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Old 08-02-2019, 07:02 PM
 
Location: plano
7,829 posts, read 10,159,219 times
Reputation: 7661

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At a simplistic level, Blue Collar jobs are manual labor jobs. Historically White Collar jobs were managerial and administrative that is those working in an office. I find those old definitions limited in today's world where Refineries and Oil Drilling and Production use automation and high tech tools to optimize the business.

I worked for an energy company my entire career, both in Upstream and Downstream and in administrative functions as a manager. Many so called blue collar jobs were operating the refinery. Most of the senior operators time was spent in a strong concrete building with no windows. The outside operators wore coveralls and had a check list of things to check to prevent other than smooth efficient and same refinery operations. They work shifts as these units run 24/7. For the last few decades when enough outside operator jobs were vacant a jobs for new operators would be posted. People applying were more often than not college degreed looking for a more lucrative career. It was beneficial to have a math or science background. Those who could handle working outside with large equipment could advance to inside jobs running the refinery units. At the end of a decades career making 6 figure salary with great benefits, 401k 1 to 1 match, a pension, subsidized good health insurance, they can retire with $2-3M in liquid assets with good medical insurance that was affordable in retirement.

So while the work was outside and one could get dirty and be dangerous on occasion, these careers do not sound like blue collar to me. There are comparable jobs in the Upstream similar with computers are used to optimize drilling results. Houston has tons of these jobs in both upstream and downstream. What jobs in DFW are comparable to these? Some IT jobs?

The other large type of jobs in Houston are engineering jobs. Those are more often than not office jobs but involve going into the refinery or production operation on occasion. At the staff level the work is highly skilled and technical in nature. Again the pay is great, may $200k salary and an additional million or two in liquid assets at retirement. What are the similar jobs in DFW?

I think part of Houston's vibe is driven by the large number of engineers. They are into function and get 'er done not status or appearances so much. Educate me folks are these unique in number and type in Houston or typical? I know both Dallas and Houston have a huge manufacturing sector. Last time I checked only NYC rivaled both Houston and Dallas in this type work. I suspect that drives both cities cultures
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Old 08-02-2019, 07:36 PM
 
Location: Wonderland
62,953 posts, read 51,416,271 times
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My husband is an oil and gas "company man." That's sort of the equivalent of a "project manager" in construction, I guess. He is considered upper management though he's a contractor, and he wears a hard hat and fire retardant clothes and steel toed boots to work every single day. He also comes in VERY dirty occasionally!

The term we used for it when I worked in staffing was "Blue Collar Professional" and generally these were very high paying jobs, often paying more than many executive positions in the companies these folks work for - or rather, WITH - as contract labor.

I believe that there are jobs in Dallas at this level - though the workers are probably not actually working IN Dallas. For instance, my husband and I live in Tyler but he works mostly in the Midland area.
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Old 08-02-2019, 07:40 PM
 
5,309 posts, read 3,680,296 times
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I do not know how much I can add to the conversation, but I can say that I perceive blue collar very positively and wish our culture directed people more towards blue collar work and the trades instead of a lot of silly BA/BS degrees from 4 year universities.
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Old 08-02-2019, 08:12 PM
 
2,495 posts, read 699,426 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RJ312 View Post
I do not know how much I can add to the conversation, but I can say that I perceive blue collar very positively and wish our culture directed people more towards blue collar work and the trades instead of a lot of silly BA/BS degrees from 4 year universities.
There's a lot of money in the august university racket. Almost as bad as 'health' care. One needs comprehensive coverage against every new malaise on TV, and one must get a college degree and four years is the absolute minimum. 'Free college' would only exacerbate such misplaced perception of worth and aptitude, while guaranteeing the same institutional income streams behind their marketing.
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Old 08-02-2019, 08:53 PM
 
13,808 posts, read 25,354,061 times
Reputation: 14189
Pilot at AA or SWA

$150k-$400k+ depending on seniority
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Old 08-03-2019, 04:45 AM
 
Location: plano
7,829 posts, read 10,159,219 times
Reputation: 7661
Thanks to you all. I view these blue collar jobs very positively too. I did not mention the maintenance side of refinery work which is huge and pays pretty well too but definitely looks and feels clue collar.

The pay these individuals get is one element that defines them but perhaps even bigger is the liquid worth one can retire with along with the health care coverage supplemented in retirement.

Some of the engineering work is very high tech today using tools that were not available when I was a reservoir engineer for Shell and worked as a contact engineer in refining as we called it.

I think these jobs are looked down in part as enabling carbon burn impacts. The benefits of affordable heating and transportation availability is taken for granted.
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