Four Blue Collar Fields That Can Pay Big Green

It’s a common misconception that you can only earn a hefty paycheck if you get a college education or start your own technology company. Nothing could be further from the truth; there are plenty of opportunities out there for hard workers who are interested in making a good living without spending four years at a university.


When you think of working on cars, you probably picture mechanics and technicians, but there are many types of automotive employment that don’t involve going home with grease under your fingernails. Designers, salespeople, marketers and dealership administrators get to spend their days surrounded by automobiles and are paid well to do so.


There are myriad jobs involving the building, repair and maintenance of houses. Heavy labor construction jobs are plentiful when new developments are booming as are more specialized technical fields such as electrician, plumber and finish carpenter. Downturns in the housing market offer opportunities in landscaping, roof repair and handyman services.


Doctors and nurses undergo extensive training, including years in school, clinical instruction and ongoing continuing education. However, many medical careers start with just a year or two in a community college program. Dental hygienists usually work daytime hours in private practice office settings, while other specialists like radiation therapists and MRI technicians may be called upon to do shift work in a clinic or hospital.

Spa Services

Workers in non-medical personal care services have a reputation for starting at the lower range of the pay scale, but once a service provider has established a good reputation with a regular clientele there is no limit to income possibilities. Cosmetologists and barbers typically undergo a year or two of school that includes hands-on practical training and they must then pass a state board exam; same with nail technicians and massage therapists. Yearly income varies by area but top providers can set their own hours, often working just three or four days a week, and make well into six figures.

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