It's a common complaint: men make more than women in the workforce. But while that's true overall (a recent study showed that full-time working women made 80% of the salary full-time working men made in 2009), it isn't true for every career. Here are four careers where women bring home more bacon than their male counterparts. All statistics were pulled from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) June 2010 report "Highlights of Women's Earnings in 2009".
IN PICTURES: 7 Millionaires By Marriage
Teacher Assistants (also called instructional aides or teacher aides) do just what their name implies – they assist teachers. Teacher assistants help with class instruction, marking student assignments and providing support for the students. They work in different environments, from preschool to high school, or community centers or child care facilities.
The BLS estimates there are 596,000 people working as Teacher Assistants in the U.S., 40% of whom work part-time. For the men working as teacher assistants, the median weekly paycheck is $453, while for women it is $474, meaning they make 104.6% of the earnings their male counterparts do. (For more, see 6 Hot Careers With Lots Of Jobs.)
When it comes to making delicious baked goods, women are making more money. Bakers produce a wide variety of carbohydrate-rich treats including, but not limited to, breads, pastries, cookies, pies and cakes. Their wares are sold in restaurants, cafes, grocery stores and bakeries. Bakers may have attended cooking school, or they may be trained through apprenticeships. They may also be certified through the Retail Bakers of America.
Of the 118,000 bakers, only 57,000 are women. However, they earn 104% of the male bakers' average salary - $466 per week to the men's $448. (Learn more in 5 High-Paying, Low-Stress Jobs.)
Dining Room and Cafeteria Attendants and Bartender Helpers
On a different side of the food industry, there are those who work in cafeterias and those who help out the men and women mixing drinks. These workers clean dishes, set tables and serve water and/or coffee to customers.
Women earn a tidy 111.1% of the men's median salary at $400 per week to men's $360. The BLS estimates a total of 128,000 people hold a job in this category.
Life, Physical, and Social Science Technicians
These technicians generally hold at least an associate degree or certificate in their area of work. They use the experience from their education to perform tests in laboratories, record results and use those results to solve problems. Those who are hired without such a degree apprentice under an experienced technician and may work concurrently to earn their degree.
Of the 121,000 people working as life, physical or social science technicians, 69,000 of them are women. Men earn $723 per week on average, while women bring home $740 per week. That amounts to women earning 102.4% as much as men. The number of jobs in this category is expected to grow 12% - the industry average.
The Bottom Line
While men are still out-earning women overall, that doesn't mean that's true for all careers, nor for every situation. And just because the overall average points to men making more, that doesn't mean there aren't women who make more than males in the same position.
Catch up on your financial news; read Water Cooler Finance: The Unrelenting Claw Of Bernie Madoff.