Blue Collar Meaning and Examples

blue collar man with wrench clip art

You must have heard this term quite often, but do you know what it means? What does this term mean and why is it so widely used in the professional world.

It’s time to learn not only the meaning of the word “blue collar”, but everything that it means. Of course, everyone knows that blue collar is a type of employment, but that’s not all!

Blue Collar Meaning and Concept: What You Should Know

In simple terms, jobs are those that involve manual labor. Most often, these jobs are paid by the hour. Examples of jobs can be found in various fields including mining, maintenance, construction and manufacturing. If you didn’t know the meaning of the word “blue collar” before, perhaps you meant people with this profession as members of the working class.

But more than the meaning of the word “blue collar”, it’s much more interesting to know how the term came about. In fact, the term dates back to the 1920s. During this period, mining and construction people wore dark-colored clothing, usually overalls or jeans. They had to do physical labor in extreme temperatures; therefore, comfort also mattered. Dark clothes hid dirt. Consequently, most of these people will wear blue overalls and jeans.

So they were called workers. Of course, the meaning of blue collar has changed since then. Now many workers with jobs experiencednot to mention highly paid.

Elevator installers, nuclear power engineers, and subway operators fall into this category, earning over $70,000 a year. This is significantly higher than what college graduates receive immediately after graduation.

But for a long time, the meaning of blue-collar workers was rather limited. The people who worked in the workplaces did not require special education or experience.

But, despite so many changes, remember that the work of workers is still associated with the construction and maintenance of something. Primarily due to advances in technology, the meaning of blue collar workers has changed over the years. But its essence remains the same.

Examples of jobs and requirements for them

You should learn more about the requirements of such a job than about blue collar jobs. As we said, things have changed dramatically. Now you can’t count on getting a blue collar job easily. They are also not easy to keep. It’s good that the jobs are also not low paying.

Even now, most jobs are paid by the hour. Therefore, if you work overtime, the worker has the opportunity to earn significantly more. You will also find several jobs that are paid by the project. Summing up, belonging to the category of working professions no longer means a bad salary.

Examples of jobs that pay well include:

  • Detectives and investigators
  • Police officers and wardens
  • Nuclear power reactor operators
  • Dispatchers and distributors of electricity
  • Elevator installers and repairers
  • Electronics repairmen
  • Railway Police
  • Leaders of the first line of firefighters

The number of people with working professions will undoubtedly surprise you. In 2018, in the United States alone, the number of construction workers reached 1,405,000, and those involved in maintenance and repair reached almost 1,488,000 people. About 13.9% of workers in the US were workers during the year.

It is clear that the number of jobs for workers has increased significantly over the past few years. New opportunities arose, and with it, people who wanted jobs also had to acquire new skills. First of all, therefore, the concept of “worker” has ceased to be clear in the minds of people.

The difference between other collar jobs

jobs two men

Apart from blue collar workers, the most common form of employment you must have heard of is white collar work. Whenever you think about the meaning of the word “blue collar” and its comparison with “white collar”, some pretty prominent images must come to mind.

Most people believe that workers should earn significantly less than white collar workers. But, as we have shown, this is not always the case.

People expect white collar workers to work at their desks while workers have to actually do the manual work at their jobs. It is very important to understand what distinguishes these two forms of employment.

Yes, we can’t deny that white collar workers usually have a more versatile background. In addition, white collar workers usually belong to a different social class. Their skills and profession set them apart.

In addition to blue and white collars, there are many other color categories that few people know about. These include green, gold, gray and pink collars. Interestingly, these terms cannot be attributed to workers who wear shirts of a certain color while on the job, as opposed to blue and white collars.

Green collars are part of the conservation and sustainability sectors. Golden collar professionals specialize in law and medicine. Gray collar refers to engineers. Pink collar jobs are jobs in the service industry such as sales clerks, receptionists, and waiters.

The Ever-Changing Meaning of Blue-Collar Workers

Advances in technology provide a better quality of life for workers. But it also made things a little problematic. Now you need some training to get a blue collar job. So if you’ve been searching for the meaning of a blue collar job in hopes of finding a job with limited skills, you may be running into a bit of a problem.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here