If you have blue collar skills and a strong work ethic, you can earn good money with your own business or side hustle. Online businesses and side hustles tend to get the most attention from bloggers and YouTube channels, but there are plenty of blue collar side hustles if you’d rather work with your hands than sit at a desk.
This article covers the best blue collar business ideas to turn you can pursue to make money part-time or full-time.
Best Blue Collar Business Ideas and Side Hustles
1. Trash Cleanup
This blue-collar business idea involves cleaning trash or litter from parking lots. Property managers need trash cleanup services for parking lots of retail stores, strip malls, office buildings, apartments, and other buildings. Brian Winch has been running his own trash cleanup business for more than 40 years, and he’s created Cleanlots, a manual that teaches how to easily replicate his system.
Brian refers to it as “America’s Simplest Business, “ and it’s hard to disagree. There isn’t much competition, you get to work outdoors, and there are plenty of customers that need litter pickup and trash removal services. Additionally, the income potential is excellent.
If you want to start a business that has potential to grow, this is an excellent choice.
2. Landscaping and Lawn Care
If you enjoy working outdoors during the summer months, you can make good money with a landscaping business. You don’t need a lot of equipment to get started with small or basic jobs, the hours are flexible, and you can set your own rates.
Good service and reliability are the keys to success. To start, canvas your neighborhood to find your first clients with flyers and back this up with social media accounts for the same areas. You can also post to Craiglist and take advantage of bulletin boards at local businesses and organizations. There are plenty of people who need these services, so finding your first few clients is relatively easy.
You’ll just need a lawnmower and some basic yard tools to start a lawn care and landscaping business. As you begin making money, you can purchase more tools and equipment to take on bigger projects or offer a wider variety of services. Overall, this is one of the best outdoor side hustles.
3. Snow Removal
If you don’t mind working hard outdoors in cold weather, you can make good money shoveling, blowing, or plowing snow. Clearing snow from sidewalks, driveways, and parking lots can be an ideal way to earn extra income in the winter, especially if you live in an area that gets a lot of snow.
To maximize the earning potential, it’s a good idea to get up early to clear driveways for people who need to drive to work. Access to a snow blower or snow plow is advisable for this profitable blue collar business.
4. Pool Cleaning and Maintenance
Pool cleaning and maintenance is one of those classic summer jobs for teens. But, even in the current economy, it’s hard to find reliable people that do a thorough job. So, if you enjoy working outdoors in good weather, this could be a good fit for you.
There are a few services you can offer, including pool deck and patio cleaning, checking pH levels, vacuuming pools, changing and cleaning pool filters, pool openings and closing, and more. It’s relatively easy to learn how to do these tasks (there are plenty of YouTube videos), and you don’t need a lot of expensive equipment and supplies to get started.
You could also work for an established company or start your own pool cleaning business. You may prefer to get some experience as an employee before branching out on your own.
5. Pressure Washing
Many people need pressure washing services to clean their driveways, walkways, patios, decks, and more. But, they may not want to purchase their own equipment, and they prefer to outsource the work to someone else.
So, if you’re happy to purchase a pressure washer (or already own one), you can create a successful business or side gig. The work isn’t very hard, although it can be wet and dirty.
Finding your first few clients can be as easy as checking with homeowners in your neighborhood.
6. House Cleaning
Everyone enjoys a clean home, but many people lack the time to do a thorough cleaning. And others may have physical limitations. These people need a reliable house cleaner to perform weekly or periodic cleaning to stay on top of things. If you have spare time and don’t mind cleaning, this could be a profitable business to pursue and an excellent way to earn money.
Rates for house cleaners vary, but according to Care.com, average rates in most U.S. cities range from $15.50 – $20.25 per hour.
Typical cleaning tasks include vacuuming, sweeping, bathroom cleaning, dishwashing, dusting, and more. You can market your business through a local cleaning company, flyers, local social media, and Craigslist.
7. Carpet Cleaning
A carpet cleaning business offers a specialized cleaning activity that requires specific equipment. The main drawback to starting in this field is the initial purchasing cost of the cleaning tools and equipment. But, if you can overcome this hurdle, you can earn an excellent hourly rate for cleaning carpets, rugs, drapes, and other soft furnishings.
Many people get their carpets cleaned once per year or maybe every couple of years. If you develop a great reputation, you’ll profit from repeat business. You could find a job with a local cleaning company offering training. Or you could start your own cleaning business.
8. Window Cleaning
Window cleaning is a lucrative blue collar business because windows get dirty fast. Most people clean the insides, but the outside may be overlooked or ignored because they’re harder to clean. Some people will pay a professional to clean their windows for them. Surprisingly, you don’t need much gear to get started. A simple set of ladders, a telescoping pole, a bucket, some cleaning cloths, and a squeegee kit will help establish your new venture.
You can also upsell your services to clean the inside and outside of larger storefront windows. Pass out leaflets and use social media posts to find clients in your local area. Or you can knock on doors and introduce yourself.
9. Gutter Cleaning
Gutters become clogged with dead leaves and debris that can cause drainage problems if ignored. Over time, there could even be damage to the house. Gutter cleaning can be a slightly messy task, and you need to be okay with heights. However, you can earn a nice hourly wage for your efforts.
All you need to get started is a ladder, a blower, and thick gloves. Having a partner or someone who works for you is ideal. Houses with tiered roofs may require you to place a ladder on the roof to reach the highest tier, and it’s safer with someone holding the ladder steady.
10. Truck Rentals
Truck rentals is another profitable business idea you should look into. If you have a truck or van that you’re not using regularly, you can rent it out to local people. People often need a truck or van to move an appliance, furniture, or large item.
Fetch is the leading peer-to-peer truck rental platform, providing an excellent way to make extra money. As a Fetch partner, you can earn 65-80% of every vehicle rental, depending on the protection and insurance package you choose.
If you have a vehicle rental service with commercial insurance, you can use Fetch to fill gaps in your rental schedule. The prices for a rental are based on the maximum utilization with dynamic pricing for days, high-mileage packages, and long-term discounts. The rental earnings can be boosted if you offer moving supplies for rental clients and pre-paid cleaning services.
Listing your truck or van on Fetch is an excellent way to turn something ordinary into an income-generating asset.
Rent out your truck and make money passively with Fetch. Fetch's platform automates most of the process for you. They'll promote your rental to people in your local area, handle all customer inquiries, renter verification, and payment. The Fetch smart device even allows renters to unlock your truck with their phone so you don't have to meet them in person.
- Great side hustle for busy people
- Turn your truck into an income-generating asset
- Excellent income potential
- Rent out a single truck or build your own fleet
- Fetch guarantees that you'll make at least $1,500 in the first 90 days
11. RV and Camper Rentals
RVshare is a peer-to-peer rental platform for RVs and campers. RV’s have high rental value because the purchase price is beyond the reach of most people. Plus, many people don’t have a place to store it year-round, so they rent an RV or camper when needed.
You can earn an excellent income by renting out your RV or camper when you’re not planning to use it. Some RVshare users make thousands of dollars renting out their RV for a few months each year. According to RVshare, you can earn up to $22,000 per year. This can significantly offset the purchasing cost of an RV and provide an excellent second income. And best of all, RVshare does the marketing for you.
Do you own an RV? If so, you can make a great passive income by renting it out when you're not using it. RVshare is a platform that connects RV owners with renters.
- Use the RV when you want, rent it out when you don't need it
- Turn your RV into an income-generating asset
- Passive income opportunity
- You control all the details like pricing
- Largest RV marketplace
12. Flea Market Flipping
If you have an eye for interesting items and good deals, you can turn that talent into a lucrative side hustle or a full-time business.
Flea market flipping doesn’t require tools or experience, but you’ll need transportation and a strong back (or help) to move larger items. A truck is ideal but not necessary.
At its core, this is a simple concept: find profitable items at a lower price point and flip them to make a profit. You can find underpriced items at yard sales, flea markets, estates, sales, and auctions.
If you’re interested, the best way to learn more is through the courses from Flea Market Flipper. The instructors have years of experience and a six-figure income from flipping.
13. Flipping Furniture
This works similarly to flea market flipping, but it involves work fixing up or improving the furniture. Instead of flipping a high volume of items, you’ll flip fewer things, but each can earn several hundred dollars or more.
You’ll need some basic tools and a location to store and restore used furniture (a garage or shed is ideal). You’ll also need a vehicle to transport the pieces, so a truck or SUV is ideal.
Upscaled furniture is incredibly popular, and many people have started full-time businesses in this field. The process typically involves finding a low-cost or free piece of solid wood furniture. You’ll stain or paint it to give it a completely new look. You may even replace hardware or re-upholster it to make a dramatic improvement.
Once your work is done, you can list it for sale on the Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist. If you have a truck and you’re willing to make deliveries, you can charge an additional fee.
14. Pallet Flipping
Here’s an opportunity that’s potentially lucrative and easy to overlook.
With a little effort, you can build a relationship with your own network of pallet suppliers and buyers. There’s no need to store any inventory. Instead, you simply ensure the pallets get from point A to point B. Of course, this will require a vehicle if you want to handle the deliveries yourself, or you could outsource that work to a reliable third party.
Some businesses need to get rid of pallets, and others need more. By acting as a middleman, you can start and run a legit business.
If you have access to a truck, you’re physically fit, and you have some reliable friends to call on for help, you can start your own moving business. It’s one of our favorite ways to make money with a truck.
People are always on the move, and many people aren’t able to handle all of the work on their own. This can be hard work, but it can be a lucrative business. This hustle can be scaled easily to a small business with employees that generate a full-time income. But, you’ll need a business license and insurance to cover potential damage.
Painting is another service many homeowners need. This can involve painting interior walls and ceilings, as well as painting exteriors.
Exterior wood and metal surfaces need regular painting to avoid the effects of rot, rust, and decay. People are prepared to pay for this type of property maintenance to protect their fences, walls, siding, and stucco. To find customers for your painting business, you can go door to door, distribute flyers, post to Craigslist, or use local bulletin boards.
Before you offer a painting quote, consider the cost of brushes, rollers, paint, and other materials needed for the job.
17. Handyman Jobs
All homes require regular maintenance. If you’re handy with tools and can fix things, your skills will be in demand. Some typical tasks may include: unclogging a toilet, fixing a hole in drywall, repairing flooring, and more.
You’ll need a set of basic tools, but larger equipment can be rented as needed. You can also study online tutorials to develop your skill set to tackle more challenging jobs.
Rates vary depending on the location and the specific services provided, but it’s not unusual for a handyman to charge $40 per hour or more. If you do a good job for your clients, they’ll likely call you again when they need something else.
18. Small Engine Repair
There’s plenty of demand for work on lawnmowers, snowblowers, leaf blowers, and other small engines. So, if you’re mechanically minded and have somewhere to work, you can start a small engine repair business.
The options are fairly limited for someone who needs small engine repair, so you should be able to find plenty of clients. A simple post on Craigslist will help to make your services visible to local people who need you.
Over time, the word will spread, and you will have plenty of eager customers.
19. Scrap Metal Collection
Metal products have a finite lifespan, and when they’re discarded, they can usually be recycled for further use. Recycled metal is in high demand to lower the costs of construction and manufacturing, and this presents a financial opportunity.
Scrap metal has always been a lucrative field, and if you have access to a suitable vehicle, it’s possible to make money. Basically, you’ll collect unwanted or scrap metal from people and businesses who need to get rid of it, and you’ll earn money for it. See Turning Junk Into Gold for more details.
20. Junk Removal
A junk removal service can pair well with scrap metal collection, and there’s money in salvaging. Many people have items that won’t or cannot sell, and they don’t have a vehicle to dispose of them responsibly.
You can earn money collecting these junk items and taking them to the dump. As an added bonus, you can find some great items to repair, upscale, and sell for a profit.
It’s relatively easy to start a junk removal business. You’ll just need a truck, cargo van, or trailer to transport the items.
21. Dog Walking
If you’re a pet lover, you can earn money by offering a dog walking and pet sitting service, which can be a lucrative business. Although dog walking can be done at any time, it’s one of our favorite early morning jobs.
Working with a platform such as Rover takes a lot of guesswork out of this process. You can set up a profile, set your prices, and connect with new clients.
Dog walking is also an excellent way to get exercise and enjoy the outdoors while working. If you offer pet sitting services, you can offer walks as an optional upgrade to increase your income.
22. Pet Waste Removal
If you like animals and don’t mind working a dirty job, you can earn money by removing pet waste. This is an in-demand service in residential areas, and the start-up costs are extremely low.
All you need to get started is transportation and basic cleaning supplies. The removal of pet waste doesn’t have the same legal requirements as other waste removal services. Check with others offering pest waste management business to ensure your pricing is competitive.
23. Car Washing and Detailing
Many car owners want a clean car to drive, but handwashing, detailing, and waxing a car is a chore they would prefer to outsource. Thankfully, this is a relatively easy business to start.
You can wash and detail the car while the person is at work or at home. Mobile detailing services that involve going to the client are especially in demand.
Many people prefer hand washing over automated car washes because it won’t scratch the paintwork. If you do a good job and are reliable, the word will spread, and you’ll get repeat business.
You can set your own hours, but you’ll be busier during the summer months. It’s important to consider this when you set up your work schedule.
When you price your services, don’t forget to include the costs of the cleaning supplies to ensure that you’re making a healthy profit.
A woodworking business can be extremely fulfilling because you can exercise your creativity and create something that people use every day.
Developing a carpentry business is a bit trickier than some of the other options covered here. You need the right equipment, a practical workshop, and good skills.
Following safety precautions is a must to guard against injuries, and you’ll need adequate levels of insurance, too. But you can start your woodworking business with a home-based shop, if you have one, to cut these start-up costs.
Before you take the plunge, learn as much as you can about the industry and check competitors’ prices to ensure that you’re not pricing yourself out of the market or underpricing.
25. Chimney Cleaning
As a chimney sweep, you would be responsible for the maintenance and cleaning of chimneys. Owning a fireplace is a great way to stay warm, but regular cleaning is essential for safety reasons.
This is a great blue-collar business idea. Chimney sweeps are often self-taught and can set their own prices and working hours. Many people get started after they’ve learned to clean their own chimneys.
But, some chimney sweeps are certified in the U.S., and these certificates are obtained from the Chimney Safety Institute of America, and the National Chimney Sweep Guild.
The Advantages of Starting a Blue Collar Side Hustle
Most of the blue-collar side hustles on my list have relatively low start-up costs, and they’re easy to start. A side hustle with good earning potential can be turned into a full-time income or business if you gain a reputation for good service and reliability.
Some people prefer working with their hands over working online. If that’s you, there are plenty of options to consider.
With a side hustle, you have extra cash to cover day-to-day expenses, and it can be developed into something more substantial later.
FAQ About Blue Collar Businesses
A blue collar business is usually a service-based activity focusing on manual work and local services. Many people are happy to pay someone to deal with a problem. The demand for local services is growing, but there is often a lack of reliable providers, which presents an opportunity for you.
Some people think of blue-collar jobs as low-paying, but that’s not accurate. There are many electricians, plumbers, farmers, and construction workers who earn excellent salaries. With a good work ethic, it is possible to build a solid business based on high-paying manual labor jobs.
Yes, many blue collar workers are paid well. People generally tend to avoid getting their hands dirty, and they would prefer to hire someone with relevant skills to work for them. So, if you’re prepared to work, you can set your own rates and build a side hustle into a full-time business.
Final Thoughts on Blue Collar Side Hustles
I hope these profitable blue collar business ideas will help you to get started with a profitable side hustle that you can turn into a solid business.
Most of these earning opportunities can be started with a small financial outlay, and you can learn as you earn. Some side hustles, such as window cleaning and gutter cleaning, can be combined to maximize your earnings and make the most of your acquired tools and materials.