October is careers in construction month, according to Randy Cramer, president of the Home Builders Care of Fargo-Moorhead Foundation. In a recent post for Design & Living Magazine, Cramer says although a career in the trades usually draws higher interest from men, the construction sector can provide a rewarding, fulfilling career path for anyone. He points out some specific reasons why women should take a look at the industry below.
1. Competitive Salary
A pay gap exists between men and women across most industries. On average, women in the United States earn 80 cents for every dollar a man earns. However, the gap is much smaller in the construction trades. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, women in the construction industry earn 97 cents for every dollar a man earns.
2. Job Opportunities
The residential construction industry is one of the few sectors where demand for new workers has risen. Unfilled jobs in the construction sector reached a post-recession high earlier this year. A National Association of Home Builders survey found shortages of labor in various types of construction jobs including framers, carpenters, plumbers, electricians and bricklayers. This is true on the local level, too.
3. Network of Experts
There is a growing community of women in construction who are willing to mentor and share insights with women entering the field:
- National Association of Women in Construction has a local chapter in Fargo-Moorhead
- National Association of Home Builders offers a Professional Women in Building Council
- National Center for Women’s Equity in Apprenticeship and Employment is a consortium of groups representing tradeswomen’s organizations around the country