Why Women Should Consider Skilled Trades

Thanks to Avery Taylor Phillips for this fabulous post! Enjoy!  –  Kimberly

There are many reasons that the realm of skilled trade jobs has become particularly alluring to the female demographic. Aside from the need to fill an increasing gap of viable trade workers, it is a mutually beneficial work environment for women. Here are the biggest reasons to consider a skilled trade position if you are a female going to college:

Benefits of Skilled Trades

Skilled trade jobs offer high job security. The majority of blue collar workers have grown into older adults reaching closer to their retirement age. This means that as they age out and leave their positions, more and more job opportunities are going to continue to come available.

Because many of the skilled jobs that we rely on cannot easily be outsourced, it means they are here to stay and grow.

Making sure that young workers are prepared to replace retiring baby boomers is a crucial component to filling the shortage gap of skilled trade employees. Since women have not historically made up a large portion of skilled trades, integrating them into these jobs is essential to the future of trade industries. These types of positions also provide an opportunity for women to grow in a company.

Skilled trade careers allow women to begin working faster and do so with less debt than positions that require a university degree. The medium annual wage for welders, HVAC technicians, and electricians is significantly higher than traditional female-dominated employment opportunities like childcare, nursing, and administrative assistance.

Educational Opportunities

Because workers trained for these positions are in high demand, there is open and easy access to training for women. Community colleges offer many different types of educational programs like associate degrees, vocational certificates, and transferable credits to obtain a bachelor’s degree. When choosing a college, it’s still possible to opt for a technical curricular foundation. Community colleges offer associate degrees in programs like science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, as well as vocational opportunities for popular skilled trade jobs.

Far gone are the days where community colleges got a bad reputation in the collegiate world. Now, more than ever, they are a great option for students. Community college is an affordable option, but it still comes with a debt. Knowing your loan options can help you assess the appropriate educational opportunities to pursue.

If you are more of a hands-on learner, a degree in a skilled trade is definitely for you. Engaging in the material in this way allows students to gain real-life skills in a controlled school environment. This type of college experience can actually mean more to an employer than a specific degree on a resume. Since most employers are looking for experience, attending a community college and working toward a skilled trade offers you the opportunity to work towards a degree while getting the hands-on experience employers look for.

Success Stories

Patrice Bank has made her living creating and running Girls Auto Clinic in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Armed with her automotive mechanics degree, she decided to change the way mechanics are presenting themselves to the marketplace. Banks says that women make up 65 percent of auto repair customers, and to her it is important to have a shop that benefits them with a comfortable environment. Banks is also determined to change the way that women see skilled trade jobs. Even though the Girls Auto Clinic offers spa-like amenities (think pedicure while you wait), it aims to be a support system for women who would like to get their car fixed without being overwhelmed by the unknown of mechanics.

Veronica Rose joined an electrical program in 1978 when the government was paying unions to take in women and minorities. Many years later, she is not only still an electrician, but owner and CEO of her own electrical company called Aurora Electric. She became one of just three women in New York to gain a masters electrician license. Rose now works with other women in the New York area who are working towards a career in electrical work, taking on a new apprentice every year. 

The gap between skilled trade jobs available and the availability of skilled workers is growing larger every day. This has left the field open and ready to accept women into the specialized workforce. Since skilled trade positions have yet to see a substantial female presence, it’s imperative that women get involved! Check with your local colleges and vocational programs to see what is available to you.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Avery Taylor Phillips – Avery is a freelance human being with too much to say. She loves nature and examining human interactions with the world. Comment or tweet her @a_taylorian with any questions or suggestions.  Check out her blog on https://www.equities.com/user/AveryTaylorPhillips

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