Blue-Collar and White-Collar Workers: This is the Difference

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In this article, we will walk you through learning more about the blue collar worker group, from the definition to job examples and wages, as well as the differences between white collar and blue collar workers. Make sure you read everything below!

Blue Collar Definition

Blue collar is a term used to identify people who do manual labor and are paid on an hourly or daily basis. In other words, they do not receive a fixed monthly salary. Typically, becoming this type of worker does not require any special skills or qualifications. This is also what contributes to the perception that blue collar workers are the lowest caste in the line of work.

The Origin of the Term “Blue Collar”

Few people realize that the term “blue collar” was first used officially in 1924 for a newspaper in Alden, United States. The newspaper used this term to refer to the city’s trade workers.

This term was specifically used because manual workers were synonymous with blue denim shirts at the time. They frequently wear these clothes to work, thereby people are associating the term “blue collar” with them.

Not only that, but the color blue has its own meaning in relation to manual workers. This is inextricably linked to the notion that the color blue can aid in the concealment of dirt or stains caused by heavy labor. This allows “blue-collar” manual workers to appear cleaner than they actually are.

The use of this term is inversely proportional to the use of white collars by administrative workers in offices. Wearing brightly colored clothes, such as white, will not be an issue for them because they will not be doing heavy work that will expose them to dirt.

Education Level Requirement

The majority of blue collar jobs require less education than white collar jobs (equivalent to high school or junior high school). In fact, some of them do not even need to have a certain level of education.

This is due to the fact that almost all these types of jobs require more labor than knowledge or intelligence. As a result, as long as they have a strong enough body, almost anyone can become a blue collar worker.

The lack of educational requirements is one of the reasons why people regard blue collar jobs as low caste jobs or jobs only for those who aren’t bright enough. In fact, many of these workers in Indonesia now have a relatively high level of education (equivalent to a bachelor’s degree). This is due to the increasing competition in the job market, and it is becoming more difficult to obtain a white collar job.

Blue Collar Jobs Examples

There are many types of work that blue collar workers do. Here are a few examples.

1. Electrician

This job entails activities such as installation, maintenance, and repair of electrical wiring systems. Actually, things involving electricity pose a fairly high risk. Electricians, on the other hand, are among the better-paying blue collar workers.

2. Plumber

This job is also classified as blue collar because it does not necessitate a specific level of education. All that is required is experience and knowledge of plumbing installation and maintenance.

A skilled plumber can also pursue a variety of lucrative career options and earn a good living. For example, if the plumber is willing to collaborate with the architect.

3. Construction Workers

This blue collar worker is well-known in Indonesia. The majority of them work in groups and are paid on a daily basis. These workers also require a lot of energy due to the nature of their work, which includes a lot of strenuous activities.

4. Factory Workers

A factory worker is the next blue collar job on the list. In Indonesia, becoming a factory worker usually necessitates at least a junior high or high school diploma. Nonetheless, the work itself usually does not necessitate specialized knowledge. This is also what differentiates working-class workers from employees.

5. Office Boy

An office boy’s (OB) main task is to assist with other work that is not related to the duties of an office or company employee, such as cleaning. This job is classified as blue collar because the entry requirements are low and the activities it performs are quite simple.

Average Wage in Indonesia

The average salary for this type of worker in Indonesia actually varies and depends on the specifics of the job itself. For example, the salary for an electrician can range from IDR 2 million to IDR 10 million.

Meanwhile, construction workers in Indonesia are typically paid IDR 100k per day, not including overtime pay. And, salaries for factory workers and office boys generally follow the regional minimum wage or UMR that has been set in the area in question.

The Distinction Between Blue Collar and White Collar

There is a clear distinction between these two types of workers. If blue is associated with rough and dirty jobs, white collar workers are actually associated with people who use their brains and intelligence.

White collar jobs typically have higher and more complicated requirements, such as a specific level of education. It’s no surprise that some white collar jobs have higher salaries. However, the most noticeable difference is not in the amount of salary, but in the certainty and sustainability. This is because white-collar workers typically have a monthly salary that is guaranteed and fixed.

That concludes our discussion of blue collar workers. Don’t forget to keep an eye out for other discussions about the working world at (name of website).

See also: What is Employment and the Common Problems of Employment

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