25 Best-Paying Jobs for Women

Kate Lorenz, CareerBuilder Editor

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When you look at Forbes magazine's most recent list of highest-paid CEO's (chief executives of the 500 biggest companies in the United States), you won't see a woman until No. 48: Irene B Rosenfeld, CEO of Kraft Foods.  In a country where women make up 47 percent of the workforce, women make up just 3 percent of Fortune 500 CEO's. In addition, women who worked full time earned an average of just 80 percent of what men earned in the same positions in 2008, according to the BLS.

But is salary disparity between genders the issue or is it something deeper?

In the Harvard Business Review blog, Avivah Wittenberg-Cox wrote: "Women represent one of the world's biggest and most under-reported opportunities. The business world has been so focused on stories like the rise of China that it has not been invited to see that, much closer to home, business could be reaping the benefits of the rise of women. Companies -- and their business school feeders -- have been slow in adapting and profiting from this shift, and part of the reason is that media too often focus on small, sensational and misleading parts of the story, including aspects like the wage gap."

Catalyst's February 2010 Pipeline's Broken Promise  report examining high potential graduates from top business schools around the world found that, even after taking into account experience, industry and region, women start at lower levels than men, make on average $4,600 less in their initial jobs, and continue to be outpaced by men in rank and salary growth. Only when women begin their post-MBA career at mid-management or above do they achieve parity in position with men -- a situation that accounted for only 10 percent of the women and 19 percent of the men surveyed.

Whatever the cause, the BLS reports there are only a handful of occupations where women's earnings are equal to or exceed men's including construction and extraction occupations; special education teachers; installation, maintenance and repair occupations; life, physical and social science technicians; and counselors.

We wanted to know, what jobs pay women the most money? Here are 25 jobs where women earn $1000 a week or more, according to the BLS. One thing to note is that they all earn a fraction of their male counterparts.

Pharmacists
Women - Median weekly earnings: $1,647 
Men - Median weekly earnings: $1,914     
Women's earnings as percent of men's in same occupation: 86.1%

Chief executives   
Women - Median weekly earnings: $1,603 
Men - Median weekly earnings: $1,999     
Women's earnings as percent of men's in same occupation:  80.2%

Lawyers     
Women - Median weekly earnings: $1,509 
Men - Median weekly earnings: $1,875     
Women's earnings as percent of men's in same occupation:  80.5%

Computer software engineers  
Women - Median weekly earnings: $1,351 
Men - Median weekly earnings: $1,555     
Women's earnings as percent of men's in same occupation:  86.9%

Computer and information systems managers       
Women - Median weekly earnings: $1,260 
Men - Median weekly earnings: $1,641     
Women's earnings as percent of men's in same occupation:  76.8%

Physicians and surgeons
Women - Median weekly earnings: $1,230 
Men - Median weekly earnings: $1,911     
Women's earnings as percent of men's in same occupation:  64.4%

Management analysts    
Women - Median weekly earnings: $1,139 
Men - Median weekly earnings: $1,391     
Women's earnings as percent of men's in same occupation:  81.9%

Human resources managers    
Women - Median weekly earnings: $1,137 
Men - Median weekly earnings: $1,433     
Women's earnings as percent of men's in same occupation:  79.3%

Speech-language pathologists 
Women - Median weekly earnings: $1,124 
Men - Median weekly earnings: *   
Women's earnings as percent of men's in same occupation:  **

Computer and mathematical occupations    
Women - Median weekly earnings: $1,088 
Men - Median weekly earnings: $1,320     
Women's earnings as percent of men's in same occupation:  82.4%

Computer scientists and systems analysts   
Women - Median weekly earnings: $1,082 
Men - Median weekly earnings: $1,240     
Women's earnings as percent of men's in same occupation:  87.3%

Physician assistants      
Women - Median weekly earnings: $1,077 
Men - Median weekly earnings: **  
Women's earnings as percent of men's in same occupation:  **

Medical and health services managers        
Women - Median weekly earnings: $1,066 
Men - Median weekly earnings: $1,504     
Women's earnings as percent of men's in same occupation:  70.9%

Physical scientists, all other    
Women - Median weekly earnings: $1,061 
Men - Median weekly earnings: $1,535     
Women's earnings as percent of men's in same occupation:  69.1%

Postsecondary teachers 
Women - Median weekly earnings: $1,056 
Men - Median weekly earnings: $1,245     
Women's earnings as percent of men's in same occupation:  84.8%

Marketing and sales managers 
Women - Median weekly earnings: $1,024 
Men - Median weekly earnings: $1,601     
Women's earnings as percent of men's in same occupation:  64%

Physical therapists        
Women - Median weekly earnings: $1,019 
Men - Median weekly earnings: $1,329     
Women's earnings as percent of men's in same occupation:  76.7%

Occupational therapists 
Women - Median weekly earnings: $1,016 
Men - Median weekly earnings: **  
Women's earnings as percent of men's in same occupation:  **

Registered nurses
Women - Median weekly earnings: $1,011 
Men - Median weekly earnings: $1,168     
Women's earnings as percent of men's in same occupation:  86.6%

Managers, all other        
Women - Median weekly earnings: $1,010 
Men - Median weekly earnings: $1,359     
Women's earnings as percent of men's in same occupation:  74.3%

Psychologists       
Women - Median weekly earnings: $1,004 
Men - Median weekly earnings: **  
Women's earnings as percent of men's in same occupation:  **

Computer programmers 
Women - Median weekly earnings: $1,003 
Men - Median weekly earnings: $1,261     
Women's earnings as percent of men's in same occupation:  79.5%

Architecture and engineering occupations   
Women - Median weekly earnings: $1,001 
Men - Median weekly earnings: $1,286     
Women's earnings as percent of men's in same occupation:  77.8%

Advertising and promotions managers         
Women - Median weekly earnings: $1,000 
Men - Median weekly earnings: **  
Women's earnings as percent of men's in same occupation:  **

Education administrators         
Women - Median weekly earnings: $1,000 
Men - Median weekly earnings: $1,398     
Women's earnings as percent of men's in same occupation:  71.5%

 

*No data or data that do not meet publication criteria.

** Data not shown where the male employment base is less than 50,000.


Kate Lorenz is the editor for CareerBuilder.com and its job-seeker blog, www.TheWorkBuzz.com. She researches and writes about job search strategy, career management, hiring trends and workplace issues. Follow CareerBuilder on Twitter www.twitter.com/CBforjobseekers.



Last Updated: 04/05/2010 - 12:28 PM


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