11 Top Blue Collar Careers to Start in 2023

Blue-collar careers are an excellent career choice–especially if you prefer skill or trade-based jobs. They can work well for a wide range of individuals from numerous backgrounds, and certain blue-collar careers can make individuals excellent yearly salaries.

Let’s look at what exactly defines a blue-collar career before diving into the top eleven blue-collar careers for 2023.

What Are Blue Collar Careers?

Blue-collar careers usually involve manual labor, physical tasks, or skilled trade. Many of these positions are more heavily reliant on experience and skill rather than education with the majority of positions only requiring a high school diploma or GED. And while a few blue-collar positions require special certifications, training, or licenses, many don’t require a bachelor’s or master’s degree.

General Contractor

General contractors make up to approximately $110,281 per year and unlike other professions on this list, they must maintain valid licensing to continue working. General contractors primarily work as team leaders that oversee the management of project execution. They typically work to ensure that construction and renovation jobs run smoothly so that standards are upheld and schedules are abided by.

Production Manager

Production managers operate in a role similar to that of a general contractor, but their primary field of operation is different. While general contractors primarily work on building or renovation projects, production managers oversee the production of products.

Typically, they oversee production schedules, estimate and maintain budgets, negotiate with clients, and work as team leaders to ensure that their team’s operations run smoothly.


Painting is a great blue-collar job. Typically, painters can set their own schedules and work on a per-project basis. They work with homeowners, project managers, and other relevant individuals to strip, sand, clean, and paint various surfaces including homes, businesses, and more. Painters are also responsible for selecting the right materials and paint types for the job to ensure that the paint lasts and satisfies the customer.


Welding is a highly skill-oriented profession making approximately $44,407 yearly. Welders work to join pieces of metal together using special soldering techniques to either create new products or repair equipment. They typically review blueprints, choose appropriate materials, measure components, maintain their equipment, and uphold safety standards on the job. 

Wind Turbine Technician

Wind turbine technicians work to install, maintain, and repair wind turbines and other green energy equipment. With an average yearly salary of $56,974, these techs fulfill several different tasks and responsibilities in their work including:

  • Diagnosing equipment malfunctions
  • Inspecting wind turbine structures
  • Testing electrical components
  • Maintain tool and part inventories
  • Review maintenance work orders
  • Upkeep turbine generator systems
  • Perform preventative maintenance


Woodworking is a trade that requires a significant amount of skill. Woodworkers typically are known for creating household items including cabinets and furniture, but they also fulfill many other essential roles.

Woodworkers also analyze architectural drawings and blueprints to ensure customer satisfaction, work with construction companies for specific jobs, and work with art installations to install artwork.

Diesel Mechanic

With an average yearly salary of $56,957, diesel mechanics can earn a good living at their work. Their main job is to maintain and repair a variety of diesel-powered vehicles including trucks, tractors, and semis. They must maintain certifications and licenses to perform diagnostic checks and inspections on equipment as well as being able to replace engines, test lighting systems, and ensure safety standards in vehicles are upheld.


Electricians work to install, maintain, and repair electrical systems and equipment. They work with other job site professionals to analyze blueprints so that electrical systems can successfully be installed in appropriately safe places in buildings. 

Further, they work with transformers, inspect circuit breakers, analyze electrical outlets, and ensure safety measures are maintained so that power outages and electrical fires may be prevented.


One of the most popular blue-collar careers is plumbing. With an average yearly salary of $56,095, plumbers work with pipes, faucets, and other plumbing equipment to ensure that systems run properly. Plumbers typically need to have apprenticeships before they’re able to begin work so that they gain experience with assembling, testing, repairing, and restoring plumbing. 

This career is ideal for individuals who want to ensure job security because plumbing is an industry that will pretty much always be around.

Solar Photovoltaic Installer

Solar photovoltaic installers, also known as solar installers, make approximately $67,007 per year. They work to assemble, install, repair, and maintain solar panels and systems. They must be able to climb on roofs or other structures where solar panels are located to troubleshoot or repair systems so that they work according to established green energy standards.

Aircraft Mechanic

Mechanic work is a popular option among blue-collar workers, and working as an aircraft mechanic is no exception. With an average yearly salary of $75,256, aircraft mechanics primarily work to inspect and repair aircraft structural and operating systems so that aircraft can function safely. 

Additionally, aircraft mechanics schedule and perform regular maintenance checkups, keep teams notified about a plane’s conditions, source aircraft parts, prepare diagnostics reports, and work to improve efficiency with repairs and regular maintenance. 

Key Takeaways

Blue-collar careers can be an excellent choice if you’re looking for work. Many of these job types don’t require higher education, so individuals won’t have to worry about spending four years in college and taking out excessive loans to cover the cost of their education.

Additionally, there are several different job types within the blue-collar community, so you don’t need to worry about potentially needing to commit to a career that you won’t like long-term. 

If you want to learn more about blue-collar careers or the insurance options that would be best for each one, reach out to our skilled agents today.