Benefits of Pursuing a Skilled Trade for Female Workers
In the last article, we explored the challenges for women working in the skilled trades. It can’t be denied that female skilled workers may face obstacles. But today we are going to examine the reasons why women should pursue the skilled trades.
Great Pay and Benefits
The average salary of a skilled worker pays double that of a retail or office position. Not to mention, the employee benefit packages are competitive, as well. Also, there are always opportunities for career growth. For instance, job promotions and free or partially paid education programs for professional development. What’s more, if you take on an apprenticeship, you can earn money while you learn your trade.
Various Career Options
You have literally hundreds of career options to choose from.
Here’s a look at some of the fields you might consider:
Construction: construction craft worker, mason (bricklayer),
carpenter, ironworker, heavy equipment/crane operator, etc.
Industrial: mechanic, draftsperson, electrician, tool and die maker, welder, railway car technician, etc.
Motive Power auto-body repairer, agricultural equipment technician, fuel and electrical Systems technician, automotive painter , auto body and collision damage repairer, automotive glass technician, etc.
Service: hardware, lumber and building materials retailer, horticultural technician, micro electronics manufacturer, utility arborist, etc.
*See Red Seal Trades, for a complete list of trades that allow you to certify across Canada.
Skilled Workers in Demand
In Canada, there is a demand for skilled workers. That means; plenty of employment opportunities. According to the National Post, it’s predicted that Canada will need one million workers by 2020.
Canadian Living outlines several in demand occupations, according to Peter Harris, editor-in-chief of Workopolis. Take a look:
- Construction workers
- Vehicle repair
- Maintenance workers
- Heavy machine operators
According to BuildForce Canada, the work force will grow by 42,000 between 2013 and 2021. However, they predict an estimate of 210, 000 workers will be retiring over that same period of time. This is in the construction industry alone.
Furthermore, women now have access to training programs, apprenticeships, and even scholarships and bursaries.
Plus, companies are seeing the benefits of hiring female workers. Apart from the obvious shortage of skilled workers:
“Employers who hire more women report benefits to client relationships and a more inclusive workplace culture, as well as overall improvements to productivity and workplace safety” (Status of Women Canada, 19).
Working in the skilled trades offers rewarding challenges, which in turn leads to career satisfaction. Female workers often report higher levels of self-confidence and enjoy the creative and hands-on aspects of the work: “There is great satisfaction in contributing to the infrastructure of one’s community and knowing that the work will stand for many years, even generations, to come” (Apprentice Search, 6).
We are seeing a seeing a shift in society’s perceptions and attitudes towards women pursuing careers in the skilled trades. The discrimination women once faced, though it still happens, is slowly diminishing. For instance, women have reported acceptance and equal treatment from younger male colleagues (Working it Out, 30). If you consider this social change, along with growing training and employment opportunities— there has never been a better time for a woman to pursue a skilled trade.