The Top 10 Best Blue Collar Careers of 2015

Posted May 18, 2015 by
Senior man is getting his teeth checked and cleaned by the dental hygienist at his dentist's office

Senior man is getting his teeth checked and cleaned by the dental hygienist at his dentist’s office. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Blue collar jobs are always in demand and some pay quite well. Here are the top ten best blue collar careers for 2015. Below are the wage statistics and descriptions according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) for the best blue collar jobs.

1. Elevator Inspectors and Repairers: With an average annual salary of $76,490, elevator inspectors and repairers assemble, install, repair, and maintain electric or hydraulic passenger or freight elevators, dumbwaiters, and escalators. The top 10% make $109,450.

2. Electrical and Electronics Repairers, Powerhouse, Substation, And Relay: Job duties include testing, maintaining, and inspecting electrical equipment in power stations, power substations, and in-service relays.” Their median yearly income is $70,110.

3. Transportation Inspectors: Transportation inspectors include railroad inspectors, freight inspectors, and other inspectors of transportation vehicles. They have a median yearly salary of $70,820.

4. Locomotive Engineer: The average annual salary is $57,000, but the top 10% make $77,600. Locomotive engineers drive trains, transporting passengers or freight. They interpret train orders, manual or electric signals, and railroad rules and regulations.

5. Dental Hygienist: USA Today named dental hygienists one of the top “new blue collar” jobs of 2014. Their median annual salary in 2014 was $71,970 with the top 10% taking home $97,390.

6. Construction Manager: Construction managers have a mean annual wage of $94,590. Their job calls for them to plan, direct, or coordinate activities involving the construction and maintenance of structures, facilities, and systems.

7. Nuclear Power Reactor Operator: Nuclear power reactor operators operate or control nuclear reactors by moving control rods, starting and stopping equipment, monitoring and adjusting controls, and recording data. Their average yearly salary is $82,270.

8. Radiation Therapists: With a median annual income of $83,710, radiation therapists also made USA Today’s list of the top “new blue collar” jobs. They administer radiation therapy to patients, as prescribed by a radiologist.

9. Avionics Technicians: With a median annual income of $58,460, avionics technicians install, inspect, adjust, repair, or test avionics equipment including radar, navigation, radio, and missile control systems in aircraft and space vehicles.

10. Truck Drivers: Median yearly wages vary based on the area: Heavy and Tractor-Trailer ($41,930), Bus ($39,410), or Light Truck or Delivery Service ($33,870). The drivers’ license class needed depends on what you drive, so choosing the right truck driving school is important for getting the required commercial license.

If you’re interested in any of these jobs, check out their page on the BLS for statistics in your home state.

My name is Lizzie Weakley and I am a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. I went to college at The Ohio State University where I studied communications. I enjoy the outdoors and long walks in the park with my 3-year-old husky Snowball.

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