Top 5 Careers Where It Pays to Be a Woman

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It’s a man’s world. Unless you get into one of these five careers, that is. You see, women only make 77% of what men earn in a year. That means we’ll work all the way into April to pull in the same earnings men made the year before. Over the course of a 40-year career, we’ll lose out on a staggering $431,000, according to the Center for American Progress. But I’ve looked through the salaries for all occupations and found that there are a few decent-paying careers (that is, they pay above the overall median salary of about $40,000 a year) where the ladies actually command more than the gents. Remember, there’s only one thing to do about a wildly inequitable gender wage gap like that: Take advantage of it.

5 Special Education Teacher

Gender Wage Gap: -$1,700
Median Annual Salary: $53,000

Sorry, you get dinged for being a woman in this field. But go back to the beginning of the article. What is the first sentence? Ok then. But keep in mind, the amount less you make for being a woman is less than in any other decent-paying job, which is why the gig is on the list. Hey, you could be a CEO and make $34,000 a year less than a dude doing the same job. At least as a special ed teacher, you’ll be helping out kids while still making more than 77% of what a man makes doing this job. And ladies, that’s what we call getting ahead.

4 Computer Support Specialist

Annual Income Difference: $2,900
Median Annual Salary: $46,000

Let’s just say it now: It pays to be a geek. Now, it doesn’t necessary pay a lot, but it offers the invaluable compensation of making a lot more each year than your male counterpart. What do you have to do to earn this priceless benefit? Just help people with computer problems. How fun is that! You might work in tech support for a software company, or be a member of a business’s IT staff. The good news is, all this technology stuff isn’t getting any less complicated, so the job outlook is expected to grow 18% from 2010 to 2020 (which is about average growth).

3 Medical Scientist

Annual Income Difference: $3,200
Median Annual Salary: $77,000

With salaries approaching six figures, this is the best-paying job on our list, although with slightly less gender-based salary benefit. (Note to self: Money blowing machine w/o LCD display.) On the pro side, this field is taking off, with 36% projected growth. On the con side, you have to get a Ph.D., either in biology or a related life science. Back on the pro side, you’ll be working on understanding human diseases and improving human health, which is pretty rad as far as careers go, regardless of your gender.

2 Respiratory Therapist

Gender Wage Gap: $3,200
Median Annual Salary: $54,000

Want to make three Gs more a year than a man with the same title and experience? Respiratory therapy could be the job for you. These health care workers assist people with breathing problems, usually working in a hospital, but also in nursing homes or even at the patient’s home. This means you might assess patients’ conditions, monitor their response to therapy, explain treatments, operate machines such as mechanical ventilators, or provide emergency care. And respiratory therapy is a fast-growing field, projected to grow 28% from 2010 to 2020.

1 Operations Research Analyst

Annual Income Difference: $3,500
Median Annual Salary: $71,000

“What do you do?” “I’m a decision scientist.” Imagine letting that title drop off your tongue. Then imagine what you’ll do with extra three and a half grand a year you’ll make over your male equivalent. Maybe buy a money blowing machine? It’s the only way to truly enjoy all that extra cash you’re accumulating for no good reason other than being born female. Plus, you’ll still have a G left over afterwards. So what is this gig? Basically, you use sophisticated analytical methods to help businesses make smarter decisions. For example, if your client is a railroad, you might analyze average boarding time, seasonal variations and other factors to help the railroad make sure they have the right number of trains at the right times, reducing delays and boosting profits. You’ll want a degree in operations research, and/or computer science, math, information systems or engineering—you know, all those fields that are packed with women. Sometimes the best way to beat ’em is to join ’em.

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