Chapter 5 titled Differences in Occupations and Earnings : Overview is a general survey of this aspect of economics. Even among mainstream occupations, some are better paid than others. And as is well known, all professions follow an hierarchy structure for salaries, wherein the senior and more experienced practitioners get better pay than their subordinates. And divergence is observed in the way men and women seek out certain specific occupations. For example, occupations that require technical aptitude are largely comprised of a male workforce – pilots, electricians, firefighters, geologists, truck drivers, etc. Similarly, women embrace occupations such as teachers, receptionists, nurses, speech therapists, cosmetologists, clerks, etc. Overall, adjusting for skill, expertise and work hours put in, men earn more than women. But this disparity has reduced in recent years. Occupational segregation based on gender used to be more rigid fifty years ago compared to what it is today. The gap between male and female earnings too started to close since the late 1970s and has continued till date. Since this trend has plateaued in the last decade, it is unsure whether it will continue in the coming years. Occupational segregation based on race also exists in the United States, but in-depth analysis of this area is made difficult by the fact that the Bureau of Labor Statistics does not have extensive data pertaining to it.
The Economics of Women, Men, and Work, Francine D. Blau, Marianne A. Ferber, & Anne E. Winkler, 6th edition, 2006 Prentice Hall, Pearson Education, Inc.