Other stereotypically “female roles” have also failed to attract male interest: estimates show that 82 percent of elementary and middle school teachers, 96 percent of child care providers, and anywhere from 71 to 98 percent of secretaries are female. Like nursing, these industries might benefit from higher male enrollment.
For example, many school superintendents and principals lament the short supply of male teachers. They are not suggesting that male teaches are better, but with so many students from single-parent, usually single mother, households, more male role models in the classroom couldn’t be a bad thing. Like nursing schools, many districts have even made efforts to specifically recruit men for teaching positions, especially in early education.
So why are there still so few men in these roles? Part of it may be pay. Nursing and teaching are stable jobs with benefits, but not huge moneymakers. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that elementary school teachers start at an average annual salary of about $33,000. The median annual salary for Registered Nurses is about $62,000. Childcare workers are likely to be self-employed, and make a median annual salary of $20,000 or less.