How Bad Is the Pay Gap for Outdoor Jobs?

A check-in on the state of equal pay shows that women still earn less than men in most outdoor industry occupations

May 19, 2016
Outside
Outside Magazine
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Women recreation workers make 81 percent of what their male counterparts do, on average.    Photo: Ben Herndon/TandemStock

The Wall Street Journal asked, “How Big Is Your Pay Gap?” yesterday, with an impressively comprehensive chart of 446 major U.S. occupations, detailing the difference in median wages between men and women. The takeaway is pretty grim: women generally earn less than men in all but six jobs.

We wondered how the outdoor world fares and decided to pull data from the Wall Street Journal's infographic on the jobs that appear most often in the pages of Outside. For comparison, we’ve also included information on the 10 occupations with the largest percentage pay gap. While the gap for outdoor jobs isn't quite as egregious in comparison—one reason may be that many of these jobs aren't high-paying—let’s just say there’s still plenty of work to be done. 

The Pay Gap in Outdoor Occupations

In descending order:

1. Dietitians and nutritionists

Women earn 101 percent of their male counterparts on average.
Median earnings for men: $49,536
Median earnings for women: $50,142

2. Forest and conservation workers

Women earn 96 percent of their male counterparts on average.
Median earnings for men: $32,329
Median earnings for women: $30,908

3. Tour and travel guides

Women earn 94 percent of their male counterparts on average.
Median earnings for men: $30,134
Median earnings for women: $28,338

4. Firefighters

Women earn 88 percent of their male counterparts on average.
Median earnings for men: $65,633
Median earnings for women: $57,445

5. Conservation scientists and foresters

Women earn 88 percent of their male counterparts on average.
Median earnings for men: $59,156
Median earnings for women: $52,233

6. Recreation and fitness workers

Women earn 81 percent of their male counterparts on average.
Median earnings for men: $36,521
Median earnings for women: $29,673

7. Lifeguards and other recreational and all other protective service workers

Women earn 81 percent of their male counterparts on average.
Median earnings for men: $34,308
Median earnings for women: $27,708

8. Athletes, coaches, umpires, and related workers

Women earn 78 percent of their male counterparts on average.
Median earnings for men: $48,141
Median earnings for women: $37,613

9. Photographers

Women earn 75 percent of their male counterparts on average.
Median earnings for men: $42,021
Median earnings for women: $31,531

10. Farmers, ranchers and other agricultural managers

Women earn 65 percent of their male counterparts on average.
Median earnings for men: $41,043
Median earnings for women: $26,594

The Biggest Overall Pay Gaps

1. Paper goods machine setters and operators

Women earn 54 percent of their male counterparts on average.
Median earnings for men: $46,945
Median earnings for women: $25,576

2. Miscellaneous financial specialists

Women earn 56 percent of their male counterparts on average.
Median earnings for men: $86,998
Median earnings for women: $48,588

3. Securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents 

Women earn 57 percent of their male counterparts on average.
Median earnings for men: $93,476
Median earnings for women: $53,535

4. Transportation attendants, except flight attendants

Women earn 60 percent of their male counterparts on average.
Median earnings for men: $42,490
Median earnings for women: $25,569

5. Personal financial advisors

Women earn 62 percent of their male counterparts on average.
Median earnings for men: $99,662
Median earnings for women: $61,863

6. Aircraft structure, surfaces, rigging and systems assemblers

Women earn 62 percent of their male counterparts on average.
Median earnings for men: $50,236
Median earnings for women: $31,250

7. Miscellaneous financial clerks

Women earn 63 percent of their male counterparts on average.
Median earnings for men: $64,991
Median earnings for women: $40,762

8. Physicians and surgeons

Women earn 64 percent of their male counterparts on average.
Median earnings for men: $209,596
Median earnings for women: $135,169

9. Aircraft pilots and flight engineers

Women earn 64 percent of their male counterparts on average.
Median earnings for men: $102,010
Median earnings for women: $65,364

10. Financial managers

Women earn 64 percent of their male counterparts on average.
Median earnings for men: $91,814
Median earnings for women: $58,528

Filed To: Women's, Politics

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