Blue-collar jobs have long been dominated by males, and not just because of stereotyping. There are several reasons why women over the years haven’t been employed in the trades as often as men. Up until now, females have lacked family support, skills, tools, strength, and interest in becoming tradespersons. Today, there is a growing need for skilled laborers, and women are landing these positions, especially in certain fields. Having careers in blue-collar industries can allow female breadwinners to earn living wages to support themselves and their families more comfortably. Blue-collar salaries are huge improvements over the low-end paychecks that workingwomen have traditionally earned through pink-collar and service industry jobs. There are several industries that are especially drawing females to their ranks.
The need for electricians is another area of employment expected to grow by 20 percent or more by the year 2022. This is double the number for the average growth of other occupations. Energy industries that work with solar, gas, and alternative energy sources are growing at an especially rapid clip, so will need an influx of workers. To become electricians, women should enroll in vocational education programs or seek electrical training courses, so they can learn about:
- Electrical theory
- Commercial wiring
- National building codes
- State building codes
- Local building codes
Aviation has turned into a woman-friendly field, due to the increased number of females in the Air Force and other armed forces. To become certified aviation mechanics, women must complete 1,900 hours of classes at FAA-approved training sites. Aviation mechanics:
Earn $20,000 more than median wages for other positions Can earn additional degrees in specialized areas of the field, such as aviation maintenance management and avionics Make substantially higher salaries with further education.
The demand for plumbers, steamfitters, and pipefitters is expected to grow by 21 percent over the next decade. This is especially true in the construction industry, which is booming today with the revitalization of the economy. Today, women represent only 2.5% of construction workers, but this number is steadily increasing. Some perks of plumber and pipefitter jobs are:
Training can be taken through a trade school or apprenticeship. Top plumbers make ten times more than minimum wage. After being trained, women can become licensed in their state.
Although the ratio of women to men in the transportation industry is still low, it is rising steadily. More females are being drawn to this field than ever before, because many of these positions don’t involve the long hours they did in the past. Some of the duties being performed by transportation workers include:
Tracking packages Managing systems related to highways Managing designs related to bridges and roads Inspecting public transportation vehicles Driving buses, streetcars, and/or trains
Women are ready to shed their pink-collar low-paying jobs for higher paying blue-collar positions. While females may have been underrepresented in the skilled trades in the past, this is shifting to the benefit of women and their employers. Many business owners and managers of large and small companies related to the trades are seeking female applicants to fill a vast number of positions. With jobs as plumbers, mechanics, transportation workers, electricians, and inspectors, females can earn a living wage to support their families, just as easily as men.