1. Career Advice
  2. Finding a job
  3. Find out more about non-traditional careers
Find out more about non-traditional careers

Find out more about non-traditional careers

  • Why pursue a non-traditional career?
  • Non-traditional careers to pursue if you’re a woman
  • Engineer
  • Carpenter
  • Firefighter
  • Non-traditional careers to pursue if you’re a man
  • Nurse
  • Early childhood teachers
  • Paralegals
  • Key takeaways

Some careers have long been seen as “men’s work” while others are seen as “women’s work.” The following non-traditional career paths, though, are rewarding and worth pursuing, no matter what your gender is!

Theoretically, the modern economy is a place of equal opportunity where anyone can pursue the job of their dreams. In practice, there’s still a lot of jobs that are seen as masculine and dominated by men or seen as feminine and dominated by women. With these trends, though, comes a chance to shatter glass ceilings and defy social expectations. If you’re interested in working at a job that’s not not traditionally associated with your gender, the following careers are well worth considering.

This blog covers the following topics and non-traditional career paths:

  • Perks of pursuing non-traditional careers

  • Non-traditional careers for men

  • Non-traditional careers for women

Why pursue a non-traditional career?

Pursuing a non-traditional career isn’t always easy. Close-minded people might look down on you for not following certain stereotypes. Recruiters might reject you out of hand because of personal or professional biases. Working at these jobs, supervisors might even pass you over for big responsibilities or give male/female colleagues who do half your work twice the credit.

At the same time, searching for a new job that’s not traditional for your gender can be liberating. By pushing past norms about what counts as “men’s work” or “women’s work,” you can build satisfying, personally enriching careers in workplaces you’d never considered before and build relationships with people you’d never had a reason to meet. In the big picture, non-traditional job search plans break down “glass ceilings” and other social/legal barriers that keep cultures from fully living up to their ideals of equal opportunity.

Non-traditional careers to pursue if you’re a woman


Engineers often have careers focused on maintaining industrial machinery, civic infrastructure, and other complex systems, but might also perform research and develop new products and devices. To qualify for an engineering job or related tech career, you’ll generally need a bachelor’s degree in a technical field and some experience in an internship or engineering program.


Carpenters contribute to a variety of construction projects, from houses and public buildings to craft objects, including cabinets and furniture. In most countries, carpenters need to have a high school diploma and spend several years working as an apprentice and journeyman.


The percentage of female firefighters across the world is still low but growing as women make inroads into this traditionally male-dominated trade. Women who seek to become firefighters often need to have a high school diploma, pass physical fitness tests and EMT training, and graduate from a firefighter academy.

Non-traditional careers to pursue if you’re a man


Nurses in hospitals work alongside doctors to treat patients and attend to their needs. Before earning your nursing license, you’ll need to earn a degree in nursing–generally either a bachelor’s or associate’s. Most nurse positions also require a significant amount of physical fitness.

Early childhood teachers

Early childhood teachers often find work with kindergartens and daycare centers and are responsible for both looking after children and teaching them foundational skills related to communication, socialization, and reading. In most parts of the world, you’ll need to earn a bachelor’s degree, pass an educator preparation program, and acquire a teaching license before you can pursue work as an early childhood teacher.


Most paralegals work at law firms, assisting lawyers with legal proceedings, the representation of clients, and researching local/international laws. To earn paralegal certification, you’ll generally first need a bachelor’s or associate’s degree in some kind of legal field.

To locate more non-traditional job opportunities, check out Career.io’s Job Tracker service!

Key takeaways

  1. Male professionals who want to pursue non-traditional careers should look into service or caregiving occupations.

  2. Female professionals who want to pursue non-traditional careers should look into technical positions, positions centered around construction, and positions that require high levels of physical fitness.

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