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36 Examples of White Collar

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White collar is a term for work that occurs in an office or other administrative setting. This includes knowledge work, academia, professional services and customer service based out of an office, home office or similar environment. The following are examples of professions that can be considered white collar.
Accountant
Administrator
Agent
Analyst
Architect
Architect
Auditor
Broker
Consulting
Customer Support
Dentist
Designer
Dietitian
Engineer
Executive Management
Financial Planner
Human Resources
Investment Manager
Lawyer
Manager (Office Setting)
Marketing Professional
Mathematician
Medical Professionals
Medical Technician
Physician
Professor
Project Manager
Researcher
Salesperson (Office Setting)
Scientist
Secretary
Software Developer
System Administrator
Teacher
Veterinary Physician
Writer

Etymology

Popularized by Pulitzer Prize winning author Upton Sinclair in the 1930s. However, the term white collar is referenced in a 1924 local newspaper article (The Times of Alden, Iowa). It is referenced in such a way to indicate it was already in common parlance at the time.

Meaning

An analogy to the white shirts and suits typically worn by male office workers at the time. Typically contrasted to the blue collar shirts supposedly worn by workers who perform physical labor such as a carpenter.

White Collar vs Middle Class

White collar relates to two aspects of working conditions: an office environment and a lack of physical work. Middle class is a socioeconomic group that generate discretionary income such that they can accumulate capital and/or invest in their quality of life. Historically, the term white collar was heavily associated with the middle class and blue collar with the working class who do not generate significant discretionary income. In the past two decades this association has faded due to the introduction of large numbers of white collar jobs that do not pay enough to reach middle class status. Likewise, in developed countries, there are a large number of blue collar professions that pay enough to be solid middle class professions.
Overview: White Collar
Type
Definition
Work of a primarily non-physical nature that occurs in an office or office-like setting.
Related Concepts

Class Consciousness

This is the complete list of articles we have written about class consciousness.
Blue Collar
Bourgeoisie
Class Consciousness
Class System
Creative Class
Demographics
Economics
Intelligentsia
Middle Class
Proletariat
Social Status
Upper Class
White Collar
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