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Women in Non-Traditional Careers

Are you ready for a new career? 


Santiago Canyon College offers an array of college occupational programs. If you’re stuck in a low-paying or unrewarding job, a career change may be just a few classes away. Many college occupational programs can prepare you for an excellent salary and well-defined career ladder with plenty of advancement opportunities. Best of all, a college degree isn’t required. Often, a vocational certificate can open the door to a new career. Women are especially encouraged to investigate job training opportunities at Santiago Canyon College, because we are under-represented in technical, skilled, high-wage jobs.


“Although women make up almost half of the U.S. workforce, in the areas of public works, water utility science, and surveying, they hold only about four percent of the jobs,”  said college president John Weispfenning.  “SCC can prepare women for these well-paying fields.” These careers offer job security, benefits, advancement opportunities, and salaries of around 150 percent more than traditional women’s careers. Add it up over a lifetime of work, and that’s almost $1 million.


Fields such as public works, water utility science, and surveying are all experiencing large numbers of Baby Boomer retirements. These areas are essential to serving California’s growing population and the need for roads, construction and public utilities. Employers are scrambling to find enough trained workers to fill entry-level jobs.


Other than a high school diploma, a willingness to work hard and some career counseling, no other experience or aptitude is required before taking the career technical classes that will help you start your rewarding new career. Math skills are required for most jobs, but what you’ll need is taught in the program coursework. All instructors are experts in their fields with certifications and many years of real world experience. Coursework combines professional and technical classes with hands-on experience. Nontraditional careers for women offer great flexibility and many options as well as outstanding salaries. You can work for either the public or private sector, outdoors using field instruments or inside an office managing projects and budgets on a computer.


Fees at Santiago Canyon College are a value at $46 per unit, and financial aid and scholarships are available to assist with books and living expenses. On-site child care is available. Classes are forming now and are conveniently offered during day and evening hours as well as on the weekends. For more information, visit the website at or call (714) 628-4883.


Fast-Track Training


Below are a few of the many career programs offered at Santiago Canyon College. Some are so specialized, you won’t find them at other community colleges. Certificates can be earned by taking from five to eight classes.

Public Works

Certificate/Degree Options: construction management, construction inspection, and environmental management.

Salary: $71,010/year* (construction and building inspectors)



Certificate/Degree Options: land surveying.

Salary: $59,860/year* (surveying/mapping technicians)



Certificate/Degree Options: water distribution, water treatment, and wastewater/ environmental sanitation.

Salary: $61,300/year*
(water treatment plant/systems operator)

*Salary information obtained from the Employment Development Department, Labor Market Information Division,