No matter what industry or stage you are in your career, almost every woman in the workforce still experiences male dominance in their field of work. A study released by the World Bank indicates that women account for only 38% of global capital wealth versus 62% of men. This alarming statistic illustrates the persistent presence of gender inequality, especially in the construction and HVAC industry.
The percentage of women working in the HVAC field in the United States is only one percent. For an industry experiencing a historic labor shortage, there is no viable reason why women can’t work or fill a bigger hole in the HVAC industry. For businesses wanting to fill the labor shortage and find quality employees, the owners must look past the preconceived ideas of what technicians should be.
Why Women Should Enter the HVAC industry
We are now in the modern age, yet women workers still face discriminatory challenges in their fields, primarily pay disparity and exclusionary practices. With HVAC technicians receiving an average salary of $53k and earnings reaching up to six figures, establishing a career in the field can be very rewarding.
As the demand for skilled workers builds, women now have a better opportunity to enter the field at an unprecedented rate. The average starting pay in the HVAC field starts at $19/hour and can move up depending on prior experience. Add in the incentives, and the technicians can easily earn $50-70k annually. Nowadays, there is no acceptable reason why women can’t pursue a career as HVAC technicians.
How to Become an HVAC Professional
Although it can be challenging for a woman to break into the civilian workforce as an HVAC technician, the industry presents many opportunities for growth and incentives, which can be very rewarding. If you want to explore the industry further, here are some of the most effective ways for women to become part of the industry:
- Education and Training: While proper education is the key, it can sometimes be expensive. If you need an affordable starting point to familiarize yourself, apply to local trade and technical schools. Learn what you need to know, from the types of HVAC systems to useful installations such as HVAC access doors and panels. Aside from classroom learning, find an institution that offers practical knowledge to be ready to work when you graduate from the course.
- Scholarships and Certifications: Gaining accreditations is something technicians and HVAC business owners should explore. These recognitions make you more employable, but they also serve as your stepping stone towards higher pay and career advancement. Scholarships demonstrate your level of mastery, and certifications mean that you have high recognition and expertise in the field.
- Networking and Community: When working in a male-dominated industry, it would be helpful for you to find an all-female community of HVAC technicians. They can help you find an experienced member that you can shadow or offer you job opportunities. Joining an all-inclusive network of mentors can help your career, as everyone has a unique perspective to help shape your career.
- HVAC Apprenticeship: Being an active member of the HVAC community in your area also helps you gain an apprenticeship. Participating in an apprenticeship program may require you to start as an unpaid intern, but undertaking the program offers substantial benefits for your career.
- Obtaining an HVAC License: Although having an HVAC license is not required in some states, it is still an added qualification on your resume. Licensure effectively fortifies your skillset that can help you when seeking employment.
With only one percent of women working in the industry and the recent labor shortage, it only makes sense for women to gain equal opportunity in the HVAC business. As many workers in the trade enter the retirement age, the industry’s future will need female technicians to fill the gap and for owners to realize their potential.
Women are an Asset in the Industry
There are plenty of reasons why women are an ideal addition to the industry, but one of the primary reasons is their innate interpersonal skills. Women have strong communication skills, which is essential in this line of work, especially when dealing with customers. Good communication can come in handy when explaining repairs and scheduling maintenance.
Overall, female technicians offer many advantages to the field, such as:
- Better communication
- Attention to detail
- Analytical skills
- Good listening skills
- Better customer service
Professional women trade workers are not only valuable to their respective industries but also an inspiration to others who aspire to follow in their footsteps. Representation matters, and having more female technicians will show women everywhere that they too can find a fulfilling career in the HVAC trade.
As more female technicians enter the business, they will have the potential to enhance their knowledge with years of experience as they eventually start their own HVAC companies. Recognizing this opportunity will show other women how they can contribute to and transform this rewarding field.
The Future is Bright for Female Technicians
Although many female trade workers continue to face discrimination, the transforming culture has slowly changed the gender gap in the workplace. Many businesses have successfully recognized the contribution of female workers and are now assigning them to more leadership positions.
The growing awareness about gender inequality and the current labor shortage in the trade presents an exciting window of opportunity for women to become technicians, service managers, HVAC installers, and air conditioning engineers. The dynamic HVAC industry has never been better now that more women work in the field.