More and more women are starting to turn towards careers in the skilled trades, including pipefitting, as seen in the rising proportion of women in the manual labor workforce. Careers in the skilled trades offer plenty of advantages, including engaging in hands-on training, contributing to projects that you literally help take shape, entering a field with excellent job demand, earning good compensation (especially as experience builds), and working with a schedule that allows for plenty of time at home with the family.
Why Not Work in Skilled Trades?
Women were first introduced to many jobs in construction and the skilled trades during World War II when more women stepped into the workforce to compensate for the large numbers of men who had joined the war effort. At the time, it became clear that women were just as capable as men were in physically demanding work settings. After the war, women largely returned to the home or to white-collar jobs, but through continued efforts for workplace equality, women are more commonly venturing into areas that are largely considered male-dominated, including science, mathematics, technology, and again construction. Even though women only make up 10.9% of workers in construction, the number of women entering the field has been on a steep rise.
Characteristics of Pipefitters
Many women who enter pipefitting enjoy working with their hands and developing new skills. Work is detail-oriented in this field. Pipefitters must be able to carefully read blueprints and cut pipe to exact specifications. Even being off by one-sixteenth of an inch can ruin a pipe system. Workers should be mechanically inclined, or handy with tools and equipment. Managerial skills are also important for being able to assess work sites, work individually for periods of time, and delegate tasks to other members of a team.
How Women Can Start Pipefitting
Many organizations have been created to help women succeed in the skilled trades. Connecting with a local chapter can help women find the resources and connections they need to get them started in a training program. Contacting pipefitting schools and pipefitting training programs directly can also help women understand what to expect in a career in the skilled trades.
Women who are interested in pursuing a career in pipefitting should contact Tulsa Welding School. The Tulsa Welding School pipefitting program can help women learn the skills they need to work as an entry-level pipefitter. For more information about how you can train in a hands-on pipefitting training program, contact a TWS Admissions Representative.
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