Sunday, January 16

Top 10 fastest growing jobs for women

A businesswoman working at her desk
OlgaOtto /

Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared on

According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in January 2021 the participation rate of women in the workforce dropped to 57%. This was the lowest since 1988, when it fell to less than 58% (compared to when it reached more than 60% in the late 1990s and in the aughts).

The child care crisis, fueled by pandemic-related daycare and school closings, is believed to have caused many women with children to leave their jobs. However, some jobs are seeing an increase.

SmartAsset analyzed the numbers to see which professions are gaining in their ranks of working women. This is SmartAsset’s third annual study of America’s fastest growing jobs for women. Look at the previous version here.

To find these professions, we analyzed the BLS employment figures for 2016 and compared them to 2020. For more details on how we found and analyzed our data, read the data and methodology section at the end.

Below are the fastest growing jobs for women.

1. Messengers and messengers

Female courier and package delivery driver in a truck
Drazen Zigic /

In 2016, there were 41,768 women working as couriers and messengers.

By 2020, that number had increased by 212.75%, with a total of 130,628 women working in the field.

2. Vehicle and equipment cleaners

Female cleaner with gloves and apron
paulaphoto /

In 2020, 66,048 women worked cleaning vehicles and related equipment. That’s 23,408 more than the 42,640 that did so in 2016, an increase of 54.9%.

This is an area where the increase in women far outpaced overall growth, which stood at just 4.88% between 2016 and 2020.

3. Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists

Marketing manager
Pixel-Shot /

Women are increasingly filling positions as market research analysts and marketers, ranking third in our study.

There were 166,100 women in these positions in 2016, and by 2020 that had increased 54.53% to 256,668.

4. Supervisors of transport workers and material transfer

Financial manager
Amnaj Khetsamtip /

Workers supervising the transportation and movement of materials saw an overall increase in employment of 39.47% between 2016 and 2020.

As for female workers, employment went from 40,660 to 62,275, a jump of 53.16%.

5. Logistics

Pressmaster /

Logistics specialists help a company analyze and optimize its internal logistics.

In 2016 there were 37,145 women occupying these positions. That increased by 50.78% in 2020, when 56,007 worked as logistics.

6. Civil engineers

Civil engineering
New Africa /

The total number of civil engineers actually decreased from 425,000 to 422,000 from 2016 to 2020, making it the only role in the top 10 of this study to see a decline.

However, the number of women working as civil engineers increased 47.10% during that time, from 45,900 to 67,520.

7. Directors of Public Relations and Fundraising

Woman working on a laptop at home
fizkes /

Public relations and fundraising managers help ensure that a business interacts well with the public.

The number of women in these jobs went from 43,958 to 63,080 between 2016 and 2020, an increase of 43.50%. Women represent 66.4% of this field.

8. Medical assistants

A black female doctor prescribing pills to an older black male patient
Burlingham /

Medical assistants work alongside doctors and nurses to care for patients. This is another job in which women are the majority, representing 65.5% of the field in 2020.

The number of women working as medical assistants was 64,400 in 2016 and had risen to 92,355 in 2020, an increase of 43.41%.

9. Respiratory therapists

Respiratory therapist or doctor.
H_Ko /

Here we have another medical field where women make up the majority of the field: 72.4%, the highest percentage in the top 10 of this study.

There were 61,740 female respiratory therapists in 2016. That number rose to 88,328 in 2020, an increase of 43.06%.

10. Criminal detectives and investigators

Detective or private investigator
New Africa /

This is a field where women are still a fairly small minority, accounting for only 26.4% of criminal detectives and investigators.

Still, there has been progress, with the number of women in these jobs increasing by 36.82% between 2016 and 2020, going from 30,680 to 41,976.

Information and methodology

Man studying data on his computer /

To find the fastest growing jobs for women, SmartAsset analyzed employment data for 2016 and 2020, the most recent year for which detailed occupational employment data is available.

We filter out any occupation that employed fewer than 25,000 women in 2016. We also filter out any occupation with “other” or “miscellaneous” in the title due to lack of occupational specificity.

We use the four-year percentage change in women employed in each occupation to rank all jobs, from the highest percentage increase to the lowest.

All data comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click on links within our stories.