Here's one way to consider the gender wage gap: Out of about 350 U.S. professions tracked by the U.S. Census, only nine pay women more than men.
While the gender pay gap is well documented (and much debated), what's interesting is how it affects almost every job in the country -- and how few professions offer women the chance to outearn their male colleagues. The data, released by the U.S. Census earlier this month, tracks earnings for men and women working full-time in hundreds of occupations, from chief executives to farmers.
Many of the jobs where women outearn men are those traditionally held by women, such as service- or education-focused roles. Others may be surprising, especially one profession where the issue of gender parity has surfaced as a hot topic. Yet while these nine professions don't necessarily follow rhyme or reason, there's one clear trend: The margin of higher pay for women is very slim.
Across the board, women in America earn 78.8 cents for every $1 earned by men, the Census found. That's a national figure, and it lumps in women and men across hundreds of professions and industries.
But in fields where men outearn women, the margin is often quite large. Women face the biggest pay gap of all in the farming and ranching industries, where they earn just 60.7 cents for every $1 earned by their male counterparts.
That means incomes for male farmers are 60 percent higher than for women in the field. Yet in the professions where women enjoy higher pay, they're earning less than 1 percent to 6 percent more than men. In many traditionally female-dominated professions, such as nursing, men are now outearning women, the Census found.
To be sure, the Census data don't compare earnings by years of experience or educational attainment. Still, research that compares the earnings of recent college graduates who have similar educational backgrounds has found the wage gap persists. Women who studied engineering, for instance, earned 88 cents for every $1 their male counterpart earned just one year after college graduation, the American Association of University Women found in a 2012 study.
Read on to learn about the 9 professions where women earn more than men.
A traditional field for women, counseling offers a slim salary advantage for females, the Census found. Women working as counselors earned 100.2 cents for every 100 cents males earned.
On a dollar figure, that means women counselors are making $42,349, while men are making $42,299. Some would consider that pay difference to represent parity rather than a bona fide gap in favor of women, given that that the annual difference is only $50.
The field continues to be dominated by women, who make up about 70 percent of counselors.
Previous research has found that the dishwashing profession offers more pay equity than other jobs in the restaurant industry. Roles such as restaurant managers and supervisors suffer from larger pay disparities for women.
Women who are dishwashers earn 100.2 cents for every 100 cents males earned. One reason for the lack of a pay gap is simply that the job pays so little. For workers earning minimum wage, the baseline pay is $7.25 an hour, no matter what gender.
Women dishwashers are earning $17,332 annually, just a hair ahead of their male counterparts' $17,302 in annual income. But women are also a minority in this profession, holding only 15.5 percent of all dishwashing jobs.
7. Transportation, storage and distribution managers
Women are a minority in this field, where men hold about four out of every five jobs.
The occupation requires workers to plan and direct transportation, storage or distribution activities in fields such as rail transportation and freight trucking. While that might seem traditionally male, women are pulling their own weight when it comes to earnings.
Women in the field are bringing in 100.5 cents for every 100 cents men earn. On an annual basis, that means women are earning $52,259, compared with $52,017 for men.
6. Special education teachers
Like counseling, special education is a field traditionally dominated by women. That's still true today, with women accounting for almost 85 percent of all special educators.
Women earn $1.01 for every $1 men earn, the Census found. On an annual basis, that means women are making $47,378, while their male counterparts are bringing home $46,932.
5. Social and human service assistants
These are workers who help people get through tough times, and they often work with social workers and help others find social services. Four out of every five jobs are held by women, who earn $1.02 for every $1 earned by their male counterparts, the Census found.
On an annual basis, that means women are earning $35,766, while their male colleagues are earning $34,967.
4. Transportation security screeners
These screeners ensure that passengers, baggage and cargo are in compliance with Transportation Security Administration regulations. Women in this field are a minority, comprising about one-third of all workers, but earn 102.5 cents for every 100 cents earned by men.
The TSA, which employs 50,000 workers, has a pay scale, which may help even out the wages between genders, given that employees are paid according to publicly stated "pay bands."
Women in this field earn $41,751 annually, compared with $40,732 for their male colleagues.
3. Wholesale and retail buyers, except farm products
Wholesale and retail buyers buy products and commodities to resell to consumers in stores. They analyze sales records, prices, trends and other data to determine what products to buy.
Women make up about half of all employees in this field, and earn 103.3 cents for every 100 cents earned by men. On an annual basis, that means women earn $42,990, compared with $41,619 for their male counterparts.
2. Cleaners of vehicles and equipment
Women hold only 13.5 percent of all jobs in this industry, but make 105 cents for every 100 cents earned by men.
Like dishwashers, the more equal pay distribution may boil down to low wages, with minimum wage providing a floor to earnings for both genders. Women in this field earn $24,793 annually, compared with $23,605.
1. Producers and directors
Surprisingly, the field that gives women the biggest advantage in pay over men is one that's been dinged recently for gender bias: Producers and directors.
Women are a minority in the field, making up just 37 percent of all directors and producers, yet they earn 106.2 cents for every 100 cents earned by men.
Yet pay hasn't been the focus of the debate over gender in directing and producing. Instead, critics have pointed out the lack of women behind the camera, given that recent research has found that only 21 percent of film directors are women.
On screen, women are only given 31 percent of speaking roles, despite the fact that they comprise half the population, according to University of Southern California's Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media. Films with women directors or writers were more likely to feature women on screen, the study found.
Women directors and producers earn $66,226 annually, while their male counterparts are pulling in $62,368.