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Blue Collar Holla! Why Going Blue May Be the Best Bet for Gen Zers



In an era where the push for higher education and white-collar jobs dominates the narrative, an often-overlooked path is showing promise, especially for Gen Zers. Blue-collar industries, traditionally seen as less prestigious, are emerging as viable, stable, and lucrative career options. For those not inclined towards the college route or coming from low-income backgrounds, embracing blue-collar work can be a game-changer. Here’s why Gen Z should consider these industries and some specific fields worth exploring.


Stability and Demand

Blue-collar industries encompass a wide range of jobs in sectors such as construction, manufacturing, and maintenance. These fields are the backbone of the economy, providing essential services that ensure societal functionality. Despite economic fluctuations, many blue-collar jobs remain in high demand. The pandemic, for instance, highlighted the indispensability of roles like electricians, plumbers, and delivery drivers.


Solid Salaries Without the Debt

One of the significant advantages of blue-collar jobs is the potential for high earnings without the burden of student loan debt. Many blue-collar careers offer competitive salaries, and the pathway to these jobs often involves vocational training or apprenticeships, which are considerably more affordable than a four-year college degree.

Here are a few blue-collar industries to consider:


Electricians

Average Salary: $56,900 per year

Education Requirements: High school diploma or equivalent, apprenticeship, and licensure.

Considerations: Electricians are always in demand, from residential installations to large commercial projects. This field offers job stability and the potential for self-employment.


Plumbers

Average Salary: $55,160 per year

Education Requirements: High school diploma or equivalent, vocational training, apprenticeship, and licensure.

Considerations: Plumbers enjoy steady work and can specialize in areas like pipe fitting or steam fitting. The ability to charge premium rates for emergency services can significantly boost earnings.


Welders

Average Salary: $44,190 per year

Education Requirements: High school diploma or equivalent, vocational training or welding certification.

Considerations: Welding is a skill-based trade with opportunities in various industries, including construction, automotive, and aerospace. Mastering advanced techniques can lead to higher pay and specialized roles.


HVAC Technicians

Average Salary: $50,590 per year

Education Requirements: High school diploma or equivalent, vocational training, apprenticeship, and certification.

Considerations: HVAC technicians install and repair heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems. This field offers year-round work and the potential to specialize in green technologies, increasing job prospects.


Commercial Truck Drivers

Average Salary: $45,260 per year

Education Requirements: High school diploma or equivalent, commercial driver’s license (CDL).

Considerations: The rise of e-commerce has spiked demand for truck drivers. While the job can be demanding with long hours, it offers freedom on the open road and the potential for high earnings with experience and additional endorsements.


Additional Benefits

  • Job Satisfaction: Many blue-collar workers report high levels of job satisfaction due to the tangible results of their labor and the hands-on nature of their work.


  • Career Progression: Blue-collar careers often have clear paths for advancement. Experienced tradespeople can move into supervisory roles, start their own businesses, or become instructors in their field.


  • Work-Life Balance: Unlike many white-collar jobs, blue-collar positions can offer better work-life balance. Set hours and the opportunity to work overtime for extra pay can provide flexibility that appeals to many young workers.



Final Thoughts


For Gen Zers looking for stable, rewarding, and well-paying careers, blue-collar industries offer a promising alternative to the traditional college route. These jobs not only provide financial stability but also contribute to essential sectors of society. Embracing a blue-collar career can lead to a fulfilling professional life without the hefty price tag of a college education.


So, why not give blue-collar a holla? It just might be the best bet for your future.

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