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top paying jobs  Top paying jobs for women

The statistics may surprise you.

Women are flocking to the labor force in record numbers. Nearly 60% sought or occupied employment in 2008, the latest year for which statistics are available. More than one-third of these women worked in management, professional and related occupations, accounting for 51% of all workers in this top-paying sector.

Women's earnings remain stalled at around 80% of men's, though women are finding the jobs that pay them the most, and some may surprise you.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor Women's Bureau 2008 analysis:
Pharmacy topped the list, where women pharmacists earn a median wage of $1,647 per week or about $86,000 a year. Women earn about 85% as much as their male colleagues. It's a much smaller pay gap than that of medical doctors, however, where women make 59% as much as men. And pharmacy requires less education.

Women physicians and surgeons came in far behind pharmacists at No. 6 on the list, earning a median of $1,230 per week. Women often go into family practice or other lower-paying specialties, rather than work the 80-hour-plus weeks of surgeons.

Women computer scientists and systems analysts came in at No. 10, earning a median wage of $1,082 per week or about $56,000 a year. In recent years, telecommuting has become increasingly common in the industry, making computer science even more appealing to women seeking high-paying work and flexibility.

And just above, at No. 9, were speech-language pathologists, the only occupation in which women earn exactly equal to men and represent 50% of the field's total workers.

No. 1: Pharmacists
Education required
: PCAT; Pharm.D. degree; six to seven years of collegiate study.

No. 2: Chief Executives
Education required: Varies; many hold a bachelor's or graduate degree in business administration or more specialized discipline.

No. 3: Lawyers
Education required: LSAT; J.D. degree; about seven years of collegiate study

No. 4: Computer Software Engineers
Education required: Bachelor of computer science or software engineering

No. 5: Computer and Information Systems Managers
Education required: Bachelor's degree; often a technology-specific MBA

No. 6: Physicians and Surgeons
Educati
on required: M.D. degree; about eight years of collegiate study; three to eight years of internships and residency.

No. 7: Management Analysts
E
ducation required: many hold a bachelor's degree and are promoted from within; others hold a master's in business administration or related discipline

No. 8: Human Resource Managers
Education requir
ed: Bachelor's degree

No. 9: Speech-language Pathologists
Education required
: Master's degree; a license in some states

No. 10: Computer Scientists and System Analysts
Education requi
red: some companies require an associate's degree; most require at least a bachelor's and prefer more advanced degrees depending on the complexity of the project.

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