There is a talent shortage in America’s blue-collar sectors, and it’s projected only to grow. In manufacturing alone, 57% of the 3.5 million jobs that analysts predict will exist by 2025 are expected to go unfilled. While the aging baby boomer population, growing economy and widening skills gap have each played a part, nearly all industry executives agree that a negative perception of such work has contributed to a lack of interest from job seekers, who are more often attracted to the safety and hefty paychecks associated with white-collar roles. But there are a number of blue-collar jobs that bank big bucks.
To determine the blue-collar jobs paying the most, Forbes looked to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ National Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates from May 2017, which are calculated using data from employers throughout the United States. Based on the BLS’s definition of blue-collar and service occupations—which includes “precision production, craft and repair occupations,” as well as “machine operators and inspectors” and “handlers, equipment cleaners, helpers and laborers”—we identified the 10 highest-paying positions, excluding any managerial or supervisory roles.