In the United States, women make up about half of the workforce. However, only a small percentage of women work in the residential construction industry. Among those women who are working in the industry, a majority have a fulfilling career with opportunities for advancement and competitive pay. Women in construction also have the satisfaction of knowing that they are building homes that make a difference in people’s lives.
This month, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Professional Women in Building Council (PWB) celebrates Professional Women in Building Week (Sept. 11-15) to raise awareness and recognize the essential role of women in the construction industry.
Here are some reasons why women should consider creating a career path in construction:
Numerous Job Opportunities. The number of unfilled construction jobs was more than 300,000 in June 2023. An NAHB survey found labor shortages in various construction jobs, including framers, carpenters, plumbers, electricians, and bricklayers. In addition, the residential construction industry is one of the few sectors where demand for new workers rose during the pandemic.
Competitive Salary. A pay gap exists between men and women across most industries. On average, women in the United States earn approximately 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 95 cents for every dollar a man earns.
Scholarships. Funding is available through numerous programs for students interested in or pursuing residential construction opportunities. For example, NAHB Professional Women in Building and the National Housing Endowment have scholarships and grants available for students seeking to further their education in housing industry related programs.
Vast Professional Network. There is a growing community of women in construction willing to mentor and share insights with women entering the field. NAHB has a strong network of women in construction.
A Sense of Achievement. A career in the trades brings a sense of satisfaction for completing high-quality work that contributes to home building and ultimately helping to fulfill the American Dream.
If you are a woman with a passion for creating, problem-solving and life-long learning, consider pursuing a career in construction. The industry is open and welcoming, with many opportunities for gaining career success. For more information on career opportunities in our area, contact your local association.