Admittedly, there is something a bit glossier about dressing up in a suit and going to work everyday. However, South Africa’s skills shortage lies in blue collar industries such as construction, landscaping, manufacturing, and other artisanal professions. ClockWork focuses on providing you with blue collar employment. You might want to do this part time to earn extra cash, or it might be your full time livelihood. We’ve taken a look at some of the reasons why a career in blue collar work can be advantageous, and why Justin Timberlake may just be incorrect in saying ‘as long as you’ve got your suit and tie’.

  1. Flexibility

The stringent hours of 9-5 in white collar industries can be draining and tedious. Yet, within blue collar work, you will often work shifts. These will remain flexible, even if you do sometimes work during less sociable hours of the day. You may be fortunate enough that you can choose your own hours, especially if you are in the electrician or plumbing professions. Ultimately however, the chances are that if you are a blue-collar worker, you’ll get to spend more time with your family.

2. Transferrable Skills

Blue collar skills are in extremely high demand. If you practice a particular skill within this space, it often means you have something unique which can differentiate you in the labour market. Furthermore, you can use your skills outside of your day job. For example, if anything needs fixing or improving around the house, its likely you’ll be the person to do it. This sometimes cannot be said for professions in white collar industries.

3. There is no reason to hit the gym

Blue collar work is, by definition, laborious. You can view this as a negative if you want, but the feeling of accomplishment from being on your feet all day is also rewarding. The sedentary lifestyle led by those in white collar work is unhealthy and unappealing. Conversely, more physically demanding jobs create a ‘feel good’ factor and keep you fit and healthy. Besides, you won’t have to splash out on a gym membership, because there’s no doubt you’ll simply want to put your feet up after a long day.

4. The pay is surprisingly good

There are numerous niche skills required in the world of blue-collar work. If you can master one of these, then you will certainly see the financial rewards. Admittedly, lower skilled labour jobs in South Africa are still underpaid, however there is becoming an increasing demand for skilled artisans in certain sectors. If you want to take a look at the average wage for some blue collar industries, click here. If you want to learn new skills in blue collar industries, click here.

5. Less Stress

There is no disputing that the hours in corporate are intense. Prepare yourself for late nights, working weekends and endless hassle from your boss. In blue collar industries, this is rarely the case. As long as the job is completed to the standard of the client, you can sit back and relax. This is because there are rarely any formal deadlines to meet, and you can complete the tasks in your own time. It’s a no brainer, isn’t it?

Conclusion – is blue collar for you?

There are many advantages about working in a profession which is blue collar. You may have never thought about it, but its certainly something to consider if you are looking for more flexibility, to learn new skills, and experience less stress.