Grey-collar refers to the balance of employed people not classified as white- or blue collar. It is used to refer to occupations that incorporate some of the elements of both blue- and white-collar, and generally are in between the two categories in terms of income-earning capability.
Examples of grey-collar industries:
- Police officers, firefighters, nurses, and Emergency medical services personnel
- Skilled tradespeople and technicians
- Salespeople (e.g. real estate brokers, stockbrokers, mortgage brokers, insurance brokers)
- Typists, stenographers, and paralegals
Grey-collar workers often have licenses, associate degrees or diplomas from a trade or technical school in a particular field. They are unlike blue-collar workers in that blue-collar workers can often be trained on the job within several weeks whereas grey-collar workers already have a specific skill set and require more specialized knowledge than their blue-collar counterparts.
The field which most recognizes the diversity between these two groups is that of human resources and the insurance industry. These different groups must be insured differently for liability as the potential for injury is different.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette wrote that another definition for grey collar could be the underemployed white collar worker.
Charle Brecher of the Citizens Budget Commission and the Partnership for New York City defined it sub-blue-collar jobs: "maintenance and custodial".
- "China strives to cultivate grey collar workers". People's Daily. 2004-12-21. Retrieved 2008-11-07.
- Sostek, Anya (2006-08-11). "It's not just blue or white collar anymore as consultants labels for new jobs to the pallette". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 2010-10-11.
The least defined term of all seems to be grey collar, which can refer to those working well into their 60s, because they can't afford to retire, or to an underemployed white collar worker, such as someone with a bachelor's degree in English literature working as a customer service representative.
- "Business Groups Attack New York City's 'Lavish' Health Benefits". Workforce Management. 2009-12-18.
- The dictionary definition of grey-collar at Wiktionary