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Unconventional Careers for Women

Stacie L has been an educator for many years and likes to share her experiences and advice.

Woman working in construction

Woman working in construction

Non-Traditional Jobs That Pay Well

What job fields pay best? Men have traditionally held the top high paying jobs but now women are entering these same fields. Construction, mortuary, private investigation and alligator hunting are just some of the cool and unusual fields the ladies are pursuing.

This fact is becoming a reality mainly due to necessity. The higher-paying, career choices were usually reserved for men in the past and for some good reasons. Most are the career fields listed are physically demanding, and require brawn and stamina.

Due to economic demands, women need to work and have entered these taboo career fields in increasing numbers. Many women are the head of the household or are single parents. It's surprising how women have adjusted to these "manly" jobs. Many women paid their dues coming into male-dominated fields and had to endure daily verbal and sometimes physical threats. The young women today owe a lot to the groundbreakers that opened the doors.

I believe in equal rights and opportunities for women as long as they are able and willing to perform the same jobs as men. Notice most had the word "man" in the title, but I changed them. Maybe you'll see a field that interests you.

High-Paying Fields for Women

Here are a few of the more unusual high paying career paths for women:

  • Alligator hunter
  • Alligator wrestler
  • Exterminator
  • Animal trainer/act
  • Welder
  • Forklift operator
  • Carpenter
  • Stunt-woman
  • Mortician
  • Fishing boat captain
  • Fishing guide
  • Private investigator
  • Bail bondsman
  • Trash collector
  • Handy woman
  • Limo driver
  • Repoman

Hunting Alligators

Yes, alligator hunter is a real job that mostly exists in the Louisiana swamps. Men have been hunting 'gators for three hundred years when the first Cajun settlers arrived and needed food to survive. Now women are joining the annual hunt lasts 30 days each year in Louisiana to cull the population. If they didn't, the numbers would overwhelm the locals and create a dangerous condition for all living on the waterways. I watch a female team on the television show, "Swamp People" this year. People in this field make half their years salary during the hunting season. Other times they make money moving or killing pesky gators around busy waterways or residents property.

Alligator wrestlers are just what they sound like. Men have wrestled them for generations in animal sanctuaries to entertain and make a living. Now woman are learning the ropes but small need not apply. Anyone small would have a tough time in this job, so only big, strong women will have a better chance at this. There is a female worker learning to work with gators on a program tilted "Gator Boys."

A woman would have a better chance to make money by opening an alligator farm. They are becoming more profitable by farming gators and other animals for the exotic food market.

Risky Professions

Exterminators are called when there are termites or other creepy crawlies in the house. Mice, rats, snakes, possums, raccoons, bees are the more troublesome pests that can make a family vacate in a hurry.

Some training is required to use dangerous pesticides or non-lethal products as well. Learning about animal behavior may come on the job as a trainee. It's a dirty job crawling under homes and in attics. If you're allergic to bees, it may not be the career for you.

Animal trainers have been a circus staple for over 100 years where men are the only lion tamers but women are capable of training the beast as well. Some animal acts do very well in Las Vegas with small domestic cats and dogs.

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A Repocesser or "Repo man" is someone who goes to a home or business to repossess some property that hasn't kept their payments current. You can run into very angry people who want to fight you and do you bodily harm. Maybe a woman could sweet talk her way out of a fight but people who don’t pay their bills are usually not so cooperative. Watch the program on TruTv called Operation Repo that features women repo-ing cars.

I think this is one of the more dangerous jobs, aside from the alligator wrestler!

Dealing With Death

Stunt people are needed in the movies so that the star actor isn't hurt in a dangerous scene. Surely this is a death-defying profession and only those with skill can have a long career. Stuntwomen have been working in Hollywood for many years and is one of the male careers that they broke into early on. There are hands-on training for this position and many hours of physical training and practice.

Funeral directors, undertakers or morticians conger an image of a solemn male face in black suits. They have to have a minimum of a two-year degree to start and take care of all the arrangements for a funeral. This field pays very well if you can handle being around dead people. The duties include picking up the body from a hospital, nursing home, or morgue and embalming the deceased, dressing them and making them presentable. They sometimes have to apply the makeup as well but larger firms have a cosmetologist on hand.

Not many imagine a female mortician as a funeral director. I can't say I've ever seen a woman doing this job but know of a few students who entered mortician college out of high school.

The video has a female mortician with a sense of humor.

The Construction Field

A forklift operator seems to have an easy job sitting on a big machine and moving big crates around. But one wrong move and you can crush someone to death. Learning to move the gears and having good spatial orientation are good skills to have. Another hands-on or on the job training may be the only type of education you get.

Carpenters are another male-dominated construction job but women are moving in fast. In fact, some vocational schools are training more young women than men. The vocational school take high schools student in the last two years and teach them how to measure, cut wood, read plans, and use power tools and equipment.

Being handy is a good skill to have so when a man isn't available, maybe you should try a handy woman instead. Small jobs such as repairing leaking plumbing, electrical shorts, patching up walls, painting, are not out of reach for many women. Actually many women are licensed plumbers and electricians now, and the pay is great, so women think about it. According to the United States Dept. of Labor, electricians averaged $22.50 an hour.

Welders are used to working in hot sweaty conditions. You'd better be good at handling a torch and wearing a heavy metal face mask cause its an everyday requirement for this job. Welders work in construction settings welding metal beam for the frame of large buildings and skyscrapers. You better like heights as well.


Fishy Business

A charter boat captain takes anglers on their own fishing boat to the best locations in the oceans to catch the big one. Nailing a fighting swordfish, shark or barracuda is exciting for the passengers so the captain had better be well prepared for any emergencies. Getting a captain's license and training from the coast guard is usually required. Deckhands are needed depending on the size of the vessel. Licensing, insurance and bonding are other considerations before pursuing this avenue.

The fishing guide usually takes tourists to the best locations to catch trout, bass, catfish and other large varieties. Men have dominated this field and some women go with their husbands as a team. I don't know any but they are probably out there. Knowing the local rivers, and lakes is a requirement.

Mary's bails Bonds

Mary's bails Bonds

Women are getting into private investigating in large numbers. Many investigators started out in the police departments and retired early to pursue this line of work. You need some criminology degree and continuing education classes with experience handling some rough characters. Some only do online investigations and leave the rough stuff to others.

A state license is required in most states and registering the police department is recommended. There is a demand for P.I.'s to investigate cheating husbands and wives as well.

A bail bondsman can be a woman for sure. The bail is set by a judge and is paid by bail bonds company as a loan to a defendant and must report to the boding company as part of their agreement. Many times a defendant will "jump bail" and must be hunted down so that the bonding company can recoup the money and bring them to court or jail.

A woman hunting down a fugitive is risky and she should carry a weapon and have help. See Beth Chapman and Lisa Chapman on the program Dog the Bounty Hunter. They feature some other female bail bondsman.

Hauling People and Trash

Most metropolitan regions have required sanitation pickup that is usually handled by men. Trash collectors need upper body strength and endurance. They must work in all-weather; snow, ice, rain, and summer heat. The early hours and the smell of rotten trash is a constant headache. This job pays well in suburban locations and cities and I’ve known some teachers that quit their jobs to become sanitation workers.

A limo driver is similar to a taxi driver but considered a little safer since the clients paid already and the working conditions are somewhat better.

Driving kids to the prom, businessmen and women to the airport, being private chauffeur to a millionaire are a few of the option in the field.

Average Earnings for Unusual Jobs for Women

This is a partial list of the cool, unusual and high paying fields that women are entering. They used to be male-dominated fields but not anymore.

I surveyed many online job sites and Government Labor Department statistics and came up with some averages. Of course, it all depends on the state, population and economic status of the locale. Some of these are seasonal averages and some are yearly and hourly.

Average hourly wages for unconventional jobs for women:

  • Electrician: $22.50 /hr
  • Plumber: $25.00 /hr
  • Mortician: $29.50/hr
  • Limo driver: $15.00/hr
  • Repo man: $700.00 /week depending on number of jobs
  • Boat captain: $37,000 /yr
  • Alligator hunter: $26,000/season or year
  • Alligator wrestler: $10.00/hr and up
  • Welder: $16.00/hr to start
  • Bail bondsman: $65,000/yr
  • Trash collector: $15.00-$20.00/hr
  • Exterminator: $29.000/yr
  • Fishing guide: $40,000/yr
  • Private investigator: $50.00–100.00/hr.

Women Breaking Into the Blue-Collar Jobs Market

With the exception of the mortician training, most of these jobs and businesses are high paying blue-collar work traditionally held by men. It's becoming more apparent that women are just as capable and hard-working as the guys.

The pay is the biggest draw, as well as traditional women's careers, are not hiring or they simply find more fulfillment from this type of work. The work can be a little more mentally and physically demanding. Hunting down alligators or dangerous criminals seems exciting as opposed to sitting at a desk all day. With many single women raising children today, the lure of higher-paying businesses and jobs is understandable. Women are following their dreams and not letting anyone tell them that's its only men's work.

Poll on unconventional womens jobs

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2012 Stacie L


Stacie L (author) on January 16, 2016:

thank you donninque; I haven't known any stuntwomen myself but that's cool!

donald fronczak from lansing mi on January 16, 2016:

one of my childhood friends actually went to school to be a stunt woman. nice post

Stacie L (author) on March 09, 2015:

Daddy Paul; Thanks for leaving a commenting on my Hub about Women competing with men for hot jobs. Yes, I agree, women do work differently than men.


Daddy Paul from Michigan on March 09, 2015:

I have supervised women in traditional mens fields. What I have found is that women do the work differently ... not bad or good.

Stacie L (author) on June 27, 2014:

Thanks for reading and leaving your thoughtful comment.I agree that it's sometimes easier working with men than women.

There still remains male dominated fields that are really tough on women but someday that will disappear.

Peg Cole from North Dallas, Texas on June 26, 2014:

Working in a male dominated field to me is easier than working in a female dominated field. For one thing, men are keenly logical rather than emotional. I found out early that men can argue, rant and rave, call each other names, then go out and have lunch together, no hard feelings. That's not always the case with female coworkers.

As a Project Manager in the Telecom field, we were sometimes regarded with a healthy degree of skepticism until the project team got to know our particular style and work behaviors.

Stacie L (author) on December 18, 2013:

Since moving to a rural area, I see more women in traditional men's roles.Not sure why.

Surely,a private detective or bonds writer would be attainable? Thanks for stopping by. ;-)

Suzette Walker from Taos, NM on December 17, 2013:

This is an interesting article. I have noticed women in all types of jobs today, especially in traditionally men's jobs. I think job equality is here, I guess the pay has to become more equal though. I was a teacher, so a traditional job - I don't know how good I'd be as an alligator wrestler or plumber. LOL I usually can't figure out how to fix the faucet and end up calling a plumber in. Oh well! I enjoyed reading this.

Stacie L (author) on February 20, 2013:

Since I wrote this before women were allowed to fight on the front lines, I have had time to think about this. I think that women and men together may cause some problems and maybe there should be female troops and male troops. Women shouldn't be denied the opportunity to be a soldier but biology does have an effect when they are together. LOL

Julie on February 19, 2013:

As a Soldier for 13 years now, my husband had recently told me that the U.S. Army/Department of Defense, has just recently opened combat roles to women. He has been on 2 combat tours now, and he says that his fellow Soldiers have different feelings regarding this. I'm not sure what to think. I'd be curious as to you and what your other visitors think of this? I know "Soldiering" is a profession that has been open to women for quite some time now, but, not necessarily the direct combat portion of it.

Stacie L (author) on February 17, 2012:

Ghaelach: thanks for your reading my hub on unconventional jobs for women. Everyone deserves to work at whatever they are qualified for.

Ghaelach on February 17, 2012:

Morning Stacie.

Great hub.

I support everything you say. If a person can do it then get on with it and depending on the qualifications depends on your wage.

Take care Stacie.

LOL Ghaelach

lilylipgloss on February 17, 2012:

Hi Stacie, thanks for replying to my reply.

To be honest after I read my post after Id posted it, I thought oops, maybe that sounds a bit harsh. Was not meant to be, and I’m glad you did not take it so, well least from your reply you haven’t.

I think it’s hard for both woman and men today, and I just think sometimes us woman can be a bit self interested, when men from what I see, read, and from chatting are experiencing.

Keep up the nice blogs for us critics hehehe to comment on

Stacie L (author) on February 15, 2012:

lillylipgloass; I expected some women to take offense but I mean it when I said,I believe in equal rights and opportunities for women as long as they can do the job.

Men also have to be able to perform traditional woman's jobs as well.Some men have gone into nursing and secretarial work and wouldn't keep their jobs long if they couldn't do it. The same holds true for women in construction, limo driving,or alligator hunting. Anyone that can perform the job duties should be allowed to hod that job.

Thank you for commenting.

lilylipgloss on February 14, 2012:

You claim that

“I believe in equal rights and opportunities for women as long as they are able and willing to perform the same jobs as men”.

I think that its unrealalistic to expect a woman to be able to do all the work that men do, and the other way round. I mean as a woman (and a bit of a girly one at that I admit) there is no way I can, could do the welding you talk about and the heavy lifting (and most of the other jobs mentioned), even if I wanted to.

However if I had too, then as I would not be able to do all the work required to for fill my job, then as you say I would not and should not be paid the same as a man doing the same job.

So where are the equal rights? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a feminist, just I fail to see your point.

Sticking up for the guys, in the past 10-15 years or so there has been a great movement to the feminisation of the work force, as manufacturing has dropped off in the west.

So now you are saying we should undertake their (men’s) jobs as well?

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