Construction is often overlooked as a career opportunity by women. Yet, the industry offers female construction workers a wide range of jobs and one of the lowest gender pay gaps. The industry is rebounding towards pre-pandemic workforce levels and is expected to grow as a result of the passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, too.
Cities in the South and West offer some of the best opportunities for female construction workers, according to researchers at Construction Coverage. In some areas, the percentage of women employed in construction was more than double the national average of 11%. In Sandy Point, GA, a suburb of Atlanta, for example, 30% of its construction workforce are women.
Metropolitan areas may offer more opportunities from the sheer volume of construction jobs available. Minneapolis, Minnesota, the top city in the Construction Coverage analysis, had a 19.1% female employment share with almost 1,300 women construction workers. Seattle, Washington came in second with 17.6% of the workforce and nearly 2,700 female construction workers. San Francisco, California, had a 17% share and nearly 3,000 female construction workers.
Recently, the Washington Post analyzed Bureau of Labor Statistics data and found that Washington, D.C. had a higher share of women holding construction-industry jobs (17.6%) than any state. Arizona and Texas were also in the top 3.
Most female construction workers are employed in professional, administrative, or office positions, such as project management, human resources, or sales. According to recent Bureau of Labor Statistics data, women in the U.S. earn on average 82.9 percent of what men make. However, in construction occupations women earn on average 95.5 percent of what men make.
Alaska had the highest actual median annual wage for women in the construction industry, $61,614, according to Construction Coverage. This is nearly $10,000 more than the median annual wage for women in all occupations in the state ($51,541).
In Vermont, the median annual wage for women in the construction industry was $54,340, also nearly $10,000 more than the median annual wage for women in all occupations ($45,734).
Career development for female construction workers
Whether you are in the North or the South, East or West, a metropolitan area or a small town, NAWIC provides opportunities for connection, education, and leadership development for female construction workers, including:
- The Annual Conference held in August features professional and personal development sessions, opportunities to learn about the latest trends and cutting-edge technology, and networking with professionals from all over the country. Learn more about the 2023 Many Paths, One Mission conference here.
- The NAWIC Education Foundation provides professional certification programs for career advancement, as well as programs to introduce the next generation to the construction industry. Learn more here.
- A wealth of education resources are available on the website at nawic.org.
- Local chapter membership provides additional opportunities for professional development as well as support, mentorship, and networking. Find a chapter near you here.
The National Association of Women in Construction is the leading association for women builders with more than 5,000 members and 118 chapters across the US and affiliates world-wide. NAWIC provides members with community, mentorship, networking, leadership and educational opportunities. For more information, visit nawic.org.