Consider a non-traditional occupation!
A non-traditional occupation (NTO) is defined as any occupation in which women or men comprise less than 25% of the workforce. Today, many women and men are breaking down barriers to pursue careers.
NTO careers can mean:
- Higher Wages
- Financial Security
- Good Benefits
- Demand for Skilled Workers
- Freedom to Pursue Careers Related to Interests and Abilities
Choosing a Non-Traditional Career
Before you make your decision, do some research. In fact, gather as much information as you can.
In addition to the resources on this page, the Career Services office offers support for NTO career options. The Equity & Inclusion Specialist, Terrelle Wilson, can also discuss ways Western can support your journey in a non-traditional occupation. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. In addition, Western has several faculty members who teach in NTO career areas and have worked in NTO fields. They can give you great advice!
Join Western’s women's empowerment group called Women Initiative Network (WIN). It started in the Fall Term of 2020. Gatherings are informal and casual learning opportunities. The purpose of WIN is to connect with alumni and other female students to build community and peer support. This space should allow you to connect, grow, and network with other women with shared experiences. Future events could involve—a group bowling night, lunch at a restaurant, women in the field panel, mentoring, etc. Contact us if you are interested in learning more about upcoming gatherings.
The following programs have occupations that are considered non-traditional. Visit the Academic Program page to find out more about Western programs that lead to these occupations.
Agri-Business Science Technology, Air Cond, Heating, & Refrigeration, Architectural Technology, Automotive Technician, Automotive & Light Repair Level l, Automotive Service Technician Level 2, Basic Industrial Power, Basic Machining, Basic Welding, Bio-Medical Electronics, Building Science & Energy Management, Business Management, CAD Technician, Criminal Justice – Law Enforcement – 720, Criminal Justice, Culinary Management, Diesel & Heavy Equip Technician, Diesel & Heavy Equip Tech. Assistant, Digital Media Production, Electronic & Computer Engineering Technology, Electromechanical Technology, Electromechanical Maintenance Technician, Advanced EMT, EMT - Basic, EMT– Paramedic, Farm Business & Production Management, Fire Protection Technician, Food Production Specialist, Industrial Electronic & Maintenance, IT–Computer Support Specialist, IT-Computer Support Technician, IT-Network Systems Administration, IT-Network Systems Technician, IT–Web & Software Developer, Landscape Horticulture, Landscape Technician, Manufacturing Systems Maintenance Technician, Mechanical Design Technology, Mechanical Maintenance, Paramedic Technician, Precision Machining & Programming, Refrigeration, Air Cond & Heating Service Technician, Welding & Fabrication, Wood Tech
Administrative Professional, Central Service Technician, Dental Assistant, Early Childhood Education, Educational Assistant, Foundations of Teacher Education, Health Information Technology, Health Office Professional, Human Services Associate, Medical Administrative Professional, Medical Assistant, Medical Coding Specialist, Medical Lab Technician, Nursing-Associate Degree, Nursing Assistant, Occupational Therapy Assistant, Office Support Specialist, Paralegal, Pharmacy Technician, Physical Therapist Assistant, Practical Nursing, Radiography, Respiratory Therapist, Surgical Technology
Closing the Gender Gap
Tips and resources for women to rise in their careers. Website
U.S. Department of Labor
Find an online employment outlook handbook, unemployment rates, and wages by occupation. Website
Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development
Links you to JobNet support services and labor market information. Website
Wisconsin Health Careers
Provides links to colleges in Wisconsin offering training in healthcare with occupational description. Website
Occupational Outlook Handbook
For hundreds of different types of jobs, the Occupational Outlook Handbook tells you the training and education needed, earnings, expected job prospects, and what workers do on the job. Website
Minnesota's non-traditional career resources. Website
Bureau of Labor and Statistics
Overview of BLS Statistics on Women Workers. Website
Wider Opportunities for Women
WOW works nationally and in its home community of Washington, DC to build pathways to economic independence for America's families, women, and girls. Website
The American Assembly for Men in Nursing
Provides a framework for nurses, as a group, to meet, to discuss, and influence factors, which affect men as nurses. Website
Katie Pickel - Student, Electromechanical Technology Program
“I’ve found I’ve had nothing but good experiences with all these other guys here. Lots of camaraderie. It’s a pretty easygoing atmosphere. It’s not scary or intimidating at all. It was a good experience.”
Jill Heiser - Student, Refrigeration, Air Conditioning & Heating Service Technician Program
“I knew from a young age I didn’t want to sit down at a desk so I figured I’d get a job where you’re up and working all the time. That’s definitely what this is—it’s an active job!”
Women in Information Technology
“It's really been a good fit and I can't believe how well it's worked in my favor.”
Renae Giertych - Graduate, Diesel & Heavy Equipment Technician Assistant Program
“You can do it! You really can, despite what anybody says, despite what you think, just put in the time, put in the work and you will succeed.”
Randi Cooper - Graduate, Automotive Technician Program
“I decided to go school for automotive which was probably the best decision I ever could have made.”
Emily Wurzel - Graduate, Agri-Business Science Program
“My boss in high school was a farmer and he was a really good role model. He was never afraid to teach me things or had any sort of stigma because I was a city kid.”
Kelly Tauscher - Graduate, Landscape Horticulture Program
“I'm surprised how much I fell in love with it...this is what I want to do forever.”
Steve Thompson - Instructor, Surgical Technology Program
“There were a few males in my program, but there has always been more involvement by females in this profession...that never bothered me--in the healthcare field you work as a team.”
For more video testimonials, visit Western's YouTube channel.