The 20 Best Paying Jobs For Women

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Despite advances, women still trail men when it comes to earning power. According to Census Bureau statistics, as compiled by the White House, women overall still make only 78 percent of what non-Hispanic white men do. For non-Hispanic black women, the number is 64 cents, while Hispanic women make only 56 cents.

This becomes even worse when you realize that women are more likely than men to attend college, to graduate, and to complete grad school. Women make up almost half of students in law schools, MBA programs, and medical schools. So, they are on the path of what should bring higher earnings, except they still lag behind men when it comes to paycheck size.

The gap is particularly painful when you realized that in 29 percent of couples where both spouses work and in 16 percent of all married couples the woman is the primary breadwinner. An effective cap on what women make means significantly hampering family income for many.

To maximize their earnings, women can look at the best paying jobs by gender, as determined by a Forbes analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data. As you might expect, the best opportunities are in science, engineering, and healthcare.

At the top is a sales engineer position. With median (the middle amount, with as many making more as less) annual earnings of $134,472, women represent only 5 percent of the jobs now, but they see 36 percent more than men do in similar positions.
Various math and science-related occupations come next, with a median pay of $128,908. That's only 86 percent of what men made, although women hold two-thirds of the positions.

Third on the list are astronomers and physicists. Women have a quarter of the jobs and make $118,768 median annual wages. That's 87 percent of salaries that men receive.

Nurse anesthetists are nurses that administer anesthesia to patients, which requires passing a separate national certification exam. Annual wages of $114,482 represent 81 percent of male salaries. Women hold 63 percent of the positions.

Fifth on the list are petroleum engineers, whose median annual salaries at $104,988 are actually 6 percent higher than men's. Only a quarter of petroleum engineers are women.

The remaining positions all see median incomes of less than $100,000 a year. Some are out of the engineering, science, math, and medical fields. For example, female upholsterers hold only 9 percent of the jobs but, at the median, make $95,368 -- triple what men make. That's also considerably more than the median $82,680 women make as attorneys, or even the $81,774 they make as CEOs, which is 70 percent of what men make. Clearly some major financial glass ceilings remain firmly in place.

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20 Best-Paying Jobs For Women
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The 20 Best Paying Jobs For Women
Median weekly earnings: $2,586
Approximate median annual earnings: $134,472
Women as percentage of the profession: 5%  
Earnings as percentage of men's earnings: 136%  
Median weekly earnings: $2,479
Approximate median annual earnings: $128,908
Women as percentage of the profession: 67%  
Earnings as percentage of men's earnings: 86%  
Median weekly earnings: $2,284
Approximate median annual earnings: $118,768
Women as percentage of the profession: 25%  
Earnings as percentage of men's earnings: 87%
Median weekly earnings: $2,201
Approximate median annual earnings: $114,452
Women as percentage of the profession: 63%  
Earnings as percentage of men's earnings: 81%  
Median weekly earnings: $2,019
Approximate median annual earnings: $104,988
Women as percentage of the profession: 25%  
Earnings as percentage of men's earnings: 106%  
Median weekly earnings: $1,902
Approximate median annual earnings: $98,904
Women as percentage of the profession: 52%  
Earnings as percentage of men's earnings: 87%  
Median weekly earnings: $1,834
Approximate median annual earnings: $95,368
Women as percentage of the profession: 9%
Earnings as percentage of men's earnings: 314%

Median weekly earnings: $1,779
Approximate median annual earnings: $92,508
Women as percentage of the profession: 4%
Earnings as percentage of men's earnings: 286%

Median weekly earnings: $1,754
Approximate median annual earnings: $91,208
Women as percentage of the profession: 100%
Earnings as percentage of men's earnings: N/A
Median weekly earnings: $1,734
Approximate median annual earnings: $90,168
Women as percentage of the profession: 6%
Earnings as percentage of men's earnings: 88%
Median weekly earnings: $1,729
Approximate median annual earnings: $89,908
Women as percentage of the profession: 11%
Earnings as percentage of men's earnings: 110%
Median weekly earnings: $1,696
Approximate median annual earnings: $88,192
Women as percentage of the profession: 44%
Earnings as percentage of men's earnings: 89%
Median weekly earnings: $1,682
Approximate median annual earnings: $87,464
Women as percentage of the profession: 90%
Earnings as percentage of men's earnings: 90%
Median weekly earnings: $1,590
Approximate median annual earnings: $82,680
Women as percentage of the profession: 34%
Earnings as percentage of men's earnings: 83%
Median weekly earnings: $1,572
Approximate median annual earnings: $81,744
Women as percentage of the profession: 26%
Earnings as percentage of men's earnings: 70%
Median weekly earnings: $1,547
Approximate median annual earnings: $80,444
Women as percentage of the profession: 15%
Earnings as percentage of men's earnings: 90%
Median weekly earnings: $1,536
Approximate median annual earnings: $79,872
Women as percentage of the profession: 80%
Earnings as percentage of men's earnings: $140
Median weekly earnings: $1,529
Approximate median annual earnings: $79,508
Women as percentage of the profession: 27%
Earnings as percentage of men's earnings: 87%
Median weekly earnings: $1,522
Approximate median annual earnings: $79,144
Women as percentage of the profession: 56%
Earnings as percentage of men's earnings: 78%
Median weekly earnings: $1,520
Approximate median annual earnings: $79,040
Women as percentage of the profession: 3%
Earnings as percentage of men's earnings: 143%
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