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Top 10 Blue-Collar Jobs of the Future

Something to consider while the Standardistos insist everybody must go to college.

Meg Donohue

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

— Meg Donahue
CareerBuilder.com

2007-05-28


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