Rosedale Tech’s Women in the Trades Tradition Continues

Mar 03 2021

When people typically think of the trade industry, a common perception comes to mind – men in dirty uniforms working with their hands. While this may be partially true in certain trade jobs, it isn’t just a field for men. In fact, women have been working trade jobs dating back to World War II. During the war, women replaced men in the skilled labor force while men were off in combat. As the years have gone on, gender roles have continued to change. This evolution has prompted an increase in trade opportunities for women. In fact, two local women have begun to pave the way for other women in “non-traditional” fields. These two women include Raelee Nicholson and Melody Carranza of Rosedale Technical College.

Why Women Choose Trade Schools

There are a multitude of reasons why women choose trades schools. Some of these reasons include entering the workforce quicker, an elevated starting salary, and an ever-changing fast-paced environment.

Raelee Nicholson

“I was in the process of following a traditional four-year path with offers to multiple colleges and universities. But it wasn’t something that I loved,” said recent graduate Raelee Nicholson. “So, I shifted gears and began to pursue something I was truly passionate about, becoming a diesel technician. Despite being dissuaded by the majority of my teachers and counselors, I followed my dream and it truly paid off. In fact, I am about to start my professional diesel technician career with PennDOT. If the trades are something you’re passionate about, I say go for it! Because at the end of the day, it’s nobody’s career but your own.”

While it’s known that women aren’t dominant in most skilled trade careers, over half of the homes in the United States are now being supported by women as the head of the household. In fact, female full-time workers with a bachelor’s degree earn a median annual salary of $40,000, while experienced women in trades careers can make upwards of six figures annually. There is more demand for women in the trades now than ever before due to the shortage of skilled workers in the trades. This means that there is an immense opportunity for women to enter the trades field with an estimated 2 million job openings.

Current Rosedale student Melody Carranza agrees. “Prior to entering the electrical field, I was working in the medical field. Once I realized that wasn’t for me, I started looking at my other options. I chose a career in the electrical field because I thought it would be a great way to challenge myself. Additionally, I wanted to break gender barriers and set a great example for my daughter so she grows up knowing she can become anything she wants to be.”

The decision to attend trade school can be easy, but choosing a trade that’s right for you can be difficult. If you are someone who is interested in beginning a career in the trades, but you don’t know where to start, a career assessment can help you hone in on what might fit you best. In addition to taking a career assessment, Rosedale has the perfect opportunity to help women explore a potential career in the trades!

Rosedale Tech’s Women in the Trades Event

Five years ago, we started our Women in the Trades events. These events were created to encourage women interested in learning about careers in the trades by providing the opportunity to visit the college where they can ask instructors questions, have a chance to shadow a current Rosedale student, as well as meet with employers in their respective fields. As a predicted shortage of skilled workers in the trades continues, women are not only in demand but make up less than 10% of the workforce in the trades. So, there is a lot of opportunity for women within the trades with an estimated 2 million jobs openings.

This year’s Women in the Trades event, like most events over the past year, looks a little different this time around. In order to maintain safety for our attendees, instead of having one large event, we are having five smaller events that will take place every Wednesday in March from 9 AM to 1 PM. There’s no fee to register, and lunch will be provided. To register and learn more, click Here.