3 Blue Collar Jobs That Are In Demand

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Blue-collar jobs are becoming increasingly more lucrative. As the American economy improves, so do the opportunities for industry expansion, making blue-collar jobs in demand more than before. The following is a partial list of blue collar jobs that pay well, and that are expected to grow faster than normal. Each of the jobs listed below require only a technical education and training, which is a benefit of trade school vs college.

HVAC/R Technicians

The Bureau of Labor Statistics lists Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers as a set of careers that are growing faster than average. They also showed the median yearly wage as $43,640. HVAC/R technicians are the people who install and repair heating, air conditioning, ventilation, and refrigeration units for both residential and commercial customers.

Besides needing the knowledge and skills to install and repair HVAC and refrigeration units, HVAC/R Technicians also must be proficient in understanding and complying with other governmental regulations such as those imposed by the Environmental Protection Agency. Not only are you performing a necessary skill, but by being an HVAC mechanic or installer, you’re also performing what is considered to be a “green job.” This means that you can be an active participant in helping the environment.

The education and training for this career can be completed in a 6-month program that is designed to prepare students for entry-level positions within the HVAC/R job sector. More specific job titles under this umbrella include:

  • Refrigeration Service and Installation Technician
  • HVAC/R Service and Installation Technician
  • Commercial Refrigeration Technician


Electrical and electronics repairers for powerhouse and substation relays are among the highest paying blue-collar jobs, according to Forbes. Becoming an electrician means earning a median annual income of $49,840 per the BLS. The expected growth of electricians, as an industry, is estimated at 20%, with 114,700 jobs being added by 2022.

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A look through the Arizona job ads shows that many employers are looking for apprentice and journeyman level electricians. You can reach that level after only a 3-month Electrical Technology program that will help you qualify for entry-level positions. The potential for job growth makes this one of the best blue-collar jobs. Refined career titles include:

  • New Construction Electrician
  • Power Plant Field Technician
  • Maintenance Electrician

Solar Photovoltaic Installers

The BLS lists Solar Photovoltaic Installers as a career that is expected to grow by 24% through 2022. In 2012, the median pay for a Photovoltaic Installer was $18.22 per hour or $37,900 annually. This is an industry that the BLS expects to grow faster than average.

If you love being outdoors then this career may interest you, as most of the work that PV installers do is done outside. On occasion, you may work in attics, as that unit is connected to the main power grid. Work is usually scheduled, but emergency and weekend work can be expected.

Additionally, educational requirements are simple. Comprehensive 9-month programs for Electro-Mechanical Technologies will help prepare you to become a Photovoltaic Installer. Other careers that you may qualify for would be:

  • Solar Thermal Repair Technician
  • Solar System Troubleshooter
  • Maintenance Electrician
  • Power Plant Field Technician

These three careers are a sampling of the blue-collar jobs list. They represent different areas of the job market, but all are in demand. RSI offers technical vocational training that is meant to help you in your career, so that you can become anything from an HVAC/R Technician to Electro-Mechanical Technician. These short programs give you the edge to enter the workforce as an apprentice or even at journeyman level.

*Avg. starting salary for Electro-Mechanical Technologies is $31,310 for graduates employed during the 12 month period of 7/1/12- 6/30/13

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