The Gender Earning Gap Remains Large Even for Those With Similar Education

Even among bachelor’s degree holders in the same field of study, women generally earned significantly less than men in 2022, according to new data released by the U.S. Census Bureau. The data shows that men with a bachelor’s degree or higher earned more than women with the same education in all fields but that the difference in median earnings varied by field of degree.

Men have median annual earnings of $123,800 in electrical engineering, the highest of all fields, while women’s earnings are 85.0 percent of men’s ($105,200). Another high earning field for women is in computer science ($91,990), but their earnings are 79.6 percent of men’s ($115,500). Family and consumer sciences had among the lowest median earnings of all fields of study as well as the greatest differences by sex, with women earning $51,590, 73.2 percent of men’s median earning of $70,440.

Among those with degrees in elementary education, a field where a vast majority of recipients (90.4 percent) are women, the average earnings for women were $54,070 compared to $64,380 for men.

Generally, fields of degree with a higher share of women had relatively lower earnings than those with higher share of men. Nursing was a major exception. Women were more than 85 percent of holders of bachelor’s degrees in nursing. But nursing graduates had relatively high average earnings of $80,000.

Social scientists for decades have been trying to identify factors contributing to the gender wage gap, which this study shows exist even among holders of bachelor’s degrees in the same field of study. These differences in earnings may be related to differences in occupation, work experience, full-time versus part-time work, and/or educational attainment beyond a bachelor’s degree, according to the Census Burea report.

Filed Under: Gender GapResearch/Study

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