The U.S. employment rate seems to fluctuate regularly. With no steady increase in sight, now is the time to think outside of the box and consider other career options. The stakes are even higher for women who are still at a disadvantage when it comes to earning potential versus that of their male counter parts. Often, women do not even consider a career in the Industrial field due to it having a male dominated image. Unbeknownst to most people the welding industry has had an influx of female presence. According to the Department of Labor 2014 statics on women in nontraditional occupations it is estimated 4.8% of all welders are women, which is about 615,000 workers. The median weekly earnings are around $733 with the potential to earn more.
Like any career, education is a key component. Nothing beats real life experience but PMI highly encourages getting a good foundation in this field with a welding degree. After obtaining your degree secure an apprenticeship to gain even more knowledge and enhance your basic skill sets. As welding remains a male dominated industry, we would like to offer some keys of wisdom to help women build a strong career in the welding industry.
- Keep Learning – The first step is to get your welding degree. Next never stop obtaining knowledge in every area of welding. Pursue advance certifications, and hands-on-experience from a welding veteran. Also ensure you are well versed in the correct terminology and usage of welding tools.
- Be a Professional – Show up on time and dress appropriately. First impressions set the tone for how people will treat you now and in the future. If you want to be respected for your skills then dress conservatively and avoid getting involved with co-workers or a supervisor. Of course this can be applied to either gender when it comes to a job, but unfortunately women have to be more prudent in a male dominated environment.
- Have Pride – Quality work is everything. No one can deny you respect when you take pride in your work. Be sure to diversify your welding skills and perform each job in excellence. Diversified skills make you competitive and an invaluable asset to an employer.
Lastly, don’t be afraid! Armed with the knowledge, skills and desire you can do it. No matter the industry, beyond basic skills, women add another dimension to the workforce that can be an immeasurable asset to a male dominated industry.