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21 Highest Paid Union Workers In 2023

Ever heard of union workers and labor unions? Yes, do you know those endless dialogues between some groups and the management/government? That’s the job of a labor union. Therefore, this article will focus on the highest-paid workers in 2023 and information on labor unions.

What Is a Labor Union?

A trade union is otherwise known as a labor union in American English and is often simply referred to as a union.

It is an organization of workers who have come together to achieve common goals, such as protecting the integrity of their trade, improving safety standards, and attaining better wages, benefits (such as health care, vacation, and retirement), and working conditions.

This is through the increased bargaining power commanded by solidarity among workers that have identified with the union.

Commonly, trade unions fund the formal organization, head office, and legal team functions of the trade union through regular fees or union dues contributed by the members of the Union.

The workplace volunteers make up the delegated staff of the trade union representation, and members appoint them in democratic elections.

A trade union’s elect-leadership sets up a bargaining committee to bargain with the employer on behalf of union members (rank and file members) and take on a labor contract negotiation (collective bargaining) with employers.

What are the sections of workers that a union might be organized into?

The basic purpose of a trade union and any such association or union is to ” maintain or improve the conditions of the employment of its workers.”

Unions may organize the following section of workers:

  • Craft unionism: particular section of skilled workers
  • general unionism: this comprises a number of workers from different trades.
  • Industrial unionism: all workers within a particular industry

The agreements reached by a union are obligatory on the following:

  • rank and file members,
  • the employer and
  • other non-members workers, in some cases.

Who Constitutes Trade Unions and Workers?

From inception, trade unions are known for a constitution that bears the details of the governance of their bargaining unit and also has governance at various levels of government depending on the industry in which they are legally binding to their negotiations and functioning.

Trade unions originated from Great Britain but became popular in many countries during the Industrial Revolution.

Trade unions may consist of the following:

  • Individual workers,
  • professionals, 
  • past workers, students, 
  • apprentices or
  • unemployed individuals.

The density of trade unions is dependent on the percentage of workers belonging to a trade union. Trade unions are denser in the Nordic countries.

What Is Union Job?

A union job is a job where an individual is a part of a labor union with other workers who are members of the Union as well.

Via labor unions, workers are united, making room for the voices of individual workers to be heard and made a goal of the union, probably.

Unionized workers commonly elect representatives to bring concerns of their members to the union’s attention.

Benefits of Labour Union

These are the benefits derived from being a member of a labor union, inclusive is that you become one of the highest-paid union workers.

The benefits include:

1. Collective Bargaining

Collective bargaining is among the reasons why you should become a union member and is the heart and soul of the labor union.

This occurs when a group of individuals, such as the workforce at a company, comes together to increase its negotiating power.

For instance, a single worker might see the need to implement a certain new safety measure in his factory, but he might have limited power to have the company oblige to his request to install the new measure.

If the need for the new measure is related to the entire workforce, they can come together to pressure the company to install it, and with that, the probability of the company complying with the request is high.

Labor unions band workers together, making room for the voices of individual workers to be heard and possibly made into a goal of the union.

2. Higher Wages

Among the top benefits of being a union, worker is that you are placed at a better salary (higher wages) above what’s obtainable for non-union counterparts.

The earnings of union workers are about 20 percent more in terms of wages (excluding benefits) compared to other individuals in similar jobs that aren’t supported by a union, and they are also more likely to enjoy consistent pay raises regularly.

This is obtainable due to collective bargaining between the trade union (on behalf of the employees) and the employer that results in an agreement between the two parties set out clear terms regarding pay and wages.

For non-union workers, there can be a fixed wage by the employer without any formal bargaining process or input from the employee.

3. Better Benefits

On average, workers who are members of a union are more likely to enjoy better benefits compared to non-union employees. These better benefits include health, retirement accounts, and paid sick leave.

The record from the U.S. Department of Labor has it that 77 percent of union workers get pensions (guaranteed continued payments) after their retirement from the job, compared to only 20 percent of non-union workers.

Again, union representatives work out these details as a part of the collective bargaining agreement with the employer.

4. Union Representatives

One of the reasons why you should be a union worker is that union representatives work on your behalf peradventure there is any personal issue that you have with your employer.

Non-union employees must reach out to the company’s human resources department in such cases for assistance. But, it’s important to keep in mind that the department is part of the company and might have little or nothing to do.

To resolve the issue, a union representative will initiate a meeting between you and the employer to discuss things.

Is A Union Job Worth It?

Yes, a union job is worth it. Union workers earn better wages and benefits than workers who aren’t union members.

They are given the power to negotiate for more favorable working conditions and other benefits through collective bargaining, through which workers’ negotiating power is increased.

Do Union Workers Make Good Money?

Yes, union workers make good money.

Union workers make good money because of the power of unionism.

Union workers get about 20 percent more in terms of wages (excluding benefits) than other individuals in similar jobs that aren’t supported by a union. They are also more likely to enjoy consistent pay raises regularly.

How Much Do Union Workers Make?

According to reports by BLS in 2019, on average, union workers earned approximately $1,095 weekly, while non-union workers earned closer to $892. Quite a huge gap, right?

Union workers are known for earning higher union wages than non-union workers.

How To Become A Union Worker

To get a union job is the same as becoming a union worker.

Many individuals are after getting union jobs for the security they provide, among many other benefits.

To become a union worker, you are to follow these steps:

  • Find a local labor union
  • Sign up for an apprenticeship program
  • Check job boards
  • Identity with a trade union in your industry.
  • Visit the Union Jobs website.

1. Find a local labor union

To find a local labor union in America, you can find one on the American Federation of Labor website and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO).

Your local labor union will provide guidance to employers and their websites with job postings. It’s advisable to reach out to union officials for assistance.

Such local labor websites also have the option to request that a union organizer contact you to help.

2. Sign up for an apprenticeship program

Why do you need to sign up for an apprenticeship program? As one who wants to become a union worker, having experience and training in some trades will make you rightly positioned to be hired by many employers

Your apprenticeship program can connect you with unions in the industry or employers who are unionized and looking to hire skilled professionals.

There are a number of apprenticeship programs you can find. To do that, visit for available apprenticeship opportunities near you.

3. Check job boards

While hunting for a union job, include union language in your search to enable you to find job opportunities at employers affiliated with a union.

Some of these employers can come up with job listings to capture information about their affiliated union to enable job seekers to have access to the details beforehand.

Aside from the aforementioned ways, you can also apply for jobs on an employer’s website. You can visit the website of some places you want to work in to find out whether they belong to a union.

If that is the case, they would most likely, have information well displayed, and you can apply to become an employee there.

4. Connect with a union in your industry

There are a number of unions that exist for certain industries, and you can find them by performing an alike search.

Take on an option exploration and reach out to the unions to find out whether they have any resources for you or insight into which of their affiliated companies are taking people.

Highest Paid Union Workers In 2023

The Wealth Circle (TWC) brings you the list of 25 highest-paid union workers.

1. Actor/Actress

National average salary: $17,192 per year

Actors and actresses are among the highest-paid union workers in 2023 and are professionals who convey other individuals’ emotions, behaviors, and mannerisms in creative settings.

They work in film, television, theater, and other productions.

Actors and actresses are known for having an understanding of human emotions with which they excite people, make them laugh, and elicit other strong emotions from their audience.

Again, they are known for having a union that makes for sought-after achievement.

2. High School Teacher

Average salary: $48,736 per year

Primary duties: High school teachers are otherwise known as secondary school teachers

They are responsible for preparing lessons, mapping out assignments, and grading students’ work.

Among the training that high school teachers receive is in differentiation techniques, instruction delivery, and behavior management.

In addition to high school responsibilities, teachers offer their students academic support and advancement opportunities.

3. Engineer

Median annual wage: $91,010

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage is.

According to BLS, too, there is a projection that the engineering field will have employment growth of about 140,000 new jobs over the next decade.

The bottom line about being an engineer is that it is well worth the time and effort it takes.

An Engineer uses math and science to solve different technical problems. The main duties of an engineer include the following:

  • Coming up with new products for companies or individuals to use,
  • Maintaining current products to enhance use and
  • Designing new machines for the improvement of an organization’s efficiencies.

4. Doctors

The national average salary of doctors in the United States: $175,632

The duties and responsibilities of a doctor are specific most times and vary by specialty.

Though this is the case, all doctors need to be able to perform the following duties:

  • Symptom assessment
  • Conditions diagnosis
  • Treatment prescription and administration.
  • Provide follow-up care to patients, refer them to other providers in times when such is required, and interpret their laboratory results.
  • Work together with physician assistants, nurse practitioners, registered nurses, and other health professionals.
  • Prescribe medication
  • Stay updated with medical technology and research.

5. Lawyers

The median annual wage for lawyers: $126,930.

Some of the duties of a lawyer include the following:

  • Interpretation of laws, rulings, and regulations for individuals and businesses.
  • Presentation and summarization of cases to judges and juries.
  • Represent clients in court or before government agencies.

Also read this: 15 Highest Paid Paralegal Specialists In The World

6. Marine Service Technician

National average salary: $41,920 per year

Primary duties: 

Marine service technicians are among the highest-paid union workers and are responsible for maintaining and repairing a wide variety of boats and other water vessels.

Also, they ensure the safety of marine passengers through equipment inspection, ensuring that navigational tools the functionality, and making any necessary repairs.

They do the following daily

  • Diagnostic test-run
  • Report writing
  • Submission of findings

7. Airline Manager

National average salary: $42,663 per year

Primary duties: An airline manager is a professional who works in the maintenance department of a commercial airline.

Their job responsibility is to oversee the operations and communications needed to ensure safe air travel.

Airline managers are known for the following:

  • Regular test equipment
  • Engagement in conversations with airline personnel
  • Proper documentation and
  • Overseeing maintenance repairs and installations.

Read this: 15 Highest Paid Aerospace Engineers| Best Countries

8. Firefighter

National average salary: $44,313 per year

Primary duties: Firefighters are individuals in a community who respond to fire-related emergencies.

They drive fire trucks and other emergency vehicles, but more expressly, they extinguish fires in homes, commercial buildings, cars, or nature.

The training they receive is such that it equips them to rescue people and animals from emergencies like a car accident.

9. Customer Service Representatives

National average salary: $46,289 per year

Primary duties: Customer service representatives are individuals hired by a company for the purpose of interacting with clients and companies and are among the highest-paid union workers.

On a regular note, they process orders, deliver billing statements, collect payments, respond to customer complaints and answer questions relating to products and delivery.

10. Plumbing Technician

National average salary: $47,820 per year

Primary duties: Plumbing technicians, more usually known as plumbers, are skilled laborers who install, maintain, and repair pipes and other materials used for carrying water or sewage.

This set of union workers regularly coordinates with contractors, electricians, and other professionals in the construction industry.

11. Police Officer

National average salary: $54,074 per year

Primary duties: A police officer is a law enforcement employee and is among the highest-paid union workers.

They work in teams to secure communities. They patrol areas, conduct investigations, respond to service calls, and enforce federal and state.

On a regular note, they do the following: observe, meditate, gather evidence, and report their findings.

12. Truck Driver Trainer

National average salary: $51,409 per year

Primary duties: The job responsibility of a truck driver trainer is to deliver instruction to people who want to become professional truck drivers.

They do the following:

  • study state guidelines,
  • administer practice tests,
  • conduct practice driving sessions and
  • complete forms.

13. Nuclear Power Reactor Operator

National average salary: $59,682 per year

Primary duties: The operators of a Nuclear-power reactor are people who manage the control systems for nuclear reactors.

Their daily responsibilities include

  • dispatch of orders,
  • performance of maintenance checks and
  • submission of reports.

14. Nurse

National average salary: $62,380 per year

Primary duties: Nurses are among the highest-paid union workers in 2023 and are healthcare professionals working in various settings to provide patient care.

The duties that a nurse performs regularly include;

  • vital checks,
  • Administration of medicine
  • performance of patient screenings.
  • Recording of diligent notes,
  • Report writing and
  • Relating treatment plans to patients and their advocates.

15. Nurse Practitioner

National average salary: $73,300 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor and statistics

Primary duties: Nurse practitioners are among the highest paid union workers and are health care professionals who work in various settings to provide healthcare for patients.

They assess and diagnose patients alongside doctors and other medical professionals.

You asked the difference between a nurse and a nurse practitioner, right?

Nurse practitioners differ from registered nurses with advanced training and responsibility, as the minimum educational requirement for a nurse practitioner is a master’s degree.

Read Who Are The Highest Paid Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners? |Top States In 2023

16. Construction Managers

National average salary: $80,303 per year

Primary duties: A construction manager is a skilled laborer who is in charge of overseeing the operations relating to construction sites.

They organize and plan project and site details, and are the head of crew members and other personnel.

The duties of construction managers include the following:

  • drafting plans,
  • ensuring site and crew member safety and managing client needs.
  • delegation of responsibilities and
  • ensuring that Projects are to completion on time and under budget.

17. Producer

National average salary: $74,420 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor and statistics

Primary duties: Producers are creative professionals who are famous for their creativity. They work in film, theater, or television.

The duties of producers include

  • overseeing film production and assist,
  • assisting directors and writers in the development of an acting project.
  • Scripts review, budgets analysis, talent procurement and notes taking.

18. Machine Parts Process Lead

National average salary: $77,988 per year

Primary duties: A machine parts process lead is among the highest-paid union workers and is a job involving the manufacturing process.

Machine parts process leads regularly perform quality control checks and communicate with assembly workers and machine operators.

19. Powerplant Operators

National average salary: $87,140 per year

Primary duties: Power plant operators are individuals who work with machines and equipment in power-generating plants.

These powerplant operators control systems and monitor boilers, generators, and turbines.

On a daily basis, the responsibilities of a powerplant operator include running safety checks, cleaning equipment, and submitting reports or logs.

20. Film or Television Director

National average salary: $96,050 per year

Primary duties: A television or film director is an individual who is in charge of overseeing all aspects of transforming a script or concept into a fully realized production for film, television, commercials, music videos, and beyond.

The film or television director coordinates all aspects of production by using creative vision, industry knowledge, and strong leadership skills.

The production aspects include the following:

  • finalizing scripting,
  • casting and locations,
  • directing the camera and acting on location,
  • overseeing sound and video editing in post-production.

Read: 15 Highest Paid TV Stars In 2023 | Updated

21. Electric Project Manager

National average salary: $83,890 per year

Primary duties: Electric project managers are among the highest-paid union workers and professionals who work on construction sites.

The duties of an electric project manager include

  • Preparation of reports,
  • Presentation of documents
  • Estimation and forecast of schedules, project costs, and overall performance.

FAQs on Highest Paid Union Workers In 2023

How much do union workers make?

According to the BLS 2019 reports, union workers earned roughly $1,095 weekly on average, while nonunion workers earned about $892.

What are the sections of workers that a union might be organized into?

Unions may organize the following section of workers:
Craft unionism: particular section of skilled workers
general unionism: this comprises a number of workers from different trades.
Industrial unionism: all workers within a particular industry

What are the duties of a trade union?

These duties of a trade union may include the following:

negotiation of wages, work rules, occupational health and safety standards for workers
increasing co-operation and well-being among workers
securing facilities for workers
establishing avenues for workers and employers to meet up.
Provision of Labor Welfare

What are the agreements negotiated by a union binding on?

The agreements negotiated by a union are binding on the following:

rank and file members,
the employer and
other non-members workers, in some cases.

What is Union Job?

A union job is where an individual is a part of a labor union with other workers who are members of the Union. Unions provide employees with support for their work conditions, benefits, wages, etc.


Trade union jobs are among the sought-after jobs in the world and present a lot of appealing benefits. So, you would do yourself good by getting rightly positioned to get a trade union job.