Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Working hard to live well

The Bureau of Labor Statistics lists 238 job types that it officially qualifies as "blue collar," from masons and aircraft mechanics pulling in close to $30 per hour to baggage porters and bellhops making about one-quarter of that. They combine to provide about 22 million American jobs, or approximately 15% of the workforce.
Those who have developed the skills necessary for the best blue-collar jobs -- largely mechanics, installers and equipment operators -- find they're doing better than the average American, no matter the color of the collar. The average pay for the top 10 blue-color jobs is just over $27 per hour. Figuring 40 hours per week for 52 weeks per year, annual income adds up to $56,347, or 30% more than the U.S. median income of $43,318, according to the Census Bureau. Search job listings on MSN Careers
Top 10 best-paying blue-collar jobs
Public transit attendant $62,088
Longshore equipment operators $58,198
Brickmasters and stonemasons $57,200
Power plant operators $56,472
Locomotive operations $56,347
Aircraft engine mechanics $55,494
Electrical power installers and repairers $55,390
Mining occupations $54,704
Oil well driller $53,227
Telephone line installer/repairer $52,478

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