Skilled Trades

A History of Women in Skilled Trades

Skilled TradesNovember 01, 2021

While it is true that many skilled trades workers are men, more and more women are deciding to enter the field, including some who attend All-State Career. Francis F. attended the Pittsburgh campus to learn the HVAC trade and enjoyed the hands-on learning experience.

“Having all this equipment here is great because then you don't have to just go by a picture or a textbook,  you can actually put your hands on it,” she said. “If there's something you don't understand, you have the opportunity to ask questions and really understand how this works. Once I leave here, I think the opportunities are endless for me.” 

Women like Francis have a storied history in the industry.


During World War I, women took roles in factories to replace male workers who vacated their posts in order to serve in the military. Some of these women entered the skilled trades, working in manufacturing to help produce heavy machinery that was needed for the war. Others took jobs in the electrical field, and still others worked as welders, riveters, and engine repair mechanics, assembling trucks, tanks, and airplanes, which were also needed during wartime.

When World War II broke out, women again answered the call for support. This time, the government created the “Rosie the Riveter” campaign to recruit even more female workers as they were needed to fill the vacancies left by the tradesmen who were sent overseas to fight. In 1943, ads featuring Rosie helped recruit more than 310,000 women to work in the aircraft industry, and her image became an iconic symbol of working women—past and present. Their contribution to the nation and the war effort was unquestionable. 

These women were early pioneers for females in the skilled trades, but most of them were only temporarily in this industry. When the war was over, the majority lost their jobs to returning male servicemembers.


Today, women join the skilled trades industry by choice rather than national necessity. In fact, women in skilled trades are in demand and the career path can offer job satisfaction as it creates an opportunity to build products and structures that enhance people’s lives. 

As more women enter the skilled trades, the stereotypes about gender roles are changing. Additionally, joining the field gives trailblazing women a chance to become leaders, encouraging other women to join the industry.

Male or female, the skilled trades offer opportunities for a satisfying career creating, installing, repairing and maintaining products that are used every day. All-State Career can help you get started. Click here for more information or call us today at (855) 834-4580 and speak to one of our career counselors.