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Top 10 Female-Dominated Professions in the United States

Top 10 Female-Dominated Professions in the United States

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In the past, men made up the majority of the workforce, but over the years, the gender gap has narrowed, and women now make up nearly half of the workforce.

This shift has led to women dominating certain professions. While women have historically worked as teachers, nurses, and secretaries, they are now taking over previously male-dominated professions.

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According to the most recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, here are the top 10 female-dominated occupations to consider if you’re looking for a job in a field dominated by women.

1. Preschool and kindergarten teachers

Female workforce: 97.6 percent

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Median pay: $29,780 (preschool) and $57,980 (kindergarten)

Requirements: Associate degree (preschool) and bachelor’s degree (kindergarten)

Job growth outlook from 2018 to 2028: 7 percent (preschool) and 3 percent (kindergarten)

Early childhood educators hold a crucial role in nurturing and teaching children. They often operate within a 10-month school year, although some may have year-round positions, and are commonly found in public or private schools, as well as childcare centers.

According to projections by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job opportunities for preschool teachers are expected to grow by seven percent by 2028, a rate faster than the average for all occupations. This growth is attributed to the growing recognition of the significance of early childhood education and development in our society.

2. Dental hygienists

Female workforce: 97.1 percent

Median pay: $74,820

Requirements: Associate degree

Job growth outlook from 2018 to 2028: 11 percent

When you’re scheduling a teeth cleaning, chances are you’ll be meeting with a dental hygienist. These professionals focus on preventative care, checking for signs of oral disease during their examinations.

To become a dental hygienist, individuals usually complete a three-year dental hygiene program and must obtain a license in the state where they practice. The job prospects for dental hygienists look promising, thanks to the aging population in the country and the expanding body of research emphasizing the significance of maintaining good oral health.

3. Speech language pathologists

Female workforce: 96 percent

Median pay: $77,510

Requirements: Master’s degree

Job growth outlook from 2018 to 2028: 27 percent

The anticipated job growth for speech-language pathologists tops the charts, with an expected increase of at least 27 percent from 2018 to 2028. This surge is due to the diverse range of clients they serve, including children with communication challenges and adults grappling with speech or language issues stemming from conditions like stroke or dementia.

To enter the field, speech-language pathologists typically pursue a master’s degree and obtain a state license before embarking on their professional journey.

4. Dental assistants

Female workforce: 96 percent

Median pay: $38,660

Requirements: Varies

Job growth outlook from 2018 to 2028: 11 percent

Apart from salary, the primary distinction between dental assistants and dental hygienists lies in their roles within the dental office. Dental assistants provide direct support to dentists, assisting with office duties like appointment scheduling, performing basic dental procedures such as teeth polishing, and preparing patients for treatments.

The educational qualifications for dental assistants are generally less stringent compared to those for dental hygienists. While some states mandate graduation from an accredited program for assistants, others have no educational prerequisites at all, opting for on-the-job training instead.

5. Childcare workers

Female workforce: 94 percent

Median pay: $23,240

Requirements: High school diploma or equivalent

Job growth outlook from 2018 to 2028: 2 percent

Childcare workers fulfill their roles in diverse settings such as daycare centers, private households, and occasionally in their own homes. Their responsibilities encompass tasks like dressing, feeding, supervising playtime, and generally tending to the needs of children. While formal education is not always mandatory, certain positions may require an early childhood education degree, contingent upon the specific workplace requirements.

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6. Secretaries and administrative assistants

Female workforce: 94 percent

Median pay: $38,880

Requirements: High school diploma or equivalent

Job growth outlook from 2018 to 2028: -7 percent

Secretaries and administrative assistants play vital roles across various industries, with abundant opportunities in sectors like education, healthcare, government, and legal offices. Typically, a high school diploma is a prerequisite, coupled with several weeks of on-the-job training.

While the overall job outlook for secretaries and administrative assistants may not be as optimistic compared to some other professions, this could partly stem from the automation of these roles. However, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) anticipates a heightened demand for medical secretaries in the coming decade, particularly as aging baby boomers necessitate increased medical care.

7. Medical records & health information technicians

Female workforce: 93.6 percent

Median pay: $40,350

Requirements: Post-secondary certificate

Job growth outlook from 2018 to 2028: 11 percent

Medical records and health information technicians primarily work on computers, dedicating their time to organizing, managing, and coding patients’ health records. These records serve various purposes such as insurance reimbursements, database maintenance, and maintaining patient medical histories. Some of these roles offer remote work opportunities, and generally, a bachelor’s degree is not mandatory.

Similar to other healthcare professions mentioned, the demand for medical records and health information technicians is projected to increase due to the aging baby boomer population in the country.

8. Dietitians and nutritionists 

Female workforce: 93.1 percent

Median pay: $60,370

Requirements: Bachelor’s degree

Job growth outlook from 2018 to 2028: 11 percent

Dietitians and nutritionists are dedicated to guiding individuals towards healthier eating habits and promoting overall well-being. They operate in diverse environments, spanning hospitals, nursing homes, cafeterias, and even governmental organizations. Their expertise extends to assisting clients in preventing and managing common ailments like diabetes.

To pursue a career in this field, dietitians and nutritionists usually obtain a bachelor’s degree in food and nutrition or a related field. Many also pursue advanced degrees to further enhance their knowledge and skills.

9. Hairdressers, hairstylists, and cosmetologists 

Female workforce: 92.1 percent

Median pay: $24,830

Requirements: Post-secondary certificate

Job growth outlook from 2018 to 2028: 8 percent

The field of hairdressing, hairstyling, and cosmetology predominantly comprises women. These roles are commonly found in barbershops or salons, but there’s also the option to provide services in clients’ homes. Whether working for a larger company or establishing your own business, there’s considerable flexibility in this industry.

Licensing is mandatory in all states for these professionals. This entails completing a program approved by the state in barbering or cosmetology.

10. Medical assistants

Female workforce: 90.6 percent

Median pay: $33,610

Requirements: Post-secondary certificate

Job growth outlook from 2018 to 2028: 23 percent

This profession ranks as the second-fastest-growing on the list, just behind speech-language pathology, largely because of the increased demand for medical services driven by the aging baby boomer population.

The distinction between a medical assistant and a medical records & health information technician lies in their work environment. Medical assistants typically operate within hospitals, physician’s offices, or other healthcare facilities, as opposed to working in an office or remotely behind a computer. These roles generally don’t mandate a formal degree and require less specialized knowledge about coding and medical software programs. Medical assistants often interact directly with patients, performing tasks like taking vital signs and administering immunizations. Additionally, they handle paperwork and carry out standard office procedures.

In conclusion

It’s remarkable to witness the ongoing progress of women in the workforce, as they increasingly dominate certain professions compared to men. Looking ahead to the next decade, it’s intriguing to anticipate which women-dominated professions will emerge on future lists, and to envision further narrowing of the gender pay gap. The evolving landscape holds exciting possibilities for women’s continued advancement.

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