Entrepreneurship has propelled civilization forward at a lightning speed in the past two decades thanks to the internet. Many of us have seen successful entrepreneurship stories on social media and are hoping to follow in the footsteps of the hip and trendy, cashing in our own startup. But if everyone is rushing off to be a food blogging celebrity, a property mogul or a big wig fashionista, what sort of consequences would we see in the unbalanced workforce today?
For one, everyone would be bottlenecking at highly glorified industries with limited money pie slices. Whilst they are busy snapping selfies to try and grow more followers on social media, actual blue collar work still needs to be done to make sure the world runs smoothly, and that is where the untapped fortune really lies.
TV’s Dirty Jobs and Somebody’s Gotta Do it Creator, Executive Producer and Host, Mike Rowe, reveals a fascinating glimpse into blue collar jobs that are often overlooked, and the surprising benefits, rewards and opportunities that comes with it.
He says that collectively, our society has dangerously labelled a whole category of perfectly good jobs in the blue collar industry as dead-end jobs that are not aspirational. This is an unfounded bias that widens the skills gap and creates a workforce that’s completely out of balance. In fact, studies have shown that acquiring skills in these industries such as learning how to weld or install a toilet can and often do lead to fulfilling careers, balanced lives and better than average pay.
Here are some examples of how much these industries pay (statistics courtesy of Forbes.com):
Elevator Installers and Repairers
Average Annual Salary: $73,560
What they do: Assemble, install, repair, or maintain electric or hydraulic freight or passenger elevators, escalators, or dumbwaiters.
Electrical and Electronics Repairers, Powerhouse, Substation, and Relay
Average Annual Salary: $65,950
What they do: Inspect, test, repair, or maintain electrical equipment in generating stations, substations, and in-service relays.
Average Annual Salary: $65,770
What they do: Inspect equipment or goods in connection with the safe transport of cargo or people. Includes rail transportation inspectors, such as freight inspectors; rail inspectors; and other inspectors of transportation vehicles, not elsewhere classified.
Petroleum Pump System Operators, Refinery Operators, and Gaugers
Average Annual Salary: $60,290
What they do: Operate or control petroleum refining or processing units. May specialize in controlling manifold and pumping systems, gauging or testing oil in storage tanks, or regulating the flow of oil into pipelines.
Electrical Power-Line Installers and Repairers
Average Annual Salary: $59,450
What they do: Install or repair cables or wires used in electrical power or distribution systems. May erect poles and light or heavy duty transmission towers.
People who are already in the industry, master their trade, work hard, begin to prosper, and start their own businesses. They create opportunities for themselves and for thousands more who are there to make sure our traffic lights are working, our rubbish cleared, our trains running, and our toilets flushing well. Imagine starting your own socially responsible business in an overlooked blue collar market. Your idea for a product or service could be used to serve more people, harness a greater return, and, more importantly, bring a refreshing new outlook and value to an overly superficialised society.
Whilst these industries may not sound very glamorous, they are nonetheless essential to our everyday lives. Stepping away from the deafening competition of “trendy” industries, a true entrepreneur can dream up innovative new ways to move these industries forward, and find themselves unearthing a gold mine in these forgotten industries.
How can blue collar industries be made more appealing? Comment below.