Skip to navigationSkip to content

The engineering careers where women earn more than men

Women are paid more than men in only two STEM fields
Reuters/Eric Gaillard
Working for less.
  • Oliver Staley
By Oliver Staley

Business & culture editor

Published This article is more than 2 years old.

The gap between men’s and women’s salaries is well documented. But it’s also not universal, and in a handful of professions, women out-earn men.

Bloomberg analyzed the 20 highest paying professions in STEM—science, technology, engineering, and math—as defined by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, which doesn’t include medical professions. Their analysis found that women make slightly more than men as architectural and engineering managers, and also as chemical engineers. Female architectural and engineering managers enjoy the largest gap in salary, earning more than $1.04 for every dollar their male peers make.

RankSTEM occupationsPercentage who are womenWomen’s earnings as a percentage of men’s
1Architectural and engineering managers8.5104.7
2Chemical engineers15.1100.1
3Mechanical engineers8.596.9
4Computer network architects8.696.5
5Environmental engineers2592.3
7Industrial engineers, including health and safety19.291.8
8Computer programmers21.190.3
9Aerospace engineers11.689
10Computer and information systems managers27.188.4
11Civil engineers12.188.1
12Computer hardware engineers14.187.1
13Software developers, applications and systems software19.186.3
14Electrical and electronics engineers8.685.5
15Computer systems analysts37.785.4
16Engineers, all other13.285.2
17Information security analysts19.683.5
18Environmental scientists and geoscientists2982.2
20Operations research analysts48.781.1

Historically, STEM fields are notorious for being male-dominated, and it’s perhaps no coincidence that the fields where women are highly paid also have some of the lowest percentages of female employment. Only 8% of architectural and engineering managers, the specialists who coordinate and plan projects, are women, while 15% of chemical engineers are women.

The pay gap is more pronounced in fields where women are better represented, such as statisticians and research analysts. These jobs are likely to have been open longer to women, which may reflect the pervasive nature of pay discrimination. Since the gender gap grows as women progress in their careers, professions with more senior women are likely to see a wider pay gap.

📬 Kick off each morning with coffee and the Daily Brief (BYO coffee).

By providing your email, you agree to the Quartz Privacy Policy.