Even in 2013, there are still more women in nursing than men. However, the number of men in the profession has increased to around 7%, based on the study done by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. There are areas of specialty though where male nurses are easily accepted and considered as stronger candidates, while there are areas where they would barely be hired. Keep read for more information about female and male nurse salary comparison.
At first, when both female and male nurses get hired in the same position, they tend to receive the same salary, especially if they choose to work in a unionized hospital. In such hospitals, salaries are determined mainly by experience. But as nurses advance in the field, there is usually an increase in the male nurse’s salary. This is likely because male nurses often choose areas of nursing specialty with higher compensation or because they aim for management positions, which unquestionably comes with a higher pay. This may explain why the weekly pay for a male nurse in 2010 amounted to $1,201, which is higher than the $1,039 pay that women earn for a week’s worth of work. According to the US Census Bureau in 2013, the male nurse salary is $60,700, while that of a female nurse is around $51,100.
The disparity in the salary for men and women is not a pattern exclusive to the nursing occupation. This is also seen in many other occupations, something that has remained the same even in a traditionally female profession, such as nursing.
Men usually get compensated and promoted more, without exemption in an occupation mainly associated with women, because of the glass escalator effect. This describes the seemingly fitting motion of how men can easily speed up past women, as if on express escalator, when it comes to getting higher salary and more promotions. Male nurses tend to advance into top paying areas of specialty, such as becoming nurse anesthetists. On the other hand, female nurses usually choose to become vocational nurses or licensed practical nurses, which are paid lower among the nursing specialties. This is why, according to the most recent US Census Bureau, male nurses comprise 41% of the nurse anesthetists. The male nurse’s salary in this area is way higher, at $162,900, compared to the $40,200 salary of a vocational nurse or licensed practical nurse.
Looking into the female and male nurse salary in the same nursing specialty, men still earn more than women. For instance, female nurses only earn 89 cents for every $1 earned by male nurses as nurse anesthetists. Women only earn 93 cents for a dollar taken home by a registered nurse. The same thing happens between nurse practitioners, where women only earn 87 cents for a dollar received by men, and among licensed vocational nurses, where women nurses get 91 cents for every dollar paid to male nurses.
It helps that male nurses seem to choose higher education in the occupation than female nurses. This is one of the major factors that lead to a higher male nurse’s salary. This becomes noticeable in how there are more male RNS than LPNs and more men with a BSN degree than an ADN or RN diploma.
Male nurses can also branch out to military nursing. They represent more than 30% of the nurses in the Air Force, Navy, and Army. These types of nurses earn more and get access to more favorable financial incentives in return for their service, such as housing allowances, student loan financing, and affordable insurance.
Another reason that could explain why there is a higher male nurse salary is the fact that men can go full time in any occupation that they choose. Despite the fact that there are more working women these days, men are still considered as the main breadwinners of the family. Women, on the other hand, have to tend to their career and family life. This gives men more opportunities to work overtime or take on extra shifts. They don’t have to take care of the kids or handle any other issues at home.
It also mattered that men tend to be handle salary and benefit negotiations better. This is according to the human resources and recruitment staff who deal with employers firsthand.
Among all the occupations in the US, the health care sector provides the highest number of opportunities. This is the main reason why the nursing field is also attracting more male nurses. It is even reportedly experiencing a shortage of nurses, based on the US Census conducted in early 2013.
However, AOL Jobs still obtained reports from 2012 that male nurses are still subjected to ridicule even in their work environment. They are on the receiving end of jokes about their choice of occupation just because nursing is a predominantly female profession, even from some doctors and other co-workers.
Due to the increasing number of men among nurses in the country, this might be beneficial for the salary of both female and male nurses. The increasingly male occupation and the fact that the labor shortage is being filled translate to the overall effect of how the nursing occupation pays more than any other occupation. Experts say that this will eventually benefit both men and women in the field of nursing.