Women currently make up 57.4% of the U.S. workforce, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But women are starkly underrepresented in many fields, particularly the technical trades, information technology, and public safety. Careers in these areas are often lucrative, and they provide stable career growth potential.

Why the imbalance in these fields? There may be multiple reasons, but to be sure, one of them is the lack of existing female role models.

If you don’t see any women carpenters or plumbers or electricians when you’re growing up, then it doesn't feel like an option.
Nina McLaughlin, a journalist who changed careers to become a carpenter, noted in her book, "Hammer Head: The Making of a Carpenter"

Did You Know?

  • Guilford County is a leader in North Carolina manufacturing. Mechatronics, the integration of mechanical and electronic systems, prepares students for in-demand careers in a variety of automated manufacturing environments. Computer-aided machinists and welders are also highwomen-in-aviation.jpgly sought after.
  • Local career opportunities abound in construction, information technology, and public safety.
  • Aviation careers are booming in Guilford County, including:
    • Structure & Composite Technicians (build/repair planes)
    • Avionics Technicians (install safety systems)
    • Management (lead/support production and repair teams)
  • STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) careers are readily available in Guilford County. Creative thinkers are needed to design, test, and implement solutions in a variety of disciplines.

Salary Spotlight

What are some median annual salaries for in-demand positions?*

  • Engineering Technician: $79,180
  • Electrician: $64,110
  • HVAC Technician: $57,080
  • Machinist: $52,600

*Source: YouScience database, 2019 North Carolina statistics

Career fields at GTCC

GTCC offers many programs through our Career Channels to choose from.
Manufacturing, Transportation, and ConstructionPublic Safety

There are also four-year degree transfer options in engineering.

Female GTCC students make most of Metallica scholarships in pursuit of careers in aviation industry

Two women participate in classes usually dominated by menKarina Linares and Armani Wallace share a few commonalities. They’re both in Guilford Technical Community College’s aviation manufacturing quick careers program (AMQCP). Neither had any knowledge of the aviation industry before enrolling in the class. And they’re both women excelling in an industry dominated by men. The duo also share something else: They both received scholarships through the Metallica Scholars Initiative to cover the cost of the six-month program.

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GTCC students who have chosen male-dominated fields

GTCC alumna Courtney Smith

GAP program alumna in male-dominated industry changing the tide

Courtney Smith knew what she wanted to do and who she was going to work for after she graduated from GTCC in spring 2022. She enrolled in the Guilford Apprenticeship Partnership (GAP) program, working as an apprentice for Machine Specialties Inc. The GAP program offers students the chance to work as an apprentice while getting their education.

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GTCC student Jessica Vazquez

Student combines supply chain management, culinary for career path

Jessica Vazquez attended GTCC briefly before joining the Marine Corps. She returned after her time in the military and decided to combine a hobby and a career goal. She's pursuing an associate degree in supply chain management and a certificate in baking and pastries. She will graduate in 2025 with a plan to open her own business.

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GTCC student Azadeh Hazemi

Refugee attends GTCC to re-establish her life and career in the U.S.

When Azadeh Hazemi came to the United States as a refugee from Iran, she had no idea what her life was going to look like. But after enrolling at GTCC, she found her place in the supply chain management program. She also took advantage of English Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) courses to learn the language.

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