The distinction between “blue collar” and “white collar” jobs is beginning to blur. There is an abundance of work available within the skilled construction trades, to the point of a labor shortage. Jobs are literally there for the taking.
But there is still a stigma attached to that “blue collar” moniker. People still have the perception that blue-collar careers are second rate. For decades, students about to enter the job market have been taught that white-collar careers are the way to go. Unfortunately, not everyone fits into that box.
Many years ago, most jobs were within the blue-collar, skilled trades sector. Because they were so abundant, they weren’t considered as being worth much. They were also primarily manual labor, causing wear and tear to workers’ bodies. That’s one of the reasons that blue-collar workers wanted something better for their children. At the same time, colleges began mass campaigns promoting white-collar careers where you don’t have to get your hands dirty. The draw was that they would be comfortable and offer better pay.
However, the pendulum has now swung the other direction. There is a greater push toward more hands-on work. For instance, the skilled trades were considered essential during the pandemic. Maybe the trades are not that bad after all. The mindset is shifting.
The skilled trades industry builds what society needs today. Further, blue-collar jobs now earn more than ever, many times surpassing earnings of white-collar jobs. There is also the opportunity to get satisfaction from building something.
Many studies have shown that there is a greater variety of opportunities in the realm of blue-collar. Therefore, the chances of success are better with blue-collar rather than white-collar careers. In essence, blue is the new white.
As opposed to the hard-nosed, old-school trades, today there are many different facets of what the trades can entail. With the growth of construction technology, skilled trades are ever more intricate with diverse careers. Thanks to tech-centric possibilities, when someone wants a career creating or building something, they don’t have to be present on the jobsite every day. Thanks to this reality, there’s a new look and white-collar feel to the trades. Business owners can embrace that to create a company culture that will attract and retain talent.
One final point about opportunity. A lot of people want to become an entrepreneur. One of the best ways to become an entrepreneur is to learn a valuable skill. That includes things people do not want to do or cannot do. As an entry point, the blue-collar skilled trades are a fast and viable path to entrepreneurship.
Tune in to episode 147 of Bridging the Gap Podcast with guest Josh Zolin to hear more about how blue-collar is becoming the new white-collar.