Good Prospects, Good Jobs, Good Careers

Liz Wolgemuth of U.S. News and World Report notes that even in a time of recession, nearly 20 percent of U.S. employers are having difficulty filling jobs. The magazine consulted with to produce a list of the highest-paying “blue-collar” jobs, i.e., those that involve manual labor and are typically hourly wage jobs. Added into the review was a check with the Department of Labor’s employment forecasts.

The result is an article, “6 Blue-Collar Jobs for Career Switchers.” And No. 1 — manufacturing technician. Yes indeed.

Manufacturing technician: Openings for technicians in production, engineering, and maintenance are some of the most difficult positions to fill, according to the Manpower survey. At a company like Intel, manufacturing technicians are in charge of operating and maintaining specialized processing equipment—a little preventive maintenance here, a little problem solving there. Base pay for manufacturing technicians averages more than $47,000 a year, and workers rake in average bonuses of more than $1,500, according to the Glassdoor data. The most common route to these jobs is obtaining an associate’s degree from a technical institute, community college, or a university extension program.

The others are auto mechanic, truck driver, aircraft mechanic, general maintenance worker, and electrician.

The thing we note about these jobs is although there’s certainly hard work involved, the work does require well-developed skills and it’s highly varied. There’s relatively little drudgery or assembly line routine involved. One’s tasks change from day to day.


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