Tips for women tradies to stay ahead in 2024

Although the construction and trade industries have traditionally been male-dominated, that is gradually changing and trade jobs for women are now more popular than ever. Indeed, in 2024 inspired, motivated, and talented female tradies are making their mark on the typically male-dominated building and construction industry.

In times past, trade career ideas for women in the construction and building industries may not have been all that common, but that has rapidly changed in recent decades.

Supported by not-for-profit organisations such as the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC), young women are pursuing rewarding trade careers throughout Australia. Today many skilled young ladies are entering the construction and trades fields after high school.

Additionally, the number of female tradespeople being hired by employers in building and construction is on the rise. NAWIC hopes to achieve 25 per cent minimum female participation across the Australian building and construction industry by 2025.

With that said, 2024 may be a great year for lady tradies to jump in with both feet, become a qualified tradie, and start their trade career in building and construction.

Four top reasons women may consider a trade career

Trades can be an excellent career choice for women and men alike, largely for the same reasons. Here are four key reasons why trades for women may be a great fit for a long and rewarding career.

1. High wages

It’s true that money doesn’t buy happiness, but it doesn’t hurt, that’s for sure. There are many high paying trades for women, as there are for men. The average hourly rate for trades such as building, plumbing, carpentry, HVAC, and electrical can vary. But for skilled and motivated tradies in Australia there are certainly opportunities to earn a comfortable living as a tradie. And, of course, if you improve your trade skills you will only increase your earning potential.

2. Job security

Many trades offer great job security via ongoing maintenance contracts, recurring safety checks, and government contracts, all of which can become your bread and butter.

In addition, advances in machinery and equipment have opened up new opportunities for skilled tradies who can install, repair, and maintain these types of hardware. So as technology and automation increase, skilled tradie jobs might change, but they won’t vanish.

3. Fast-track to success

Another reason to become a qualified tradie is that you can get paid well faster. There are plenty of reasons why ladies might choose a trade over a university degree. While some more traditional jobs take years of study and thousands of dollars in HECS-HELP loans, most trade training involves an apprenticeship or on-the-job training. In other words, you can earn while you learn and start earning an income sooner.

4. Interesting job opportunities

Trade careers also offer a hands-on working environment that can be fast-paced and ever-changing. For women who want a job outside of an office, where they get to use their hands for practical work, the trades are a great fit. It’s also worth noting that technical careers for women in Australia is not a new concept by any means.

Four steps to improve your trade skills for a rewarding tradie career

There are several steps that female tradies can follow to enjoy a successful trade career. Here are four top tips for female tradies seeking to build a long-term, rewarding career as a tradie.

1. Find a support system

While high paying trades for women are certainly out there, it’s also important to find a reliable support system to help you succeed. Developing working relationships with mentors and colleagues in the industry can be a great way to build support around you. Such relationships can help get you through the tough times, while also helping you to better understand your work and the bigger picture for your trade career.

This can be especially important if you are just starting out in your trade career and are struggling to find adequate support at work. The good thing is that there are organisations that offer assistance to women in trades and construction in Australia, including:

  • Supporting and Linking Tradeswomen Australia (SALT): SALT hosts workshops, conferences, and provides support to its members.
  • The Lady Tradies Australia: This industry organisation offers a variety of services, including connecting, supporting, and encouraging women in trades.

2. Focus on networking

While there are other methods of generating interest or converting leads, networking remains a great way to both get started as a tradie, and to forge long-lasting, mutually beneficial long-term.

It is also important that you leverage the networks you already have. Make sure to let everyone in your network know that you are available to take on jobs, and don’t shy away from asking for referrals. You can also get out and attend networking events to expand your network, or join local business networking groups, clubs, or associations.

3. Embrace your strengths

You needn’t feel frustrated by the absence of females in your industry, because there are many benefits to being a female tradie. Take advantage of your strengths and build your reputation as a skilled tradie, while also developing your brand and your profile as a thought leader.

Also, remember that many customers who seek the help of tradies around the family home may feel more comfortable with having a female tradie enter their home and perform the work instead of a male tradesperson.

4. Find the right company to work with

Unfortunately in this day and age prejudice still exists in society and in many workplaces. As such, when looking for trade jobs for women, female tradies may benefit from carefully scrutinising the culture of the companies they choose to work for and the clients they work with.

When thinking about career ideas for women, you may consider all options, including roles that have traditionally been filled by men. Female trade professionals can reduce their chances of coming up against prejudice in the workplace by carefully choosing the businesses and clients they work for.

When meeting with potential employers, remember to ask them about their stance on equal employment opportunity and how willing they are to spend time mentoring and upskilling you (if needed), as they would do for any other employee.

Ensuring that you will receive such support before you commit to an employer or client can help level the playing field and provide reassurance that your professional development opportunities won’t be compromised.

How BizCover helps Australian tradies with business insurance*

Are you considering a technical career for women in the trades? BizCover removes the hassle from purchasing trade insurance by making it quick, paperless, and easy as for tradies to compare quotes from leading insurers online and save on business insurance.

Learn about the types of business insurance that can help reduce the risks for your tradie business. While you are at it, find out what tradies who have purchased trade insurance from BizCover have to say about the experience.

This information is general only and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. It should not be relied upon as advice. As with any insurance, cover will be subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions contained in the policy wording.
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