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Women and Girls in Growing STEM Jobs

Friday, February 11 is International Day of Women and Girls in Science. This day is an opportune time to look at employment statistics for women working in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, or STEM.

What’s a STEM job? Computer and mathematical, architecture and engineering, and life and physical science occupations; related managerial and postsecondary teaching occupations; sales occupations requiring scientific or technical knowledge at the postsecondary level.

Employment statistics from the Current Population Survey show that women’s full-time employment has increased in many STEM occupations over the past decade, reaching a level of 2.3 million in 2021.

As a group, STEM occupations are projected to grow 10.5% between 2020 and 2030, faster than the average for all occupations (7.7%). These STEM occupations pay more, and sometimes significantly more, than the median annual wage for all occupations of $41,950. Overall, STEM occupations had a median annual wage of $89,780 in May 2020.  

Chart showing 2020 employment in STEM occupations and projected 2030 employment
Wage data are from the Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics program, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Wage data cover non-farm wage and salary workers and do not cover the self-employed, owners and partners in unincorporated firms, or household workers. Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections

Here are five STEM occupations that are projected to grow faster than average from 2020–30, and in some cases much faster than average, in which at least 1 in 6 jobs were held by women:

 

Information security analysts

Information security analysts plan and carry out security measures to protect an organization’s computer networks and systems.

Women’s share of employment, 2021: 18%

2020 annual median pay: $103,590 per year

Typical entry-level education: Bachelor’s degree

Number of jobs, 2020: 141,200

Projected growth, 2020–2030: 33% (much faster than average)

Occupational openings, 2020–2030 annual average: 16,300

 

Software developers and software quality assurance analysts and testers

Software developers design computer applications or programs. Software quality assurance analysts and testers identify problems with applications or programs and report defects.

Women’s share of employment, 2021: 20% (software developers) and 47% (software quality assurance analysts and testers)

2020 annual median pay: $110,140 per year

Typical entry-level education: Bachelor’s degree

Number of jobs, 2020: 1,847,900

Projected growth, 2020–2030: 22% (much faster than average)

Occupational openings, 2020–2030 annual average: 189,200

 

Operations research analysts

Operations research analysts use advanced mathematical and analytical methods to help solve complex issues.

Women’s share of employment, 2021: 51%

2020 annual median pay: $86,200 per year

Typical entry-level education: Bachelor’s degree

Number of jobs, 2020: 104,100

Projected growth, 2020–2030: 25% (much faster than average)

Occupational openings, 2020–2030 annual average: 10,200

 

Industrial engineers, including health and safety

Industrial engineers devise efficient systems that integrate workers, machines, materials, information, and energy to make a product or provide a service.

Women’s share of employment, 2021: 26%

2020 annual median pay: $88,950 per year

Typical entry-level education: Bachelor’s degree

Number of jobs, 2020: 292,000

Projected growth, 2020–2030: 14% (faster than average)

Occupational openings, 2020–2030 annual average: 23,300

 

Medical scientists

Medical scientists conduct research aimed at improving overall human health.

Women’s share of employment, 2021: 50%

2020 annual median pay: $91,510 per year

Typical entry-level education: Doctoral or professional degree

Number of jobs, 2020: 133,900

Projected growth, 2020–2030: 17% (much faster than average)

Occupational openings, 2020–2030 annual average: 12,600

 

Find more data on the U.S. workforce.

See how the department is investing in opportunities to connect women to STEM and other nontraditional occupations.

 

Christine Machovec is an economist in the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. Follow BLS on Twitter at @BLS_gov.

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