Women in the Welding Field
Men dominate the welding profession. In fact, less than 5% of welders are women. This is because historically the majority of blue collar jobs are dominated by men. Shifts in many professions and industries are happening slowly, but are happening today, including shifts in the number of women that work as welders.
Why Aren’t More Women Welders?
More women aren’t welders for several reasons. First, dating back several decades, women traditionally maintained the household while men worked outside of the home. The first jobs that women worked were low impact jobs such as bookkeepers, seamstresses, teachers, etc. Secondly, women were not being targeted by schools or companies to work in professions that were considered blue collar. In addition, welding is thought to be a somewhat dangerous job, and women were thought to be delicate and not capable of working under the conditions that the job sometimes demands. But as we move deeper into the twenty-first century, times are changing and jobs that were thought to be typically male dominated are starting to shift into gender neutral professions.
How Can Welding Benefit Women?
A career as a welder needn’t be gender specific and women can benefit from a career in welding the same way that her male counterpart can, by gaining a stable, well-paying career with growth opportunities. Women can also benefit from entering this profession by changing the landscape of how this profession looks today and by bringing in a new and fresh prospective.
How are Welding Careers Changing?
As stated, more women aren’t welders because of traditionally held beliefs that and archaic stereotypes that still dominate the majority of thinking in the United States. Women are not regularly targeted and recruited for jobs that have been dominated by men for decades. Currently, the average age of a welder is over fifty years of age. This means that soon there will be a shortage of experienced welders available, since many will be retiring. This is a great opportunity for a would-be welder to work as an apprentice with a more experienced welder. It is predicted that when the baby boomers retire from this field in the coming years that the incentives that companies will offer to persuade welders into the available positions will increase. This could be in the form of sign on bonuses or higher salaries. Industries such as oil and gas will continue to be in need of welders well into the future. And although the predicted expansion of jobs in welding does not appear to increase very much in the coming years, with the retirement of the baby boomers, this will open up many opportunities for welders entering the workforce.
PMI offers degree programs in welding that are taught by experienced welders and offer hands-on training to students. If you are interested in finding out more about a career in welding, then contact PMI today to schedule a tour and to receive valuable information on welding training.