In addition, many blue-collar workers attend college or have graduated with degrees and moved into traditionally blue-collar fields because they enjoy the work or out of necessity. Another way to define these two phrases is the perception that white-collar workers not only make more money than blue-collar workers but that they also belong to different social classes. The perception is that white-collar workers have a higher status because they may earn more and may be more educated. Blue-collar workers, on the other hand, are believed to fall lower on the social ladder because they do manual labor and may not be as educated. The term “white-collar job” refers to a type of employment where people work in offices and use computers rather than manual labor. These positions include office workers such as secretaries, accountants, lawyers, engineers, scientists, teachers, doctors, nurses, etc.

“The Navy’s civilian employees fall into two broad groups, blue-collar workers and white-collar workers,” Crisp said. “Blue-collar workers, in general, are those who produce with their hands.” He listed mechanics, welders, electricians and laborers among them. White-collar workers, Crisp said, included “not only typists, stenographers, and file clerks” but also executives, engineers, and scientists.

🤔 Understanding blue collar and white collar jobs

White-collar paystubs often highlight a specific dollar amount for a pay period versus the number of hours worked. For example, a skilled machine operator (blue-collar) might make more money than a bank teller (white-collar). As blue-collar job technology increases, so does the amount of education needed and subsequent pay workers receive, such as those for electricians and cable installers. White-collar jobs are believed to be more sought-after than blue-collar ones. That’s because society often perceives office jobs to be better than those that require manual or taxing labor. Put simply, an office job is considered more desirable than one in the manufacturing or agricultural sector because of the type of work involved.

blue collar job vs white collar job

Red-collar workers are those who work in the government whose salaries come from the red ink budget. Pink-collar is an outdated term that was used to describe sectors that were historically dominated by women, including nursing and secretarial work. One of the newest types of collar colors is the green collar, which refers to jobs in the environmental sector. To say one person works a blue-collar job while another works a white-collar one carries the significance of salary size. The blue-collar worker may work for hourly wages or receive payment per item produced or assembled. They may be part of a union that maintains the security of hours and future work.

Social Classes

Membership in the white-collar workforce often came with assumptions about higher levels of education and earning potential, but this may no longer be the case with the rise of new-collar jobs. Many blue-collar jobs involve physically demanding tasks outdoors or around heavy machinery. Workers in industries often described as blue-collar can be skilled or unskilled. Most workers learn the skills necessary to thrive in their career at a trade school, but some may learn on the job. Jobs were generally classified by the type of collars, shirts, or clothing that workers typically wore. White-collar workers were named as such because of the white shirts they wore under their suits.

  • A landscaper’s primary duty is to manage and maintain the growth of plants.
  • This can be due to the relative physical ease of the labor and the higher salaries some jobs can command.
  • There is an idea that blue-collar workers aren’t as educated as those who work white-collar jobs.

For instance, a company looking for people for accountants generally requires new hires to have an undergraduate degree in accounting or finance. Blue-collar workers may only require certain skills that can be obtained either on the job or by going to trade school. The term blue-collar worker refers to individuals who engage in hard manual labor, typically in the agriculture, manufacturing, construction, mining, or maintenance sectors. Most of these people historically wore blue collared shirts when they worked. Most white-collar jobs traditionally require a higher level of traditional education than blue-collar jobs. White-collar workers often pursued (and continue to pursue) bachelor’s degrees as part of their training, especially in fields like medicine or law.

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blue collar job vs white collar job

This signifies continued blurring of the lines between blue- and white-collar work. An accountant’s basic level covers bookkeeping, accounts receivable, accounts payable, payroll, taxes, and general ledger. The intermediate level adds topics such as depreciation, inventory management, and cost segregation.

What Factors Influence Wage Growth in a Country?

The 1926 Montgomery Ward mail-order catalog featured the “Guaranteed Work Shirt,” described as a “big tough shirt of firm heavy chambray.” It came in two colors. In contrast, a blue-collar job involves working in areas such as warehouses, construction sites, workshops, production lines, and outdoor settings. The white-collar worker wears a suit and white shirt to work, their white-collar peeking out below a blazer.

This is a fixed amount that doesn’t factor in a specific number of hours. This means that paystubs highlight the portion of the salary for that particular period rather than the number of hours worked. Jobs that require a college degree or other formal training are white-collar jobs. Blue-collar jobs don’t involve higher education and only require workers to have a high school diploma. Many workers in executive, administrative, professional, and sales roles meet the standards to be an exempt employee. As a result, many white-collar workers make an annual salary instead of an hourly wage.

So, what is the difference between white collar and blue collar?

But advancing technology has created new jobs in industries like manufacturing and construction that require more education and technical skills. At the same time, job security and compensation in some white-collar jobs is eroding. There is an idea that blue-collar workers aren’t as educated as those who work white-collar jobs. That’s because office work typically requires post-secondary education.

blue collar job vs white collar job