Gender pay gap appearing in female-dominated professions

Posted at 6:39 PM, Mar 05, 2013
and last updated 2013-03-05 20:39:18-05

SALT LAKE CITY - Economists have discovered a new trend. Men are taking jobs once dominated by women and rapidly getting promoted to higher-paying positions.

Economist Dr. Cindi Fukami says many men who retooled after the recession are now entering fields previously dominated by women.

"These are jobs where about 80 percent of the incumbents are women. Examples of that would be elementary school teachers, librarians and nurses," Fukami said.

Fukami says that men who are entering these occupations are getting paid more and being promoted more quickly.

In 2011, men made up close to 10 percent of all registered nurses. That's up from less than 3 percent in 1970 and less than 8 percent in 2000, when many men turned to healthcare.

"There are more opportunities for us to go ahead and get the training and actually get jobs in that field," said Dale Colfack.

The average pay for female nurses is $51,000. For male nurses, it's $61,000.

Census data suggests that the difference in earnings is partly due to more men working full-time than woman. When looking at full-time, year-round workers, the salary gap narrows, but full-time female nurses still make an average of 9 percent less than male nurses.