.

        Blue Collar Job, Plumber

        7. PLUMBER

          What do they get paid?

          $55,160 a year.

          What do they do?

          Plumbers install and repair pipes in a variety of locations. Since pipes are in nearly every building, the job can take them to factories, homes, businesses, basically anywhere with running water. In most cases, when a plumber is called to a site, it’s because of an unexpected emergency leak, so you must be prepared to work strange hours, including weekends or holidays.

          How can I become one?

          If you’re looking to become a plumber, you’ll need to get some training through either an apprenticeship, or a technical school. Many states require plumbers to be licensed to work.

          Blue Collar Job, Electrician

          6. ELECTRICIAN

            What do they get paid?

            $56,180 a year.

            What do they do?

            Electricians install and maintain electrical systems in a variety of shapes and sizes, whether it be installing electrical systems in a skyscraper or fixing a busted toaster. Electricians need to be able to adapt to whatever system they’re working on. Due to the nature of the work, it can also be dangerous. Working with electricity always has the potential for accidents, but with proper electrical safety techniques, they can be avoided.

            How can I become one?

            Electricians learn their trade by working closely with an experienced electrician as an apprentice, or by going to a technical school. In many areas, electricians need to be licensed by the state to work.

            Blue Collar Job, Building Inspector

            5. CONTRUCTION AND BUILDING INSPECTOR

              What do they get paid?

              $61,710 a year.

              What do they do?

              An inspector’s primary job is to make sure that buildings are up to code and meet the demands of the contract while the building is under construction. They do this by having a deep understanding of the various zoning laws and regulations in the area, as well as being on-site during construction to make sure things are being done the way they should be.

              How can I become one?

              Construction and building inspectors are required to have a high school diploma, and extensive experience in construction to help them know what to look for during inspections. Many states require inspectors to have a license to work.

              Blue Collar Job, Boilermaker

              4. BOILERMAKER

                What do they get paid?

                $63,100 a year.

                What do they do?

                Boilermakers oversee installation and maintenance of boilers and other large containers that can hold either liquids or gasses. The work can be very demanding and may require you to work away from home for extended periods of time in order to be on site. However, for some, this may not be a problem.

                How can I become one?

                It is most common for boilermakers to learn their trade through on-the-job training in an apprenticeship to an experienced boilermaker.

                Blue Collar Job, Aircraft Mechanics and Technicians

                3. AIRCRAFT MECHANIC AND TECHNICIANS

                  What do they get paid?

                  $64,310 a year.

                  What do they do?

                  Aircraft mechanics and technicians are responsible for performing regular scheduled maintenance on aircraft to make sure they keep running safely. They typically work in aircraft hangars and need to get used to working in a loud environment due to constant proximity to airplanes.

                  How can I become one?

                  There are numerous Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approved technical schools where you can learn the trade. It is also possible to get your training through military service working on airplanes.

                  Blue Collar Job, Elevator Installer

                  2. ELEVATOR INSTALLERS

                    What do they get paid?

                    $84,990 a year.

                    What do they do?

                    Elevator installers are in charge of installing and maintaining elevators, escalators, lifts, moving walkways, and other similar devices. Due to the nature of the work, you will undoubtedly do a lot of work in elevator shafts and will need to be comfortable with heights. I suppose it shouldn’t be surprising that someone who makes sure things go up would be so high up on this list.

                    How can I become one?

                    In most cases, elevator installers require on-the-job training as an apprentice. Many states will require you to be licensed in order to work.

                    Blue Collar, Power Plant Operator

                    1. POWER PLANT OPERATOR

                      What do they get paid?

                      $85,950 a year.

                      What do they do?

                      Power plant operators are in charge of making sure that powerplants both generate electricity and distribute it to the thousands of people depending on it. Since you’ll be working with electricity, it is important to respect the fact that some of the equipment can be dangerous, and it is important to make sure everything runs properly to avoid potential problems.

                      How can I become one?

                      Working as a powerplant operator requires a great deal of extensive training, as well as background checks and drug testing. If you’re looking to work in a nuclear power plant, you will also need a license.

                       

                      THE CHOICE IS YOURS

                      There are many different blue-collar jobs out there of various shapes and sizes and it’s important that you find the one that’s best for you. All these careers require a lot of hard work, so be sure to pick one that you know you’ll be able to enjoy in order to lessen the load. After all, you’ll be going in to work there for a while, you might as well enjoy your time there.

                      Hopefully, this list has helped you to decide what type career path to start working towards, or maybe it’s encouraged you to change the career path you already have. Either way, good luck on your future endeavors.

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                      Author: Herbert Post

                      VP Global Compliance at Barron Short Companies LTD. Born in the Philadelphia area and raised in Houston in a family who was predominately employed in heavy manufacturing. Herb took a liking to factory processes and later safety compliance where he has spent the last 13 years facilitating best practices and teaching updated regulations


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