I come from a very large matriarchal family. My husband can tell you that he is far outnumbering women in all of our family reunions. And it looks like this trend is continuing into the next generation with several grandchildren and cousins. I also have an active role in the education of my nieces and I want to help them become strong and ambitious independent women. As they enter their high school years, we are discussing more about their interests and possible career paths. While job satisfaction and overall happiness are important factors, so too is financial security. In fact, the younger cousin wanted to know which are the highest paying jobs for women. Since I was unable to answer at the time, we did some research and found the best careers for women looking to earn a high income.
The 10 highest paid jobs for women
There are many ambitious women out there who are looking to pursue a career that offers them maximum financial security. Even as we are becoming more and more prevalent in male-dominated fields, women are still underrepresented among the highest paid careers.
The good news is that more and more women are breaking through the glass ceiling and working to close the wage gap. The bad news is that we’re still not there with an earnings ratio that’s still 80-83% of what men do. However, this may not be entirely gender based. Some analysts speculate that it may have something to do with the fields chosen by women. By comparison, women who choose a career in STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) can expect to earn more.
The following list of the highest paying jobs for women comes from the earnings reported at United States Bureau of Labor and Statistics.
Although we all expected the medical professions to be at the top of this list, none of us thought pharmacists earned the highest income. Women studying pharmacology can expect an average annual salary of $ 112,320. Their primary responsibilities are managing, dispensing and educating patients on the use of prescribed medications. Of course, to get the license you need to get a doctorate and pass two professional exams. But, once done, pharmacists can choose from a variety of settings from hospitals and clinics to the neighborhood grocery store.
2. Chief Executive Officer
Regardless of the demographic you look at, CEOs are always among the highest salaries. The CEO is well rewarded for being the face of the company and oversees all operations. He takes long hours and creates high-stress situations as they plan, coordinate and work with their management team to achieve goals. While there is a wide variation in CEO salaries, on average female CEOs earn an average of $ 106,652 per year.
3. Information and Information Systems Manager
Although more commonly known as an IT manager, this position remains one of the most profitable for women. Because it requires years of training, companies pay well for skilled employees who can analyze, design, implement, and solve IT and technology problems. This role also includes general technology strategy design, web design, database development, and direct work with hardware and software. If you pursue a career as an IT manager, women usually make an average income of $ 99,320.
4. Doctor / surgeon
While this hasn’t taken the top spot, doctors and surgeons are still some of the highest paid jobs for women. Depending on what you choose to specialize in and where you want to work, there is a wide range of salaries. While the numbers show an average annual income of $ 99,060, women who specialize in obstetrics and gynecology can earn a lot more.
5. Medical 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 having to deal with the red tape. And you have a myriad of work environments and healthcare facilities to choose from. With the median salary of $ 98,488, it’s easy to see why so many women are drawn to this career.
6. Practicing Nurse
Getting licensed as a nurse is another way to earn a high salary in the medical field. Nurses can focus more on patient care and work more independently of physicians to provide primary and specialist health care. However, it requires a master’s degree and a license from the state you plan to work in. But once this is achieved, professional nurses bring home an average income of $ 97,084 each year.
Engineering is another career field that is gaining popularity among professionals. It encompasses a number of disciplines that deal with the design of chemical, electrical, mechanical, computer and other structures. Although wage potential varies between disciplines, it is usually close to 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 difficulty finding competitive job offers. Software developers must be able to perform a wide range of functions, from analyzing and implementing to writing code. It is one of the fastest growing fields. Right now, the median income is $ 89,856. But this may increase and the demands for these skills continue to grow,
While it was one of the first careers that came to my mind, lawyers are at the bottom of our list. Many women have had successful careers and make good money providing legal advice and representing individual clients or companies in legal disputes. Once they finish school and pass the bar exam, the average female lawyer brings home an average annual salary of around $ 86,580.
10. Head of Human Resources
Human resources is a career field that is often occupied by women. But it’s not one you would expect to offer a high salary. However, it is a vital role in the business environment. The department is responsible for recruiting, interviewing and hiring new employees and is heavily involved in policy implementation and employee relationship management. For all of these functions, a human resources manager can expect to earn an average annual salary of $ 83,148.
What does the future hold?
This exercise opened the eyes of all of us. While we expected there were many medical and computer careers on the list, others came as a complete surprise. It generated a good discussion among the girls about the importance of job security and career aspirations.
We’ve established that if money is a motivating factor, then it’s best to pursue STEM careers. As more and more things go digital, an interest in technology and medicine could create even more opportunities and financial security for their future.
Jenny Smedra is an avid world traveler, ESL teacher, former archaeologist and freelance writer. Choosing a life abroad has strengthened her commitment to finding ways to bring people together across language and cultural barriers. Although most of her time is devoted to working with children, she also enjoys good friends, good food and new adventures.