The Next Wave of New Collar Jobs is Coming

Over the past few months, “new collar” has become one of the most buzzed-about job terms among news outlets, top companies, and job seekers. And it’s really no mystery why. These types of jobs and workers bring an immense amount of value to a 21st-century economy.

While the term “new collar” is relatively fresh (it was just introduced in 2017), the concept itself is anything but new. In fact, some new collar jobs, like Pharmacy Technician, Dental Hygienist, and IT Professional, have existed for years. What is revolutionary are industry leaders’ forecasts about the types and number of new collar jobs that will soon become available. And we think those predictions are spot on.

As tech continues to be integrated into nearly every industry, we will see more new collar jobs become available, more rapidly than ever. A big wave of new collar jobs is coming, and here’s where we predict that wave will come from:


The tech industry will likely exhibit the most new collar jobs growth. While tech was once quite insular and jobs were only accessible to college grads, the industry has recently shifted its recruitment strategy and requirements. As industry leaders have noted, the creation of new tech jobs is outpacing tech job workers entering the marketplace. In other words, since the requirements of tech jobs are so specialized, employers are having a hard time finding qualified candidates for their open positions. And so these businesses are taking action to train and foster the talent they need themselves.

Tech companies, including tech-giant IBM, have begun creating their own jobs training programs and hiring candidates straight out of specialized technical schools. As technology continues to evolve, we’re not only seeing general growth of traditional IT and tech jobs. We’re also seeing new jobs being created in specific pockets of the industry:

  • Cybersecurity and Artificial Intelligence
  • Cloud Computing
  • User Interface Design and Architecture
  • Database Management
  • Help Desk and Tech Support

Shipping and Manufacturing

Shipping and manufacturing jobs were once labor intensive, and required a lot of lifting, sorting, organizing, and attention to detail. But the nature of these industries is changing rapidly. Now, much of the work that was once carried out by manual laborers is performed by heavy machinery and robots. This may sound foreboding for job seekers, but it isn’t. Where some jobs are lost to automation, other (arguably better) jobs are created. People are now being hired to program, build, and maintain the machines. These new collar jobs tend to pay better than the ones being lost, and they’re also less physically taxing. All good news for workers.

Aviation and Automotive

Planes, trains, and automobiles—all once relatively straightforward, mechanical modes of transportation—have evolved into complex and digital machines in the past decade. Now, new collar mechanics and programmers are needed to program and maintain these vehicles.


Healthcare is already a huge market for new collar jobs and workers. In the coming years, we expect to see even more healthcare employers accept candidates with new collar training in place of a 4-year degree. Popular new collar jobs in the health field include Pharmacy Technicians, Dental Assistants, and Medical Assistants.

It’s clear that new collar jobs are the way of the future, across a range of industries. And with the creation of these new roles, we’re seeing better work and earning opportunities open up to millions of job seekers. In the coming years, we expect to see a big wave of new collar jobs become available in the Tech, Shipping and Manufacturing, Aviation and Automotive, and Healthcare industries.   

Written by

ZipRecruiter's former Chief Economist, Cathy Barrera is the founding economist of Prysm Group, a leading blockchain economics and governance design firm.

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