Women and Licensing in the Trades

There is extensive coverage of the gender gap in technology and white-collar employment, but there exists comparatively little attention paid to recruiting women to become licensed skilled tradespeople. Rosie the Riveter, the iconic symbol of feminism, women’s rights, and a woman’s ability to work alongside men in the workforce was modeled after women who worked in factories during World War II to fill positions vacated by men serving in the military. “Rosie” worked blue-collar jobs that paid well and did not require a college degree- she was a skilled tradesperson.

The skilled trades are still a thriving sector of our economy. The profession of a licensed, skilled trade professional is one of the last surviving opportunities of a financially secure middle-class life, and as more skilled trade professionals approach retirement, this traditionally male dominated field will require the entrance of more females. 

Women can earn 20-30% more as a licensed skilled trade professional than in other careers traditionally held by women. Careers as licensed skilled trade professionals provide higher wages than fields in which women traditionally enter, job stability, consistent hours, the opportunity for entrepreneurship, and the ability to explore a skill set previously discouraged. 

A group in Oregon called Oregon Tradeswomen introduces young girls to the trades early through activities like building structures in their Building Girls Summer Camp. A representative of the group, Roberta Hunte, states that “if girls were given more of those opportunities where a hammer is put in their hand and they’re taught how to build, and that no one is doing it for them – or for us – it opens up a whole other world.” 

Trade Jobs for Women

In today’s trade industry, women trade workers are needed more than ever. According to explorethetrades.org, women can earn up to 30% more in a skilled trade career. A few examples of these careers include:
– Plumbing, Heating and Air
– Petroleum Technician
– Electrician 
Jobs are more readily available for women in the trades than ever before. There’s a growing initiative to recruit more women to fill these jobs that are dominated by men. Some positions even offering to pay more to fill the role by a woman.

Women in the Numbers

According to a recent study, women only make up 8.9 of the trade industry. This number has not increased since World War II, when females made up 10% of the trade industry. This number is expected to grow in the next few years to 2014 according to a recent study by Career School Now.
The time is now for women to get out there and join the trades. With the right education and drive these jobs could be very fulfilling and life time careers for women. The goal is to start educating young women out of high school about these exciting opportunities with hopes to raise the awareness that trades are an exciting career path not just for men, but for women as well!

Advocate for Licensing

PHCEid.org is an advocate for the Plumbing, Heating, Cooling and Electrical contractor to properly identify their licensed status for public awareness. Professional Contractors have the license or certification to work in homes and businesses. Without the proper certification and licensing to become a skilled trades professional, it compromises the integrity the trade industry. The contractors listed on the PHCEid.org website are licensed or certified according to the codes and laws set forth by each governing state and/or entity. Licensed Contractors work in compliance with local and state codes set forth by their governing trade industry board. Get more information at PHCEid.org or call 844-954-2367 today!