Off-campus UNL users: To download campus access dissertations, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your NU ID and password. When you are done browsing please remember to return to this page and log out.

Non-UNL users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this dissertation through interlibrary loan.

The experiences of five women in a skilled trade apprenticeship program

Larry Michael Bower, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


The purpose of this study was to explore the experiences of five women who entered a skilled trade apprenticeship program that had been predominantly male oriented. The apprentices were in at least the second year of the program which provided a significant period of time for the participants to reflect on their experiences and discuss their perceptions about what might occur after completion of the program. The study examined three components of the apprenticeship program: (1) education, (2) on-the-job training, and (3) the working relationships with journeymen. ^ A review of the literature focused on apprenticeship theory and practices as related to skill obtainment and the impact on women entering the apprenticeship program. ^ The significance of this qualitative research was two-fold: (a) to examine factors that effect women in a skilled trade apprenticeship program, and (b) to add new knowledge and insights about women performing work in predominantly male-oriented vocations. ^ Four themes emerged from the study: (1) the importance of physical conditioning; apprentices mentioned the need to be physically fit to perform the tasks required in the workplace, (2) mental preparation; apprentices indicated a need to mentally prepare oneself for a work environment that was predominantly dominated by males, (3) training; apprentices were positive about the training provided by the training center and the journeymen, (4) access to hygiene accommodations; apprentices expressed concerns that women were not provided work-site facilities to address their specific hygiene needs.^

Subject Area

Women's Studies|Education, Vocational

Recommended Citation

Bower, Larry Michael, "The experiences of five women in a skilled trade apprenticeship program" (2007). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3242157.