Thursday, September 4, 2008

Blue Collar Jobs

An article at CNN, from highlights the seed change that has occurred in the world of work and occupations. Even traditional labor-intensive jobs classified in the past as "blue collar," require an entirely different skillset and require training and/or certifications, which make them different than prior jobs involving a strong back, and a kinesthetic orientation and learning style.

Here are a few jobs from their list, with a synopsis and pay:

Electronic home entertainment equipment installer/repairer-
Lifting and installing a new 60-inch flat-screen TV is no easy. Plus, such equipment isn't cheap, so buyers are willing to spend the extra money to have it professionally delivered and installed, or to get it fixed when it goes on the fritz. Salary: $14.42/hour; $29,980/year

Terrazzo worker and finisher -
High end homes, and an emphasis on image as function makes any type of design work high on the demand side. Terrazzo finishers apply decorative and attractive finishes to hallways, patios, floors and panels in households around the world. Salary: $15.21/hour; $31,630/year

Security and fire alarm systems installer-
Property crime is down 2.6 percent in the first six months of 2007, according to the FBI, robbery, burglary and larceny-theft still pose a threat. Security and fire systems installers work to ensure people feel safe in their homes. Salary: $16.73/hour; $34,810/year

Heating, air-conditioning and refrigeration mechanic and installer-
As everything in the U.S. is "going green," energy-saving heating and cooling systems in their homes and offices will become commonplace. Existing equipment requires service to them to operate at the highest efficiency, which means professionally maintaining them. Salary: $18.44/hour; $38,360/year

Structural and reinforcing iron and metal worker -
Infrastructure in Maine and across the U.S. continues to age. As buildings, bridges, power plants and highways need to be rehabbed, repaired, replaced or maintained and these are the people who will do it. Salary: $19.46/hour; $40,480/year

Regardless whether the job is blue collar, green collar, or whatever color you assign, today’s workers must possess postsecondary education credentials, technical savvy, the ability to learn rapidly, and an entrepreneurial approach to employment never hurts. Aligning resources and workforce development programs are required, if we have any hope of achieving this goal.

*Note: Salaries and figures based on median annual/hourly earnings, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics

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