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Trading Up: These Are Some Of The Best Apprenticeships for Black Women

These programs empower women to enter into trade work pathways, a lane that men have notoriously dominated.

In the 1500s, medieval workers in England would run apprenticeships for young adults and children in hopes of teaching them the skills needed to make a living as they grew older. This led to producing the country’s skilled blacksmiths, welders and metal workers, including those who created swords for knights.

Apprenticeships are still around, and are aimed at creating work experiences for students without formal education in a trade. These programs usually produce opportunities for participants to make entry into careers like construction, coding, business, plumbing and welding.

Although heavily dominated by men, skilled trades are breaking down barriers for women and equipping them with the tools needed to build lucrative and in-demand careers. As beneficial as they are, apprenticeship programs aren’t always easy to find. Luckily, we’ve done some of the work for you.

Welding
This lucrative pathway can be accessed through completing government-funded apprenticeships, which usually vary from state to state. Welders’ can make up to $117,000 and enjoy great job security since the skill is so specialized and necessary.

Today, there are more women welders than in the past, but there is still a significant gender gap. According to Zippia, there are more than 400,000 welders currently employed in the United States, but only 6.1% of them are women. That means 93.9% are men.

Fortunately, organizations like Women Who Weld exist to close that chasm.

The nonprofit offers partially subsidized, week-long intensive welding training classes for individuals who are interested in learning how to weld. Those who complete the course are prepared for full-time jobs or apprenticeships in the welding industry.

McDonald’s Business Administration Apprenticeship
For those interested in working in a more corporate setting but a traditional University program isn’t the pathway they want to take to get there, McDonald’s Business Administration Apprenticeship is a viable option. The long-running program is in partnership with the City Colleges of Chicago to offer a business administration apprenticeship program.

Board of Barbery and Cosmetology Hairdressing and Barbering Apprenticeship
This program equips participants with the basic skills in hairdressing and barbering while being paid. Once completed, the students earn a license to work without permission and eventually are able to work in a salon that accepts the credential.

Walgreens Pharmacy Technician Apprenticeship Program
This program sets participants up to become certified pharmacy technicians and pipeline them into careers with Walgreens immediately after completion of their coursework. On-the-job training is provided and patient-facing interactions equip the students with the know-how needed to hit the ground running.