Women workers in Utah have recently discovered that by simply switching their field of focus from professions in childcare, healthcare, or waitressing to careers in plumbing, welding, or drafting and the like, they can actually sometimes double their salary.
Trading pink collars for blue ones
By NANCY VAN VALKENBURG
Local women are learning they can pursue careers in trades and technology, and gain respect for their training and performance. Not only that, they can take home considerably fatter paychecks than they would as waitresses, clerks or child-care workers.
“The rule of thumb is the more traditionally male a job is, the more it pays,” said Licia Langston, a regional economist for the Utah Department of Workforce Services. “When you look at jobs with the same amount of experience required, male-dominated jobs have much higher pay than those that are female-dominated.”
According to the Utah Department of Workforce Services:
–Women hold 80 percent of support jobs in health care, such as aides, orderlies, assistants and massage therapists. Seventy-eight percent of elementary schoolteachers and 95 percent of cosmetologists are female.
–Women hold only 7 percent of maintenance and installation jobs, and 3 percent of construction and mining jobs.
–Nationally, women earn 77.5 percent of the amount males earn. Utah women earn 72 percent of what their male peers earn.
“It’s not so much that men and women are getting vastly different pay for the same work,” Langston said. “It’s that the ‘pink collar’ jobs, traditionally held by females, tend to pay less than the ‘blue collar’ jobs traditionally held by males. An experienced child-care worker may earn about $8 an hour. A less-experienced auto tech may earn $12 or $13.”