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The Top 10 Trade Jobs For Women (Plus How to Land Them?)

Learn about trade jobs for women. Get to know 10 of the best trades for women to pursue, along with their salaries and duties. Find your calling and grow.
By Synkdup Editorial Team  |  15 April 2024
the trade jobs for women

In the modern era, the status of a woman in society is fast evolving. More and more women are now working and participating in the job market than before. However, some industries have been influenced more by this change than others. Other fields still need to catch up with female participants.

One such field that has good scope for growth but low female participation is trade jobs. Many jobs in this line of work do not require college degrees. This is another plus point for females who are not willing to go the college route but are still aspiring for a career.

What Are Trade Jobs?

Trade jobs are typically hands-on jobs that require specialized training and education to perform but not a college degree. Candidates typically have to go through vocational school and even apprenticeships to be qualified for the roles. There, they are equipped with the hard and soft skills to undertake various roles. Trade jobs can be divided into skilled trades and unskilled trades.

Skilled trades are occupations that require more specialized training and make use of more advanced techniques. They need to make use of certain tools and equipment, which may require on-the-job training. Apart from this, applicants must possess great knowledge of safety protocols and remain up-to-date with industry practices.

Unskilled trades typically employ less qualified candidates for their roles. These individuals perform more routine tasks that require less training to support their projects. However, these individuals do receive on-the-job training and guidance on basic safety protocols.

Current Scenario Of Trade Jobs For Women

At present, women are a minority when it comes to trade jobs, but do not let that discourage you. The trend is expected to change over the coming years. The job market is gaining more awareness of this issue. Hence, changes are beginning to arise.

As per NPR, women comprise about 3% of trade roles in the job market. However, a crucial detail to note is that these percentages have grown over recent years. Thus, this indicates positive growth in career opportunities in this sector.

Most trade jobs are also considered blue-collar in nature. However, the overall gap between blue-collar and white-collar jobs has reduced over the years. Their perception has also evolved with time. These signs provide further encouragement to women in trade jobs.

Jobs for Women in Trades that Pay Well

Trade jobs for women that pay well do exist and can be found across communities. Despite low female representation, these professions offer great merit for women to advance and excel in their careers.

1. Ultrasonographer

National Average Salary: $95,730 Per Year (Source: GlassDoor)

Sonography is a bit of a specialized skill that also has a decent level of demand in the job market. It pays well and is a cool job for those who like working with sophisticated devices. It is a good career for aspiring trade professionals with an interest in the medical industry.

To be an ultrasonographer, candidates must pursue either a four-year degree or opt for an associate’s degree, which should last about 2 years. After this, they need to obtain certification, for which they need to clear an exam. In some states, candidates may need a license too.

They are required to operate high-frequency sound-wave-producing devices to take photos and videos inside the patient’s body. It allows them to diagnose medical conditions and issues early on. They work in medical testing facilities or hospitals.

Their responsibilities include set up and maintenance of ultrasound equipment, along with performing examinations. They need to train others to use this equipment as well. Some patients might be a bit anxious before the exam, so getting to remain calm is also part of their duties.

It is an indoor job without much physically demanding work, which is good for female candidates. It offers good pay, is very secure, like most jobs in the medical industry, and also does not require as much education as other medical jobs.

2. Dental Hygienist

National Average Salary: $92,350 Per Year (Source: GlassDoor)

Many are passionate about healthcare but intimidated by the effort and time it takes to make it happen. However, there are positions in the medical industry that do not require extensive schooling. The role of a dental hygienist is one of them.

An associate degree is the minimum to get into this field, while a bachelor’s degree can be pursued if you are interested but is not compulsory. An associate’s degree can take between two and four years to complete, while a bachelor’s takes a minimum of four years.

There are even options to obtain a Master’s degree in this field. You then need to obtain your license, for which you typically need to pass an exam. The tests vary depending on the state you wish to work in.

Candidates must be highly knowledgeable and know how to use medical equipment and tools. Dental hygienists need to perform functions like conducting oral screenings, cleaning teeth, removing plaque, etc. Educating patients on how to take care of their dental health is vital too. They need to collaborate well with dentists to provide timely services to patients.

These types of jobs do not require much physical exertion, can be done indoors, and pay well. It is satisfying on a human level to help improve the health and lives of patients. It ticks all the boxes needed to make them good trade jobs for women. It is also a good fit for those looking to work in the medical industry but who do not want to spend several years on education.

3. Aircraft Mechanic

National Average Salary: $89,406 Per Year (Source: GlassDoor)

Aviation is a field with great scope for earning and growth. The best part is that not all jobs in this industry require you to be highly educated and qualified. An aircraft mechanic is a cool role for you if you’re into using tools and fixing stuff.

There are different types of aircraft mechanics, and the pathway to each of them varies slightly. Each of them requires you to attend a trade school, which may take 2-3 years to complete. Alternatively, aspirants may even get qualified through experience by opting for on-the-job training lasting 18 to 30 months. Finally, you need to clear relevant certification exams before you begin working.

As an aircraft mechanic, your main responsibilities involve the repair and maintenance of aircraft components and systems. Their line of expertise also includes helicopters and jets. They need to diagnose malfunctions and faulty components beforehand. Knowledge of safety protocols, along with learning to use necessary tools and devices, is a crucial part of the job.

It offers great scope for learning and advancement. The job pays well and is more hands-on and practical than theoretical. Some women like working with tools and don’t mind getting their hands dirty. This is a great role for them.

4. Electrician

National Average Salary: $79,813 Per Year (Source: GlassDoor)

Individuals who have an interest in electrical appliances and how they work can find this job fascinating. You get to work with various devices and tools while learning how to read and interpret sophisticated blueprints. There is great potential for learning in this field.

Candidates may opt for vocational school to pick up important skills in the field. However, this is not mandatory and can be skipped. An apprenticeship is a necessary step and can be completed through a union, non-union, or trade school.

Finally, aspirants may need to acquire a license depending on the city or state they choose to operate in. The requirements for obtaining a license differ by region, so it is important to make sure you do your homework.

Maintaining, installing, and repairing electrical systems is their main duty. They help check and improve equipment functionality, wiring, fixtures, etc. Good technical knowledge is needed to interpret and execute blueprints. Understanding safety procedures and the ability to provide timely service is crucial for electricians.

It may require commuting, but duties are mostly performed indoors. It is a secure job that is available pretty much everywhere. It offers good pay and does not require too much heavy lifting or other such tasks. It is not at all a bad career path for women to consider.

5. Carpenter

National Average Salary: $79,738 Per Year (Source: GlassDoor)

It is a great job for individuals who like building stuff. It can be fun and allow you to get creative with your work. You get to work with machines and tools. Nothing beats the satisfaction of making items well for use.

Carpenters must complete apprenticeships before getting into the workforce. They will receive a certificate upon finishing the apprenticeship. Some carpenters even go to technical schools to further develop their abilities. An associate’s degree and additional certificates can help you build your credentials before entering this profession.

Carpenters need good technical knowledge of their craft to read blueprints and implement them. They need to make accurate measurements and decide upon the quantity of materials needed. Manual dexterity is crucial for performing tasks like cutting, shaping, and smoothing lumber as needed.

Women who have an interest in making items and using tools will like this role. It is a good option for individuals with a creative mindset and a good aptitude for problem-solving. There is great job security, as well as decent pay, making it a good option for female candidates.

6. Nurse

National Average Salary: $66,041 Per Year (Source: GlassDoor)

Nursing is one of the rare roles dominated by women. It is important to note that there are many types of nursing jobs out there, and all of them do not fall into the trade jobs category. Licensed Practical Nurses and Registered Nurses are considered trade jobs. It is still a popular occupation among women, which adds to its appeal among female candidates.

Candidates need to attain a relevant certificate or associate degree. Those aspiring for more advanced roles may opt for a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree or even a Master’s for the same. Applicants must also obtain a license by clearing certain examinations before they can begin their practice.

Nurses perform tasks like recording the details and symptoms of patients, carrying out assessments, and getting them ready for exams and treatment. They even administer patients with treatment and medications while also monitoring their symptoms and reactions.

It requires good communication abilities to understand the needs of patients and provide them with proper guidance. Nurses need to be good at teamwork, as they have to coordinate with other nurses and doctors to provide timely service. Empathy is another plus in this job.

The job is once again typically performed indoors and requires less physical exertion. The profession is female-dominated which makes it one of the best trades for women to work in. There are also options for nursing jobs that do not require a lot of education.

7. Chef

National Average Salary: $56,204 Per Year (Source: GlassDoor)

Some refer to them as culinary professionals, but most of us know them as chefs. It is a good option for those interested in cooking and like being in the kitchen. A huge positive is that it doesn’t even take too long to become one.

Start by enrolling in culinary school. Completing culinary school usually takes between one and four years. These institutes offer diplomas and degrees that help you get your career started.

The next step is generally getting into an internship or apprenticeship program for relevant hands-on experience. You can learn the position well by doing it, and you can use the knowledge and abilities gained to start a full-time job.

Being a chef requires candidates to be capable of overseeing operations performed in the kitchen, along with tracking budgets and food inventories. They help form menus and ensure health and hygiene standards are maintained.

They obviously need to be able to cook and prepare the assigned food items well. It requires some leadership abilities too, as they need to guide, train, and coordinate with other staff to ensure the workplace functions smoothly.

It is not a bad option for female candidates, as a lot of women may have an interest in cooking and being around the kitchen. The role is performed inside and does not require candidates to perform too much physical work. Hence, it is a good choice for women to pursue a career.

8. Hairstylist

National Average Salary: $54,331 Per Year (Source: GlassDoor)

Cosmetology is an interesting line of work that has its fair share of popularity. A lot of individuals have an interest in appearing trendy and smart. Hairstylists can play a vital role in helping you out with this. Many celebrities even work with them and pay them handsomely.

You need to go to a cosmetology school or any other relevant and accredited program that allows you to hone the craft. Candidates also need to obtain a license from the state to enable them to practice. On top of your classroom training, many states require candidates to obtain hands-on experience under the supervision of another licensed hairstylist.

Hairstylists need good communication skills to understand the needs of their clients and provide excellent customer service. The job requires good manual dexterity and knowledge of cosmetic products and items. Time management is an important aspect as well, because they need to finish their tasks on time.

A lot of females hold an interest in beauty and fashion, making this a fun job for them and offering greater levels of job satisfaction. Not to mention the fact that it requires less physical strain and is mostly performed indoors.

9. Landscapers

National Average Salary: $50,261 Per Year (Source: GlassDoor)

Landscaping is an interesting job that calls upon an individual's creativity. It’s great for those with an eye for aesthetic beauty and design. Their services can be called upon in all sorts of places, which may be both private and public.

The job can be performed without formal education, but possessing relevant qualifications is a plus. High school graduates can search for colleges that offer such programs. Volunteering at a botanical garden, gardening club, or community garden can help you discover employment opportunities.

Finally, get into an apprenticeship, which will provide you with on-the-job training that can help you get a full-time job later on. Trade schools are another good option and can provide you with an associate’s degree or certification to help you advance in this field. You can even opt for a bachelor’s degree if you like.

Landscapers typically need licenses to practice. The requirements to obtain them vary from state to state. Hence, it is important to do some research before starting. If you progress well in this field, you can even start a landscaping business one day.

The role will require candidates to know how to operate certain tools and devices to perform their duties. Groundskeeping and building maintenance are part of their responsibilities. Duties like removing weeds and dead plants, overseeing repairs if needed, applying fertilizers, maintaining design features, etc. are also part of the job description.

It is a great job for women who like being outdoors and not cramped up in an office all the time. Nature lovers with imagination and innovation will love this job. It doesn’t require too much education either, meaning women can begin working earlier.

10. HVAC Technician

National Average Salary: $65,318 Per Year (Source: GlassDoor)

Individuals who have a general fascination with machines and how they work will like this role. These professionals specialize specifically in temperature control systems and work to repair and service assigned systems.

To pursue this career, candidates need to pursue a certification lasting about a year after graduating high school. Alternatively, they may opt for an associate’s degree or even a bachelor’s degree. Many employers prefer candidates who have completed an apprenticeship. These programs may last around 3-5 years but are not mandatory. State licensing may be required too.

Once employed, they need to test system performance using special tools and adjust settings if needed. HVAC technicians need to travel to client’s homes to identify issues and perform repairs. A driver’s license will usually be needed. Helping out with the management of company inventory may be required as well. Interpersonal skills help greatly in providing better service to clients they interact with.

Women who prefer moving around and not being cramped in one place for work will like this job. It is great for their general growth, as they need to tap into their problem-solving abilities to fix systems. It provides for job security and great growth opportunities, along with fewer education requirements.

Reasons To Consider Trade Jobs For Women

Despite the low representation of females in trades, this line of work offers a great number of positives generally and for female candidates specifically. Women can consider this career path a serious option for their future due to a variety of reasons.

Lower Gender Pay Gap

The pay gap exists in many professions across several industries. However, trade jobs for women tend to have much lower pay gaps between both genders. As per officials in Chicago Women in Trades (CWIT), the gap in earnings in trade jobs for women is just 1% to 5% below those for men. This applies to apprentices as well.

That is way better compared to general averages. Women make an average of around 80 cents for every dollar earned by a male across all industries. Hence, there is a great opportunity in trade jobs for women to find more merit.

Lower Education Expenses

The main route to a trade job is through vocational schools and apprenticeships. They are much lighter on the pocket compared to regular college degrees. One can pursue them without getting into much or any debt, for that matter. This is also good for women coming from less wealthy family backgrounds.

Some apprenticeships even pay you for performing job-related tasks while you are still learning the craft. Hence, helping candidates better support themselves financially while pursuing their ambitions.

Shorter Schooling

Vocational schools offer programs for specialization in trade jobs, which are usually shorter than getting a college degree. They also need to undertake apprenticeships, which vary in duration depending on the job title. However, they tend to be paid, which makes them more convenient.

This is great for individuals who are eager to enter the workforce quickly and begin treading the path of financial independence. Women also, generally, tend to have shorter professional lives than men owing to family commitments. Hence, less time spent on education allows them to have longer careers in trade jobs.

Handsome Paycheques

Trade jobs tend to pay well and are a great profession to pursue if a financially secure job is your priority. The salaries are enough to match the average cost of living while also allowing you to save a few bucks for the future. Some trade jobs even offer six-figure annual income once they attain sufficient experience.

Secure Employment

Skilled trade professionals are not easy to find. This helps improve their chances of holding onto their position for longer periods. Trade jobs also tend to have a good scope for advancement, allowing you to progress well in the field. Hence, they are an ideal fit for candidates looking for stability in their lives.

Better Odds Of Recruitment

Trade jobs have stood the test of time and have been around for ages. They are pervasive in demand and are needed in all communities. Skilled trade professionals also tend to be harder to find in the job market.

This mathematically increases their odds of being recruited, as there are often shortages of labor in these fields. Women also make up about half the population, so if they have the necessary qualifications, they have every chance of landing a job.

Tips To Land Trade Jobs For Women

Understanding what kind of trade jobs are available for women in the job market is a great place to start. The next step is to have an action plan to help get those jobs under your belt. Doing so helps you start and maintain a healthy career in this line of work.

Complete High School

The minimum requirement for most trade jobs is finishing high school. It also helps if you are good at subjects related to what you want to become. For example, those aspiring for roles like electricians can benefit from being good at science, while carpenters can benefit from a good knowledge of mathematics as they work with numbers a lot.

Find Your Calling

Individuals need to seriously reflect on their capabilities and see what career path suits their interests and aspirations. For some, it may be about finding trade jobs that pay well. Others may look for learning opportunities and scope for growth. Some women prefer trade jobs that are indoors and require less physical strain. Find out what it is that motivates you, and march on!

Specialize In Your Craft

Once you’ve chosen priorities for your professional life, begin pursuing relevant programs and acquiring qualifications. Generally, such roles require you to go to a relevant vocational school and then complete an apprenticeship. In most cases, you will also need a license from your state.

Do your homework on what the procedures to obtain them are and get to work. You can also research to find institutes with a high placement rate and a greater proportion of female students. This can improve your odds of progressing further professionally.

Get Your Cover Letter And Resume Ready

When applying for pretty much any role in the job market, you need to have a resume and, if needed, a cover letter too. It is not mandatory to write a cover letter, but if you feel it helps your case, go ahead.

If you know how to write an effective resume, it helps open up more doors when it comes to landing your dream job. With resumes, it is important to have the right format to make you look more professional. Make sure it is neither too short nor too long, and know when to use paragraphs and where to opt for bullet points.

Pro Tip: If you feel your resume is getting too long, transfer some of the less important information over to the cover letter. This can help you balance out the length of both documents when applying.

Start Applying

The next step is to begin researching the application process for companies you are interested in working for. We live in the digital era, and now job hunting and applications are mostly done online, though some recruiters still use in-person applications. Some employers also use alternatives, like the classifieds section of newspapers, to advertise jobs. Hence, it is important to research this information thoroughly.

Build Professional Connections

Networking plays an important role in helping you progress in any field you enter. You can build connections with other candidates and seniors during apprenticeships and previous jobs if you are experienced.

Referrals tend to have a higher success rate at being hired compared to regular applicants. This is because having someone vouch for you before the hiring manager can create a good impression from the start. This can give you the upper hand during the recruitment process.

If some of those connections are with other females, then that can be an added plus. You can learn more from one another while also helping each other land job opportunities. It even helps to have other women in the workforce, as you understand each other’s struggles better and can offer support.

Give The Job Interview

If your application is approved or you get referred, the next step will be gearing up for the job interview. It is pretty much an opportunity for the recruiter to examine your proficiency in person and see if you live up to the hype in your resume and cover letter.

It is vital to go into a job interview well-prepared. Research the company website to find out important details about them and their role. You may also go through their social media handles to learn of any recent developments related to the organization. You can even think about what to wear to an interview before going to make a good impression.

Effective communication improves your chances of being recruited. It helps you get your point across to the interviewer better. It will help you on-the-job too if you get hired. Hence, it is important to develop an understanding of communication styles in the workplace .

If At First You Don’t Succeed…

When trying to get a job, there are bound to be rejections along the way. Do not to take them personally. Many individuals feel that if they get turned down, it means they are not good enough.

In reality, it only means they are different from what the employer needs at that time. It is vital to keep your head held high and continue trying. Persistence is usually what it takes in such cases to get that job.

Keep Accumulating Certifications

Acquiring additional certifications and qualifications is usually the best way to increase your earning potential. If you want to keep growing and advancing in your profession, on-the-job learning is also crucial. You’d be amazed by how effective this is when it comes to elevating your career and how many individuals have benefited from it.


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