Biz Features

Small Business Opportunities: Why America’s Technical Skills Gap Is Great For Blue-Collar Entrepreneurs

by . September 11th, 2012

It’s taken now for granted that entry-level blue-collar work in the US is much better paid today than equivalent-level white-collar jobs. Despite this and the fact that you’ll hardly find tradespeople saddled with ridiculously high student loans – you’ll hardly ever find a kid or anyone else for that matter who’d aspire to be a master plumber, or a sanitation worker.

Blue Collar and White Collar
Let’s disregard unskilled labor for now and focus on skilled trade. As we addressed previously, employers are having a difficult time filling slots for all kinds of work that require technical certification.¬†Being a blue collar worker is also often physically demanding and offers few prospects for advancement. This all partly explains the high wages earned by tradespeople today.

There’s huge entrepreneurial potential in this continuing trend. In a lot of fields that require skilled labor, the market is basically wide open for skilled workers who’d like to use their skills to work for themselves. If you have the right attitude, you can turn your specific skills into a full-blown enterprise.

The trade-off of course, is that you’ll probably have to deal with all the stresses associated with being an entrepreneur in addition to the physical toll of working in the field.

If this infographic from is to be believed, there is plenty of room for anyone willing to get their hands dirty:

America's Skills Gap
One thing we should be clear about is that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with working a blue-collar job. We’re just sick of how a lot of people can be dismissive or condescending towards tradesmen – especially if they happen to get their hands dirty.

You know who else gets their hands dirty?

It’s a shame so many young people today are turning down viable options not just for advancement- but also for entrepreneurship- by rejecting vocational trades out of hand.

When you decide to be a blue collar entrepreneur – don’t forget your business cards. ¬†:)


Arthur Piccio manages YouTheEntrepreneur and has managed content for major players in the online printing industry. He was previously BizSugar's contributor of the week. His work has appeared multiple times on The New York Times' You're the Boss Small Business Blog. He enjoys guitar maintenance and reading up on history and psychology in his spare time.