If you’re looking for jobs that are trending for women right now, then careers with a technical focus are where it’s at.
But if you want the highest paying jobs, then health still has it.
According to the latest data from the Australian Tax Office for 2017–18, seven of the top 10 highest paid occupations for women went to highly skilled careers in the medical profession.
Among these the average female anaesthetist earned $314,306 a year, while the average female neurosurgeon took home $308,329.
Female plastic and reconstructive surgeons earned $302,329, female gynaecologists $301,431 and female cardiologists $290,932.
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By contrast, the average annual salary for women working across the healthcare sector stood at just $78,000 as of May, which is about the same amount as the average clinical female nurse earns a year.
For the record the highest paid occupation for women is a judge with an average before tax income of $393,000.
Legal, health care and finance were among the most applied for job fields before Covid-19 hit, according to jobs website SEEK.
However since then the Australian workforce has started to look a little different and job opportunities have changed.
Front line essential services industries including health care and social assistance and electricity, gas, water and waste are the only two sectors of the economy that actually hired more people since the pandemic started, according to ABS Payroll data for the period between March 14 and August 8.
The total number of jobs lost across all industries since the pandemic started is down by 4.7% for females and 5.3% for males.
The female-dominated sectors of Accommodation and Food Services and Arts and Recreation have been hit the hardest with job losses down by 18 per cent and 15.3 per cent respectively.
While stronger population growth, signs that we may have a COVID-19 treatment and a rebound in the global economy beyond next year are expected to increase opportunities for women to work in health, aged Care and education, there are more areas that are expected to rebound as the pandemic leads to an even greater than expected shift towards automation and technology.
“Pandemics have a history of spawning cultural and labour transformation,” says global futurist Anders Sörman-Nilsson.
“Just as the Spanish Flu and Black Plague shifted ways of working, COVID-19 will lead to an even closer relationship with technology, with the rise of machine learning, artificial intelligence and robotics.”
Researched developed by Sörman-Nilsson and ING estimates that more than three million of Australians will be looking for a new job after COVID-19, regardless of whether they’ve been stood down or not.
EY Oceania chief economist Jo Masters also notes that post COVID-19 we should see greater technology and innovation open the way for increased female participation in traditionally male-dominated areas and new frontiers including advanced manufacturing – med-tech (medical technician), agri-tech (agricultural technology), renewables and resources.
The World Economic Forum’s Reskilling research paper lists the Top 10 emerging jobs or industries as including the following:
Big data architects
Renewable energy engineers
Organisational development specialists
New technology specialists
Digital transformation specialists
IT project managers
Many of the above roles have advertised salaries on Seek ranging from between $80,000 and up to $190,000.
However only about 34 per cent of Australian women work in the information technology (IT) sector and 23 per cent work in some form of engineering.
What’s arguably needed is a greater educational shift among women to take advantage of new careers.
That said, the latest Department of Education data shows that the fastest growing area of study for women is IT. So, there is much hope for women to take advantage of the opportunities ahead.
Bianca Hartge-Hazelman is the author of the Financy Women’s Index and founder of women’s money website financy.com.au. She is also a proud contributor and supporter of Yahoo Finance’s Women’s Money Movement.