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According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), as of April 2021, overall employment in the construction sector is expected to grow 5% between 2019 and 2029.
Are you a woman considering a career in this exciting and fast-paced industry? If so, we believe there’s never been a better time to join the field.
While it has traditionally been a male-dominated niche, the pendulum is starting to balance. Today, there are plenty of jobs for women in construction, and the job outlook is trending upward.
Today, we’re sharing six critical reasons why it’s wise to pursue this rewarding profession and how we can help you take the first step!
Women in Construction: Why Join the Workforce?
When you picture a construction job site, you likely imagine accessories such as a hard hat, safety goggles, and heavy-duty machinery. In your mind, who is using all of these tools?
Chances are, you picture a crew of men taking the reins.
While this may be a common vision, it’s not an enduring one.
The modern construction industry is quickly becoming more evenly divided between men and women. According to the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC), this sector equaled 1.5% of the total U.S. workforce in 2018.
As this number continues to rise, you might be interested in joining those ranks. Next, let’s take a look at six reasons why this is a good move.
1. Lower Pay Gap
According to the same NAWIC research cited above, women in construction jobs earn 99.1% of their male counterparts make for the same duties.
While the ideal number would, of course, be 100%, this is still promising. The average woman in the U.S. makes just 81.1% of a male’s earnings, so the construction sector is already ahead of the curb. If you’re looking for a career with great salary potential, this is a great place to start.
2. Lots of Job Opportunities
One of the main reasons why women should join the construction field? The industry simply needs more workers in general!
By 2023, some experts predict that there will be a nationwide demand for 1.5 million craft professionals. However, more young people are diverting away from this path. The Construction Labor Market Analyzer (CLMA) recently reported on this deficit.
They found that in 2007, 12.5% of workers under 25 chose the construction sector. However, by 2018, that number had dipped to only 9.0%.
As the industry looks for ways to build interest in trade professions, women are an important part of the puzzle and can help bridge that gap. Without help, construction projects could take longer and be more expensive to complete.
3. Excellent Problem-Solving Skills
Working in the construction industry requires both manual and mental exertion. Not only is physical strength a requirement, but workers must also be able to think cognitively and exhibit sharp problem-solving skills.
This is another area in which women are capable of excelling and necessary for the construction industry.
Whether employees are actively working on a job site, creating blueprints, or budgeting for a new project, a project requires a robust combination of ideas. Women have much to bring to the table and can visualize a project differently. Often, they can unveil new insights or ways of working that would otherwise go unnoticed.
4. A Culture of Embrace
Even just a few years ago, a woman construction worker may have raised a few eyebrows. This is because gender roles were more firmly established, and the culture wasn’t as accepting of women working in this field.
Research from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reveals that between 1985 and 2007, the number of women working in construction jumped by more than 80%! However, a sharp decline in jobs between 2007 and 2010 lowered that figure significantly.
According to OSHA.GOV, more than 800,000 women are actively working in this sector, and that number continues to rise. This is mainly due to resources and organizations normalizing this movement and encouraging professionals to stay the course.
As we’ve mentioned, the NAWIC is one of them.
Other programs such as Power Up, Inc. work to expose young women to careers in construction and deliver valuable networking opportunities. The National Association of Home Builders even has a Professional Women in Building Council (PWB) dedicated to supporting women’s voices in the building industry.
In other words, this industry is much more open and accepting to women employees, and there are platforms in place that can help you find your footing.
5. Scholarships Available
Have you dreamed of attending a college, university, or trade school to learn more about the construction industry? If so, many organizations offer financial aid specifically for this realm.
One prime example is the NAWIC Founder’s Scholarship. Every year, this scholarship delivers more than $100,000 to students in construction-related academic programs located in different parts of the country. (InterCoast Joins NAWIC)
In addition to the Undergraduate Scholarship, applicants can also pursue a Construction Trades Scholarship if they’re already enrolled in a construction training program.
Other women-centric construction scholarship programs include:
- Association of Women Contractors Scholarship
- NAHB Professional Women in Building Strategies for Success Scholarship
- HOYA Foundation Scholarship
- Association for Women in Construction
If you’re interested in going to school to study construction, opportunities like these can make the pursuit more financially feasible.
6. Plenty of Different Jobs
Don’t want to frame a house or lay flooring? There are plenty of jobs in the construction sector that would fit well with your skillset, even if you aren’t as familiar with them.
Ultimately, construction encompasses any type of task related to developing, creating, and maintaining a residential, commercial, or industrial building. As you might imagine, there are plenty of roles and responsibilities within this sphere!
In addition to on-site construction jobs, women can also consider a range of industry-related positions such as construction manager, safety manager, inspector, etc.
Then, there are trade-specific positions that require specialized training to fill. Honing your talents in these fields can yield a good salary and in demanding occupations, such as:
- HVAC Technician
- HVAC Installer
- Tile mason
Professional Training Opportunities
Now that you’ve read this list, are you curious about the next steps? If you’re unsure where to begin in this industry, then a construction-related training program can help you discern which role would be best for you.
Sometimes, you don’t know which one to pursue until you gain hands-on experience in the field!
If you’re interested in a career as an electrician, our Electrical Training Program is a great place to start. This 40 to the 50-week course provides a detailed look at the electrical trade, including safety standards, wiring basics, and more.
Want to attend, but have a limited schedule? Our Hybrid Electrical Training Program provides a blend of online and in-person learning and is ideal for busy professionals.
We also offer a 32 to 40-week HVAC Technician Training Program that can prepare you for a construction career in any area of the trade, including HVAC Service Technician and HVAC Specialist. This program is also available as a hybrid model for students who cannot attend in-person instruction full-time. (Women in the HVAC Industry)
Pursue Your Passion Today
As the industry grows and training opportunities increase, it’s expected that there will be more women in the construction trades than ever before. Gone are the days when this was viewed as a male-only industry, where women were relegated to purely administrative roles.
Now, it isn’t uncommon to visit a job and see women working alongside men, bringing new and innovative ideas to the table.
Are you interested in pursuing this exciting and growing profession? If so, we can help you get there.
Our construction industry training programs are designed with busy, ambitious professionals in mind. Maybe you’ve worked in another industry for a while and are looking to make a career switch. Or, you might be a recent graduate just entering the workforce.
In any case, InterCoast can prepare you to land your dream career in select construction fields. Check out our full array of training programs online and apply online today!