Below is a Quora response I wanted to share. The original is here.
I don’t think experts think these two jobs (desk or labor) will exist for the long term. It might be time to reframe the question and the discussion at large. For right now, we still talk about white collar vs. blue collar jobs.
The short answer is contingent on training, certifications, and industry experience often determines salary. Traditional labor and desk jobs are paying $100,000+ depending on location. This article features five blue collar jobs paying six figures ().
It would be helpful to know your aspirations and experience to customize an answer for you.
Both types of jobs, desk or labor, require some technology and with robots on the verge of taking over office and labor jobs, makes pursuing either job a futile goal. It requires research, and it’s best to do it before pursuing the career of your choice.
Studies in recent years say 40% (or a little less) will be contractors or freelancers by 2020. () It’s possible everyone will spend time at a desk at some point. I would recommend a mind shift to think about the company you want to work for, deep dive into your “why” and then determine the type of job you’re best suited.
You should also look at sites like( ), PayScale ( ), and Glassdoor ( ) to study job, location, hazards (if it applies). Depending on where you are in the world, you may need to look by country. The site JobMob ( ) has salary surveys and calculators for careers around the world ( ).
Finally, chasing a career because of money will mean you’ll ignore any learning curves, hazards, or lifestyle considerations. Although I would never recommend chasing the money, under those circumstances, today’s job seeker should consider a career with strings of options or a portfolio career (several mini-careers as multiple streams of income). This way, you aren’t reliant on a single option or income.