Sunday, December 4, 2011

America's Best-Paying Top 10 Blue-Collar Jobs

We commonly associate hefty paychecks with briefcases and neckties – but it turns out there’s plenty of money to be earned by those who sport hard hats and coveralls.
This may be surprising considering the gradual decline of union memberships over the years and the fragile state of America’s workforce, but plenty of talented and skilled blue-collar workers earn six figures doing electrical work, repair jobs, and other labor intensive trades.
What defines a blue-collar job? The American Heritage Dictionary says, "Of or relating to wage earners, especially as a class, whose jobs are performed in work clothes and often involve manual labor." We took that definition and excluded work that is largely managerial or supervisory.

Other jobs on the list include repairers at power substations, who have an average annual salary of $67,700, and boilermakers, who make $56,680. Transportation inspectors, who earn an average of $61,110, are also on the tally. The top 10% of them draw six-figure salaries. Commercial divers, who pull in an average of $58,060, don't literally have blue collars, of course--unless they wear blue wetsuits.

1. Elevator Installer and Repairer
Average annual salary: $67,950
Average hourly wage: $32.67
Annual pay for top 10%: $98,190
Best-paying state: California
what they do: Install and repair elevators, escalators and dumbwaiters.

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