The 7 Highest-Paying Blue Collar Jobs in America—All With Salaries Over $80k

highest paying blue collar jobs
[Top photo by Pickawood on Unsplash

Here at Wealth Gang we’re always on the hunt for careers our readers can pursue to build wealth. Because all the financial advice in the world is pointless if you aren’t generating income, whether it be from a side hustle, gig economy job, passive income strategy, or one of these blue collar jobs.

Six-Figure Jobs in High Demand

Previously we’ve highlighted a number of six-figure jobs that will be in demand for the next decade. The list was littered with desk jobs, with the legal, data, information, and medical fields dominating.

We also went deep on a six-figure in-demand job you may not even know about: Ever thought about becoming a certified court reporter? It might be more attractive than you think.

What are the Benefits of a Blue Collar Job?

Blue collar jobs provide a variety of advantages for those who choose to pursue them.

For starters, you can begin your career 4 years (or more) earlier than most of your white collar counter parts. While vital, blue collar occupations often require less training and formal education.

Additionally, blue collar jobs are often more physically demanding, providing individuals with physical exercise while they work. Another benefit is the ability to work outdoors. Bonus is the fact that you don’t sit down all day. After all, some people claim that “sitting is the new smoking”

In terms of stability, blue collar jobs are typically more secure than many white collar, “office” jobs. There is an obvious peace of mind that comes with knowing your livelihood is safe.

Finally, blue collar jobs often have a strong sense of camaraderie among coworkers, helping individuals to build strong relationships with those around them.

All that said, today we’re looking at a fleet of jobs that are a little big grittier, but also very high-paying:

America’s Highest-Paying Blue Collar Jobs

Looking to get your hands dirty? These seven blue collar jobs all carry a median salary over $80,000 here in the US, as of May 2020. We’ve also provided the number currently employed, so you can judge how in-demand and competitive each career is.

7. Power plant operator

Median annual salary: $84,650
Number employed in the US: 32,960

6. Powerhouse, substation, and relay electrical and electronics repairers

Median annual salary: $85,340
Number employed in the US: 23,0705


5. Detectives and criminal investigators

Median annual salary: $86,940
Number employed in the US: 105,980

4. Elevator and escalator installers and repairers

Median annual salary: $88,540
Number employed in the US: 24,730

3. First-line supervisors of police and detectives

Median annual salary: $92,970
Number employed in the US: 122,310

2. Power distributors and dispatchers

Median annual salary: $95,100

Number employed in the US: 9,940

high paying blue collar jobs power plant

1. Nuclear power reactor operators

Median annual salary: $104,040

Number employed in the US: 5,310

Ryan Rabasa

Ryan Rabasa is an associate editor at Wealth Gang. His passions are technology, writing, business, and media. He won't trust an investment strategy that doesn't incorporate both technical and fundamental analysis.