Women CAN Excel in Traditionally Male-Dominated Roles
College is getting astronomically expensive and, after graduation, millennials are struggling under a mountain of school debt averaging $37,000 per person. In many cases, this puts college out of reach for some students. Experts are suggesting an alternative: trades.
Generally, trade schools are much less expensive than college. You can train or apprentice for as little as six months before becoming licensed and going out on your own. Once you do get certified, you have the option of going into business yourself or getting a job in your trade industry. Sometimes a potential employer will even pay for your training and licensing, sweetening the deal even further.
With this in mind, more women these days are diving into careers that have historically been male dominated. A trade career offers a high salary and skill sets which help in other areas of life. Many of the skills you learn can translate to other industries, making you a more valuable commodity.
The Future is Trade Careers
The high cost of education combined with fewer office jobs makes a career in trades very attractive. The plumbing industry is expected to grow by 16 percent, with over 75,800 new jobs added to the industry next year. There are a ton of opportunities just waiting for young people with the desire and skill.
Plumbing is one area that has yet to be replaced by technology, so it is a safe bet for a long-term future of growth and steady income. Although you are required to apprentice before operating on your own, and you need training and licensing, it’s a great job. The average salary for a plumber is $51,000 and higher.
Women in The Trades – What Are The Benefits?
Although women are showing up in many trade industries that they weren’t before, most homeowners would still be surprised to see a woman show up to do repairs. Mr. Rooter Plumbing claims that women plumbers put homeowners at ease. Customers find women easier to converse with and more honest about the work with less pressure to make unneeded repairs.
The education process for becoming a plumber is pretty quick in most states and will only require some training and an apprenticeship. After that, you become licensed and are ready to go. Many employers offer very flexible schedules, and you can make an excellent salary with unlimited earning potential.
A trade is something you can bank on. When you have a marketable skill like plumbing, you will always have work, regardless if you work for yourself or a company. Opportunities abound with organizations such as the Dwyer Group offering scholarships for women thinking about entering trades like painting, electrical and plumbing.
Living the Dream – Be Your Own Boss
The number of female entrepreneurs is multiplying, twice as fast as males. According to Ohio University, female entrepreneurs perform 50 percent better than men, and they generate 60 percent more revenue for their investors. The benefits of taking your trade certification and going out on your own are unbeatable.
You control your salary and don’t have a boss looking over your shoulder. When working for yourself, you can often make your own hours and operate on a schedule that works around your life and family. You can also control how slow or fast you grow your business and when to add new employees.
You Aren’t Alone
Universities like Ohio and others, along with the U.S. Department of Labor have great resources for women interested in a career in trades. Many tailored just for those of you who want to open up your own plumbing business. These resources cover everything from financing, mentoring, networking and support to get you started being an entrepreneur.
Shared on the DOL website, a woman, Deawendoe “Dee” St. Martin contacted the Oregon Tradeswomen Inc. about their 7-week long, state-certified pre-apprenticeship training program. She wanted a career that would support her and her four children. Ms. St. Martin worked hard, passed and went onto the apprentice program, which she also passed with flying colors. She now works for a local excavating company in the career of her choice, making a good living for herself and her family.
Her story is just one of many successes. About 100 women enroll in the program a year. All these women lack is training and skills. Once they have that, they have a career for life. A career in plumbing may not be your first thought out of high school, but it might be a great way to make good money, keep your own hours, and find perfect balance between work and family life.
This guest post was authored by Brooke Faulkner
Brooke Faulkner is a writer, mom and adventurer in the Pacific Northwest. She spends her days pondering what makes a good leader. And then dreaming up ways to teach these virtues to her sons, without getting groans and eye rolls in response.