White collar worker

A white collar worker is a person who does non-routine work in an administrative or professional position, and does not perform manual labor. A higher level of training is typically demanded for a white collar position; a college degree is a common requirement. This group of workers tends to earn a higher wage than manual laborers, and is more likely to be paid a salary than an hourly wage. The dress code associated with a white collar position may be somewhat higher than for other positions. Examples of white collar jobs are:

  • Accountants
  • Attorneys
  • Bankers
  • Consultants
  • Doctors
  • Engineers
  • Information technology positions
  • Managers
  • Scientists

Those performing routine support work, such as clerks, nurses, and laboratory technicians, are not considered to be white collar workers.

White collar workers may have improved working conditions and benefits packages, so this type of labor is considered quite desirable. However, the stress level can also be quite high, and there is downward pressure on white collar pay levels as more of these positions face competition from lower-wage countries.

The term originates from an early requirement that people in these positions wear white shirts while on the job.