A booming economy, changing norms, and new openings vacated by retiring men are changing the face of blue-collar work. Today, women are filling roles that were historically male-dominated. Though the percentage of women in the overall workforce hasn’t changed much, the number of women working in blue-collar jobs male-dominated careers such as police officers and in construction, transportation, and warehouse positions has increased and is poised to continue expanding.
What’s behind this shift? According to the Wall Street Journal, more women are opting into blue-collar roles because of their desire for better pay, the recognition that other women are filling these positions too, and due to the emergence of blue-collar job-training programs even as the cost of four-year degrees skyrockets.
This is something I covered in Blue Collar Cash and previous writings. There’s a blue-collar labor shortage and women are stepping up to reap the benefits including more freedom, higher wages, and more satisfying jobs.
According to The National Association of Manufacturers, 522,000 jobs remained open in the sector in September, and there are similar shortages in construction and transportation-related fields. The most recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the wages commanded by these positions are much higher than for some traditionally female-dominated roles that require similar training like personal-care aides. In fact, women changing careers from personal-care aides to construction or transportation can double their earnings.
There is still plenty of room to grow though, as women make up just 9% of truck drivers and 5% of welders, with even lower numbers in auto mechanics, plumbers, and electricians.
There’s a shortage of workers in blue-collar industries, which means women may finally get their chance to shine.
Interested in making a career change for yourself? Here are 14 high-paying blue-collar careers and how to get them.
Interested in changing careers, supporting blue-collar careers, or giving guidance to soon-to-be graduates? Check out my book Blue Collar Cash.