15 College Majors Where Women Make More Than Men

Alternative Text
Staff Writer

It’s been said that women tend to make about $.75 for every dollar a man makes in most professions. While this tends to be the case in many positions, sometimes certain cases defy the trends. There’s already a growing number of college majors where women outnumber men (accounting and biology among them). But there’s now a number of college majors where women actually tend to earn higher salaries then men. Here are just a few of them.

15. Chemical Engineering
STEM fields are, even to this day, still thought of as a male dominated field. But as we’re starting to see, women are outpacing men in a number of STEM career fields. Chemical engineering is one of them. In general, this field involves applying physical science (like physics and chemistry) to natural sciences (biological) and mathematics and engineering in order to figure out how to transport, produce, and utilize chemical materials. According to research, the wage premium (or percentage of earned wages versus projected wages) was 1% more for women in the field than it was for men.

14. Electrical Engineering
Electrical engineering is another slightly surprisingly female dominated field. Like chemical engineering, women in the field can expect a wage premium of about 1% versus their male counterparts. As you’d expect, electrical engineering involves studying and applying electricity in various applications. Electrical engineering majors may work with computers or energy grids, among many other applications depending on their specific field of study.

13. General Education
In general, there tend to be more women than men studying to enter the general education field anyway and so the fact that women may enjoy a wage premium makes sense. Women tend to earn about 1% more than men as general education majors. General education majors tend to work as, what else, teachers and social workers.

12. Philosophy
The common joke is that philosophy majors are doomed to spend a life behind a deep fryer while questioning the nature of life, the universe and everything. But philosophy majors can find success in their field. And this is definitely two-fold for women in the field. Women tend to earn a wage premium of 2% more than men in the field, which may seem surprising considering that philosophy is often considered a male dominated field  due to the prevalence of figures such as Socrates and Jean-Paul Sarte.

11. Civil Engineering
Civil engineering can be a lucrative career for many people, with median wages starting out at about 79 thousand dollars a year. Civil engineers typically design, construct and maintain everything from bridges to canals and buildings. Civil engineering is a diverse field and attracts both men and women in almost equal numbers these days. Women enjoy a wage premium of 3%, which may not sound like a lot but it does add up especially in such a lucrative field.

10. Nutritional Sciences
The nutritional sciences encompass a wide variety of careers. For the most part, nutritional science concerns studying food and human nutritional needs. Nutritional science majors can work in a variety of careers such as as a clinical dietician or a public health nutritionalist. Women in this field tend to earn a wage premium of 3% when they first start out in their careers.

9. Earth Sciences
For many people, majoring in the earth sciences can lead to a rewarding career. This is no less true for the women in the field, who tend to earn a wage premium of 3%. Earth science encompasses a wide variety of disciplines including (physical) geography, geology, ecology, and meteorology among many, many other disciplines and specific fields of study. From field research to working in a lab, earth science majors have a lot of great career opportunities.

8. Mechanical Engineering
Mechanical engineering may, by numbers, be a male dominated field but it’s starting to attract more and more women. Women earn a wage premium of 4%. Mechanical engineers design, build and study mechanical systems, a very important position especially today. Along with designing engines, mechanical engineers may need to have an understanding of robotics and heating and cooling systems, among other ideas.

7. Business Analytics
In today’s corporate world, business analytics is a highly important discipline. Business analytics help guide the future strategies of businesses, examining past behavior and current market trends. In this field, women tend to outperform men with a wage premium of 7%, which can really add up over time.

6. Construction Services
Construction has famously been a male dominated field and still is today. But more and more women are entering the field as both construction workers, foremen, carpenters and more. Women in construction can enjoy a wage premium of about 8%, which may come as a surprise considering the relative rarity of women in the field.

5. Aerospace Engineering
Aerospace engineering (popularly referred to as “rocket science”) has become an especially prominent field this day and age. Aerospace engineers typically design both airplanes and spacecraft, including satellites and shuttles. As a field, it may be male dominated but there’s still a lot of women on the job. Women currently enjoy a wage premium of 8% versus their male counterparts.

4. Art History
Art historians enjoy the benefits of a diverse career which allows them to examine historical pieces of work and examine both the meanings behind the pieces and their historical context. Art historians don’t just study paintings but they also examine ceramics, furniture, sculptures and so on. If it’s made by a person in an artistic context, an art historian will study it. Women are prominent in this field and also enjoy a wage premium of about 9%.

3. Industrial Engineering
Despite the name, industrial engineers aren’t necessarily civil engineers. Industrial engineering refers to a very vast array of careers. But to put it simply, think of it as the study of optimizing human systems. Industrial engineers try to improve how we go about our daily lives. What are some careers industrial engineers can enjoy? Among the many careers in this field, these careers include accounting, operations management, ergonomics, safety engineering and more. Women enjoy a wage premium of up to 10% in this field, making it a worthy career to consider.

2. Treatment Therapy
Treatment therapy is basically what the name indicates. This field consists of therapists in a variety of disciplines. From art therapists to physical therapists and even counselors, treatment therapy is an important job that offers a lot of benefits to the people treatment therapists take care of. Treatment therapy is a female dominated field. Women enjoy wage premiums of about 11%.

1. Social Services
Social services, like education and treatment therapy, are already female dominated positions. Social services encompasses a variety of career fields. Social services majors can work in public health departments, as social workers, lobbyists and more. Women enjoy a wage premium of up to 16% in this discipline.