The term “blue-collar” reportedly started in the 1920s in the U.S. when manual laborers often wore dark-colored clothes so that all the dirt from work won’t stand out.
Today, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics defines “blue-collar” jobs as occupations that require plenty of precision in production, operations, crafts, and repairs. From a heavy machine operator to a metal roof specialist, one cannot deny that their work takes serious skills and extensive knowledge, and are irreplaceable. These are jobs that require human touch which no machine could ever replicate.
We have listed below some of the top-paying blue-collar jobs according to the U.S. BLS.
10 Most Money-Making Blue Collar Jobs Today
1. Subway and Streetcar Operators
Average Annual Salary: $62,380
Subway and streetcar operators help mobilize the people of the city and help them go where they need to go. Whether they operate in tunnels or on the streets, they make pretty good clean money at the end of the day.
2. Signal and Track Switch Repairers
Average Annual Salary: $62,710
Repairers of signal and track switches are responsible for installing, inspecting, testing, maintaining, and repairing electric gate crossings, signal equipment, section lines, track switches, and intercom systems in a railroad network.
3. Electrical Powerline Installers and Repairers
Average Annual Salary: $67,160
A line installer and repairer’s work involves installing, maintaining, and repairing power lines that help move electricity to homes, buildings, and other infrastructure.
4. Petroleum Pump System and Refinery Operators and Gaugers
Average Annual Salary: $67,870
People who work in this profession operate and control petroleum refining and processing units. Some specialize in controlling pumping systems and gauging oil in storage tanks.
5. Gas Plant Operators
Average Annual Salary: $67,980
One of the main responsibilities a gas plant operator has is the operation of compressors, scrubbers, evaporators, and refrigeration equipment in gas plants.
6. Transportation Inspectors
Average Annual Salary: $72,650
The safe transport of passengers and commuters are of primary importance to transportation inspectors who make sure all modes of transport are up and running properly.
7. Power Plant Operators
Average Annual Salary: $73,800
These are the people who control the systems that generate electric power and distribute it to different lines and grids.
8. Electrical and Electronics Repairers
Average Annual Salary: $74,540
They fix and maintain complex pieces of electronic and electrical equipment in various industries.
9. Elevator Installers and Repairers
Average Annual Salary: $76,860
This is one of those specialties that rake in big money for those who have invested time and resources at learning the trade. The projected growth prospects for this profession are higher than the average American career.
10. Nuclear Power Reactor Operators
Average Annual Salary: $91,370
It appears Homer Simpson is on the right track as far as career is concerned. Nuclear power reactor operators are in charge of making things run in plants so that energy can be distributed to keep the electricity going.
No matter how you look at it, even if you put technology into consideration, the fact is skilled laborers are in high demand today. There are just some things a man can do that a machine can never match or compete with.