When deciding which skilled trades to include in this article, we considered things like how long it takes to complete training, how much entry level pay is, and the likelihood you’ll land a job soon after graduation.
If you’re the type of person who likes to work with your hands as well as your mind, a “blue collar” job in the skilled trades should definitely be a career path you consider.
6 Blue Collar Jobs to Consider
These blue collar jobs are all relatively fast to train for, have good starting salaries, and are projected to grow well over the next decade along with many other construction related skilled trades.
HVAC Technician - An HVAC technician installs, repairs, and maintains residential and commercial HVAC systems. Training for this career is fast and the amount of money technicians can make according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics was $54,690 in 2021.
- HVAC certification training only takes about 6 months to one year to complete.
- The HVAC installation and repair trade is projected to grow 5 percent from 2021 to 2031, which is a little slower than the national average.
Welder - A welding job is simple but complex at the same time. Yes, essentially welders bond metals using heat. But the list of tools and techniques available is long, this trade takes training and time to master.
- Welding certification training can take as little as 7 months to complete.
- According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, welders averaged an annual pay of $48,290 in 2021.
- The welding trade is projected to grow steadily for the next 10 years.
Electrician - An electrician deals with the power in a building. Since there is an inherent danger in working with electricity, proper training in methods and safety is very important. The electrical trade is a safe bet when planning for a career with longevity. It has been growing at a faster than average pace for years and should continue to do so.
- An electrical technology program may take as few as 10 months to complete, though some associate’s degree programs can take up to 2 years.
- The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that electricians averaged earnings of $63,310 in 2021.
- The electrical trade is projected to grow 7 percent from 2021 to 2031, which is as fast as the national average.
Commercial Truck Driver - In a nutshell, commercial tractor trailer drivers deliver just about anything to just about anywhere. If you’re interested in truck driving as a career, visit the truck driver career guide on CDL Career Now.
- It generally takes about 1-3 months to complete truck driver training.
- The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that the average pay for truck drivers was $50,340 in 2021. However, after gaining some experience (particularly in a high paying location), pay could be much higher. For example, a Walmart truck driver in Florida makes approximately $89,499.
- Tractor trailer driver employment is projected to grow 6 percent from 2021 to 2031.
- Auto mechanic training can be finished in about 10 months for full time students. There are associate’s degree programs too and they’ll take longer.
- The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the average pay for auto mechanics was $47,990 in 2021.
- Auto mechanic employment is expected to remain steady by 2031.
- It can take up to 2 years to learn to work on aircraft.
- The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the average pay for aircraft mechanics was $69,470 in 2021.
- Aircraft mechanic employment is projected to grow 6 percent from 2021 to 2031.
Of course these are not the only 6 skilled trades that you can learn relatively quickly and that offer good entry level pay. Read about more skilled trade, construction and manufacturing careers or find a school near you and start training for your blue collar career.