10 Careers Where Women Have the Pay Advantage

Have you ever wondered why men earn more money than women? That's not always the case, according to Dr. Warren Farrell, bestselling author and gender issues expert, who says in some fields, women bring home a bigger paycheck than men. If you think men always earn more than women, you're wrong. That's according to a book by Farrell, titled 'Why Men Earn More: The Startling Truth Behind the Pay Gap -- and What Women Can Do About It,' which says women in certain fields earn more than men.

According to Farrell's Web site, the book "documents why the pay gap is not about discrimination but about 25 differences between men and women's work-life decisions." It also strives to help women achieve higher pay and understand the tradeoffs involved -- and whether they're worth it. Based on median salary numbers from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the book identifies a number of careers where women earn more than men, explaining, "when women's pay is significantly greater than men's, it can be in male-dominated fields, female-dominated fields, or well-integrated fields." Some positions where women tend to earn more than men include sales engineers, automotive service technicians and mechanics, financial analysts, human resources assistants and advertising and promotions managers. Farrell says there are various reasons why women have a pay advantage in these jobs.

Sales Engineers

As sales engineers, women earn median pay of $89,908, while men earn $62,660. Female sales engineers often have more access, particularly if buyers are men, because "the average man would rather be sold to by a woman than by a man," Farrell explains. Women also tend to outpace men verbally, and they're usually very good with details and following up, he notes, which enhances their performance.

Mechanics and Automotive Service Technicians

Because so few women work as automotive service technicians and mechanics, those who do are "pioneers," Farrell says, "and whenever people break traditional roles, the people who do the role-breaking tend to be highly motivated and good ... They make more because they are so good, and because people like going to a woman because it's a novelty." In these positions, women earn median pay of $40,664; the median for men is $31,460.

Financial Analysts

Female financial analysts earn a median pay of $69,004 while men are at $58,604. Women tend to excel whenever a field such as this requires technical skills plus the ability to communicate and pay attention to details, Farrell explains. "Add to this the fact that top-level executive males would prefer to be presented to by a woman than by a man ... and also that female financial analysts are in shorter supply ... and you have a blend of characteristics that are likely to make a female financial analyst, on average, more valued," he says.

Why Men Earn More Money Than Women Overall

Farrell's book also examines why men earn more money than women on a broader scale, and suggests men are more likely to make sacrifices leading to increased earnings. Women interested in boosting their income might consider some of these sacrifices, he says. "Put in the hours. People who work 44 hours per week make twice as much as those working 34 hours. That's 33 percent more work for 100 percent more pay, which makes it cost-efficient to hire out cleaning, errands, etc.," Farrell explains on his website. Among the big differences between women's and men's work choices, he says, are that "women as a rule don't work as many hours because their obligations tend to be more divided. They like to fulfill their home obligations. And second, they tend to work less in the evenings and on weekends, and tend to move less for jobs." Other ways to get higher pay? Pick fields in technology or the hard sciences, relocate and/or travel for the job, and commute to jobs further away from home.

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*From Why Men Earn More: An excerpt of Table 4, pgs. 12-13, titled '39 Fields in Which Women Earn at Least 5% More Than Men.' The data is based on figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Kristina Cowan is the senior writer for the AOL Salary Center and PayScale.com. She has over 10 years of journalism experience, specializing in education and workforce issues. Copyright 2008 PayScale, Inc.
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