Let’s get this out of the way first: Women can do anything and everything within a shipyard. And the maritime industry needs more women in roles from the shipbuilding floor to the highest levels of management. So, how can women excel in the marine industry? If you’re thinking about getting started in the shipbuilding industry, what should you know to help you get your foot in the door and begin to climb that ladder? Here are a few things to consider.
Regardless of what job you want in a shipyard, it’s important you first start with your education. Most shipyard jobs require at least a high school diploma or GED. Some will also require trade school or technical college, so research programs that fit your interest levels. Some, such engineering, will require a bachelor’s degree or higher from a university.
Slightly different than education is training. Along with the things your education will teach you, such as math skills, you will need specific training in your chosen specialty. For example, if you want to get into welding, it’s important you have the proper training, such as apprenticeships, that can get you to the next level of your career.
You will also need to bring experience to the table. There are ways to get entry–level experience within a shipyard; however, you can also gain this experience in other manufacturing environments and transition to shipbuilding with your transferable skills. Building your resume will be an important step to land your career in the marine industry.
Finally, as you begin to climb the ladder within the maritime industry, put yourself in positions to become a leader. It’s important to the future of shipbuilding that professional women are in positions to make decisions. But to get there, you need to demonstrate your skills, abilities, aptitude and interest in the industry starting from the bottom up.