Women in Unconventional Jobs

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, a non-traditional job for women is one where less than 25 percent of the workforce are female. There are a number of non-traditional jobs for women, from chiropractor to carpenter, pilot to painter and engineer to electrician.

The term “non-traditional” job may not last long, as societal stereotypes break down. Many women are entering fields that were once considered unconventional for females. As high demand occupations open up due to economic expansion, more women are seeking employment in positions that were once male-dominated. It was only a few decades ago that if you spoke to someone about a lawyer, doctor or athlete, they would assume you were talking about a man.

Over the last 20 years, it has become necessary for families to have two incomes, due to the cost of housing and healthcare, as well as the increased cost of living. More than half of working mothers must work to help support their family. Many of these women would rather stay home and raise their children if it were financially possible.

A shift in the attitudes about what is appropriate for women have also contributed to the acceptability of various unconventional jobs. While some people still believe that “a woman’s place is in the home,” many have abandoned that outdated concept. Women are part of the labor force, with two-thirds of women age 16 and older employed in some capacity.

Money is one of the major reasons women enter non-traditional careers. A woman in a nontraditional job can earn 20 to 30 percent more than they could in a tradition occupation, according to the Labor Department. Women can find inspiration in the $20 to $30 entry-level wages paid for many of these nontraditional careers.

An auto mechanic is a male-dominated job. However, this well-paying job is not just lacking in the number of women seeking this type of work. There is an overall shortage of mechanics. An entry level mechanic can make approximately $42,000 annually and with ASE certification a mechanic can make six figures. This job can be attractive to a woman who likes cars and wants to be a grease monkey.

Another traditionally blokey trade is demolition. Image of a great hulking man with a sledge-hammer. But in a day where safety is key, maybe we are stereo-typing a little when we say that women “care more” about the safety of those around them. and most cases, it’s true. This is extremely important in trades like the one Vanessa is a part of – asbestos removal. Vanessa has worked for a Melbourne asbestos removal company called Clear Asbestos Removal, she is one of a small team where she is the only woman, she says that she is often the one who is calling the shots when it comes to safety on the work site.

According to the Labor Department, of the 20 percent of women in nontraditional jobs, most are in fields that don’t require a degree, such as truck driving and plumbing. However, there has been a big increase in professional nontraditional jobs in white-collar industries like the law and engineering. While women have come a long way in terms of gaining nontraditional positions, there’s still a long way to go. Women still dominate the workforce in the low-paying support industries such as retail, clerical and food service.

It’s important to remember that a woman has the right to decide what field that want to enter. Although common myths say that security jobs are too dangerous, women aren’t cut out to do certain tasks, blue collar work is too messy or some jobs aren’t feminine enough, no one should prevent a woman from choosing any career path that interests her.

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