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This unlikely profession is seeing the biggest pay raises!

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Theo Thimou

If you’re looking for work, yet you don’t want to go back to a traditional four-year college, there’s one industry you might want to consider with average pay that’s inching up near $60,000 and can be as high as $73,000.

It’s trucking. If you know any truckers, then you know they will tell you theirs isn’t a field you should enter into lightly. The dangers include working with heavy equipment, chemical exposure and traffic accidents, to name just a few.

Those working conditions make trucking a high-risk occupation. Insure.com notes there’s an average of 22 deaths per 100,000 workers, which makes it harder for truckers to get an affordable life insurance rate.

But if you’re unemployed or involuntarily working part-time, you might want to give this career a second look. The American Trucking Association says there’s a shortage of some 50,000 drivers because employers can’t find qualified people.

Blue collar jobs that pay well

The average income for a truck driver is $54,000, according to data from Glassdoor. Wage growth hovered right around 7.8% las month versus a year ago—far outpacing the average salary raise of 2.8% among 60 other popular professions. The highest-compensated drivers are those who work for a private fleet.

Trucking companies are so short of workers to drive loads that they’re having to turn away business. You may have heard deliveries have been late because of this.

“‘Just in time delivery’ for factories will be the next domino to fall,” consumer expert Clark Howard says. “Factories that run on lean inventories with just hours of parts in stocks have long relied on trucks to be their warehouse. But if the current vacancies in trucking continue, those factories are going to need inventory on hand and will find themselves in a real bind.”

Another hot spot where employers can’t find enough qualified workers is in construction. There was a time during the real estate bust when new construction really slowed down. But now things have picked up again and construction workers are in demand. The average salary of a construction worker is $36,600, according to Glassdoor.

Other blue collar professions in high demand include machine operators ($36,800) and maintenance workers ($41,179).

In order to qualify for some of these jobs, you may have to go to a technical college to get the skills that are in demand.

Continuing education is core to our future as a nation. You’ve got to morph yourself over time to fit the job market as it changes over time. That’s key to our future—now and tomorrow. 

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