Blue-collar worker is an expression that is often used to refer to those professionals who carry out an activity that requires mainly physical effort, rather than mental.
In other words, a blue-collar worker is one who does manual or mechanical work, but not intellectual work. It is mainly related to blue-collar work.
We must remember that a worker is an employee who performs his professional functions manually, in a mainly industrial or construction environment. In general, it is related to work activities where body force is used and with work operating machinery.
Some examples of blue collar workers can be a mechanic, farmer, electrician, rancher, bricklayer, tailor, shoemaker, etc.
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This type of work, it is worth clarifying, can be considered both unqualified and qualified (we will detail this later).
Origin of the term blue collar worker
The origin of the expression blue collar worker comes from the English blue collar workerwhich was coined for the clothing of the workers, a blue jumpsuit or romper.
These employees performed in jobs usually related to the base of the company’s pyramid.
This term arose in contrast to the white-collar worker, which designated those employees who carried out management, planning or coordination work, for which their activity was more closely linked to a desk. Thus, at the beginning of the 20th century, this group began to be called white-collar workers, because they had to go to the office wearing a white shirt.
We can summarize the following characteristics of the blue-collar worker:
- Their work is mainly manual or mechanical.
- They usually receive remuneration per day or hours. However, there are also cases where they can receive a weekly or even monthly salary.
- Their work is usually linked more to those activities that do not require further qualification, such as when only mechanical work is carried out within the production chain. However, it can also be a job that does require qualification, such as a technician specializing in the maintenance of very specific machinery.
- It is the opposite of the white collar worker.
- They can be found in many sectors such as agriculture, fishing, mining, forestry, textile industry, metalworking, among others.
- It does not depend on the profession itself. For example, a person who has studied auto mechanics might be engaged in a blue-collar job, such as repairing cars. However, he could also work, if he gains experience, as a supervisor for other mechanics or mechanic manager, which would be a white-collar job.