Blue collar workers are so important to the success and growth of a country’s economy. But often, these jobs, and people, are overlooked. Blue collar jobs can be seen to be “dirty” and require limited skills to perform them. In some senses, yes, certain jobs are easier than others but, blue collar workers are hardworking and skilled people who contribute an immense amount to a country. 

You will often see these guys (and ladies) working tirelessly in the blazing summer sun or torrential winter rains to perform and complete various jobs. From the people digging the trenches in suburban areas, to the guys who lay your fibre cables so you can have a faster internet connection, to the people maintaining and fixing our roads – the list goes on. But, do you realise that without these people doing their jobs, you wouldn’t be able to log onto DSTV Now and stream the Springbok game tomorrow morning? 

Everyone thinks that “white collar” work is the way forward, and granted, “white collar” work is an integral part of our society – it helps people gain access to finance, insurance, healthcare and much more. But without blue collar workers doing the work on the ground, these white collar workers wouldn’t be able to conduct life-saving operations in state-of-the-art operating rooms, or to simply do their job. 

These blue collar workers are responsible for excavating, helping to design, implementing and building the infrastructure of a country – everything we need as citizens like, roads, power plants, water facilities, houses etc. is all thanks to these heroes who have painstakingly done the “dirty work” so that we are able to have an easier life. 

And, we need more of them! Over the years, there has been an increase in the demand for blue collar workers, thanks in part to the skills that they are able to bring to the table. But, it goes back to my point, people see these jobs as “dirty”, when in fact they can actually be very lucrative. 

For instance, a rigger can earn as much as R40 000 per month! Yes, you read that right. If you don’t know what a rigger is, they work in shipping yards or at construction sites with heavy-lifting machinery such as cranes and derricks. If you want to be a rigger, all you need is a national diploma and a trade test certificate to find work. To put that into perspective, a Chartered Accountant (CA) with more than five years experience can earn a median salary of R52,500 per month – but remember, they have studied for almost 7 years to become a CA!

So before you take blue collar workers or blue collar work for granted, think again!