What are some career paths in the trades industry for women? Trades have historically been male-dominated. But that is changing as more and more women enter industries commonly perceived as “man’s work.” One of the primary draws for women is that many construction careers offer some of the best working conditions in terms of money and hours.
However, this shift will take some more time. Even today, women are highly underrepresented in certain areas only because people haven’t deemed them “appropriate” for women to do. Some fields have barely any women, that just shows how far we have to go.
As the number of women who enter these careers grows progressively starting to entry level to senior positions. Watching this, other women will see that they can also succeed. Men will recognize that they can work alongside a competent woman as their peer in this industry.
Trades Career – Is It Really Suitable For Women?
Yes! Women have had a strong work ethic for years. But they continue to be underpaid in many cases and pregnant workers are forced to stay home from work. Because their employers do not provide necessary benefits. Such as paid maternity leave after giving birth.
In 2013, the Department of Labor has shown that female workers earn an average of $0.80. This is for every $1.00 a man earns in comparison. For female gender discrimination to be overcome to the point where it no longer is an issue that affects women on a frequent and/or regular basis, many things would have to happen. Foremost among these things would be education. Providing insight into where they stand in society at the present moment. And how women stack up against men when it comes to their overall financial status.
To this day, the gender gap is still prevalent throughout the workplace.
For example, women only hold around 14 percent of executive-level positions. Luckily in recent years, women have slowly but surely been making meaningful gains in higher education. They get prominent occupations as we encourage more and more students to strive for greater equality between genders.
As this concerns receiving an education in a university environment. Or on the job through promotions. Especially considering how female graduates overtake male graduates. This has been going on for years now. With men making up 45% less of all college graduates than women. Statistics show around 57% of all college graduates are female and only 42 % being male!
Top 13 Trades Career For Women
After extensive research, we’ve handpicked some trade jobs for women. Let’s check them out!
1. Architect/Civil Drafter
For a woman looking to be her own boss in terms of her career, there are certainly more than a few versatile fields to explore. Since many jobs require some technical knowledge and mathematical calculations, degree is necessary. But even without an engineering degree, you may still find ample opportunities as drafters for certain professions. Such as those listed below. In which she could expect to earn around $56,700 annually.
2. Electrical Technician
The electrical industry is a great place for women, who are always in high demand from employers. The field is constantly changing and growing with new technology–meaning your skillset will never get stale! If you’re interested in becoming an apprentice, learning more about the Electrical Technician career should put you on track to gain the skills you’ll need for a successful career path as an electrical engineer.
It’s worth mentioning that it takes some time to become an electrical engineer. But if you start soon enough and work hard at it, you could be well on track to learn the essential skills you need to succeed.
3. Electrical Engineer
Want a high-paying job? Consider working with electronics, as engineers in this career have an average annual salary of $101,600. If you work in a technology company, you’ll be involved with everything; from designing and testing technical products to performing repairs and troubleshooting problems. Some women feel they can’t succeed in an engineering field. But they’re actually well represented. Most electrical and computer engineers are female at 70 percent.
4. Construction Technology
Building a building for your customers can be really fun and rewarding. When you decide to work as a construction technologist, you’re opening yourself up to a trade that allows you (and those lucky enough to work directly under you) to benefit from technological practices and innovative materials that may not have existed ten or even twenty years ago!
As with all new technologies entering the construction industry, the people who are on board early reap the rewards. So if this is something you’d like to pursue further, we suggest getting started right away. Do this by contacting schools offering certification courses. Choose something related specifically when it comes down to building a professional career as a woman in this field.
5. Construction Management
Indeed, women have not long been accepted in the realm of building technology. But we’re here to change all of that! For women looking to be a part of this exciting and ever-changing world, taking Construction Management courses is an amazing place for them to start.
While attending in-person courses or online programs for Construction Management, women will head into the workforce as an entry-level builders. They will train in how to manage buildings from maintenance and project management perspectives. Don’t let gender stereotypes dictate your future!
6. Mechanical Engineer
Do you have a passion for an engineering career that focuses on energy production equipment? If yes, then consider mechanical engineering today! As a mechanical engineer, you receive an average of $92,800 a year for their contributions to the design and development of machines. Such as generators or turbines. It is one of the emerging trades on our list because it’s one of the best ways to help fight climate change. And also to fuel our own energy needs!
7. Industrial/Product Designer
Are you good at drawing, being productive, and working independently as a woman? If so, you could consider becoming an industrial designer. Industrial designers create the concepts behind many of the things we use every day. You’ll work with many products – from toys to furniture to cars. And best of all, your average annual salary is $71,430. Which can go a long way in supporting yourself or even paying for your own education!
8. Oil and Gas Worker
In the oil and gas industry, historically, female occupations have been limited to mostly lower-paying positions. Today, however, that’s not the case. With higher-paying jobs on offer, more females are considering and enrolling in free training. They can complete these while at homes. Such as becoming a part of a Roustabout team. Or even an Engineer team since these roles now exist because of the addition of new technologies.
With these opportunities available now (and plenty more to come) women have seized upon them. They do this by enrolling in training courses that are dedicated only to people who want to build careers in this sector. An oil and gas worker can earn an average annual salary ranging from $40,220 to $156,370.
9. Solar Energy Technician
Solar energy workers are becoming increasingly more important as a clean alternative to nonrenewable energy resources. Average annual salaries in this field are between $35,000-$43,000. Although the field has historically been an all-male field, there have been a number of changes happening recently that are making it more welcoming for women.
However, demand for fossil fuels seems to slip. And with it the popularity of coal, oil, and nuclear power as an economical source of energy; not only for moral reasons but because these sources are becoming increasingly expensive as well. This means there will probably be a growing need for renewable sources of this type. Especially those like solar panels that do not generate harmful byproducts as traditional power sources do.
10. Graphic Designer
There are a wide variety of reasons graphic designers are important in the business world today. Graphic designers make logos and many types of promotional signs for companies. Advertising agencies and retail establishments that specialize in selling goods and services. Graphic designers also have broad opportunities to work with different clients. Private companies as well as government agencies and non-profit organizations. Depending on where they work, salaries can vary from $35k to more than $90k.
11. Wind Energy Technician
When it comes to wind technology, you have to learn the basics of working with the equipment that captures the wind. If you’re prepared to start a career in this field, be ready for a good starting salary of around $58,000 per year because you’ll be helping the environment by utilizing renewable energies.
12. Computer Programmer
The benefits of learning how to develop computer applications for women are more than tangible. First and foremost, careers in this field carry with them high salaries. Helping women be more financially independent in the long run. The average annual salary for a woman working as an IT professional is $89,580.
13. Elevator Installers and Repairers
Elevator installers make sure everything is in working order, including pulleys, guides, and machinery that help with the operation of the elevators. They also conduct routine maintenance checks on the equipment such as cables, wires, governor systems, and boilers throughout stations.
It’s practically mandatory that they complete core courses besides specialized electrician training since they’re working on electric devices. Elevator Installers should not be limited by where they like to work or even live because some may have to travel far for their job site which could very well take them all over the country or through different parts of the world if needed. The average salary of an elevator installer is $76, 650.
Top Trade Schools
With so many trade schools to choose from, it’s difficult to determine which is the right one for you. We know how challenging it can be to find a school that not only offers program options but also shares a similar approach to educating students. Some schools attract more women than others (but not all students are looking for a female-majority learning environment), while some campuses have a more diverse student body.
They build these schools to offer an intimate and nurturing atmosphere with an exceptional student experience and paramount learning opportunities for women who want to become tradeswomen.
1. Bates Technical College
Bates Technical College is a top school in the Pacific Northwest that offers students a large variety of apprentice and non-apprentice programs. The college has dual credit programs, which means it’s possible to get both high school and technical credits by taking courses at the same time. This can help cut down on the total semesters to earn your degree significantly. You may be able to graduate after just two years if you plan things properly!
Finally, Bates Technical College is certainly one of the few colleges to draw 43% of attendees who are female due largely in part to its great options for female students who might consider pursuing a career in these fields on their own terms with or without the help from family members as mentors or reference points in life as women who were once in their shoes will be there to share their own experiences with them as resources apart from anything else.
2. State Technical College of Missouri
You don’t have to be a resident of Missouri to be eligible for admission. Many students attend college from other states, but most come from Missouri itself. It’s important to note, however, that if you are an out-of-state student, the tuition costs can be significantly more expensive than attending state school within your home state. It may even be more cost-effective to go with a private university instead of a public school located elsewhere.
On the roster, you’ll find quite a few people who take their education seriously. And not just any women either — women who aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty and give it all they have!
3. Lake Area Technical College
It’s easy to judge a book by its cover. And in the case of Lake Area Technical College, our school is responsible for grooming students who successfully land a job or go on to further their education within 6 months of graduation. When people don’t feel ready to attend college, they often think that community college is a good way to ease in while they get their bearings, which can delay the journey if they aren’t serious about pursuing it.
Especially when you think of women looking for a variety of choices within the education they can receive at LA Tech. Lake Area Technical College doesn’t allow you to slack off and coast with half-measures; instead being accepted here or any other higher education institution means that you have to work hard for it…whether you’re ready for it or not!
One reason prospective students might not take advantage of LA Tech is that they perceive the campus as traditional and plain. But LA Tech has nearly 200 acres just outside Pierre in South Dakota. So there’s more than enough diversity on campus to counter any notions customers may have about LA Tech being overly institutionalized or outdated.
4. North Central Kansas Technical College
North Central Kansas Technical College has a wide variety of programs to choose from, for women interested in pursuing an education in any of the fields of automotive, HVAC, and welding specialties. Women can also choose from culinary arts, construction, and welding programs to pursue their future careers. 45 percent of the student body comprises women and the success rate for job placements is high.
5. Northwest Louisiana Technical College
The women in your life will probably want a career, and so you might consider some options. When you look at the schools in your area right now, what do you find? One good option is Northwest Louisiana Technical College. Here, the student population is predominantly female, totaled at 38 percent. This is one of the larger turnouts we’ve seen. Additionally, it’s an inviting campus without being too large where they can benefit from more personalized attention.
Why Women Should Have A Career In The Trades Industry
There are many skilled tradespeople and craft workers in the United States who could use some help in getting their jobs done. We estimate the trade labor shortage at over 4 million jobs, according to a 2017 report by North American Builders. This makes it difficult for business owners to get all of their work complete. Where there is less work being done, there are also fewer sales generated and fewer revenue streams gained.
Luckily, there seems to be an influx of new workers entering the workforce willing to take on these jobs for themselves – and one of those workers is women. Not only could this benefits companies from a manpower standpoint, but women entering the construction/trades industry will also benefit from trade-related careers which are both challenging and lucrative.
• The Trade Industry pays high wages
Money may not always be everything when it comes to career choices, but it plays an important factor in helping put food on the table and feed a family for that purpose alone. As for skilled trade professions such as HVAC or plumbing, many of those tasks can command exorbitant salaries! While they still pay women less than men on average nationwide, the gender gap is more narrow in fields related to carpentry.
A 2009 Department of Labor study found that women are 34% less likely than men to hold occupations that pay top wage, and those with the lowest paying jobs earn less than 75% of what their male counterparts earn in an average year. The study also concludes that since women spend more time out of the workforce due to factors such as childbirth and childcare issues, these statistics may be outdated in terms of reflecting a current labor scenario for skilled tradespeople. However, some good things come out of being a woman: unlike most workers in other high-risk or low-growth industries, skilled tradeswomen can look forward to career advancement and serious financial compensation throughout their life!
• You don’t necessarily need a lot of schooling
Swapping a college degree for a trade that focuses on the practical learning of useful skills can cause the development of the practical knowledge you need to get ahead in your career, without having to worry about how to pay off a massive debt. If you don’t know what trade you would like to study for, we suggest plumbing as it is pretty handy and pays decently as well!
It’s also important to look into trades that offer high salaries. Trades often require less schooling and time than a four-year college degree, but they pay similar or sometimes higher amounts of money in the end. Besides providing you with a salary, they can often fashion apprenticeship programs around your needs so that you can finish school more efficiently. This can help you shorten the time it takes for you to start making money.
• There’s concrete job security
With the way things are going now, it shouldn’t be a surprise that trades in many fields, such as construction labor and machinist positions, will increase by seven percent by 2030. Because we expect job opportunities to be steady for some time. And workers must remain on their toes with new technology taking those jobs over. They need a high level of education and skills training. In addition to technological advances, the need for skilled workers presents a brighter outlook on employment prospects because people who will do the work can rest easy knowing there will always be someone looking for their services—promise!
Pursuing trades is more than just your career. You’re also breaking the mold for other women who want to go into similar lines of work and pursue their passions. Growing up, we may have been discouraged from getting our hands dirty and doing “manly” things because they were reserved only for men.
As we mentioned before, if you feel like one of the trades on this list is right for you, but aren’t exactly sure how to break through any gender stereotypes you may face, here are some tips to ensure your success: never underestimate yourself; ask questions if you’re confused; work hard; don’t let anyone else put limits on what you can or cannot do and remember that everyone starts somewhere… so prepare to get your hands dirty!