Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Cool and blue 

What are the best-paying blue-collar jobs? Forbes reports:

While the U.S. economy remains strong, factory jobs are being outsourced, a slowing housing market has killed construction jobs over the past several months and manufacturing employment has been on a downward trend in recent years.

Yet, there's still good money to be made in the labor and service industries, commonly referred to as "blue-collar" jobs. That is, if you can overcome the long odds of landing a job as an elevator installer and repairer, a gig that could pay more than $63,000 a year.

While some people might not immediately associate blue-collar occupations with higher-level formal education, some of these managers and supervisors must have extensive knowledge of business or sciences to perform the tasks of, for example, power plant operator or agricultural manager.

Power plant operators earn a median annual wage of $55,000, or $26.44 an hour. These workers control, operate or maintain machinery to generate electric power keeping your home or business juiced.

Farm, ranch and other agricultural managers make an annual wage of $52,070, or $25.03 an hour, to supervise the farming activities, get their hands dirty on occasion and handle some of the business and marketing. They perform all these tasks with the owner's consent, of course.

It will come as good news to one economist that two of the top ten happen in railyards. The data on all occupations is here: Economists are listed at $35.61 an hour.