CLOSING THE GAP

The engineering careers where women earn more than men

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Future of Work
Obsession
Future of Work

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.

Rank STEM occupations Percentage who are women Women’s earnings as a percentage of men’s
1 Architectural and engineering managers 8.5 104.7
2 Chemical engineers 15.1 100.1
3 Mechanical engineers 8.5 96.9
4 Computer network architects 8.6 96.5
5 Environmental engineers 25 92.3
6 Statisticians 49 91.9
7 Industrial engineers, including health and safety 19.2 91.8
8 Computer programmers 21.1 90.3
9 Aerospace engineers 11.6 89
10 Computer and information systems managers 27.1 88.4
11 Civil engineers 12.1 88.1
12 Computer hardware engineers 14.1 87.1
13 Software developers, applications and systems software 19.1 86.3
14 Electrical and electronics engineers 8.6 85.5
15 Computer systems analysts 37.7 85.4
16 Engineers, all other 13.2 85.2
17 Information security analysts 19.6 83.5
18 Environmental scientists and geoscientists 29 82.2
19 Actuaries 33 82.1
20 Operations research analysts 48.7 81.1

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.

Read this next: Harvey Mudd College took on gender bias and now more than half its computer-science majors are women

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