Careers For Women: Examples And Salaries

By Chris Kolmar - Nov. 24, 2020

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According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2019, about 57.4% of women were part of the workforce, compared to 69.9% of men. As women continue to work, more and more opportunities appear for them to find rewarding careers and earn competitive salaries in their fields.

Despite the growing role of women in the American workforce, the pay gap is unfortunately still very real. In most occupations, women are being paid less than men for the same work. In a 2018 study, the Pew Research Center found that, on average, across the board, women earned 85% of the salaries that men earned.

The gender pay gap exists for many reasons, including differences in educational opportunities between the genders, gender discrimination, and disruptions in career paths due to caregiving responsibilities. While the pay gap is not something that will be resolved easily or quickly, certain professions are more supportive of women.

If you’re looking for a job that pays well, finding a field where women make up a large portion of the workforce is a good place to start. Industries like healthcare and law tend to have many women who earn competitive salaries for their work. Management positions also have a reputation for being high-paying jobs, with many women in management roles.

In other cases, women can earn big salaries in fields where you need lots of education or other specialized requirements. Jobs that require master’s or doctorate degrees tend to pay higher because of their demanding requirements.

Sometimes location can be a factor in salaries for women too. Keep this in mind when considering your career goals and career-planning since job opportunities and salaries can change depending on which state you’re working in. Even more specific than that, salary opportunities can vary by city, like in Massachusetts and South Carolina, where conditions are better in some regions of the state.

We’re going to look at some of the highest-paying jobs for women currently out there. But don’t get discouraged if you don’t see your profession on the list because there are plenty of amazing opportunities out there for women, and it would be impossible to cover them all.

  • Pharmacist. Women can expect to earn big salaries as pharmacists. On average, a woman earns over $98,000 annually as a pharmacist. The salary is high since it requires extra education (a Doctor of Pharmacy degree) and licenses. Still, since most pharmacists work in grocery or drug stores, the hours can be regular and flexible, unlike other medical professions.

  • Lawyer. Similarly, women can earn a lot of money as lawyers because of the education and qualification requirements, like a law degree and passing the bar exam. There are many fields within law that you can choose to work in, like family law, corporate law, and environmental law. Depending on your field, you can have typical working hours or a more demanding schedule, so pick what fits your lifestyle best. Because of the education requirements and work schedule, salaries are high, and women earn over $91,000 a year as lawyers.

  • Registered nurse. Nursing jobs have always been a popular career choice for women. Since the field has many women, there tends to be less of a pay gap in nursing jobs. There’s plenty of diverse opportunities, too, since registered nurses are always in demand, and you can specialize in a field that you like. To become a registered nurse, you’ll need to get an appropriate degree, pass the NCLEX exam, and earn your license.

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  • Marketing specialists and analysts. Another career path that’s on the rise for women is in marketing. Women are slowly making up the majority of marketing positions. With the industry’s usually regular working hours, opportunities for advancement, and a wide range of roles, anyone can find a great fit in marketing. If you love data, marketing analysts are always in demand, but you can also find opportunities to be creative with writing and design roles.

  • CEO. Women tend to do well in management roles, and working as a CEO is no exception. While the pay gap tends to be higher in executive roles, women can still expect to earn about $90,000 a year on average. There’s plenty of opportunities to find a position in every industry, but CEO roles are notorious for their long hours and challenging work.

  • Public relations specialist. Like marketing, women are slowly taking over the PR profession. About 65% of people working in PR are women thanks to its high salaries, more or less regardless of gender. If you like working on many projects at once, writing, thinking creatively, and talking to people, PR might be a good path for you.

  • Computer and information systems. As technology becomes more and more essential to our everyday lives, there’s a huge demand for people to manage the computer and information systems that rule our tech.

    Jobs for women in STEM fields get a bad reputation because of the masculine work environments, pay gaps, and difficulty to land a job. Still, women are changing the industry and making generous salaries while doing it. Most women earn $89,000 a year on average in computer systems manager positions.

  • Veterinarian. If you’re an animal lover, consider becoming a veterinarian. While there are requirements like attending veterinarian school, taking an oath, and getting clinical experience, it’s much less demanding than human medical fields. Women make up a large portion of the field (about 75% of vets are women) and can earn six figures for their work.

  • Sales manager. Again, women tend to do well in management positions and get compensated accordingly. On average, female sales managers earn about $70,000 a year. Unlike other jobs on this list, there aren’t too many requirements to become a sales manager.

    Typically a bachelor’s degree in a related field (like marketing, communications, or business administration) and lots of relevant work experience is enough to land a job.

  • Physical therapists. Physical therapists have become more in demand as people start to take holistic approaches to their health. Women can do exceptionally well as physical therapists, earning an average of $72,000 a year, and the pay gap between men and women in the field is one of the lowest.

    To be a physical therapist, you’ll need to get a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree, get a license, and gain clinical experience.

  • Software developer. As another STEM role, software developers are in high demand, and the field is only expected to grow more. If you love coding, designing apps, or anything similar, this could be a great way to make money doing what you love.

    There aren’t many requirements to enter the field and plenty of diverse opportunities across industries for you to choose from. While the gender pay gap can be significant in STEM fields, women still earn, on average, $85,000 a year as software developers.

  • Physicians. No longer a field dominated by men, women are becoming physicians and making up about 40% of all physicians and surgeons. There are plenty of fields to choose from, depending on what kind of medicine you’re passionate about.

    You can work with other women as an OB/GYN, children as a pediatrician, or choose a medical specialty to focus on. The gender pay gap can be high in medicine (sometimes, women only earn 66% of men’s salaries), but you can still expect to earn around $87,000 a year on average.

  • Human resources manager. HR offices tend to have lots of women, particularly in manager roles. In fact, women make up over 75% of HR managers. If you love talking to people and resolving issues, HR might be a good fit for you.

    You’ll get to handle employee affairs (like payroll and benefits), interview potential new hires, and occasionally resolve workplace disputes, so it can be a very active role. On average, women earn nearly $70,000 a year as human resources managers.

  • Management analyst. Management analysts, also called consultants, are responsible for helping an organization find more efficient ways of working. They can work in-house and evaluate one company’s workflows, or they can work for a consulting company that works on many different projects for multiple clients.

    To be a management analyst, you typically only need a bachelor’s degree in a related field and work experience in consulting. The good news is that the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects these roles to grow about 11% by 2029, so there will be plenty of new opportunities.

  • Psychologist. This is another field dominated by women, who make up over 80% of all psychologists. It does take some time to be a psychologist, though. You’ll need to get a bachelor’s degree, usually in psychology.

    After school, you’ll need work experience, a master’s degree, and eventually a doctorate in psychology. Once you’ve gotten all your degrees, you’ll need to get a license to become a psychologist. Despite all of the steps it takes to become a psychologist, you can expect to earn, on average, around $80,000 a year.

  • Teacher. Women have always been educators, but it can be a lucrative field if you work in postsecondary, or after high school, education. Since you’ll be working with advanced students, usually college students or adults returning to their education, there’s a wide range of subjects you can focus on.

    Typically, you need a high level of education in your field to become a postsecondary teacher, either a master’s or doctorate degree. About 44% of postsecondary teachers are women, and the median pay is about $80,000 a year. Plus, the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects faster than average job growth, about 9% by 2029.

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Chris Kolmar


Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar is a co-founder of Zippia and the editor-in-chief of the Zippia career advice blog. He has hired over 50 people in his career, been hired five times, and wants to help you land your next job. His research has been featured on the New York Times, Thrillist, VOX, The Atlantic, and a host of local news. More recently, he's been quoted on USA Today, BusinessInsider, and CNBC.

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