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People Who Moved From White-Collar To Blue-Collar Jobs With No Regrets

No matter how much we plan out our lives, they sometimes take an unexpected turn. With a push for college being the norm by parents and high schools, it is no surprise that many take that path only to wind up with regrets.

These stories are from Redditors who decided a white-collar job was not for them and opted for blue-collar jobs instead.

What do you think? Did they make the right choice?

1. Computer Science to Warehouse Worker

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The world can always use more computer science graduates, especially those learning how to master AI. But as one computer science graduate learned, it is not all it is cracked up to be. He left his well-paying programming career for a job at a warehouse.

A concerned mom on Reddit shared this story, and admits she worries about the future for her son from a growth perspective. But, she’s happy to see him prioritizing his mental health over wealth. She added that her son’s employer treats him well and he seems much happier. The job also pays well enough that he was able to buy a house at the age of 27. Sounds like a win to us.

2. Engineer to Factory Worker


One commenter stated that he was pushed into the “smart kid” hype, which drove him to college for engineering. Everyone told him he was so smart and that college was the best path for him. He later realized he hated engineering. Instead he opted for a factory job and loves it. He added that this job is stress-free and makes him wonder why he hadn’t taken this route sooner.

3. Social Studies Teacher to Electrician

man working as electrician

One Redditor stated that he double majored in Economics and Political Science with a dream of being a social studies teacher. He loved teaching and thought it was a perfect fit. A few years later he realized it was not the dream he imagined. He left teaching to begin working as an electrical apprentice. The reduction in salary was hard, but years later he was earning more than he would have as a teacher. He added that he was very happy with his choice and encouraged others to take that leap of faith.  

4. Business Degree to Diesel Mechanic

diesel mechanic at work

One Redditor earned a business degree but realized it was too broad of a degree. He struggled to find a well-paying job. Instead he decided to work as an apprentice for a diesel mechanic and has been doing it ever since. The business degree has never been used.

5. Social Worker to Building Maintenance

maintenance worker working on dishwasher
Depositphotos / Med_Photo_Studio

Another former white collar worker earned a Master’s degree in social work. After a few years in the field, he was miserable and knew he needed a change. Building maintenance was the career he chose to go into. He stated that he had some skills needed for the job from years of working with his dad. But he has plans to go back to trade school to learn plumbing and make that his full-time career.

6. Biomedical Engineer to Automotive Lineman

auto manufacturing line

A biomedical engineer told his story of shifting from a white-collar to blue-collar career and being thrilled with the outcome. He shared that in his senior year of college he got his first internship, that experience made him realize that school is a waste of time. The actual experience one can get is by being physically present in the field of interest. He never went into the field he studied for, instead opting to work for one of the big three automotive companies. He works on the line and receives better pay and benefits than he would have if he continued in the biomedical field.

7. Nurse to Sheet Metal Worker

metal fabrication worker

This Redditor worked in nursing but hated the mistreatment he was getting. The long hours, lack of proper schedule, and care of others was taking a toll. After considering many other careers, he decided to go into sheet metal work and has been happy ever since.

8. English Major to Plumber

plumber working on pipe

From English major to plumber. This female Redditor wanted something more challenging than an English degree could give her. After graduation, she bounced around different jobs to see if she could find something she loved. She wound up becoming friends with a plumber she met through a friend and that friendship made her realize plumbing might be her path. She took a 4-year program in plumbing to became a journeyman plumber and has been doing it happily ever since.

9. Geographer to Cabinet Maker

cabinet makers at work

Once a geographer, now a cabinet maker – quite a career change. This Redditor stated that he went to college for geography and never even landed a job in the field. Instead, he pursued a career in cabinet making which he loves. He has no plans to leave any time soon and is thrilled to have a job that allows him to use his creativity.

10. Construction Manager to Tow Truck Driver

tow truck driver
nejron via Depositphotos

One Redditor went to school for construction management and worked for years in the industry. He stated that the work was stressful, deadlines were too tight, and he disliked having to tell people what to do. He now drives a flatbed and medium-duty tow truck. He says it pays good money with little to no stress. Source: Reddit

Only 25% Of Adults Believe A College Degree Is Important

lineman working on power lines

The workforce is changing. A recent report finds that 75% of adults do not feel a college degree is necessary to be successful in the working world. Read more interesting statistics on the importance of college degrees

No College? No Problem! These High Paying Jobs Require No College Degree


Don’t miss opportunities to make good wages – even with no college degree. These jobs all have the opportunity to earn good money with no college degree required. View the list of high-paying no-college jobs.

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