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The 25 highest-paying blue collar jobs

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Blue Collar

Blue collar workers are known for doing the dirty jobs many of us take for granted. They roll up their sleeves, get dirt under their fingernails and wipe sweat off their brow with the back of their hand. These hard-working individuals are often underappreciated and, even worse, underpaid.

Fortunately, there are labor-intensive jobs out there that reward their employees with higher wages. Using the most recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Foreign Labor Certification Data Center, CareerTrends has found the 25 highest-paying blue collar jobs in America. Data is collected via surveys sent out to employers. Employment data is from May 2014, while salary data is from June 2015.

What exactly is a blue collar job? We searched for all jobs listed in the following fields: construction and extraction, farming, fishing, forestry, installation, maintenance, repair, production, transportation and material moving. For this list, we only included occupations with at least 10,000 full-time employees.

#25. Biofuels Processing Technicians


Total employees: 12,000
Average salary: $50,304

#24. Railroad Conductors


Total employees: 42,900
Average salary: $50,363

#23. Robotics Technicians


Total employees: 14,430
Average salary: $51,041

#22. Locomotive Engineers


Total employees: 38,470
Average salary: $52,041

#21. Electrical & Electronics Drafters


Total employees: 29,390
Average salary: $52,194

#20. Production Supervisors


Total employees: 592,830
Average salary: $52,271

#19. Surveyors


Total employees: 41,970
Average salary: $52,322

#18. Avionics Technicians


Total employees: 17,150
Average salary: $52,671

#17. Electrical Engineering Technologists


Total employees: 68,000
Average salary: $54,067

#16. Subway Operators


Total employees: 11,300
Average salary: $54,471

#15. Petroleum Pump Operators


Total employees: 41,700
Average salary: $54,492

#14. Boilermakers


Total employees: 17,210
Average salary: $54,942

#13. Solar Energy Installation Managers


Total employees: 496,370
Average salary: $55,598

#12. Cartographers


Total employees: 11,610
Average salary: $55,932

#11. Mechanics Supervisors


Total employees: 434,810
Average salary: $56,133

#10. Aerospace Engineering Technicians


Total employees: 11,230
Average salary: $58,961

#9. Gas Plant Operators


Total employees: 16,320
Average salary: $59,388

#8. Landscape Architects


Total employees: 18,110
Average salary: $60,696

#7. Transportation Inspectors


Total employees: 24,350
Average salary: $62,018

#6. Power-Line Installers


Total employees: 114,540
Average salary: $62,094

#5. Power Plant Operators


Total employees: 40,300
Average salary: $62,908

#4. Water Vessel Captains


Total employees: 30,690
Average salary: $63,032

#3. Powerhouse Equipment Installers


Total employees: 22,120
Average salary: $67,128

#2. Elevator Installers


Total employees: 20,590
Average salary: $68,792

#1. Power Distributors


Total employees: 11,180
Average salary: $73,446

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