Jobs Where Women Earn More Than Men

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jobs where women earn more than menBy Christine Laue


Try telling the woman scraping plaque off your teeth that it's a man's world.

Female dental hygienists earn eight percent more than their male counterparts, according to online salary database PayScale.com.

While U.S. Census statistics historically show that women's earnings lag men's, they don't show the whole picture, says Katie Bardaro, PayScale's lead analyst. They only compare median earnings of all full-time, year-round workers. But break earnings down by profession and compare equal factors such as experience and education, and men don't always make more, Bardaro says.

Many of the jobs in which women earn more than men are either female-dominated jobs or extremely male-dominated jobs.

That's no surprise to Caren Goldberg, a professor at American University in Washington, D.C., who studies workplace gender issues. "Women in traditionally male-dominated jobs are rewarded for bucking the stereotype, while women in traditionally female jobs are rewarded for 'fitting in,'" Goldberg says.

Delana Nelson, a dental hygienist of 25 years living in Rapid City, S.D., not only had a female mentor in a field with 95 percent women but also feels she has excelled. Her pay and responsibilities have grown, and today she co-owns and manages her husband's dental practice.

What other professions offer females the opportunity of better pay than men? PayScale lists five below, followed by that job's median female pay and a comparison to men's pay.


Facilities Director - $74,200

Pay above men's: 9 percent

A facilities director's duties vary by the organization but generally involve managing buildings, grounds, equipment and supplies. In small organizations, experience may be all you need. But in large organizations, you might need a bachelor's degree and more experience.

-- Find facilities director jobs


IT Network Engineer - $64,200

Pay above men's: 5 percent

Kelly Tollefson, an IT network engineer, is the only female on her Bellevue, Neb., office's team of 13. She said employers seeking workplace diversity pay women more as an incentive.

Employers often require a bachelor's degree. Some prefer a master's in business administration with a concentration in information systems. An associate's degree or professional certification with related work experience may be sufficient.

-- Find network engineer jobs


Advertising Broadcast Producer - $55,600

Pay above men's: 9 percent

Nan Pike, an advertising broadcast producer at Bozell, an Omaha, Neb. advertising firm, says she's never encountered obstacles or special treatment because of her gender.

"It's all about if you do the job," she said.

The job involves facilitating all areas of the broadcast production process for a client, from budgets to timelines. Employers often prefer a bachelor's or master's degree, often in advertising or journalism. Relevant areas of study include marketing, consumer behavior, visual arts, art history, photography or market research.

-- Find broadcast producer jobs


Television Producer/Director - $53,500

Pay above men's: 9 percent

People in this role can follow many paths to employment. Producers often get their start working in a performing arts union or for a press agent, managing director or business manager. Directors often enter the industry as actors or writers or assisting other directors.

-- Find television producer jobs


Legal Assistant - $33,400

Pay above men's: 6 percent

Most legal assistants have an associate's degree in paralegal studies or a bachelor's degree in another field with a certificate in paralegal studies. Community colleges are the typical route, but a few schools offer bachelor's and master's degrees in paralegal studies. Some employers offer on-the-job training, and most don't require certification. Some certifications require renewal tests and continuing education.

When Kari Frangos decided to become a paralegal following a layoff from her advertising job, she bypassed school by landing a job with training from senior paralegal mentors -- two of whom were women.

"They wanted me to succeed, so they were always willing to give me feedback," says Frangos, who now works as a paralegal at a Houston litigation firm. "I absolutely love it and think it was what I was destined to do."

-- Find legal assistant jobs


Source: Salary data is provided by online salary database PayScale.com. Salaries listed are annual salaries -- including any bonuses, commissions or profit sharing -- for full-time male and female workers with equal years of experience, education, company size and other factors. Job descriptions are from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.



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