I saw this article on Yahoo! today and after I read it I realized that I have considered each of these careers at some point or another. Each of these careers appeals to me for some reason and then I discover that another good point of these careers is that women are able to reach higher paying levels on these career paths when compared to others. I guess I’m just naturally attractive to anything that is more likely to result in more money.
Great Jobs that Profit Women: Five Flexible Careers with Man-Sized Paychecks
by Kate McIntyre
Even today in the 21st century, a significant pay gap exists between working men and women in the United States. According to the National Committee on Pay Equity, in 2006 women earned approximately 25 percent less than men in the same occupational group with similar qualifications. This figure is especially distressing because it hasn’t changed appreciably in the last decade. The National Committee on Pay Equity estimates that this wage gap may not close until 2057.
What could explain this disparity? A December 2006 article in the New York Times cites two reasons: gender discrimination and women’s choices to work less than full-time or to stay at home to care for children. Though gender discrimination remains a lingering, insidious issue, women have more options than ever for flexible, lucrative employment. Here are five great jobs for women that are narrowing the gender wage gap.
Personal financial advising provides independence, which is great for women. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), one-third of personal financial advisors are self-employed–they set their own hours and schedules and choose how many clients they advise. Also, women often have exceptional communication skills, essential when they explain complicated financial concepts to advisees. You’ll need at least a bachelor’s degree in business, finance, or a related field along with a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) certification to call yourself a CFP. CFP courses are available online. The BLS reports that personal financial advisor is one of the ten fastest growing occupations through 2016. Median earnings for financial advisors in 2006 were $66,590 per year.
A career in psychology offers the opportunity to help people find solutions for their emotional issues. Areas of specialization include industrial, clinical, and school psychology. School psychologists work with educators, administrators, and parents to provide a nurturing learning environment for children. They may help students with learning disabilities, behavioral issues, or emotional problems. The schedule usually allows for the same time off as the students and teachers. Because 34 percent of psychologists are self-employed, this career offers flexibility as well. A doctoral degree is usually required to practice psychology at a school, but licensing requirements differ by state. Many family therapists practice with a master’s degree, and both the master’s and the doctorate can be earned online. The BLS reports a median income for 2006 of $61,290 for clinical, counseling, and school psychologists.
In 2007, women owned over half the businesses in the US. Part of what makes self-employment so enticing for women is the strong networking and support systems in place for women entrepreneurs, along with incredible flexibility. Entrepreneurs parlay their ideas into money-making reality, but a good idea isn’t enough. You’ll want to know business principles like bookkeeping, safety regulations, labor laws, and local licensing requirements. Entrepreneur training programs or business courses in entrepreneurship can give you an edge, as can a business administration degree with a focus in entrepreneurship. Earning potential is unlimited, if you’re the next Debbi Fields or Mary Kay. As far back as the turn of the Twentieth Century, Mme. C.J. Walker said of the millions she made on her Wonderful Hair Grower, “I got my start by giving myself a start.”
Education administrators can work at all levels, from elementary school principals to college deans. They manage staffs of teachers and administrators and often serve as the public face of their institutions, so they must have superlative interpersonal skills. The field of education has always been attractive to women for its progressive human resources policies and the potential for time off during the summer. Most education administrator jobs require a master’s or doctorate degree in education. According to the BLS, administrators at elementary and secondary schools had median salaries of $77,740 in 2006, while post-secondary administrators made $73,990 with salaries ranging significantly higher in some positions and locations.
Women have always been the human resources managers of their homes–making sure their family is functioning at its peak potential and that each member feels well cared-for and valued. Women’s communication skills and empathy often distinguish them in human resources, whether they are training staff or handling disbursement of compensation and benefits. If you are looking for more control over your schedule once your career is established, HR consulting can be a great option. Many bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in management offer an emphasis in human resource management. The BLS reports a 2006 median salary of $88,510 for human resources managers.
Some women may deal with personal pressures and societal expectations differently than men do, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find a satisfying, inspiring, and lucrative career. If you begin your career search with a clear idea of what your ideal job is–both now and years into the future–you may have to compromise less than you might have imagined to find a job with serious responsibilities and fair compensation. With some smart planning, you really can have it all.