What is a Blue Collar Worker?

Definition: Blue collar worker is an employee whose primary responsibilities require manual labor and the use of physical strength to create a product or deliver a result.

What Does Blue Collar Worker Mean?

What is the definition of blue collar worker? The term “blue collar” has been used, traditionally, to distinguish the kind of work an employee does, the level of training they have had, and the amount of money they were paid for their efforts.

Traditionally, blue-collar workers have physically demanding jobs and do not work at a desk or in an office setting. They are also not required to have a formal education. A high school diploma is typically sufficient. In some cases, however, additional vocational training may be necessary for blue-collar workers to attain necessary skills and competencies.

More recently, because of an influx of technology in all facets of daily life and an increase in the number of laborers earning college degrees, the line between blue and white collar workers have blurred slightly. A blue collar worker, may in fact, have an undergraduate degree and be paid higher than a white collar worker, making more traditional contexts for the term less applicable depending on the industry.


Consider Steel Pony Auto, a business that builds cars. In order to supply the demand of its consumer base, Steel Pony Auto needs to actually develop the cars, think about ways to be innovative and remain competitive, and complete administrative tasks, including things like payroll. In this scenario, laborers who manufacture parts, work on the assembly line, and clean the facility are the blue-collar workers.

These laborers work in a factory setting and exert physical energy in the completion of tasks. Laborers, who conduct research on innovative ideas, develop software for the car, or answer questions on the customer service line are the white-collar workers. These laborers work in an office setting and exert mental energy in completion of tasks.

Summary Definition

Define Blue Collar Workers: Blue-collar worker means a person who typically works a physically laborious job for an hourly wage.

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