High-Paying Careers for Women

Woman in front of computers
Photo: Ariel Skelley / Getty Images

The gender pay gap persists, although there’s been some progress. According to a report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, women now earn 82 cents for every dollar earned by men—20 cents more than in 1979, the first year for which figures were available. But not all jobs offer the same opportunities for working women.

Although the discussion of the gender pay gap tends to focus on how women earn compared to men, there are also discrepancies between the earnings of women in different careers. Some occupations offer higher pay than others.


According to the BLS report, various careers bring in high salaries for women: health care, law, management, and tech jobs are among the top money-making positions.

Curious about which occupations offer the most earning potential for working women? Per the BLS, these careers are among the most lucrative. 

01 of 10



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Pharmacists manage and dispense medications to patients who have received a prescription from their doctors. Pharmacists also offer advice on medication usage.

Pharmacists manage and dispense medications to patients who have received a prescription from their doctors. Pharmacists also offer advice on medication usage.

While most pharmacists work in grocery and drugstore pharmacies, others are employed in hospitals or clinical settings.

Pharmacists must possess a Doctor of Pharmacy degree and must be licensed. Pharmacists can obtain licensure by passing two professional exams.

Women pharmacists make a median income of $112,320 per year.

02 of 10


CEO at press conference

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Chief executives plan, coordinate, and oversee a company's operations. They work to ensure that their companies meet their goals. Chief executives work in a variety of public- and private-sector industries.

Although they typically earn the highest salary of all management positions, they also work extremely long hours and are essentially responsible for the success of their companies.

Female chief executives earn a median annual income of $106,652.

03 of 10

Computer and Information Systems Manager

IT manager

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Computer and information systems managers—also known as information technology managers—devise, coordinate, implement, and analyze computer-related projects.

Their responsibilities may involve direct work in both software and hardware, web design database development, as well as the overarching job of designing a company's IT approaches and strategies.

Most IT managers possess a bachelor's degree in a related field, although many possess more specific graduate degrees.

Female IT managers earn a median annual income of $99,320.

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Doctor giving injection to girl

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Physicians examine patients, diagnose medical conditions, prescribe medications, and devise treatment plans. There are over 100 different specialties and subspecialties for physicians, including family physician, internal medicine, pediatrician, OB/GYN, and surgeon.

Women physicians earn a median annual income of $99,060, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

05 of 10

Physician Assistants

PA at laptop in doctors office

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Physician assistants (PAs) assess the medical status of patients, diagnose illnesses/injuries, and recommend treatments. They work in hospitals, health care facilities, and group medical practices. PAs consult with physicians and refer complex cases to physicians, surgeons, and specialists.

Female PAs earn a median annual income of $98,488.

06 of 10

Nurse Practitioner

Nurse practitioner hugging a patient

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Nurse practitioners coordinate patient care. Working independently or in collaboration with physicians, nurse practitioners provide either primary or specialty health care. They are also referred to as advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) and must have at least a master's degree in the field and a state license.

Women nurse practitioners earn a median annual income of $97,084.

07 of 10


Engineers assembling robotics

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Engineers design, modify and repair chemical, electrical, computer, mechanical, and other physical structures. They specialize in areas like civil, mechanical, computer, electrical, and chemical engineering.

Earnings vary according to the engineering discipline, but median salaries often approach or exceed six figures. For example, chemical engineers earn a median annual salary of $96,824.

The median annual income for a woman who works in an architecture or engineering occupation is $71,864.

08 of 10

Software Developer

Software developer

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Software developers create and help devise computer programs. They do everything from analyzing users' needs to designing applications and helping write code to improve existing software. This field is projected to grow quickly over the next few years. The Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts 22% growth between 2020 and 2030. That’s much faster than average.

Women software developers earn a median annual income of $89,856.

09 of 10


Lawyers talking

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Lawyers counsel and represent individual clients, businesses, non-profits, or government organizations on legal issues or in legal disputes. Becoming a lawyer requires a four-year bachelor's degree and three years of law school training.

In order to work professionally in the United States, lawyers must take and pass their state's bar examination.

Female attorneys earn a median annual income of $86,580.

10 of 10

Human Resources Manager

Job interview

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Human resources managers are responsible for recruiting, interviewing, and hiring new members of a company's employee team.

In addition, they may be involved in other aspects of employee relations, including payroll, benefits, and training. Human resources workers must also be equipped to handle workplace conflict and be ready to resolve disputes.

Women human resources managers earn a median annual income of $83,148.

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The Balance uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Bureau of Labor Statistics. "Highlights of Women's Earnings in 2020."

  2.  Bureau of Labor Statistics. "Software Developers."

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