Blue Collar Worker (Blue Collar Job)

Definition

The term blue collar worker refers to a working class individual that is paid for performing tasks involving manual labor.  Blue collar workers are typically paid on an hourly basis, and are oftentimes members of a trade association or labor union.

Explanation

Also known as a blue collar job, the term blue collar worker dates back to the 1920's and was used in reference to trade jobs.  The term originally referred to both the types of work performed and the color of the clothing worn (blue was thought to hide dirt).  Blue collar jobs include both those that are considered unskilled jobs as well as those requiring a specific skill.  Examples include mechanics, ironworkers, masons, bricklayers, carpenters, plasterers, electricians, sheet metal workers, pipefitters, plumbers, boilermakers, welders, custodians and steamfitters.

Blue collar workers are usually paid on an hourly basis, and the jobs will include completing tasks that involve maintaining or building something.  These jobs typically do not require the worker to hold a college degree; however, certain trades may require the individual to join an apprenticeship program, obtain a license or certification, or obtain the equivalent of a high school diploma.

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