White Collar

AAA

DEFINITION of 'White Collar'

A working class that is known for earning high average salaries and not performing manual labor at their jobs. White collar workers historically have been the "shirt and tie" set, defined by office jobs and not "getting their hands dirty" (or their white collar dress shirts).

This class of worker stands in contrast to blue collar workers, who traditionally wore blue shirts and worked in plants, mills and factories.

INVESTOPEDIA EXPLAINS 'White Collar'

White collar work used to mean a high level of education and a cushy job with perks. That distinction today is blurred by the fact that white collar employment has become the dominant working class in the U.S. and other advanced nations. Many jobs that require a shirt and tie are actually low-paying and high stress, especially in the modern service and technology sectors.

There are also white collar workers' unions, which, historically, was a distinction of just blue collar workers.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Small Office/Home Office - SOHO

    A business that is operated out of a business owner's residence ...
  2. Middle Class

    Individuals who fall between the working class and the upper ...
  3. High Earners, Not Rich Yet - HENRYs

    A buzzword coined in a 2003 Fortune Magazine article to refer ...
  4. Securities Fraud

    A type of serious white-collar crime in which a person or company, ...
  5. Employment Cost Index - ECI

    A quarterly report from the U.S. Department of Labor that measures ...
  6. 401(k) Plan

    A qualified plan established by employers to which eligible employees ...
Related Articles
  1. Economics

    Invest In Yourself With A College Education

    Spending a few thousand dollars on school could help you earn millions more.
  2. Economics

    Globalization: Progress Or Profiteering?

    Proponents of globalization argue that it helps the economies of developing nations and makes goods cheaper, while critics say that globalization reduces domestic jobs and exploits foreign workers. ...
  3. Personal Finance

    Are We Losing The Middle Class?

    Find out where your income and lifestyle put you compared to the national average.
  4. Professionals

    Financial Professionals: The Benefits Of Joining An Association

    Make a name for yourself among your industry peers by joining a professional association.
  5. Investing Basics

    Using Appreciative Inquiry To Solve Management Problems

    In its purest form, appreciative inquiry is a powerful tool for shifting the focus of an organization to something much greater than its bottom line - although the eventual outcome will often ...
  6. Investing News

    Starbucks As An Example Of The Value Chain Model

    Management consulting guru Micahel Porter developed the value chain model in 1985; here's how it works, using a well-known real live case study: Starbucks.
  7. You may not know it, but you probably depend on a Qualcomm product just about every day. Here's how.
    Stock Analysis

    How You Depend On Qualcomm Every Day

    You may not know it, but you probably depend on a Qualcomm product just about every day. Here's how.
  8. Few people build a multi-billion dollar business and leave it. But these did just that.
    Investing News

    What Bill Gross, Steve Jobs and Steve Wynn Share

    Few people build a multi-billion dollar business and leave it. But these did just that.
  9. If there's any bank that's too big to fail, JPMorgan Chase & Co. may very well be the best example. Just look at its return on equity.
    Stock Analysis

    JPMorgan Chase: Too Big (And Profitable) To Fail

    If there's any bank that's too big to fail, JPMorgan Chase & Co. may very well be the best example. Just look at its return on equity.
  10. Since 2000, Apple has grown into a $610 billion company with a market cap larger than the GDP of all but 20 countries. Just how did that happen so quickly?
    Stock Analysis

    The Key To Apple's Scale? Half A Billion iPhones

    Since 2000, Apple has grown into a $610 billion company with a market cap larger than the GDP of all but 20 countries. Just how did that happen so quickly?

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Multinational Corporation - MNC

    A corporation that has its facilities and other assets in at least one country other than its home country. Such companies ...
  2. SWOT Analysis

    A tool that identifies the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of an organization. Specifically, SWOT is a basic, ...
  3. Simple Interest

    A quick method of calculating the interest charge on a loan. Simple interest is determined by multiplying the interest rate ...
  4. Special Administrative Region - SAR

    Unique geographical areas with a high degree of autonomy set up by the People's Republic of China. The Special Administrative ...
  5. Annual Percentage Rate - APR

    The annual rate that is charged for borrowing (or made by investing), expressed as a single percentage number that represents ...
  6. Free Carrier - FCA

    A trade term requiring the seller to deliver goods to a named airport, terminal, or other place where the carrier operates. ...
Trading Center