Women Paid Less Than Men in Nearly All Major U.S. Occupations
You’ve likely heard the oft-cited statistic that full-time female workers make only 79 cents, on average, for every dollar that men make. However, if you’re a woman, have you ever wondered how your salary stacks up against those of your male colleagues? The Wall Street Journal recently conducted an examination of the gender pay gap, and found that women earn less than men in 439 of 446 major U.S. occupations—meaning, women only make as much or more than men in seven fields.
These findings remain consistent among both high- and low-paying occupations, as well as fields that are traditionally dominated by women. For instance, physicians and surgeons rank among some of America’s most educated and highly paid professionals. However, the WSJ discovered that female doctors make an average of $135,169 per year, whereas male physicians receive median earnings of $209,596. That’s a staggering 36 percent pay gap.
Men also make more than women in blue collar jobs. Women working as construction laborers earn, on average, 96 percent of their male colleagues’ salary of $31,843. Meanwhile, women working as water and wastewater treatment plant and system operators earn 91 percent of their male counterparts' $46,823 salaries.
Even industries that typically skew female weren’t immune to the pay gap. According to U.S. Census data, about 4 million workers in the United States worked as secretaries and administrative assistants between 2006 and 2010—and 96 percent of these individuals were women. However, the WSJ discovered that women working as receptionists and information clerks earn 89 percent of the wages of their male counterparts on average, taking home a median paycheck of $27,529 compared to the $31,041 that men receive.
Other Census numbers show that in 2013, there were more than two million registered nurses nationwide. Only 10 percent of them were men. However, women who work as registered nurses still make a median salary of $63,846. That’s only 92 percent of male nurses’ $69,500 salary.
The fields in which women did make more money than men were relatively surprising. Women working as crane and tower operators earn $54,701, which is 104 percent of men’s median earnings of $52,461. Female dietitians and nutritionists receive 101 percent of their male colleagues’ median salaries ($50,142 vs. $49,536, respectively). Other professions that seem to have some semblance of wage parity? Highway maintenance; telecommunications line installers and repairers; transportation, storage, and distribution managers; wood sawing machine settlers and operators; and meter readers or utilities professionals.
Curious to learn how much less (or, in a few rare instances, more) you’re making than men? Check out the WSJ's handy interactive graph, which lets you enter your profession and immediately calculates the median earnings for both men and women in that industry.
[h/t The Wall Street Journal]