The term “blue collar worker” was first used in a newspaper in Alden, Iowa as a reference to trade jobs 1924. Later it got pinned to the working class, or people who used to do manual labor. People used to wear shirts or uniforms which were blue because they could get a little dirty and not to show as much.


Blue collar worker is a term reserved for people working in manual jobs, typically with low payment (usually with hourly rates). Generally, these people don’t have high education, and many don’t have education at all and perform jobs suited for that. These include cleaning, physical work at construction sites, plumbing and similar manual labor. On the other hand, there are white collar workers, which as the name says wear white shirt, usually buttoned all the way. These jobs are desk jobs at offices and consider higher education and thus high salaries with many benefits – dental and general health insurance, usage of company cars, comfortable working area and a generally more comfortable life. But not all white collar workers live like that. Many white collared workers have lover salary than some highly specialized blue collar workers because of the growing industry and the need for people who can do specific tasks.


Most of the blue collar workers are without any education and thus do jobs suited for such. These include construction, physical labor, assembly line jobs, etc. But not all blue collar workers are without education anymore. There are many blue collar workers who do highly specialized jobs which require a lot of education and preparation to be executed properly, and are irreplaceable. These include aircraft mechanics, electricians, structural technicians and similarly specialized jobs.

Educational Attainment

White collar workers usually have a high school diploma or at least a bachelor’s or master’s degree because they are required for the jobs they do. On the contrast to them, blue collar workers do not require higher education, or some don’t require any education at all for blue collar jobs. Some jobs do however, and these include specialized high paying jobs.


Derived from the term blue collar worker came and adjective which can be used as “blue collar neighborhood”, “blue collar cafe”, “blue collar restaurant”, “blue collar bar”, etc. indicating that the blue collar workers, meaning the lower paying working class live there, or buys clothes, groceries, and other general items.