Women IT Workers Earn $10,000 Less Than Men, Census Data Says

Posted By Eliana Osborn on August 31, 2016 at 9:35 am
Women IT Workers Earn $10,000 Less Than Men, Census Data Says

Men IT workers on average make over $10,000 more than women in the industry, according to new  Census Bureau data on trends in the industry. That’s a smaller gap than in 1970, when the field was in its early days. But it’s still significant for the 4.6 million IT employees in the U.S.

IT workers have always made significantly higher wages than the national average. That trend continues today. Men average $80,895 per year and women are paid an average of $70,385 per year.

Within the IT field, the job with the greatest income disparity is database administrators — where the most women are employed. The gap isn’t present among network architects and research scientists.

Education and IT workers

More and more IT workers have advanced degrees. In computer and information research, more than 50% have at least a master’s degree. For IT in general, one in five has a master’s. Computer support specialists are the least likely to have graduate education (just 8%) along with network and systems administrators (12%).

Not surprisingly, the jobs with less need of advanced degrees are the ones that pay the least in the IT industry.


The Census divides IT jobs into 12 occupations, half of which make up about 75% of the job force. More than one million IT workers (25%) are involved with software (developing or application) making up the largest field. Another quarter comes from the combination of computer support specialists (about 12.8%) and nonspecified computer occupations, which include things such as computer lab technicians.


The youngest IT segment is web developers, where 11% are between 16 and 24 years old and 38% are between 25 and 34 years old. The jobs skewing oldest are for computer programmers and researchers, where 20% of employees are older than 55. As an industry, IT workers are more concentrated in the 24-to  44-year-old range than the general employed population.

The proportion of women in IT has decreased over time. In 1990, women made up 31% of this workforce; today, it’s just 25%. The most male-dominated field is computer network architects, where 90% of employees are male. On the other end of the spectrum, 38% of database administrators are female as are 37% of system analysts.

IT is a predominately white occupation. About 70% of employees identify as this race, with 18% Asian, 7% African-American, 4% Hispanic, and 4% mixed race. These numbers differ from the racial breakdown of American workers generally.

IT workers are somewhat more likely to work from home than other workers and less likely to work for the government. They also are more likely to work for a private company and less likely to be self-employed, though there are no dramatic differences.

Eliana Osborn
Eliana Osborn is an associate English professor at Arizona Western College, with degrees from Brigham Young University and Northern Arizona University. She’s published widely in forums such as The New York Times, the Washington Post, the Christian Science Monitor, and the Chronicle of Higher Education.

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