The term “blue-collar” was coined back in the early 1900s as a way of describing the class of workers who performed manual labor jobs. In today’s society, “blue-collar” jobs require highly-skilled and trained professionals who are experts in their trade, and there are a number of benefits to having a blue-collar job versus a white-collar one. 

It can be difficult to decide what type of work you want to pursue as a career, and many people often consider white-collar jobs before they think about becoming employed in the manual labor industry. This is mostly due to untrue assumptions about blue-collar work and the alluring pull of going to college to get a bachelor’s degree and eventually earning a six-figure salary. The reality is, white-collar work isn’t always what it’s made out to be, and blue-collar work is seriously underestimated and misunderstood. There are numerous benefits to having a blue-collar job, and a number of reasons why you should consider one as your career path.

There are benefits to physical labor

Working behind a desk day in and day out can take a huge toll on your mental and physical health. Not only has manual labor and working with your hands been proven to increase job satisfaction, but there are health benefits to working in a field that keeps you physically active all day. Obesity rates, heart disease, and other illnesses associated with leading an inactive lifestyle are rampant in the United States, and a lot of those problems can be attributed to a sedentary lifestyle (which includes a job without much physical activity). 

Equally importantly, sitting at a desk all day or working in an office environment also doesn’t allow us to release enough endorphins to keep our minds sharp and happy, which means that physical labor also benefits our mental health.

Job Satisfaction

The number one determining factor when it comes to job satisfaction is whether you have a career that allows you to use your skills and abilities. Those who work in the trade that they are trained in use their skills and abilities to complete their jobs every day. Furthermore, having a career that involves working with your hands or engaging in physical labor means less opportunity for boredom and idleness, which is another big factor in overall job satisfaction. 

Trade School is Cheaper and Shorter

Going to school for a four-year bachelor’s degree has the downside of being very expensive, and also requires us to spend a long time going through the schooling process. The average bachelor’s degree means meeting a requirement of approximately 4 years (if not more) of schooling and an average student debt amount of $100,000. Most schooling for skilled trade work, on the other hand, takes only six months to two years to complete and is likely to cost you more along the lines of $30,000. 

Financial Security

Despite what many people stereotypically believe, blue-collar work can pay extremely well and provide excellent financial security. While it’s true that the majority of people pulling in seriously big salaries are white-collar workers, skilled trade jobs are more likely to provide you with a consistent and comfortable salary that can allow you to be financially stable. Plus, if you look at the national average salaries for white-collar and blue-collar workers (excluding the high and low-end outliers) they’re pretty much exactly the same. For example, an aircraft mechanic can pull in an average of $49,000 a year, and an elevator repairman can make $73,000. 

Job Security

In today’s world, total job security really isn’t a thing anymore, but there are some types of work that are more secure than others. A high number of white-collar jobs are at risk of being replaced by robots or automated systems, but skilled tradesmen are significantly more difficult to replace or outsource. The world is always going to need plumbers, mechanics, and electricians. Blue-collar jobs require hands-on work that can’t be relocated or outsourced to a call center in another country. 

Job Availability

Not only are you more likely to be secure in your job if you work in a blue-collar profession, but it’s also easier to find a job, to begin with. There are lots of job openings to tradesmen and manual laborers. There’s a much bigger skills gap in blue-collar work than there is in white-collar work, largely due to the fact that there are more tradesmen retiring than there are new workers coming in ready to take their positions. If you do consider a blue-collar job, it’s a good idea to come to terms with the reality that moving locations could provide you with better job opportunities in your trade, but that’s also true for work in all industries, so it isn’t a reason to be put off.

Blue-collar jobs just aren’t the same as they used to be, they’re much better! The dream of becoming a bigtime lawyer or financier making the big bucks pulls many teens and young adults who are deciding what they want to do into the trap of choosing dissatisfying white-collar work. Many people overlook blue-collar jobs without knowing enough about them or understanding what actually makes someone happy, stable, and satisfied with their careers. If you want a job that has high overall satisfaction rates, better job availability and security, and can allow you to make good money, then there are numerous benefits to considering blue-collar work. 


If your goal is to move up in your career, find a new job, or get started down a new path altogether, Stand-By Personnel is here to help. Our experienced Tulsa staffing agency can help you find full-time or part-time employment. Contact Stand-By Personnel today or text ‘weldingjobs’ or ‘skilledjobs’ to 888-111 to see how we can help you accomplish your new year’s resolution.