Women In The Trades

Women – It’s Your Turn for the Trades!

The number of women in the skilled trades has steadily climbed from 3% in 2010 to almost 10%. With women moving into hands-on positions as well as managerial positions or even owning businesses in the trades. Even so, the trades continue to be a male dominated field, so why should women consider this field? Here is a shortened list:

  1. The pay is good, higher than equivalent jobs in female dominated fields
  2. It doesn’t require years of schooling.
  3. Often the skills needed are taught on-the-job or through an apprenticeship, which means there are no educational costs.
  4. There is a need for women in the trades!
  5. Women bring soft skills with them for trade careers such as residential service.

So I’m convinced, but how do I get into the trades?

The first step is to familiarize yourself with the breadth of skilled trade careers available. You will quickly find that there are many different career paths in the trades from welders to construction workers to plumbers and electricians. Do your research to look at different career options.

Additionally, there are several paths into the skilled trades, and each community is going to have different options. A practical way to start your career is to speak to individuals in the trades. Here are some suggested options for meeting people and finding jobs.

Technical or Vocational College

Most states have a system of Technical or Vocational Colleges that certify students in specific trade skills. If you live in a metropolitan area there is not doubt a school near you, but even in more remote community’s school options exist. Speak to your local college about the options they offer.

Union Apprenticeship

Not all skilled trade jobs are unionized. For those that are, the local union is the best place to start in looking for a trade career.

On-the-job training with a local company

Every town has the local plumbing, HVAC and electrical company that provides residential service. Set up an information interview with the owner or the HR representative to find out what they are looking for in a technician.