Monmouth County's Ask the Doctor Sept/Oct

Your Healthcare is in Women’s Hands • Women Hold 76% of All Health Care Jobs, Gaining in Higher-Paying Occupations. • Women have driven 80%of the overall growth in the booming health care field since the turn of the century. The number of full-time, year-round workers in health care occupations has almost doubled since 2000, increasing from 5 million to 9 million workers, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. Women account for three-quarters of full-time, year-round health care workers today. Since 2000, median earnings for women in healthcare have increased in part from their growing numbers in higher earning occupations and longevity on the job. About half of full-time, year-round health care workers have at least a college degree, and almost a quarter have an advanced degree. This often translates into earning differences across occupations. Combining the occupation entry-level education information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics with the data from the American Community Survey illustrates the relationships between education, occupation and earnings. While women in lower education jobs have seen little change in their earnings, women moving into higher-education occu- pations have gained opportunities for higher earnings. Women have increased their participation in record numbers in health care occupations that require higher education, in- cluding dentists, optometrists, pharmacists, physicians and surgeons, and veterinarians. These occupations were dominated by men in 2000. Women now make up the majority of veterinarians and pharmacists, and have made strong gains, doubling their representation, in other occupations such as dentists and optometrists. At the same time, the number of men who are dentists or veterinarians decreased over the two decades. Even so, today men still make up more than half of dentists, optometrists, EMT/paramedics, and physicians and surgeons. In some health care occupations, such as nurse midwives, speech pathologists, dental assistants and medical assistants, wom- en account for at least 90% of workers. There are about 763,000 physicians and surgeons working full-time, year-round and about a third are women. As the nation’s population continues to grow older and demands for health care continue to increase, women working in health care occupations will likely play a key role in addressing these needs.



FALL 2020

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