What’s a White Collar Job? White collar jobs vs Blue collar jobs

Do you often get confused between what is a white collar job and which is a blue collar job? Read on to find fundamental differences between them, along with their definitions.


  1. White Collar Job Meaning
  2. What is a Blue Collar Job?
  3. White Collar Jobs vs Blue Collar Jobs
  4. Conclusion


1. White Collar Job meaning

Before we hop into defining what white collar job is, let us see what is meant by white collar workers.

A white collar worker primarily performs administrative, managerial work. So white collar job is relating to academics accountancy, business, and administrative work, management, customer support, market research, HR, networking, IT, medical, and architects.

The term white-collar was coined out of the white dress shirts male officers used to wear mostly in the west in the 19th and 20th centuries. This was in contrast to the blue overalls worn by laborers. Upton Sinclair (1), an American writer, coined it.

Several White-collar jobs spurted at the time of industrialization and modernization period. White-collar jobs have been about office or desk jobs and the shirt and tie category. Here are a few characteristics of white collar job –

  • White collar job involves minimum or, at times, no physical labor.
  • Typically, white-collar workers require higher education qualifications or skills than blue-collared workers.
  • White-collar jobs ad blue-collar jobs are often pitted against each other, leading to class divide and working-class discrimination.


2. What is a Blue Collar Job?

Blue collar job involves performing manual labor, which may be skilled or unskilled. Blue-collar job could be manufacturing, mining, electricity generation, farming, fishing for commercial purposes, landscaping, pest control, food processing, construction, waste collection, shipping, and other types of physical works.

The term was first used in an Alden lowa newspaper as a reference to trades jobs in the year 1924. It has its origin the blue denim or chambray shirts which manual laborers used to wear. Historically, the color references to these jobs have got socio-economic significances, as explained earlier. But with time, this distinction is fast fading into the background.


3. White collar job vs Blue Collar job

The most fundamental difference which comes to mind when speaking of blue collar job and white collar job is the significant salary gap. While a blue-collar worker might be earning a wage per hour or for every submission he makes, She/He might want a union’s support for the security of his/her rights.

A white-collar worker has to go through a more tedious and stringent process to get a job. S/He might be earning a salary on a client basis, if not making a regular salary. His job might hold a lot more security than a blue-collar worker’s job.

Here is a comprehensive and summarized list of the differences-


  • A job that requires physical labor.
  • Field or factories
  • Workers
  • Wages


  • A job that requires a desk job.
  • Office
  • Employees
  • Salary



With changing times and modernization, technological advancement, and the growing importance of skilled labor, the colored dress description may not work in the current times. These differences between blue and white collared attires seemed appropriate only in the past. Fashion choices have changed considerably. Apart from this obvious reason, there has also happened a blurring of definitive lines between these two professions. So, in modern times, there does not exist a very clear-cut distinction between white collar job and blue collar job.

Nitika Chamoli
Nitika Chamoli
After much debate with herself. Nitika has finally started to follow her passion for writing. Apart from this she likes puncturing beauty myths and gorging on books.

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