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4 High-Paying Blue-Collar Jobs

Just because an occupation requires a hard hat instead of a tie doesn’t mean it’s a low-paying job. In fact, many blue-collar jobs pay as much or more than white-collar professions, without requiring four-plus years of college (and the debt that comes with it).
blue-collar jobs
Seattle Municipal Archives/Flickr

Forbes recently examined Bureau of Labor Statistics data from May of 2016 in order to identify high-paying blue-collar jobs. Here are four, and median earnings for each according to PayScale data:

1. Electrical Power-Line Installers and Repairers

Electrical power-line installers and repairers are employed all over the country. They earn $18.13 per hour median, according to PayScale’s data. The pay rises steadily with experience and years on the job. This field is male-dominated — about 95 percent of telecommunication line installers and repairers are men.

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2. Elevator Installers and Repairers

Elevator mechanics earn median pay of $32.05 per hour, according to PayScale data. And, it’s no wonder these workers are relatively well-compensated. The job is important and it requires skill and training. The number of these jobs is expected to expand by 13 percent between 2014 and 2024 — that’s a much faster rate than the 7 percent growth predicted for all jobs.

3. Transportation Inspectors

Transportation inspector jobs exist in every state, but the highest employment levels are in New York, Texas, and California, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. These workers help to protect the safe movement of people and goods. They earn a median salary of $37,990 per year, per PayScale.

4. Power Plant Operators

All of the jobs on this list have one thing in common — they concern the public’s safety. Power plant operators are no exception. These workers earn median pay of $29.50 an hour in part because of the importance of the job. It should be noted though that the number of power plant operator jobs is projected to decrease by 6 percent between 2014 and 2024.

For more information, be sure to check out the full list of high-paying jobs for blue-collar workers from Forbes.

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Do you have one of the jobs on this list? Tell us about your experiences in the comments or join the conversation on Twitter.


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