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By Stephen Pederson

The Top Paying Professions for Women

Which Professions are Paying the Most to Women?

A woman making a presentation.

Women in the Workplace

Since the early feminist movement of the 1960′s, gender equality pay issues have been brought to the forefront by both government and media institutions.  Though gender pay gap has closed over recent decades, there is still a difference between what men and woman are paid in both thegeneral economy and in many specific industries.  The issue has raged on in the public eye for many years and like most complex socio-economic topics of conversation, this issue will likely rage on for many years more as the legislative world and free markets move back and forth trying to reach equilibrium and consensus.

Practically Speaking: What’s a Girl to Do Now?

Given that these complex issues take years, if not generations, to sort themselves out, what is a woman to do now?  Pragmatically speaking, if you are a woman looking to maximize her earnings the question still remains: what professions are the best to pursue in terms of earnings?

Fortunately, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics ( collects information on the best paying occupations in the United States.  This data is available to anyone with a computer and an Internet connection … or, a public library card.  The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics also collect occupational earnings data by gender.  The information in the table below illustrates the most recent (based on 2012 data, published in 2013) occupational data.  What is presented is the Top 20 Paying Professions for Females in the United States.  The data reported is based on median weekly and yearly earnings – where median earnings represent the earnings with the highest number of workers/participants as opposed to the average earnings.  The percentage of women compared to men participating in that workforce and the percentage of earnings compared to men in that profession are also included.

Table: The Top Paying Professions for Women – U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Median Weekly Earnings
Median Yearly Earnings
% of Women in Profession
Earnings as % of Men's Earnings
Pharmacists $1,871.00 $97,500.00 52%100%
CEO $1,730.00 $90,000.00 26%76%
Lawyer $1,636.00 $85,000.00 33%80%
Nurse Practioners $1,530.00 $79,500.00 84%Not Available
IT Systems Mgr. $1,527.00 $79,500.00 26%88%
Physicians/Surgeons $1,418.00 $74,000.00 35%68%
Physician Assts $1,364.00 $71,000.00 69%Not Available
Software Dev. $1,362.00 $71,000.00 20%81%
Mgmt Analysts $1,325.00 $69,000.00 42%86%
Comp. Sys. Analysts $1,254.00 $65,000.00 33%85%
HR Mgr. $1,208.00 $63,000.00 74%83%
Occupational Therapists $1,200.00 $62,500.00 96%Not Available
Med. Health Serv. Mgr. $1,190.00 $62,000.00 71%77%
Physical Therapists $1,190.00 $62,000.00 61%87%
Physical Scientists $1,171.00 $61,000.00 34%77%
Ops. Research Analysts $1,169.00 $61,000.00 55%75%
Psychologists $1,155.00 $60,000.00 77%Not Available
Comp. Programmers $1,148.00 $59,500.00 23%84%
Speech Pathologists $1,121.00 $58,500.00 98%Not Available
Mkt/Sales Mgr. $1,110.00 $58,000.00 44%68%

Top Earning Professions for Women -

The top profession by median earnings for women working in the United States as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The data was collected in 2012 and reported in 2013.


For further reading on this topic:

The Highest Paying

The Top Paying Jobs for Women -

Women Paid Low Wages: Who They Are and Where They Work

Gender Equality Still Exists: It’s Not What You Think

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