Top 10 Blue-Collar Jobs of the Future

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Competitive wages and predicted industry growth mean the future is looking bright for numerous blue-collar positions. So which manual and technical labor jobs are the most promising?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, construction and extraction jobs are expected to grow 12 percent by 2014, adding 931,000 jobs to the field. Installation, maintenance and repair jobs have a predicted expansion of 11.4 percent with 657,000 additional jobs over the same time period. The transportation and material moving industry is another growing blue-collar niche, increasing by 11.1 percent and adding 1.1 million jobs by 2014.

Here are the top 10 blue-collar jobs based on current salary medians and expected growth by 2014*:


1. Construction and Building Inspectors

What it pays: $43,670 per year

Employment projected to increase: 18-26 percent


2. Waste and Wastewater Treatment Plant and System Operators

What it pays: $34,960 per year

Employment projected to increase: 9-17 percent


3. Elevator Installers and Repairers

What it pays: $28.23 per hour

Employment projected to increase: 9-17 percent


4. Subway and Streetcar Operators

What it pays: $23.70 per hour

Employment projected to increase: 9-17 percent


5. Iron and Metal Workers

What it pays: $20.40 per hour

Employment projected to increase: 9-17 percent


6. Electricians

What it pays: $20.33 per hour

Employment projected to increase: 9-17 percent


7. Brickmasons, Blockmasons and Stonemasons

What it pays: $20.07 per hour

Employment projected to increase: 9-17 percent


8. Plumbers, Pipelayers, Pipefitters and Steamfitters

What it pays: $19.85 per hour

Employment projected to increase: 9-17 percent


9. Heating, Air-Conditioning, Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers

What it pays: $17.43 per hour

Employment projected to increase: 18-26 percent


10. Carpenters

What it pays: $16.78 per hour

Employment projected to increase: 9-17 percent



*Statistics provided by the BLS

Meg Donohue is a writer and blogger for CareerBuilder.com. She researches and writes about job search strategy, career management, hiring trends and workplace issues.

Copyright 2006 Careerbuilder.com.

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