These Are the 25 Best Careers for Women

Professional woman

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Laura Berlinsky-Schine
Laura Berlinsky-Schine

What are the best careers for women? According to our research at Fairygodboss, women rate the public relations, consulting services, and pharmaceutical industries as those that give them the greatest job satisfaction. Meanwhile, women are most likely to recommend accounting, consulting services, and information services to other women without qualification.

Of course, women look for different qualities when it comes to their career. Some seek out jobs that pay well. Others want careers that allow them to enjoy a good work-life balance, and others still want to make a difference in the world or exercise their creative talents.

Below are 25 of the best careers for women based on different features and qualities women look for in their working lives.

Highest-Paying Careers Women

1. CEO

Average salary: $161,969 (Payscale)*

As the leader of her organization, a chief executive officer generally makes or signs off on the most important decisions involved in advancing the company’s interests and purpose. She must possess strong leadership, decision-making, planning, and other skills. Day-to-day responsibilities can vary greatly depending on the specific organization, industry, and mission.

2. Pharmacist

Average salary: $124,170 (Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Pharmacists are licensed health care providers who prepare and distribute medications, provide drug information, and store, organize, and evaluate drugs. They often work closely with physicians to educate patients and manage and coordinate medications.

To learn more about the pharmacy occupation, read How to Become a Pharmacist.

3. Lawyer

Average salary: $81,792 (Payscale)

Attorneys work with legal matters in a variety of settings. Often they represent clients in cases concerning business deals, contracts, rights, and criminal defense or prosecution.

Attorneys practice within a range of specialties and locations, such as government, non-profit organizations, advocacy groups, private practice within law firms, and large and small companies.

Read How to Become a Lawyer to learn about the steps involved in this path.

4. Computer and Information Systems Manager

Average salary: $139,220 (BLS)

Computer and information systems managers (or IT managers) plan, oversee, and trouble-shoot activities related to computers and technology, usually within an organization or branch of an organization. They generally create and implement technology programs, educate the users (other employees) within the organization on how to use them, and help solve problems regarding technology.

5. Physician/Surgeon

Average salary for general physicians: $140,706 (Payscale)

Average salary for general surgeons: $258,736 (Payscale)

Physicians work in a range of settings, such as hospitals and clinics, to help patients with their physical health and diagnose and treat illnesses. Most physicians practice a specialty or see specific types of patients. For example, a general physician or practitioner (GP) supports the general health and wellness of patients, performing routine checkups and often performing initial treatments before referring them to specialists for further treatment if needed. An obstetrician-gynecologist works with women’s health, performing gynecological exams, assisting women with pregnancies and delivery, and diagnosing and treating illnesses related to women’s health.

A surgeon is a physician who performs surgeries. Some surgeons also have specialties, such as an orthopedic surgeon, who works with bone-related surgeries, while others perform a range of surgeries.

Check out 25 High-Paying Jobs for Women for more careers that pay well.

Low-Stress Careers for Women Who Want a Work-Life Balance

6. Audiologist

Average salary: $75,920 (BLS)

Audiologists work in a range of settings, including hospitals, clinics, and schools, to diagnose and administer treatment regarding hearing. Particularly in young patients, audiologists administer hearing tests to monitor hearing.

7. Dental Hygienist

Average salary: $74,070 (BLS)

Working in dentists’ offices, dental hygienists clean and prepare patients’ teeth for a dental examination. They may also provide a preliminary evaluation of the patient’s teeth and assist the patient with her oral health and hygiene.

8. Geologist

Average salary: $89,850 (BLS)

Also known as geoscientists, geologists perform research regarding the physical attributes of the Earth. Often, they perform fieldwork in remote locations to study the Earth’s composition and other aspects of its structure and history.

9. Food Technologist

Average salary: $71,990 (BLS)

Food technologists, study, analyze, and research foods, food processes, and food composition. Depending on the specific purpose of the organization for which a food technologist works, she may determine the nutritional content of foods, search for new food sources or ways of developing foods, and work with methods of cultivating, preserving, storing, distributing, and providing information about foods.

To learn more about professions within the food industry, read Careers in Food: 4 Women Share How They Forged Their Own Paths.

10. Librarian

Average salary: $58,520 (BLS)

Librarians assist patrons with finding sources and information and performing research. Their work often depends on the setting, which could be a public library, an academic library at a college or university, schools, or other facilities. Some librarians specialize in particular services. For example, some librarians may work with reader’s advisory, helping readers find books that suit their interests and creating lists of works within genres. Others may specialize in technologies that assist users with research or deliver information.

Interested in other book jobs? Check out How to Get a Job in Publishing.

Read 25 Low-Stress and Fun Jobs That Pay Well to learn more about careers that provide a work-life balance.

Careers for Women with a Creative Streak

11. Art Director

Average salary: $92,500 (BLS)

Working in creative businesses such as advertising agencies, magazines, television channels and programs, and other companies, art directors plan out and create the design and style of the artwork featured in the organization’s brand and products. Some art directors are self-employed and work with a range of products and businesses.

12. Industrial Engineer

Average salary: $85,880 (BLS)

Industrial engineers develop systems to streamline production for services and products at companies such as factories, identifying problems or waste within the ways the companies perform their tasks. They look for ways to improve efficiency and delivery.

13. Multimedia Artist or Animator

Average salary: $70,530 (BLS)

Developing design elements involving animation and other visual effects, a multimedia artist or animator often works on television shows, movies, computer programs, and video games. A multimedia artist or animator may be self-employed, working on individual projects across various businesses, or work for a specific media organization or corporation.

14. Fashion Designer

Average salary: $67,420 (BLS)

Fashion designers create designs for clothing products and develop plans for executing their designs. They work in settings such as retailers, clothing companies, wholesalers, design firms, and other facilities that produce clothing.

15. Communications Director

Average salary: $73,659 (BLS)

Communications directors are essentially the voice of the organizations they represent. They plan and direct campaigns that communicate the business’s image to the general public, develop media and public relations strategies, and map out the messaging and branding of the organization. Organizations across a wide range of industries and fields employee communications directors to serve as their spokespeople and media strategists.

Do you have a creative streak? Read 19 Jobs for Creative People That Actually Pay Well.

Top Careers for Women Based on Overall Job Satisfaction

16. Program Manager

Average salary: N/A

A program manager develops programs that promote and drive the overall success of an organization. She creates these programs based on the needs and goals of her organization and develops a strategy for how she will execute them, as well as analyzes the impact they will have on the business.

17. Product Manager

Average salary: $112,775 (check source)

Sitting at the cross section of technology, user experience, customer service, communication, and other fields, product management involves researching what customers want and how to deliver products that will meet their needs. Product managers are responsible for developing ideas for products, directing their execution, and analyzing their effect and success.

Learn more about this profession in What Is a Product Manager?.

18. Sales Rep

Average salary: $63,050 (BLS)

Often working in the “field”—an assigned territory—sales representatives pitch the products of the companies they represent, usually to other businesses or wholesalers that use or sell the product in question. Sales representatives’ methods of selling their product often vary widely based on the company and industry for which they work, and some receive commission or bonuses based on the number of sales they land.

19. Recruiter / HR Manager

Average salary: $60,350 (BLS)

Human resources specialists work with a range of issues regarding employees and potential employees. Recruiters search for candidates for open positions, interview them, and hire new workers. Other human resources professionals may conduct training sessions of current or new employees, work with payroll and benefits, and develop programs and policies.

Recruiters may work for recruitment agencies on behalf of clients looking to fill open positions or within the organization themselves, and other human resources specialists work primarily within organizations across many industries.

Learn more in Everything You Need to Know About Human Resource Management.

20. Managing Director

Average salary: $102,590 for all management positions (BLS)

A managing director is a high-level management or executive position that encompasses many different specialties and responsibilities. In general, she reports to a high-level executive within an organization and manages all the day-to-day responsibilities for the business as well as larger organizational efforts.  

Learn more about the top careers for women based on our research into job satisfaction in The Top 10 Best Job Titles and Departments for Women.

Top Careers for Women Who Want to Make a Difference

21. GED Teacher

Average salary: $52,100 (BLS)

An adult literacy and high school equivalency diploma teacher (also known as a GED teacher) usually works at a community college, public school, or other community organization to assist students with earning their GED. Usually, their responsibilities include teaching students condensed versions of the subjects and skills that are normally covered in a high school curriculum and on the GED exam.

22. Education Director

Average salary for a postsecondary education administrator: $92,360 (BLS)

Average salary for an elementary or secondary school administrator: $97,440 (BLS)

Education directors’ responsibilities can vary based on whether they work in primary, secondary, or postsecondary schools. In general, they plan and oversee student services, academics, and other administrative functions of their school. At the college or university level, they may also manage research activities.

23. Clergy

Average salary: $50,800 (BLS)

Usually representing a specific religious faith or denomination, clergy offer spiritual support and guidance to members of their congregation, lead worship, and perform services and functions concerning the beliefs of follows of their religion, such as weddings.

24. Psychologist

Average salary: $77,030 (BLS)

Psychologists work with the cognitive, behavioral, and mental health of people. They also study mental health disorders and administer behavioral treatments to patients. They are not licensed to prescribe medications but may work with medical practitioners to manage treatments that involve both therapy and medication.

Some psychologists perform research or teach in academic settings, while others provide counseling and therapy to patients.

25. Optometrist

Average salary: $110,300 (BLS)

Working with the eyes and visual systems of patients, optometrists diagnose, treat, and help manage diseases and other problems related to vision. They may also perform routine eye examinations and prescribe vision correctors, such as glasses or contact lenses.

Want to make a real difference? Here are 20 Jobs That Let You Make the World a Better Place.

Top Jobs for Women: Finding the Right Fit

Women have many different goals, experiences, and standards when it comes to finding the right fit. These are just some of the many great careers for professional working or looking to work in a variety of fields and industries.

To learn more about the top jobs for women and the companies that offer the best environments for women to work, read:

Best Industries for Women

Best Companies for Women

So. Many. Great Jobs At These 34 Women-Friendly Companies

You can also find plenty of reviews of different industries.

* Salaries are based on annual national averages and may vary widely based on experience, specialty, level of education, location, area of practice, and many other factors.


This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of Fairygodboss.

Laura Berlinsky-Schine is a freelance writer and editor based in Brooklyn with her demigod/lab mix Hercules. She specializes in education, technology and career development. She also writes satire and humor, which has appeared in Points in Case, Little Old Lady Comedy, Jane Austen’s Wastebasket and The Haven.

What careers do you think are best? Share your advice and experiences in the comments to help other Fairygodboss members.