Human Resources



Australian male graduates earn more than female graduates

Traditionally ‘male’ degrees earn more than ‘female’ degrees

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The gender wage gap in Australia is still rife across a number of industries, as a new survey finds the average starting salaries of male graduates are 9.4% higher than females’.

Graduate women in occupations such an public relations, various engineering specialties, management and organisation analysts and nursing in particular earn significantly less than graduate men in the same jobs, a 2013 survey conducted by Graduate Careers Australia (GCA) has found.

The study suggests this wage gap is the product of more men choosing fields of education which are typically (but not always) considered ‘male’ professionals which earn them higher salaries.

“These results suggest that, if higher earnings are of importance to students, then the strategic selection of field of education at an earlier point in the graduates’ education is likely to reward them with higher earnings in the graduate labour market,” the survey report stated.

“The 9.4 per cent aggregate gender wage gap could be narrowed if female students were given more information about career choices and opportunities in primary and secondary school, with encouragement to consider training for occupations that are often traditionally thought of as ‘male’ roles.”

However, female graduates out-earned men on average in fields like pharmaceuticals, industrial, mechanical and production engineers, medical technicians and HR.

The difference in graduates’ average annual starting salaries
(by detailed occupation and gender, 2013, $000’s)

Accountants: Male $50.1, Female $48.4 ($1.7)

Registered Nurses: Male $54.6, Female $50.9 ($3.7)

Primary School Teachers: Male $57.7, Female $54.5 ($3.2)

Civil Engineering Professionals: Male $63.4, Female $62.4 ($1.0)

Secondary School Teachers: Male $57.1, Female $55.6 ($1.4)

Physiotherapists: Male $56.3, Female $55.7 ($0.6)

Pharmacists: Male $40.3, Female $40.6 ($-0.3)

Solicitors: Male $60.0, Female $58.6 ($1.4)

Industrial, Mechanical and Engineers: Male $68.3, Female $71.0 ($-2.7)

Generalist Medical Practitioners: Male $60.8, Female $60.7 ($0.1)

Sales Assistants (General): Male $37.4, Female $36.5 ($0.9)

Other Engineering Professionals: Male $63.6, Female $59.0 ($4.6)

Software and Applications Programmers: Male $57.9, Female $54.5 ($3.4)

Management and Organisation Analysts: Male $62.3, Female $57.6 ($4.7)

Auditors, Secretaries and Corporate Treasurers: Male $51.4, Female $51.1 ($0.3)

Human Resource Professionals: Male $49.3, Female $51.8 ($-2.5)

Court and Legal Clerks: Male $54.7, Female $55.2 ($-0.5)

Medical Imaging Professionals: Male $52.9 Female $53.0 ($-0.1)

Public Relations Professionals: Male $52.3, Female $46.3 ($6.0)

Graphic and Web Designers, and Illustrators: $Male $41.7, Female $40.5 ($1.2)

Medical Technicians: Male $42.4, Female $43.7 ($-1.3)

Journalists and Other Writers: Male $44.1, Female $41.2 ($2.9)

Image: Shutterstock

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