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11 professions with the biggest gender pay gaps


The gender pay gap is a well documented phenomenon, but just how it permeates the labor market can be both surprising and disheartening.

Not all occupations share the same levels of unequal pay, for instance, a finding that has come out of a new study from the employment site Glassdoor. The company analyzed salaries reported by full-time workers in five countries, including more than 500,000 people in the U.S. and more than 22,000 in the U.K.

Across the board, women in America are earning just 76 cents for every $1 earned by men, Glassdoor found. Nevertheless, that statistic may be slightly misleading, in that it doesn't compare men and women on an apples-to-apples basis, such as comparing women with similar levels of education and experience with men in the same situation.

But even after adjusting for variables such as age and education, Glassdoor found that the gender pay gap, while smaller, remains a reality for women.

"A very common misperception is that there is no gap once you compare apples and apples," said Glassdoor chief economist Andrew Chamberlain. "We are able to compare people on really detailed characteristics -- the same age, the same education, the same years of experience, working in same state and their titles and employers. And even when we control for that, you see a 5.4 percent gap between men and women."

Chamberlain said he was surprised by the size of the remaining gap because he had predicted that it would be much smaller.

About 67 percent of the unadjusted pay gap can be explained by factors such as which occupations women tend to choose, but the remaining 33 percent is what economists call "unexplained," which could be due to issues such as bias.

The adjusted pay gap isn't static over a woman's lifespan. Glassdoor found that the smallest difference was evident when a woman is 18 to 24 years old, when she earns 2.2 percent less than her male counterparts. Women 55 to 65 years old face the biggest gap, at 10.5 percent, the study found.

Even after adjusted for education, experience and other factors, some professions have much larger pay gaps than the national average, Glassdoor found.

Interestingly, the professions with the highest adjusted pay gaps are those that require years of training and often offer high salaries. That backs up research from Cornell University economists, who found that the wage gap has been particularly stubborn for highly skilled women, suggesting a "glass ceiling" that's constraining their pay.

Read on to learn where women suffer from the largest pay gaps.

11. Game artist: 15.8 percent

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Making video games is a dream job for both men and women, but unfortunately this male-dominated career isn't paying women equally. Glassdoor found that women make 15.8 percent less than their male cohorts. Game artists work with designers and programmers to create video games.

Game artists make about $57,000 annually, Glassdoor said.

10. Pilot: 16 percent

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Female pilots make 16 percent less than their male colleagues, Glassdoor found. The average salary for pilots is slightly less than $80,000, according to the company.

Like the gaming industry, aviation is male-dominated. The International Society of Women Airline Pilots estimates there are only 4,000 female pilots out of 130,000 altogether across the world.

9. Optician: 17.3 percent


Women opticians make 17.3 percent less than their male colleagues, according to Glassdoor. While this field has a better gender balance than some others, women account for about 38 percent of the profession, according to the American Optometric Association.

Optometrists make about $110,000, Glassdoor said.

8. Physician: 18.2 percent

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Women doctors earn 18.2 percent less than male physicians, according to Glassdoor. The problem of unequal pay hasn't escaped the medical industry, where research finds male physicians earn almost $17,000 more in starting salaries than women right after they leave residency training programs.

Physicians on average earn about $176,000 according to Glassdoor.

Unfortunately, the researchers noted that the trend appears to be growing, rather than narrowing.

7. CAD designer: 21.5 percent


Computer-aided designers who are women earn about 21.5 percent less than men in the field with the same background and qualifications, Glassdoor found. It said the typical CAD designer earns about $55,000.

6. Pharmacist: 21.8 percent

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Pharmacists who are women earn about 21.8 percent less than their male colleagues, Glassdoor found. While more women are moving into the profession, research has found that men tend to take senior pharmacy roles, which might contribute to pay disparities between the genders.

The average pharmacist salary is about $120,000, according to Glassdoor.

5. Psychologist: 27.2 percent


Women who are psychologists earn about 27.2 percent less than their male colleagues, Glassdoor found. That pay gap exists despite the fact that women increasingly have moved into the field.

The average salary for a psychologist is about $76,000, according to Glassdoor.

4. C-suite: 27.7 percent

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This catch-all term means anyone in a company's executive offices with the term "chief" in front of their names, such as chief financial officer or chief executive officer. These roles remain dominated by men, and they appear to be one place where women are having particular trouble cracking the glass ceiling. Unfortunately, even when they do, their pay tends to be less than their male colleagues.

3. Dentist: 28.1 percent

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Dentists who are women may wish they had a shot of novocaine when they read that they're earning 28.1 percent less than their male colleagues. The average salary for dentists is about $132,000 annually.

2. Chef: 28.1 percent


The world of chefs tends to be male dominated, which may be why women are on the outs in this profession. Women chefs earn about 28.1 percent less than men, Glassdoor found. That jibes with previous research, which has found stubborn pay differences between men and women in the profession.

The average salary is about $46,000, Glassdoor noted.

1. Computer programmer: 28.3 percent


Computer programmers earn about $65,000 a year on average, but women in the field are making far less, given the pay gap of 28.3 percent.

Computer programmers "are people who write sophisticated code," Chamberlain said, noting that "it's heavily dominated by men. As a general rule, fields where professions are mostly men, we see bigger gaps."

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