What is Blue Collar?

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Blue collar is a term used to refer jobs that are manual in nature and are paid on an hourly basis. It is an occupational categorization that is used to distinguish employees who undertake physical, unskilled jobs from those in professional, skilled jobs. The term blue collar was derived from the fact that many manual workers at the change of century would wear blue uniform that would hold little dirt and not stand out. The opposite of blue collar is white collar which typically refers to employees working in office environment. Blue collar jobs often pay per hour and the pay is much lower than that of white collar jobs. The income for white collar jobs is high due to skills and educational requirements.

Difference between Blue and White Collar Jobs

White collar jobs are done by highly trained and skilled professionals in offices. Employees in these jobs have a high school education and most have bachelors and professional qualifications. White collar jobs include bankers, lawyers, managers, accountants and real estate agents. Employees holding white collar jobs offer expert services to defined clientele. Other classes of white collar jobs are architects, engineers, corporations, service providers and government departments. On the other hand, blue collar jobs involve physical work where workers basically use their hands. Skills required for blue collar jobs differ from one occupation to another. Some blue collar jobs such as plumbing and aircraft mechanics require formal training and certification. Most employers who hire blue collar workers go for semi-skilled and unskilled workers to undertake simple jobs such as maintenance, assembly line tasks or cleaning. In terms of education, some blue collar jobs require formal and vocational training but there are situations where employees acquire on-the-job skills. Generally, majority of blue collar jobs don’t need formal qualifications.