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Actively scan device characteristics for identification. Use precise geolocation data. Select personalised content. Create a personalised content profile. Measure ad performance. Select basic. Create a personalised profile. Select personalised. Apply market research to generate audience insights. Measure content performance. Develop and improve products. List of Partners vendors. The blue-collar worker is perceived to make less than the white-collar worker. The white-collar worker might work behind a desk in the service industry, while the blue-collar worker gets their hands dirty doing manual labor or working in a division of manufacturing.
Perhaps the white-collar worker has a more well-rounded education than the blue-collar worker. The distinguishing characteristics between the two types of employees go on, and yet no dictionary definition can offer more succinct language as to what the phrases ify other than to suggest, in imprecise terms, the differences in class.
Another way to define these two phrases is the white-collar worker not only makes more money than the blue-collar worker, but they also belong to a different social class. Yet, to state white-collar workers exist in a different social class from blue-collar workers still does not explain quantitative differences of annual income, the of years of post-secondary schooling each has, or the skills each worker possesses. White-collar workers are suit-and-tie workers who work at a desk and, stereotypically, eschew physical labor.
They tend to make more money than blue-collar workers. American writer Upton Sinclair is partially responsible for the modern understanding of the term "white-collar," having used the phrase in conjunction with administrative work. The differences in connotation between white-collar and blue-collar have much more to say about the way we perceive the service industry in comparison to the manufacturing and agricultural industries.
The movement of a nation's employment market toward the service industry and away from agricultural labor ifies growth, advancement, and development. If a country's infrastructure is so developed as to offer its workers safe desk jobs that require mental attention rather than physical exertion, then the nation has become empowered enough to remove the burden of physicality from the requirements of earning a wage. Blue-collar worker refers to workers who engage in hard manual labor, typically agriculture, manufacturing, construction, mining, or maintenance. If the reference to a blue-collar job does not point to these types of work, it might imply another physically exhausting task.
The environment may be outdoors or require interaction with heavy machinery or animals. The blue-collar worker may be skilled or unskilled. If skilled, their skills may have been obtained at a trade school rather than through a bachelor's degree program at a college or university.
The historical basis for the two terms may not have changed radically from their origins. Blue-collar originates from the common appearance of a manual worker's attire: blue jeans, overalls, or boilersuits. Dark colors, such as blue, help hide dirt and other elements that may soil clothes as a result of work. In contrast, white-collar is associated with white button-down shirts adorned with ties worn by business people. In its most basic usage, to say one person is working a white-collar job and another is working a blue-collar job carries the ificance of salary size.
The blue-collar worker might not earn a salary; they might work for hourly wages or receive payment for every item produced or assembled. The blue-collar worker might require the protection of a union to maintain the security of hours and future work. Likewise, there may be insecurity about the stability of the blue-collar worker's job, whether it be dependent on a contractual agreement with a third party or temporary. The white-collar worker, on the other hand, might have obtained their job through a more stringent hiring process and, for this reason, is more difficult to fire.
If they are not earning a salary, income may be contingent on maintaining a client base as is true with private practice lawyers and physicians. The position a white-collar worker holds may be stable since white-collar work carries specific skills. While these terms may evoke an image of different social classes, the line between these types of workers is fading. As the technology associated with jobs ly considered blue-collar increases, so does the amount of education needed and subsequent pay the workers receive. Electricians and cable installers are just two types of employees who have seen this increase in their fields.
Also, as some white-collar job markets become saturated, employees are not making much more than their blue-collar counterparts because the competitiveness for positions allows employers to offer less, or the employees are taking jobs for which they are overqualified. Wealth Management. Your Privacy Rights. To change or withdraw your consent choices for Investopedia. At any time, you can update your settings through the "EU Privacy" link at the bottom of any. These choices will be aled globally to our partners and will not affect browsing data.
We and our partners process data to: Actively scan device characteristics for identification. I Accept Show Purposes. Your Money. Personal Finance. Your Practice. Popular Courses. Table of Contents Expand. White-Collar Workers. Blue-Collar Workers.
Special Considerations. Key Takeaways White-collar workers are known as suit-and-tie workers who work in service industries and often avoid physical labor. The blue-collar stereotype refers to any worker who engages in hard manual labor, such as construction, mining, or maintenance.
Being a white-collar and blue-collar worker often implies belonging to a higher or lower social class, respectively. The terms typically evoke different images of workers; however, the similarities between their roles are increasing.
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This compensation may impact how and where listings appear. Investopedia does not include all offers available in the marketplace. Related Articles. Macroeconomics Structural Unemployment vs. Partner Links. Related Terms White Collar The term "white collar" refers to the working class that commonly works in offices and earns high average salaries.
What Is a Blue-Collar Worker? A blue-collar worker is typically a working-class person historically defined by hourly rates of pay and manual labor. Occupational Labor Mobility Definition Occupational labor mobility is a measure of the opportunities that workers have to change careers for gainful employment.
Working Class Working class describes persons in low-paying jobs often requiring considerable physical labor but limited skill or education. White-Collar Crime Definition A white-collar crime is a non-violent crime committed by an individual, typically for financial gain. Learn how to become one and the questions you should ask before starting your entrepreneurial journey.
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