The 10 Highest Paying Jobs for Women

The 10 Highest Paying Jobs for Women

I come from a very large, matriarchal family. My husband can tell you that he is far outnumbered by women at all of our family gatherings. And, it seems like this trend is continuing into the next generation with several nieces and cousins. I also take an active role in my nieces’ education and want to help them become strong, ambitious independent women. As they enter their high school years, we are having more discussions about their interests and possible career paths. While job satisfaction and overall happiness are important factors, so is financial security. In fact, their youngest cousin wanted to know what the highest paying jobs for women are.  Since I was unable to answer at that moment, we did some research and discovered the best careers for women looking to earn high incomes.

The 10 Highest Paying Jobs for Women

There are many ambitious women out there who are looking to get into careers that offer them the greatest financial security. Even though we are becoming more prevalent in male-dominated fields, women are still under-represented among the highest paid careers.

The good news is that more women are breaking through the glass ceiling and working to close the wage gap. The bad news is that we still aren’t there yet with an earnings ratio is still 80-83% of what men make. However, this may not be entirely gender-based. Some analysts speculate that it may have something to do with the fields women choose. By comparison, women who choose careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) can expect to make more money.

The following list of the highest paying jobs for women comes from the reported earnings to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics.

1. Pharmacist

Although we all expected medical professions to top this list, none of us guessed that pharmacists earned the highest income. Women who study pharmacology can expect an average annual salary of $112,320. Their primary responsibilities are to manage, dispense, and instruct patients in the use of prescribed medications. Of course, you must obtain a doctorate and pass two professional exams to receive your license. But, once you do, pharmacists can choose from a variety of settings from hospitals and clinics to the neighborhood grocery store.

2. Chief Executive Officer

No matter which demographic you look at, Chief Executive Officers are always among the highest salaries. The CEO is well-compensated to be the face of the company and oversees all operations. It requires long hours and creates high-stress situations as they plan, coordinate, and work with their management team to meet goals. Although there is a wide variation in CEOs’ salaries, on average female CEOs earn an average of $106,652 per year.

3. Computer and Information Systems Manager

Although more commonly known as an IT manager, this position remains one of the most profitable for women. Since it requires years of training, companies pay well for qualified employees who can analyze, devise, implement, and troubleshoot computer and technological issues. This role also includes designing overarching tech strategies, web design, developing databases, and direct work with hardware and software. If you pursue a career as an IT manager, women usually get a median income of $99,320.

4. Physician/Surgeon

While this one didn’t take the top spot, physicians and surgeons as still some of the highest paying jobs for women. Depending on what you choose to specialize in and where you want to work, there is a huge salary range. While the numbers show an average annual income of $99,060, women who specialize in obstetrics and gynecology can earn much more.

5. Physician’s Assistant

Becoming a PA is another smart choice for women who want financial security. You can still work with doctors and patients to assess, diagnose, and treat their ailments without dealing with the bureaucracy. And, you have a plethora of work environments and health care facilities to choose from. With the median salary of $98,488, it’s easy to understand why many women are drawn to this career.

6. Nurse Practitioner

Gaining your license as a nurse practitioner is another way you can earn a high salary in the medical field. Nurse practitioners can focus more on patient care and work more independently from doctors to provide primary and specialty health care. However, it does require a master’s degree and license from the state where you plan to work. But once you achieve it, nurse practitioners bring home an average income of $97,084 each year.

7. Engineer

Engineering is another career field that is gaining popularity among female professionals. It encompasses an array of disciplines dealing with the design of chemical, electrical, mechanical, computer, and other physical structures. While the salary potential changes between disciplines, it is usually near six figures. For example, women earn an average annual salary of $96,824 as chemical engineers, but $71,864 as architectural engineers.

8. Software Developer

Many IT careers offer great future job security. In particular, women who can create and design computer programs will have no trouble finding competitive job offers. Software developers must be able to perform a wide range of functions from analysis and implementation to writing code. It is one of the fastest-growing fields. Right now, the average income is $89,856. But, this could increase and demands for these skills continues to grow,

9. Lawyer

Although it was one of the first careers that came to mind, lawyers rank towards the bottom of our list. Many women have had successful careers and make good money from providing legal counsel and representing individual clients or businesses in legal disputes. Once you finish schooling and pass the bar exam, the average female attorney takes home an average annual salary of around $86,580.

10. Human Resources Manager

Human Resources is one career field that is frequently filled by women. But, it’s not one you would expect to offer a high salary. However, it is an integral role in the corporate environment. The department is responsible to recruit, interview, and hire new employees and is heavily involved in implementing policies and handling employee relations. For all these duties, an HR Manager can expect to earn a median annual salary of $83,148.

What Does the Future Hold?

This exercise was eye-opening for all of us. Although we expected there to be many medical and IT careers on the list, others were a complete surprise. It generated a good discussion among the girls about the importance of job security and career aspirations.

We determined that if money is a motivating factor, then it is best to pursue STEM careers. As more things go digital, an interest in technology and medicine could create even more opportunities and financial security for their future.

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Posted in: Career and Work

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