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Who Makes More – Blue Collar Jobs versus White Collar Jobs

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Do white collar jobs bring home more bacon than blue collar jobs? It’s common to assume so. But according to a recent PayScale survey of job duties, salaries and career paths, white collar jobs don’t always beat their blue collar counterparts. Let’s take a look and compare the average job salaries from a list of white collar jobs and a list of blue collar jobs. (Note: for up-to-date salary information, click on each job title.)

College Professor or Prison Guard
The average job salaries for mid-career prison guards range around $60,880, 3 percent higher than the typical salary of $58,876 for a mid-career college professor. Prison guards in California enjoy an annual salary of $73,428 with only a high school education, and with overtime they can surpass the income of California judges, police and even the state attorney.

Civil Engineer or Elevator Installer/Repairer
Which is more lucrative to fix – an elevator or a road? The average job salaries for mid-career elevator installers/repairers range around $63,500, 3 percent higher than the typical salary of $61,611 for a mid-career civil engineer.

Landscape Architect or Truck Driver
Is it guy who decides where the soil goes or the guy who hauls it? The average job salaries for mid-career landscape architects range around $51,539, 9 percent higher than the typical salary of $46,694 for a mid-career truck driver. Note that in some cases, long-haul truck drivers can earn an annual salary of more than $100,000.

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Clinical Laboratory Scientist or Construction Contractor
Does it matter if your dirty work is in the field or in the lab? The average job salaries for mid-career construction contractors range around $59,927, 6 percent higher than the typical salary of $56,268 for a mid-career clinical laboratory scientist.

Marketing Manager or Telephone Equipment Engineer
So who makes more – the one using the telephone or the one fixing it? The average job salaries for mid-career telephone equipment engineers range around $62,816, 3 percent higher than the typical salary of $60,849 for a mid-career marketing manager.

Architect or Journeyman/Lineman
Both people can work on the same building but who makes more? Surprise! The average job salaries for mid-career journeymen/linemen range around $58,720, 8 percent higher than the typical salary of $54,291 for a mid-career architect.

Real Estate Leasing Agent or Baker
Does the real estate leasing agent eating the scone earn more than the baker who made it? The average job salaries for mid-career bakers range around $34,044, 19 percent higher than the typical salary of $27,553 for a mid-career real estate leasing agent.

Bank Teller or Auto Mechanic
Who makes more – the one at the bank’s drive thru window or the one who fixed your car so you could get there? The average job salaries for mid-career auto mechanics range around $41,136, 47 percent higher than the typical salary of $21,714 for a mid-career bank teller.

Detective or Paramedic
Between the guy who went to the aid of the victim and the guy who found the victim’s killer, who makes more? The average job salaries for mid-career detectives range around $56,869, 30 percent higher than the typical salary of $39,570 for a mid-career paramedic.

Reference Librarian or HVAC Mechanic
So who makes more – the one who can help you research indoor climate control or the one who can fix it? The average job salaries for mid-career HVAC mechanics range around $50,980, 13 percent higher than the typical salary of $44,473for a mid-career reference librarian.

High School Teacher or Waste Disposal Manager
Both careers will survive any economic downturn, but which pays more? Average job salaries for mid-career waste disposal managers range around $47,900, 9 percent higher than the typical salary of $43,564 for a mid-career high school teacher.

Social Worker (MSW) or Bricklayer
Which career earns more – the one that helps build a healthier society or the one that helps build buildings? The average job salaries for mid-career bricklayers range around $44,380, 8 percent higher than the typical salary of $40,754 for a mid-career social worker with a Master’s in Social Work.

Animator or Firefighter
Does working with virtual fire pay more than working with actual fire? The average job salaries for mid-career animators range around $55,167, 17 percent higher than the typical salary of $45,638 for a mid-career firefighter.

Medical Lab Technician or Warehouse Manager
Does it pay more to work in a lab or in a warehouse? The average job salaries for mid-career warehouse managers range around $43,976, 16 percent higher than the typical salary of $37,013 for a mid-career medical lab technician.

Master Plumber or Lawyer
Both can charge an arm and a leg, but who earns more? The average job salaries for mid-career lawyers range around $89,466, 42 percent higher than the typical salary of $52,000 for a mid-career plumber. 

Find your salary comparison.


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Gurrajan
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Gurrajan

Please dnt think like this… If prison guard loves his job then its fine to him.. however, college professors if make less money but happy from his job.. then it is a blessing.. we should do what we like to enjoy… Dnt run after excessive earning.. unless.. you discoverd a way to take this money to heaven… Everything is temperory.. spirit to accept is permanent.. money can come from various ways.. even some born billionaire or there are tibetians who never see t.v..we should learn the order of god which is controlling every thing. And give our best to try… Read more »

us2045
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us2045

How about Railroad Locomotive Engineer? I was able to gross just over $110,000 last year. With good benefits, medical and a pension, the railroad industry is still a pretty good career to get into.

this article sucks
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this article sucks

Terrible article even if the data is good the comparisons are all bs how can you compare a lab technician position to a warehouse manager why not lab head something equivalent to lab manager to a warehouse manager wtf

Jason
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Jason

This comparing apples to pork chops

Medic
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Medic

Is this listing a paramedic as blue collar? I went to college for years to become one. Nursing school and paramedic school are the same length here. Lots of knowledge is required, such as ethical and legal issues, pharmacology, operations, anatomy and physiology, pathophysiology, pharmacokinetics, general biology, advanced cardiac life support, and even sometimes critical care specialists who place patients under anesthesia. We also have to study hazmat operations, electrocardiography, medical mathematics… we even perform surgical procedures that only PAs and doctors can do in hospital. These include (in our county) pleural decompression, surgical crics, and even post-mordem c-sections. In… Read more »

Meowth
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Meowth

no
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notrololel

The Professor, PhD
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The Professor, PhD

I’m a college professor with a PhD. What this scale doesn’t tell you in the comparison of pay and occupation is college professors generally only work two to three days per week and the days are generally only about four hours long. In addition, college professors have all summer off as well as holidays and other lengthy breaks which only requires them to work less than half the year. Finally, due to college professors only working two to three days per week, most of us teach adjunct (part time) at other schools which significantly increases our income. I will make… Read more »

James
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James

Some of those blue collar numbers are way off, I personally know master plumbers in the northeast who make over 150k a year. Also any competent commercial / industrial Hvac tech with over 10 years of experience will make over 100k. My good friend owns a highly successfully Hvac/Plumbing business that he started working at when he was 18, then eventually bought from the former owner when he was 32 makes over 500k a year.

Philo
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Philo

Agreed. Union plumbers/pipefitters, electricians, elevator mechanics, etc. in the SF Bay Area all make over $120k not including any overtime.

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