Top 14 Blue-Collar Jobs for Women

Explore the 14 blue-collar careers redefining women's work.
Updated April 11, 2024
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You may be thinking about switching jobs or careers because you want to stop living paycheck to paycheck or try something new.

Blue-collar jobs could be a good option. They pay well, are usually layoff-proof, and may not keep you tied to an office.

Check out these blue-collar jobs that could be great opportunities if you’re a woman looking for a new job in a different field or industry.

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Construction manager

romul014/Adobe woman construction worker on building site

A construction manager oversees planning, coordinating, budgeting, or managing construction issues at the site from the start of a project to its completion. 

You usually need a bachelor’s degree and management experience to become a construction manager.

You can earn a median annual income of $101,480 as a construction manager, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Telecommunications technicians

Masson/Adobe woman IT developer working with computer

Telecommunications technicians install, maintain, and repair the physical infrastructure for telecommunications. 

You may work on projects for internet, cellular, radio, and other types of communications systems in this position.

A telecom technician makes around $60,190 in median annual income.

Power plant operator

Gorodenkoff/Adobe project engineer talks to female operator

Power plant operators help keep the lights on by working on the systems that generate electricity and distribute it to users like homes or businesses. 

It could be a tough job, though, with some workers doing 12-hour shifts at power plants. You can earn a median annual wage of $97,570 as a power plant operator.

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auremar/Adobe female electrician checking a fusebox

Electricians install, repair, and maintain electrical systems for different types of customers. 

You’ll want to look into a technical school to become an electrician or learn about apprentice programs in your area.

Electricians can make a median annual wage of $60,240, according to the BLS.

Truck driver

troyanphoto/Adobe female truck driver talking by radio

Truck drivers are in great demand, with the driver shortage estimated at 82,000 workers in 2024.

Truck drivers transport goods from one place to another. Jobs include local deliveries or long-haul driving. You'll likely need some training, depending on the type of truck, and specific licenses like a commercial driver’s license (CDL) to legally drive a truck.

You can expect to make $49,920 in median annual wage as a truck driver.

HVAC technician

vladdeep/Adobe female mechanic engineer

Technicians specializing in heating and air conditioning systems may be responsible for fixing air conditioners and furnaces or performing routine maintenance on HVAC systems for homes, offices, and other locations. 

You may need certification from a technical school or an apprenticeship, and some areas might require you to be licensed.

HVAC technicians can make $51,390 in median annual income.

Auto mechanic

Mr. Music/Adobe two mechanics examining the car

Become an automotive service technician and work on repairing and maintaining cars, trucks, SUVs, and other vehicles. You can go to technical school to learn more about how to maintain and repair vehicles. 

You may be required to be certified by the makers of the cars you work with to work on their models.

An auto mechanic can make a median annual income of $46,970, according to the BLS.


Kyta Willets/Adobe female welder teaching welding to student

Welders are responsible for joining, cutting, or repairing metal parts and pieces. They work in manufacturing plants, automobile assembly lines, utility companies, and shipbuilding.

You'll need technical training, which you can get through a trade school or on the job.

You can make $47,540 in median annual income if you decide to go into welding.


nimito/Adobe woman plumber assembling showerhead at kitchen table

Plumbers work on installation and repair of pipe fitting and plumbing systems. 

You could work in homes and businesses. You may want to be open to working unusual hours as you could be called to make repairs on nights and weekends.

As a plumber, you can expect to earn a median annual income of $60,090.

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Construction equipment operator

Hanna/Adobe large yellow wheel loader aligns a piece of land for a new building

Learn how to operate, drive, or maneuver heavy equipment for building roads, buildings, and other construction projects. 

You can become a heavy equipment operator with a high school diploma but will need additional training through a vocational school or an apprenticeship.

You can earn $51,050 in median annual income as a heavy construction equipment operator.


Gorodenkoff/Adobe A land surveyor

Surveyors measure property boundaries for projects such as new construction or to settle property disputes. 

You usually need a bachelor’s degree to become a surveyor, as well as have a license to work in the field.

Surveyors make a median annual income of $63,080, according to the BLS.

Fire inspector

YouraPechkin/Adobe female fire inspector inspecting fire extinguisher in room while making notes on notebook

Fire inspectors are responsible for detecting fire hazards, enforcing compliance with fire regulations, or investigating the causes of fires.

You need at least a high school diploma, and it helps to have experience in the field as a firefighter or other professional experience. You also may need to be certified as an inspector.

A fire inspector can expect to make $76,910, according to the BLS.

Solar photovoltaic installers

Gorodenkoff/Adobe female design engineer

Solar photovoltaic installers set up solar panels and solar systems that generate electricity for customers as they convert sunlight into energy. 

You can receive on-the-job training and also pick up experience in a technical or vocational school.

The field is growing rapidly, with an estimated 22% increase in jobs from 2022 to 2032. That's higher than the national average of 3% for all jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Expect to earn a median annual income of $45,230 in the position.

Landscape architect

Production Perig/Adobe landscaper working in a public park

Landscape architects design public parks, residential landscaping, and other outdoor spaces. You may have to design plans, meet with clients, and visit job sites to oversee work. 

You’ll also need a bachelor’s degree and a license in landscape architecture to work in the field.

Landscape architects can earn a median annual income of $73,210, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Bottom line

baranq/Adobe working on laptop and laughing

Switching to a blue-collar job could be a great way to get ahead financially if you’re a woman trying to move into another field or industry.

Once you know which type of job you might want, you’ll need to study the qualifications you might need or certifications that can boost your ability to get a particular job.

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Author Details

Jenny Cohen Jenny Cohen is a freelance writer who has covered a bit of everything, from finance to sports to her favorite TV shows. Her work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and

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