A white-collar worker is any person who performs administrative or professional work. Typically associated with the office setting, white-collar worker jobs include careers within government, consulting, HR, and market research amongst others.
White-collar workers usually work in more formal settings in contrast to blue-collar workers. Adorned with a suit and tie, the white-collar worker is associated with a different social class from the working-class blue-collar worker. Building on the back of the early industrial revolution, white-collar workers have grown from a very minimal role to become the most prominent type of workers in Western cultures.
Most positions that are taken on by white-collar workers will require a certain level of education. Many white-collar workers will have a college degree or similar level of qualification. The mental stimulation for these roles is a key determinant in performance. Although when comparing blue-collar and white-collar workers, the health of white-collar workers is often significantly worse due to a less physically active lifestyle working from an office setting.
First coined by American writer, Upton Sinclair, as a description of the clerical, administrative workers of the 1930s. The term white-collar implies that the worker does not get their hands dirty nor perform any physical labor.
Unlike pink-collar workers who earn an hourly wage, the white-collar worker is most often paid a salary and will work from 9 - 5, Monday to Friday. With consistent working hours, the white-collar worker is able to plan ahead for weekends and vacations. In contrast, the pink-collar worker may have a less obvious pattern of shifts depending on their place of work.