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Top-paying occupations for women: Which have the fastest employment growth?

| March 2019

Women earn more in certain occupations than in others. And some of the top-paying occupations for women are expected to have fast employment growth for workers of both sexes.

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Percent employment growth for both sexes, projected 2016–26, in selected top-paying occupations for women, 2018
Occupation Employment growth, projected 2016–26 (percent) Median weekly earnings of women, 2018 (dollars) Women's share of occupation, 2018 (percent)

Physician assistants

37 1,646 68

Nurse practitioners

36 1,891 85

Physical therapists

28 1,387 67

Operations research analysts

27 1,299 46

Software developers, applications and systems software

24 1,644 20

Medical and health services managers

20 1,331 74

Management analysts

14 1,437 44

Physicians and surgeons

13 1,677 43

Computer and information systems managers

12 1,727 25

Civil engineers

11 1,282 15

Note: Data for earnings and shares of women are for full-time wage and salary workers. Projections data include self-employed workers.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Office of Employment Projections (projected growth) and Current Population Survey (earnings, shares).

The chart shows selected occupations that, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), had high median weekly earnings for women in 2018 and faster-than-average projected employment growth for women and men combined from 2016 to 2026. Employment of physician assistants and nurse practitioners is projected to grow more than 5 times faster than the average for all occupations.

In half of the occupations shown, women’s 2018 median weekly earnings were at least twice the $789 median for women overall. Nurse practitioners had the highest median weekly earnings for women ($1,891) of all the occupations in the chart.

In 2018, most nurse practitioners (85 percent), medical and health services managers (74 percent), physician assistants (68 percent), and physical therapists (67 percent) were women. Less than one-quarter of software developers (20 percent) and civil engineers (15 percent) were women.

Workers typically need at least a bachelor’s degree to enter any of the occupations listed in the chart. (See the complete set of occupational projections, including typical education required for entry, on the BLS Employment Projections site. Learn more about women’s employment and earnings from the BLS Current Population Survey.)

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About the Author

Elka Torpey is an economist in the Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections, BLS. She can be reached at torpey.elka@bls.gov .

Suggested citation:

Elka Torpey, "Top-paying occupations for women: Which have the fastest employment growth?," Career Outlook, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, March 2019.

Telephone: 1-202-691-5700 www.bls.gov/careeroutlook Contact Career Outlook

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