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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.

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.)

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

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.

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