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We Need More Women in Skilled Trades – Here’s Why

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When we think of women in skilled trades, most of the time the vision of women working labor jobs in the 1940’s, Rosie the Riveter style, comes to mind.

However, that vision is about 80 years old, and women still make up only about 10% of the skilled trades industry. Of the women who are in the workforce, only 3% of them work within a skilled trade. With the continual need for a skilled workforce, now is a great time for women to consider a career in skilled trades. In this article, we will discuss:

  • Why women should consider a career in skilled trades
  • The future of women in skilled trades
  • Career opportunities for women in trades

Why Women Should Consider a Career in Skilled Trades

  1. Less debt – Getting training in a skilled trade is far less expensive than paying for education through a four-year university. By investing in learning a skilled trade, you can accrue less debt and work towards your future faster. Additionally, many programs offer different grants and financial aid opportunities.
  2. People are retiring – The boomer generation is reaching the age of retirement. Right now, 27% of skilled workers are within 10 years of the social security retirement age. With just over a quarter of the skilled workforce gearing up for retirement, it is important to have trained professionals prepared to replace them. Now is a great time to introduce the new generation of women to the skilled trades industry.
  3. Job satisfaction is high – 83% of tradespeople are satisfied with their choice in career. In a society where many people leave their jobs due to being unsatisfied with their career or unable to progress in their field, this satisfaction rate is key. Being content in your career can ultimately lead to more advancements and a higher return on investment. 
  4. A lifetime skill – When you learn a trade, it’s for life. Regardless of where you live or where you work, you can take the skill with you. Especially as a woman, having skilled trade knowledge makes you marketable and helpful to other women. In a male-dominated industry, women will need other women to look to for inspiration and training. 

Future of Women in Trades

The future of women in skilled trades looks optimistic for a few reasons. First of all, the industry needs them. As the gap of skilled tradespeople increases, new people need to be trained to replace them. This future requires normalizing young women showing an interest in the trades industry and breaking stereotypes that women are incapable of the manual labor required of certain trades. Additionally, with different associations and unions dedicated to women in trades, women can find support systems and vehicles for success within their chosen profession. 

Skilled Trade Career Opportunities for Women

What’s left to discuss, then, are the different trade career opportunities for women (spoiler alert: they’re the same as the opportunities for men) and what it takes to start a career in each profession. When thinking of skilled trades, one might think of careers like construction, welding, or plumbing. While those are included in the trades industry, there are also different areas of the trades industry.

  1. WeldingWelding is a great trade to pursue that lets you engage in hands-on labor and perhaps even a creative environment. Engaging in welding training will help you prepare to become certified and work for commercial, industrial, and small business environments. Every welder must take a written certification from the American Welding Society (AWS). Past that, the requirements are different for state licenses. 
  2. HVAC Technician – HVAC technicians install, troubleshoot, and work with all things ventilation. It is a trade that is overlooked sometimes, but it can be lucrative and satisfying as a job. While certifications are not necessary to become an HVAC technician, having them can give you a competitive edge when looking for an entry-level position. 
  3. Cosmetology – Cosmetology is a trade typically associated with women, and is also often a profession looked over when considering the trade industry. You can have many different professions with a cosmetology license, from becoming a hairstylist, makeup artist, nail technician, esthetician, and more depending on the state you obtain the license in. To become a licensed cosmetologist, you must complete an assigned number of hours of training and pass an exam to become licensed in your state. 
  4. Automotive Tech  Becoming an auto technician is a good way to mix passion with your career. Having an interest in cars and machines is the first step to a fulfilling career as an automotive technician. While licensing or certification is not necessary to become an automotive service tech, you may want to look into a training program if you are not an expert of the trade. Oftentimes, people looking to start a career as an automotive service technician will look into an apprenticeship so they can gain hands-on experience while earning money. 
  5. Medical Billing and Coding -Not every medical career requires years of medical school. There are many different certifications you can obtain to have a medical career without becoming a doctor. Medical billing and coding specialists, for example, work less with patients directly and more on inputting data, working with insurance billing, and different office procedures. A training program can help you further your career as a medical billing and coding specialist through preparing for different certifications. 
  6. Nurse Aide – If you want to start a medical career that is patient facing without the time and debt required in medical school, you might want to look into a career as a nurse aide. Nurse Aides who gain certification can enter careers such as caregivers, hospice aides, or home health aides. 


Whether you want to work hands-on as a welder or auto technician, behind the scenes as an administrative assistant, or directly with patients in the healthcare industry, SCI offers training to support you on your journey. With eight campuses in Texas along with online programs, it is SCI’s mission to provide employer-tailored programs to students. To learn more about the programs, start dates, and financial aid, click here.

This article was published on: 03/2/22 2:29 AM

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