Best Paying Careers for Women

female lawyer

The best paying careers for women are similar to the best paying careers for men, with a few minor differences. If you're looking at entering one of the best paying career fields for women, prepare to spend lots of time receiving education and training. After all, those who earn high salaries usually work hard to earn their pay.

The Six Best Paying Careers for Women

1. CEO

Women who sit at the head of a company can expect to make a pretty penny, but they'll earn every cent of it. CEOs have to be well versed in the business they run as well as business trends, finance, research and development, economics and marketing. They can expect to have to make some tough decisions that affect employees and potential clients. Most CEOs have an advanced business degree or a law degree. The average pay for female CEOs in 2009 was $81,000 - only three-quarters of the average salary for male CEOs, according to 2010 article by Forbes Magazine.

2. Pharmacist

The field of pharmacy is expanding rapidly, and has almost guaranteed stability and fairly normal working hours, making it an attractive field for women. To become a pharmacist, you must pursue a pharmacy degree after receiving a bachelor's in a science-based field. Pharmacists receive extensive training on drugs, potential drug interactions and dosage, and they act as a resource to customers and doctors to make sure that individuals receive the right prescriptions. Female pharmacists can expect to make almost $80,000 per year, on average, according to a 2010 article on CNN.

3. Lawyer

If you're interested in becoming a lawyer, you can expect to make an average annual salary of $75,000. Lawyers usually receive undergraduate education in pre-law or business, then attend law school for an additional three years of education. Lawyers can choose to specialize in a number of fields including tax law, family law, environmental law, criminal law or patent law. Depending on the field of choice, annual salaries and quality of life can vary widely, so do your research before entering the field.

4. Physician

It's not clear 100-percent clear why, but the average annual salary for female physicians is only approximately $64,000, a far cry from the overall average salary of more than $100,000 for physicians when accounting for men within the field. Forbes Magazine speculates that it may be because women tend to choose the less lucrative specialties of pediatrics or general practice, or maybe female physicians take jobs in clinics or practices that allow them to work fewer hours per week. Regardless, performing medicine is still a lucrative career for women, and one that can pay much higher dividends if you choose the right field.

5. Computer Programmer

Even though very few women pursue careers in computer programming, it's one of the only fields where women consistently make almost equal pay to men in the field, according to Forbes Magazine. On average, after receiving a bachelor's degree in computer programming, women can expect to make about $61,000 each year. Programmers usually have to have a pretty solid background in a number of computer programming languages, sometimes requiring advanced degrees, personal study or third-party certifications.

6. Occupational Therapist

Occupational therapists work with a wide variety of patients in hospital and clinical settings, helping them regain their mobility for basic, everyday tasks. Occupational therapists usually have to pursue a master's degree from an accredited program in order to practice, but after receiving their education they can expect to make an average of $60,000 per year. Because this is a female-dominated field, women don't experience salary discrepancies, and make equal pay to men in the field.

Choosing a Career

Make sure you do your research before jumping into any career field based on pay. Some of the best paying careers for women may not offer the quality of life or the flexibility that you're looking for.

Best Paying Careers for Women