College is a Joke: Blue Collar Jobs in High Demand

Pitchayaarch Photography /
Pitchayaarch Photography /

While some liberal cities and states fight to pay minimum wage food service workers $20 an hour (or more), the real heroes of our economy are the ones working blue-collar jobs. Especially when you look at how much college costs these days, it’s critical to look at the jobs that many people don’t want to work.

With many blue-collar jobs, no college degree is necessary. Instead, it’s a technical certificate or some on-the-job training.

With so much emphasis being placed on the manual, labor-intensive tasks that help us to function, many high schools are even offering job-work programs to help students get the training they need before they even graduate high school.

Curious about the most in-demand blue-collar jobs?

#1: Carpenter

In a country as diverse and expansive as the United States, construction remains one of the staple blue-collar work sectors. Carpenters or cabinetmakers specialize in designing and constructing structures or wooden objects by measuring, cutting, and joining pieces of lumber. Empowering infrastructural development and playing essential roles in various industries (residential, commercial, art installation), carpenters form one of the most significant blue-collar job families.

According to the Bureau of Labor, their median salary is $47,590.

#2:  Ironworkers & Steelworkers

Ironworking positions require immense strength, agility, and fearlessness — qualities ironworkers demonstrate as they navigate great heights, heavy loads, and unpredictable elements during construction projects. Responsible for installing structural metal components and reinforcing steel bars into concrete for safe building applications, steelworkers and welders experience high demand and a prosperous career path.

Wages average around $48,460 per year, with a promising growth outlook through advanced technical training.

#3: Machinists & Tool and Die Makers

Crucial to producing functional precision instruments, machinists operate milling machines, lathes, and other machine tools equipped with computerized numeric-controlled software, maintaining America’s industrial output demands through their expert skills — setting specifications using drawings, templates and specifications, creating prototype designs, processing machine operation instructions.

The industry accounts for approximately $43,870 in median salaries, yet it enjoys low unemployment rates and consistent productivity demand.

#4: Truck Drivers & Driver Helpers

Transportation and logistics management heavily rely on the extensive network built by these integral workers. Different segments — from long-haul truck drivers and regional transportation drivers to driver helpers like loader operators — ensure goods reach retailers, customers, and manufacturing facilities efficiently, cementing the backbone of the American economy.

The average salary is about $60,000 a year, though experienced professionals see benefits such as paid leave time, good health insurance options, and opportunities for self-employment growth.

#5: Construction Equipment Operators

Complimenting skilled laborers in blue collar fields, construction equipment operatives comprise the second line defense – running cranes, bulldozers, forklifts, wheel loads, among other large machinery that maneuvers materials and helps build vital infrastructure. Equipped with required licenses or certificates, these individuals perform intricate tasks under varying weather conditions and time restrictions.

While their annual income averages at roughly $50,000, lucrative bonuses and overtime can boost earning potential significantly. Those trained on more advanced equipment can even see salaries of $200,000 or more with the right company.

These dynamic and persistent blue-collar occupations not only sustain essential functions within America but also provide a reliable source of work-life satisfaction for millions. Adapting alongside technological advancements, these sectors continue providing promising employment prospects while contributing heavily to the country’s ever-changing landscape. It’s time we pay the real heroes of our economy what they deserve and stop paying those with zero training and zero experience so much money (we’re looking at you, Newsom)!