No Degree? Here Are 10 of the Best Paying Blue-Collar Jobs

Photo (cc) by portland general

Although a four-year college degree is often touted as the first step to scoring a job that pays well, it’s not always required. Blue-collar jobs in industries like construction, maintenance, warehousing and technical installation often offer impressive salaries and an opportunity for workers to cultivate specialized skills.

“Though it may require self-employment, the support of a labor union and, in some cases, not a small amount of risk to your safety, you can earn over $100,000 at a traditionally blue-collar job,” MarketWatch explains.

Some blue-collar careers require short-term vocational or career training, but that’s typically much cheaper than ponying up the bucks required to earn a bachelor’s degree.

Many of the highest-paying blue-collar jobs “are in the trades,” said Rutgers public policy professor Carl Van Horn, speaking to MarketWatch.

Job analysis site CareerTrends, listed 10 of the highest paying blue-collar jobs in the United States, below. (Yes, there are some that pay even more, but this list includes only occupations with at least 10,000 full-time employees.):

  • Power distributor: $73,446
  • Elevator installer: $68,792
  • Powerhouse equipment installer: $67,128
  • Water vessel captain: $63,032
  • Power plant operator: $62,908
  • Power line installer: $62,094
  • Transportation inspector: $62,018
  • Landscape architect: $60,696
  • Gas plant operator: $59,388
  • Aerospace engineering technicians: $58,961

Click here to see CareerTrends’ list of the top 25 highest-paid blue-collar careers.

My dad had a blue-collar job as a railroad locomotive engineer, a position that earned itself a spot (#22) on CareerTrends’ list. Though his work conditions were far from ideal – no set schedule, no set days off, being called to work at all hours of the day and night and being away from home a lot – he earned an impressive salary and he was able to provide for his wife and five children.

What do you think about the top-paying blue-collar jobs and their earning potential? Share your comments below or on our Facebook page.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Most Popular
New Retirement Bill Would Help Savers of All Ages
New Retirement Bill Would Help Savers of All Ages

With bipartisan support, this bill could help millions of workers and retirees boost or conserve their retirement savings.

If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It
If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It

This iconic dinnerware is prized for everyday use as well as reselling for profit.

3 Colors That Can Ruin Your Car’s Resale Value
3 Colors That Can Ruin Your Car’s Resale Value

Select the wrong color for your next car, and it could depreciate twice as fast as others.

20 Things That Are Actually Worth Stockpiling
20 Things That Are Actually Worth Stockpiling

You don’t need a year’s supply of toilet paper to survive an outbreak, but consider stocking up on these items.

9 of the Best Things to Do When You Retire
9 of the Best Things to Do When You Retire

You’ve waited all your life for this moment. Make the most of your retirement.

Beware This Hidden Ingredient in Rotisserie Chicken
Beware This Hidden Ingredient in Rotisserie Chicken

Something foul may lurk in those delicious, ready-to-eat birds.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.