Detailed Findings & Methodology
Of the 32 fast-growing jobs on this list, 17 are in medical and caregiving occupations, including nursing, veterinary work, dentistry, and therapy. Of the six positions with at least 50% employment growth between 2011 and 2017, all but one are in health care-related roles.
While there have been improvements over the decades, women keep running into hurdles, and breaking the glass ceiling remains an important goal in gender equality in the workforce. The exclusion of women from certain occupations has diminished over time, although it remains an issue. Still, as the broad cultural understanding of acceptable roles in the workplace has been changing, women’s representation in higher-paying roles, such as executive positions and science and technology jobs, also has gradually increased.
Another, often less discussed, aspect of the changing workforce is the increasing representation of men in some occupations that were once considered just women’s work.
Most of the jobs on this list, while all still predominantly occupied by women, are showing signs of men taking up these occupation. While just over 70% of massage therapists today are women, that is down from 82% just a few years ago.
The share of men in 18 of the 32 jobs on this list has increased over the last six years. The effects of this shift is not yet clear and may not be as positive as might be hoped. According to one New York Times piece, published last year, men who take jobs in women’s roles tend to be paid better and treated better than women who hold those positions.
To identify the fastest growing jobs dominated by women, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed overall employment growth across occupations in which women have traditionally dominated the workforce. The jobs on this list are the 32 occupations in which women comprise at least two-thirds of the employed workforce, and for which employment increased by at least 10% between 2011, the first year with consistent available data, and 2017. These occupations were obtained from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey (CPS), a Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) program. To be considered, an occupation must have had at least 10,000 women holding such jobs in 2011. We excluded occupations defined as miscellaneous.