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Bending gender roles

Bending gender roles image

Is a non-traditional career right for you?

The term "non-traditional careers" refers to jobs that have been traditionally filled by one gender. The US Department of Labor defines non-traditional occupations as those for which individuals from one gender comprise less than 25% of the individuals employed in each such occupation. When deciding on career path it's a good idea to consider all of your options. So don't limit your career options just because you think the job you want is meant for a person of a specific gender.

Probably the best question to ask yourself when you’re deciding on a career is "What do I really love to do?" The men teaching kindergarten and the women on construction sites know how it feels to be one of only a very few in their occupations. It takes a certain amount of courage to choose a career that others feel they have to preface with your sex such as, "male nurse" or "female police officer".

Non-traditional choices for women:

  • Chemical Processing Operator
  • Police Officer
  • Computer Network Administrator
  • Automotive Technician
  • HVAC Mechanic


Non-traditional choices for men:

  • Nurse
  • Librarian
  • Dental Hygienist
  • Elementary Teacher
  • Social Worker


Why Choose a Non-traditional Career?

Talent and skills
First explore your talents and aptitudes before making a career decision and then find out which careers are most likely to use these. A little career exploration might lead you to a job that you’d never even considered but one that turns out to be a perfect fit.

Better pay
Especially for women, a non-traditional career often pays better than traditionally female jobs. According to Women Work! The National Network for Women’s Employment women working in non-traditional fields earn 20 to 30 percent more than those in traditionally female occupations.

Find out more about non-traditional careers

Delta College Career Services

Explore hundreds of potential careers with data for our region using the online search tool Career Coach.

Source: CareerFocus Consortium

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