Salary gap narrows between men and women

Working women are beginning to narrow the earnings gap between their salaries and those of men -- if they have the right education and head for the right job opportunities. But they have a long way to go.

According to the second annual Working Woman salary survey, appearing in the current issue of the magazine, the earnings gap between management women and men is even greater than that of women in low-paying, low-status jobs. Despite gloomy predictions that graduates clutching degrees from professional and graduate schools will saturate the market, the best-paying jobs still call for special education.

Of the fields covered in this year's survey, at the high end in the entry-level positions are lawyers, $26,000 to $33,000; engineers, $20,700; computer specialists with an MBA, $19,100 to $20,700. The low end of the entry-level salary curve is held by executive retail trainees, with $10,000 to $ 14,000, and architects, $10,490. Becoming a principal architect-partner can bring $34,346.

Computer specialists face unlimited opportunities. In an article accompanying the survey, Frances E. Ruffin quotes a program director in a personnel consulting firm as saying: "Women who have track records as computer specialists, and even those who are just out of graduate school, can write their own tickets for the salaries they want to earn and the companies they w ant to work for."

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