Women in Construction: Top Opportunities for Building a Successful Career

Women in Construction: Top Opportunities for Building a Successful Career


When you think about construction, you might envision workers at a project site or expert craftsmen giving a new house the last touches. You probably picture men in these positions, and that may not necessarily reflect any bias on your behalf. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 11% of workers in the construction business identify as women (BLS).

However, there are more women working in construction. The proportion of women working in construction increased by more than 54% between 2012 and 2021.

In this profession, there are numerous options for women that go far beyond conventional office jobs.

Learn about the advantages of working in construction, the best positions for women, potential earnings, and the qualifications required for employment.

Why Work in Construction

You have a rare chance to make history if you’re a woman who wants to work in construction. Despite shifting industry demographics, there are still not many women working in the construction business.

Get ahead of the trend for a number of reasons, including the following:

Greater Pay

According to the BLS, the median yearly wage for all construction occupations is $48,210, which is higher than the average yearly wage of $45,760 for all occupations.

Construction jobs also have a smaller gender pay difference. According to the BLS, women’s median weekly earnings across all industries were 83% of men’s in 2021. 4 However, in 2020, women in the construction industry made 87.5 cents for every dollar made by men. 5

Occupational Training

Many construction occupations just require a vocational degree, an apprenticeship, or on-the-job training. Construction jobs are less expensive to train for than other jobs because they rarely require a four-year degree.

The website CareerOneStop provides details on qualifications, license requirements, and apprenticeships.

Union Jobs

In 2021, more than 17% of employees working in the construction industry were union members, compared to 10.3% of all wage and salary employees.

Compared to non-union occupations, union jobs are more likely to offer guaranteed pensions and job-related healthcare coverage, with medical benefits available to 95% of union members in the private sector.

They also get paid more. According to the BLS, non-union employees made a median weekly income of $975 in 2021, which was only 83% of the $1,169.8 median wage for union employees.

Top positions in construction for women

Do you enjoy problem-solving, working with your hands, and getting a sense of accomplishment from creating something? The construction sector may be the place for you to find your future profession if you are physically fit, skilled, and motivated.

Carpenters build and repair wooden structures such as homes, offices, scaffolding, and bridge concrete forms. Carpenters may specialize in building, house remodeling, cabinets, wood flooring, and other things.

You require manual dexterity, physical stamina, problem-solving aptitude, business sense, and math skills to succeed in this position.

The majority of carpenters have a high school graduation or a GED, and they receive their training on the job or through apprenticeship programs.

$48,2609 is the median annual salary.

Operator of Construction Equipment

At mines and construction sites, these personnel run the machinery that transports bulky materials. The learning process for operators can take place on the job, in a vocational school, or during an apprenticeship program, which normally lasts three to four years.

To operate a crane, backhoe, bulldozer, or loader, a construction equipment operator may need a commercial driver’s license or a specific license, depending on the laws of their state.

$48,29010 is the median annual salary.

Construction supervisor

Construction managers oversee building projects from beginning to end, making cost estimates, scheduling work, outlining contracts, selecting subcontractors, providing progress updates, and ensuring adherence to building codes. Someone with problem-solving, leadership, analytical, and communication skills would do well in this position.

In comparison to other construction jobs, this one has the highest salary on our list. You’ll probably need a bachelor’s degree in engineering, construction, or a closely related profession, as well as past construction experience, to land this job. Depending on state laws, you might additionally need to obtain a license.

$98,89011 is the average yearly wage.

Installing and maintaining elevators

These individuals are responsible for the installation, upkeep, and repair of escalators, mechanical lifts, and moving walkways.

Detail-oriented, mechanically inclined, physically fit, and not afraid of heights are all necessary qualities for elevator installation and repairers.

The normal requirements for this position include enrollment in a four-year apprenticeship program and state-issued license. This is a particularly well-paying construction career that doesn’t require a college degree because you can start your training with simply a high school diploma or its equivalent.

$97,86012 is the median annual salary.

Electrician Electricians install, maintain, and repair wiring in residences, commercial structures, and anywhere else an electrical system is present. You must possess exceptional troubleshooting, critical thinking, and customer service abilities to succeed in this position. To distinguish between various colored wires, it’s also critical to have good color vision.

Expect to complete a four or five-year apprenticeship program in order to get hired for this position. To become licensed, you may also need to take continuing education courses and pass an exam.

$60,04013 is the median annual salary.


Plumbers install and fix gas and water pipelines in houses and other structures. You must have strong physical capabilities in addition to great mechanical, communication, and troubleshooting abilities to be successful in this position. Plumbers usually work evenings and weekends since repair work is frequently an emergency.

You’ll probably need to complete a four- or five-year apprenticeship to become a plumber. Additionally, if you intend to work on gas lines, you may need licensing, including a special license.

Median Annual Salary: $59,88014

Installer of solar photovoltaics

These people set up and maintain solar panels on residences and commercial buildings. PV installers install support structures, create system configurations, and test systems. They could also connect panels to the electrical grid, albeit in some places that work must be done by electricians.

You’ll need a high school graduation or its equivalent, as well as up to a year of on-the-job training, to work as a PV installation. Additionally, some states demand licensure.

$47,67015 is the median annual salary.

How to Find a Job

Analyze your abilities Think about the abilities needed for the professions that appeal to you and complement your skill set.

Recognize the demands CareerOneStop provides details on educational needs for jobs, such as apprenticeships and certificates.

acquire expertise On-the-job training is accessible for many construction vocations.

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