Methodology


This website shows good middle-skill target occupations together with the closest on-ramp occupations for women. Middle-skilled occupations are defined as occupations which require at least high school education and some postsecondary education but less than a bachelor’s degree.

A target occupation has median earnings of at least $35,000 for full-time full-year work (in 2014 dollars, for all workers in the occupation), is projected to have stable or growing employment, and at least 25,000 job openings from job turnover and employment growth between 2014 and 2024.

An on-ramp occupation employs at least 25,000 women or is majority female, has median annual earnings that are at least $1,000 lower than in the target occupation, and is a good match to the target occupation in terms of the tasks and skills profile.

To compare different occupations, IWPR created a ‘closeness value;’ the closeness value is the outcome of a pairwise comparison of occupations for each of 252 occupational characteristics in the U.S. Department of Labor’s O*Net database. The IWPR O*Net database includes 473 different occupations, and calculates a closeness value for each occupation compared to any other occupation in the database.

The closeness value ranges from 0.00 to 1.00; for example, of the 473 occupations, the most similar occupation to ‘welders, cutters, and welder fitters’ is ‘engine and other machine assemblers’ with a value of 0.067; the least similar is ‘chief executive’ with a value of 0.286. The on-ramp occupations shown have a closeness value of 0.110 or less when compared to the target occupation.

Earnings data are median earnings for full-time full-year work for all workers (not only women) in the occupation; data are for 2013, adjusted to 2014 dollars, and are based on the Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic Supplement..

The share of women in each occupation is the annual average of women and men who worked in each occupation between 2009 and 2013, irrespective of hours worked; the data are based on the American Community Survey.

Data for projected change in employment and in job openings from growth and turnover are based on the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Projections 2014-2024.

See the full report for more details on the project methodology and the O*Net database.

Narrow the Wage Gap through Access to Good Jobs

Half of the gender wage gap is due to women working in different occupations and sectors than men. Improving women’s access to good middle-skill jobs can help close the wage gap and improve women’s economic security.

Find a Target JobRead the Full Report

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