Far above the national average of 13 percent, the city of Wichita Falls comes in fifth out of small United States cities for percentage of women in the construction industry.
When accounting for self-employed workers, the percentage of U.S. women in the construction industry falls even further to 10.3 percent.
With 24.8 percent of all construction employees being women, the city of Wichita Falls ranks fifth out of all U.S. small cities for women in the field according to a recent report by Construction Coverage.
A career in the construction field can be a lucrative business for women compared to other choices. Contrary to most occupations, women in the construction field tend to earn higher wages than women across all industries.
In Texas, only about 10.2 percent of construction employees are women.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the construction industry has long been dominated by men with the number of women joining the field remaining relatively stagnate for the past 30 years.
The high number of women in the field in Wichita Falls shows some areas of the country fare better than others for women interested in a construction career.
Even within the construction industry, women workers still far outnumber men for office jobs such as administrative work and sales. Men in the field have a higher representative in the areas of finance, transportation, construction, extraction and maintenance.
Across the country, there are just over 1.1 million women working in construction, compared to 9.9 million men.
Women who work in construction make higher wages than women across all other industries with a median full-time wage of $46,808 compared to $43,394 in other industries.
Interestingly, the opposite is true for men in construction work who typically make less than men in other fields.
The gender pay gap narrows for women in construction at just 3.7 percent compared to other industries at 19 percent.
For the Construction Coverage study, they ranked small, midsize and large cities based on the percentage of women in the construction industry.
For small U.S. cities, the top five places were:
- Sandy Springs, Georgia
- Carmel, Indiana
- Burbank, California
- Ventura, California
- Wichita Falls, Texas
For midsize cities, the top five are:
- Tallahassee, Florida
- Pembroke Pines, Florida
- Mobile, Alabama
- Cape Coral, Florida
- Little Rock, Arkansas
Large cities’ top five places are:
- Minneapolis, Minnesota
- Seattle, Washington
- San Francisco, California
- Washington D.C.
- Virginia Beach, Virginia
Among all cities, Tallahassee, Florida, had the highest percentage of women construction employees at 30.8 percent.
Among all 323 cities in the study, Wichita Falls came in eighth for women in construction.
In Wichita Falls with 24.8 percent of female workers, there are 459 women in the field and approximately 1,394 male construction employees.
The median earnings for full-time construction workers in the city is $51,695. This median income in Wichita Falls is higher than the national average wage for construction workers at $48,307. The wage is also much higher than the Texas average construction salary of $41,643.
The Deloitte’s 2020 Engineering and Construction Industry Outlook report shows the COVID-19 pandemic has heightened the need for efficient project management of construction projects, possible spelling an increased demand of administrative and management positions in the industry.
Additionally, a recent survey shows only about three percent of young adults are interested in pursuing a career in the construction industry, possibly meaning a labor shortage that drives up wages even further and making the field even more appealing for women in the workforce.
The full Construction Coverage report can be seen at: https://constructioncoverage.com/research/cities-with-the-most-women-in-construction-2020.
Claire Kowalick, a senior journalist for the Times Record News, covers local government, military and MSU Texas. If you have a news tip, contact Claire at email@example.com.
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