11. Computer-controlled machine tool operators, metal and plastic
Projected growth: 1 7.5
Average salary: 37,920
We start this ranking with the occupation which proves that blue-collars jobs are not only about getting your hands dirty. These specialized workers operate computer-controlled machines or robots to perform one or more machine functions on metal or plastic workpieces. Besides high school diploma, educational requirements for the profession include on-job training that may last one year or more depending the type of machine employee works with. In addition, possessing certificate which proves your competence can boost employment prospects.
Wisconsin, Vermont, and Indiana are three states with the highest number of available jobs for this occupation. At the same time, top-paying states for these workers are Washington (52,040), Vermont (50,070) and Maine (44,800).