By Susan Johnston, PayScale.com
Ladies, how does earning a six-figure salary sound? It’s certainly possible, especially depending on which job you choose. Not only are high-paying gigs available, but in many cases, a woman is more likely to be the one doing the work.
Online salary database PayScale.com uncovered five jobs where women make up at least 50 percent of the workforce and that pay median salaries of more than $100,000 per year.
“The truth is many six-figure jobs, such as CEOs, sales directors and IT project managers, are dominated by men,” says PayScale lead analyst Katie Bardaro. “However, there are jobs that offer typical pay of $100,000-plus and are mostly held by women. The difference is these jobs aren’t generally running a company or a team, but rather providing necessary healthcare.”
Here's a closer look at what these jobs pay; the work they entail; as well as the education, personal qualities or skills required.
Median Annual Salary: $207,000
Percent Female in Job: 65 Percent
OB/GYNs, who must complete medical school and a residency and pass a certification exam, address women’s medical issues, including pregnancy and reproductive conditions, says Dr. Jessica Shepherd, assistant professor and director of minimally invasive gynecology at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She describes the job as “very rewarding” because it allows one to care for women throughout their lives and during pregnancy.
Dr. May Hsieh Blanchard, director of the residency program in obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, says OB/GYNs "need to be skilled at multitasking and able to handle stress."
Find obstetrician/gynecologist jobs.
2. Nurse Anesthetist
Median Annual Salary: $151,000
Percent Female in Job: 57 Percent
The level of expertise needed to put patients under anesthesia, then bring them back to consciousness ensures that the high salary associated with this job is well-earned.
Becoming a nurse anesthetist requires a bachelor’s degree in nursing (or related science field), a master’s degree from an accredited nurse anesthesia program and nursing experience; candidates must also pass a certifying exam. The schoolwork is grueling, but the payoff in the form of a secure, well-paying career may be worth it for the right person.
Find nurse anesthetist jobs.
Median Annual Salary: $109,000
Percent Female in Job: 50 Percent
Working as a pharmacist requires an interest in medicine, health and wellness as well as careful attention to detail, according to Lisa Schwartz, a registered pharmacist and director of management affairs for the National Community Pharmacists Association.
In addition to dispensing medication and checking for potential interactions, pharmacists may also answer general health questions. "Pharmacists in community pharmacies often serve as a triage point by helping patients understand whether an illness or injury can be treated at home or whether medical attention is needed," Schwartz says.
Pharmacists must now earn a PharmD degree, which typically takes four years to complete, then pass a series of licensing exams. Graduates can obtain further training through residencies or fellowships.
Find pharmacist jobs.
Median Annual Salary: $107,000
Percent Female in Job: 56 Percent
Optometrists examine patient's eyes to test for diseases, diagnose conditions such astigmatism, and determine prescriptions for glasses and contacts. Those in private practice may also hire employees, maintain records and run the office, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Carleen Pallante, assistant director of campus relations in the Office of Career Development at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, says decision-making skills and the ability to work independently are key. "In the medical field in general, active listening -- being able to listen to your patients -- is very helpful," she says.
Optometrists must earn a bachelor’s degree and doctorate and then pass state and national exams.
Find optometrist jobs.
5. Senior Program Marketing Manager
Median Annual Salary: $102,000
Percent Female in Job: 58 Percent
The job of a senior program manager in marketing might include developing strategies, leading projects and partnering with other departments to achieve marketing objectives.
Excellent oral and verbal communications are prerequisites for most marketing jobs especially at this level, Pallante says.
Professionals in this field typically hold a bachelor’s or master’s degree in business with an emphasis on marketing.
Find marketing manager jobs.
Source: Salary data provided by online salary database PayScale.com. The salaries listed are median annual salaries for full-time workers with 10 to 15 years of experience and include any bonuses, commissions or profit sharing.