Non-Traditional Career Paths for Men and Women

Randall Hansen
by Randall Hansen   Career Advice Expert 

With the fourth wave of feminism blazing ahead at full speed and more and more research surfacing that touts the benefits of a diverse workforce, gender equality has been a hot topic lately, and it shows no signs of stopping.

This means many employers are making a more concerted effort to hire equal numbers of women and men — particularly in jobs and industries that have been dominated by one gender in the past.

These occupations with lopsided representation are deemed nontraditional occupations by the Department of Labor if its workforce comprises less than 25 percent of one gender, and they could be interesting avenues of employment to explore as employers try to achieve gender parity.

In short, if you’re currently looking for a job, being a nontraditional applicant could give you an edge in this competitive job market. Here are a few nontraditional careers for women and jobs for men to think about.

Nontraditional Careers for Women

Whether you’re looking for a career change or are just interested in exploring additional opportunities outside your current field, here’s a list of some of the top nontraditional careers for women.

  1. Heavy equipment operator. Heavy equipment operators use machines like bulldozers and backhoes to move materials and excavate sites for building. If you’re interested in a job in this field, a detailed heavy equipment operator resume is a must.
  2. Automotive technician. Mechanics work on vehicles doing preventive maintenance, such as flushing fluids and replacing rotors, as well as repairing and replacing parts damaged from accidents or just regular wear and tear. A specialized automotive technician resume can help you stand out from other applicants during your job search.
  3. Electrician. Electricians are responsible for installing, maintaining and repairing power and lighting systems. If you’re looking to begin a career as an electrician, you can use one of our electrician resume examples to get started.
  4. Welder. As a welder, you will be tasked with putting metal structures together via welds as well as maintenance and repair work for metal equipment. A solid welding resume highlights your applicable skills and education to show you’re a good fit for the job.
  5. Firefighter. Whether they’re on a volunteer basis or officially employed by the city, firefighters must respond and help deal with many scenarios, including fires, car accidents, and other emergency situations. Use our firefighter resume to help you put your best foot forward during the job application process.
  6. Engineer. This job can include anything from mechanical engineering to civil engineering. Normal duties depend on the specific category but usually include researching, creating, and evaluating complex systems. If a job in engineering sounds right for you, using our engineer resume example can help.
  7. Police officer. Police officers are important members of the community who patrol neighborhoods, respond to emergency calls, and work to ensure the safety of law-abiding citizens. Our police officer resume example can help you see how to present your skills and experience in the best light.
  8. Computer technicians. Computer technicians can work as developers and programmers for small businesses or troubleshooters for internal and client-facing systems. If you’re interested in a job working with computers and technology, you can get started by looking at our computer technician resume example.

Nontraditional Careers for Men

Nontraditional careers for men include any job where at least 75 percent of the workforce is female. Here are a few selections from the Department of Labor’s list of nontraditional careers for men.

  1. Early education teachers. Kindergarten and preschool teachers are responsible for attending to the physical, emotional, and academic needs of children ages 18 months to 6 years old. If you think a career involving children is something you’d be interested in, this example of a teacher resume can help you get started.
  2. Dental assistant. A normal working day for a dental assistant might include examining and prepping patients and assisting with dental procedures. If you’re ready to start a career in dentistry, looking at examples of dental assistant resumes can help.
  3. Occupational therapist. Occupational therapists assess and implement treatment plans for patients who need help with daily living skills. For this job, you’ll need an occupational therapist resume that shows your education, licensing, and prior experience working with patients.
  4. Registered nurse. Nurses provide the majority of the patient care during hospital stays and are responsible for treating patients, working with the attending doctors. Before you begin the application process, check out our example of a great nurse resume.
  5. Cleaning professional. Cleaners can work in either residential or commercial settings, and normal job duties include dusting, mopping, and disinfecting surfaces and floors. To get started in this field, you’ll want a cleaning professional resume that highlights skills like dependability and attention to detail.
  6. Paralegal. A paralegal is a trained legal professional whose main job responsibility is to handle the paperwork and daily tasks for the lawyer they work for. Take a look at our paralegal resume to see how you can create an attention-grabbing job application.
  7. Massage therapist. Massages can be for both relaxation and physical benefit, and licensed massage therapists often have specialized in things like myofascial release and Shiatsu massage. A great massage therapist resume puts your credentials and experiences front and center.
  8. Social worker. Social workers focus on ensuring that at-risk populations, such as children and the elderly, are being well taken care of and have their needs met. If you’re interested in a career in helping people, our social worker resume can give you tips on presentation.

When you find a job you’re interested in, the first step is to create or tailor your resume to present yourself as the best candidate for the position. Looking at examples of resumes and cover letters is one way to make sure you’re covering all of the important points and positioning yourself as a short-list applicant.

More Non-Traditional Career Paths for Women

  • Airline Pilots
  • Announcer
  • Architects
  • Auctioneers
  • Bellhops and Porters
  • Carpenters/Construction Workers
  • Chefs and Head Cooks
  • Clergy
  • Dentists
  • Electricians
  • Engineers
  • Film Directors
  • Firefighters
  • Fishers, Hunters, Trappers
  • Funeral Directors
  • Garbage/Waste Collectors
  • Groundskeepers and Gardeners
  • Hospital Administrators
  • Logging Workers
  • Machinists
  • Mail Carriers
  • Mathematicians
  • Mechanics
  • Meter Readers
  • Optometrists
  • Parking Lot Attendants
  • Pest Control Specialists
  • Printing Press Operators
  • Scientists and Science Teachers
  • Security Guards
  • Security and Fire System Installers
  • Service Station Attendants
  • Taxicab Drivers and Chauffeurs
  • Tow Truck Operators
  • Truck Drivers
  • Welders

Non-Traditional Career Paths for Men

  • Bank Tellers
  • Bookkeepers
  • Cashiers
  • Child Care Workers
  • Clerical/Administrative Support Workers
  • Cosmetologists
  • Court Reporters
  • Dental Assistants and Hygienists
  • Elementary and Middle School Teachers
  • Flight Attendants
  • Hair Stylists
  • Home Health Aides
  • Hotel Clerks
  • Librarians
  • Maids and Housekeepers
  • Nurses
  • Occupational and Physical Therapists
  • Receptionists
  • Secretaries
  • Sewing Machine Operators
  • Social Workers
  • Speech pathologists
  • Teacher Assistants


  • U.S. Department of Labor: Women’s Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Unpublished data, Annual Averages 2003, Current Population Survey.
  • Workplace Solutions, an initiative of Wider Opportunities for Women (WOW).
  • ISEEK (Internet System for Education and Employment Knowledge), a gateway to Minnesota career, employment, education, and business development information and services.

Want to get started in one of these exciting fields? Get your resume and cover letter in order by using these helpful resources

About the Author

Career Advice Expert

Randall Hansen Career Advice Expert

Dr. Randall S. Hansen is the founder of Quintessential Careers, one of the oldest and most comprehensive career development sites on the web, as well CEO of Dr. Hansen is a published author, with several books, chapters in books, and hundreds of articles to his name. He is frequently quoted in the media and conducts empowering workshops around the country; he is also an educator who has taught at the college level for more than 15 years.


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