Welcome to Flightinfo.com

  • Register now and join the discussion
  • Friendliest aviation Ccmmunity on the web
  • Modern site for PC's, Phones, Tablets - no 3rd party apps required
  • Ask questions, help others, promote aviation
  • Share the passion for aviation
  • Invite everyone to Flightinfo.com and let's have fun

Blue or White Collar? You make the call.

Welcome to Flightinfo.com

  • Register now and join the discussion
  • Modern secure site, no 3rd party apps required
  • Invite your friends
  • Share the passion of aviation
  • Friendliest aviation community on the web


Well-known member
Mar 17, 2005
Just read a post from "draginass" in the "Doug Parker" thread. He claims we're all blue collar workers, just like "janitors".
I had this discussion with some friends of mine some months back and was wondering what you, the Flightinfo sages, think about this. I'm not trying to be an arson here. Please try to back up your position with some logic.
There's also a category called pink collar.
Here are some definitions from: http://en.wikipedia.org

A blue-collar worker is a working class employee who performs manual or technical labor, such as in a factory or in technical maintenance "trades," in contrast to a white-collar worker, who does non-manual work generally at a desk.

White-collar workers perform tasks which are less "laborious" yet often more highly paid than blue-collar workers, who do manual work. They are salaried professionals (such as some doctors or lawyers), as well as employees in administrative or clerical positions. In some studies, managers are considered as part of the white-collar worker grouping, in others they are not. The name derives from the traditional white, button down shirts worn by workers of such professions.

Blue collar workers did jobs which required them to get dirty and often put them in the way of physical harm. White collar workers did jobs which were clean and safe, and thus often carried more prestige than blue collar jobs. Pink collar is a recent third term in this categorization, used to describe service jobs that are performed in a clean, safe environment, but often for relatively low pay and prestige.

A pink-collar worker does work that is traditionally or most likely done by women, or work that is performed in an office-environment but does not require the professional training of white-collar work.
Last edited:
Used to be white collar, we were highly respected, and well paid.

Now Blue and just barely that. Why? just read these boards, I wont wear a hat, I dont want to wear a tie, do you like my back pack? and that is just the way we dress. Just wait until all the highly intellectual responses to my hat comment for another example.

This all started with the PFT programs, that have thus far completely undermined our once proud profession. Why would anyone respect someone who will pay for their job, and then only make 18K thereafter. It has since morphed into lower pay as the contract carriers start company after company to break unions and drive wages lower and lower. this is enabled by the low time guys who will work for anything in order to be an airline pilot. they think being a CFI for two months is paying their dues, and also still believe if they can just get into the RJ and get some time United and the big bucks are just aroung the corner. Unfortunetely by the time they realize what is going on they are getting pay cuts because of the new contract carrier du jour and the pilots willing to fly for them for even less for the same reasons.

I think blue collar would be a step up at this point.
Like many jobs in our society today I'd say it (airline pilot) falls in both white and blue collar. Some flying jobs have more blue than white and some more white than blue.

note: I'm talking about the actual job of flying and excluding the "ownward slide" of the profession as noted in other posts above.
Last edited:
It's all perspective and what you are comparing it to. Transportation is a field into itself and there are certainly many different levels to it. From the Rickshaw Driver to the Supership Captain and everything in between. A New York Cabbie could definitely be seen as a blue collar worker, but I would not categorize a Supertanker Captain the same way.

I would say that at some point in our career paths we are all blue collar.

Unless your a very powerful CEO of a major corporation or a very successful and persuasive politician you are only chattel. I guess that's most of us.
Well I'm paid like a pink collar worker.

The training, education, high standards that I'm held to, and level of resposibility suggest white collar.

The fact that I have to collectively bargain for my wages and the fact that wall street scorns me as overpaid suggest that I'm blue collar.
The term white collar is normally used to describe someone who possesses an occupation requiring a high level of technical skills. Professional pilots normally meet this criteria.

Most unskilled manual labor that requires little or no training can easily be deemed blue collar.

Everything in between might be considered pink collar.

The collar you wear although this has become somewhat of a misnomer, was traditionally connected to work you perfomed and not so much your salary.
Blue Collar
  • Direct approach — calls it what it is.
  • Knows how to do the work.
  • Has a do-it-yourself approach.
  • Believes “you have to earn it.”
  • Believes rewards come from hard work.
  • Fears losing it all.
  • Figures out how to fix things (again, and again).
White Collar
  • Indirect approach — makes things agreeable.
  • Knows how to delegate the work rather than do it.
  • Finds people who can do it for him.
  • Believes he’s entitled to his place in life.
  • Believes rewards come from knowing the right people.
  • Knows there’s more where this came from.
  • Replaces with new things rather than fixing the old.
I found these characteristics rather interesting. Seems to be a lot of blurring don't you think?
Does anyone here equate white collar with a "profession". I mean "profession" in the classical sense only, not the overused, meaningless way it is used today as one's simple choice of an occupation.
Last edited:
There are knowledge workers, skilled workers and unskilled worker. A doctor is a knowledge worker. They go to school for up to 20 years, work for slave wages until established in practice. A pilot is a skilled worker. Anyone with a certain level of skill and desire can be a pilot, no high school diploma, no college degree required, just go develop a skill flying airplanes. Unskilled workers are normally refered to a blue collar workers. Pilots unlike Doctors, CPA's and Engineers have no unique abilities that allow them to change jobs and be paid close to their last job. The job can be done by anyone with a Comm/MEL/Inst.

Latest posts

Latest resources