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Successful transition into the workforce can be impacted by job availability and working and pay conditions.

Understanding graduate employment outcomes for STEM‑qualified women can provide valuable insights into factors that continue to affect women’s progression and retention in STEM.

Key findings

Is there a gender pay gap for STEM VET graduates entering the workforce?

Women and men annual full-time median income for VET STEM graduates 2019.

Agriculture, environmental and related industries: Women $47K, Men $55K. Engineering and related industries: Women $57K, Men $68K. Information Technology: Women $52K, Men $53K. Natural and Physical Sciences: Women $44K, Men $59K.

In 2019, women who graduated from STEM VET courses and entered the workforce as full‑time employees earned a lower median income than men in all STEM fields.

Women’s full-time median incomes in STEM fields were:

  • Agriculture, environmental and related studies—$47,000 ($8000 less than men)
  • Engineering and related technologies—$57,000 ($11,000 less than men)
  • Information technology—$52,000 ($1000 less than men)
  • Natural and physical sciences—$44,000 ($15,000 less than men)

Of people entering the workforce from all VET fields of education, the median full-time annual income was $51,000 for women and $65,000 for men.

Is there a gender pay gap for STEM university graduates entering the workforce?

Women and men annual full-time median income for university STEM undergraduates 2018.

Agriculture, environmental and related industries: Women $53K, Men $63K. Computing and Information Systems: Women $60K, Men $60K. Engineering: Women $65K, Men $65K. Science and Mathematics: Women $60K, Men $63K.

Women and men annual full-time median income for university STEM postgraduates 2018.

Agriculture, environmental and related industries: Women $69K, Men $76K. Computing and Information Systems: Women $76K, Men $96K. Engineering: Women $79K, Men $90K. Science and Mathematics: Women $75K, Men $78K.

In 2018, the median income was the same for both women and men who graduated from ‘Engineering’ and ‘Computing and information systems’ undergraduate university courses, entered the workforce and were working full-time. However, the median income was less for women than men who graduated from undergraduate courses in the fields of:

  • Agriculture and environmental studies—$55,000 ($8000 less than men)
  • Science and mathematics—$60,000 ($3000 less than men)

In the same year, women who completed postgraduate courses in STEM fields earned less median income than men:

  • Agriculture and environmental studies—$69,000 ($7000 less than men)
  • Computing and information systems—$76,000 ($20,000 less than men)
  • Engineering—$79,000 ($11,000 less than men)
  • Science and mathematics—$75,000 ($3000 less than men)

This data does not reveal the occupation the graduate enters into or include part-time annual income information.