Best and Worst Occupations for Gender Wage Equality

April 4, 2017

By Noelle Salerno

Today (April 4) is Equal Pay Day, which means the average woman must work this far into 2017 – an additional 94 days – to match what males earned in 2016’s calendar year.

Avalanche has explored gender equality in the past, and we thought this would be a good opportunity to revisit our analysis of wage differences. While some wage disparities can be attributed to career choices, an analysis of individual occupations still shows a large gender wage gap in most fields.

Across all occupations, female salaries were 21% below male salaries in 2010, with a median salary of $36,600 for women compared to $46,700 for men. While salaries have increased overall – the median salary for women was $40,000 compared to $50,100 for men in 2015 – female salaries are still 20% below male salaries.

But which occupations do men and women earn more equitable salaries and which occupations have the widest wage gaps?

We discovered the following occupations have the smallest wage gaps:

Top 10 Occupations by Gender Wage Equality

Source: American Community Survey, 1-Year Estimates, 2015
Note: Data is the median annual wage for workers employed full-time and year-round

The following occupations have the worst gender wage gaps:

Bottom 10 Occupations by Gender Wage Equality

Source: American Community Survey, 1-Year Estimates, 2015
Note: Data is the median annual wage (not adjusted for inflation) for workers employed full-time and year-round

Occupations with the most equitable salaries vary, from Engineering to Health Care to Electricians. Occupations with the widest gender wage gaps tend to be in Manufacturing occupations, though it also varies widely, including occupations such as Transportation Attendants and Financial Specialists as well.

To examine this data in more detail, you can download the data spreadsheet here.