The fastest-growing job in every state

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After bottoming out in 2010, the U.S. economy, and especially the labor market, has surged. Since then, the country added more than 18 million new jobs, employment rates have returned to pre-recession levels, and the current unemployment rate of 3.6 percent is at a 50 year low.

Nearly a decade later, employment growth remains strong. Between May 2015 and 2018, the U.S. added close to 7 million jobs, a growth rate of 5.0 percent. During this time, the fastest-growing jobs nationally were concentrated in service-providing industries, with health care service occupations in the top two positions (personal care aides and nurse practitioners).


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The occupations with the largest declines were more diverse. Perhaps surprisingly, computer programmers saw one of the largest decreases in employment (-20 percent) over this time period, and the BLS projects continuing losses as a result of firms outsourcing this work overseas. The decline, however, is not representative of the industry as a whole. Other related, but more highly skilled, jobs experienced large employment gains. For example, software developer jobs grew 21 percent and the BLS projects a similar 24 percent increase between 2016 and 2026.

Telemarketers experienced the largest percentage decrease in employment nationally. This decrease may partially be explained by call centers moving overseas, but automation (i.e. robocalling) is another likely culprit. Consistent with the data, researchers at Oxford University ranked telemarketer as the most likely job to be automated in the near future.

Just as employment growth varies by occupation, it also varies widely by location. States with the highest employment growth are clustered in the West and the Southeast. States with lower employment growth, or even net job losses, are generally found in the Midwest and Northeast. Among all states, Utah had the largest percentage increase in jobs (9.9 percent) between 2015 and 2018, which is double the national average.

To identify the fastest-growing job in each state, researchers at HeyTutor analyzed the most recent data available from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. They calculated the employment growth rate between May 2015 and May 2018 for each occupation in each state. Only jobs with more than 100,000 employees nationally were included. Here’s what they found:

Key Findings

  • Manufacturing jobs are dominant. Different from national-level trends, at the state level, manufacturing jobs—for example, machine tool setters, machine tool operators, and industrial machinery mechanics—appear frequently. Out of all jobs, manufacturing occupations are the fastest-growing in nine states.
  • Teaching jobs are also highly represented. Seven states have some type of teaching job as the fastest-growing job. While typical K-12 jobs are absent from the final list, jobs such as graduate teaching assistants, health specialties teachers, vocational instructors, and substitute teachers are present.
  • Personal care aide positions are growing. Also notable is the increase in personal care aides, which was the fastest-growing job in three states and the fastest-growing job in the nation overall at 62 percent. Because of the large aging population in the U.S., this occupation is likely to see continued growth. The demand for personal care aides reflects a shift away from nursing homes and long-term care facilities toward in-home care.
  • A mix of low and high-paying jobs. Among the fastest-growing jobs in each state, 30 fall below the national median wage of $38,640. The highest-paying jobs are in technology and financial services with software developers, financial advisors, and electronics engineers commanding the best pay.

The fastest-growing job in each state

Alabama

Fastest-growing job: Property, Real Estate, and Community Association Managers
Employment growth: 171% (+770 jobs)
Employment growth (all occupations): 3.21% (+60,450 jobs)
Median annual wage: $55,370

Alaska

Fastest-growing job: Social and Community Service Managers
Employment growth: 63% (+220 jobs)
Employment growth (all occupations): -3.67% (-12,000 jobs)
Median annual wage: $31,920

Arizona

Fastest-growing job: Multiple Machine Tool Setters, Operators, and Tenders
Employment growth: 376% (+1,430 jobs)
Employment growth (all occupations): 7.83% (+202,450 jobs)
Median annual wage: $34,090

Arkansas

Fastest-growing job: Graduate Teaching Assistants
Employment growth: 126% (+1,760 jobs)
Employment growth (all occupations): 2.89% (+33,990 jobs)
Median annual wage: $19,330

California

Fastest-growing job: Personal Care Aides
Employment growth: 350% (+434,140 jobs)
Employment growth (all occupations): 9.75% (+1,511,090 jobs)
Median annual wage: $24,550

Colorado

Fastest-growing job: Order Clerks
Employment growth: 84% (+1,880 jobs)
Employment growth (all occupations): 6.9% (+169,150 jobs)
Median annual wage: $36,020

Connecticut

Fastest-growing job: Food Batchmakers
Employment growth: 108% (+780 jobs)
Employment growth (all occupations): .05% (+770 jobs)
Median annual wage: $69,700

Delaware

Fastest-growing job: Dining Room and Cafeteria Attendants and Bartender Helpers
Employment growth: 79% (+610 jobs)
Employment growth (all occupations): 3.38% (+14,670 jobs)
Median annual wage: $24,680

District of Columbia

Fastest-growing job: Hotel, Motel, and Resort Desk Clerks
Employment growth: 100% (+800 jobs)
Employment growth (all occupations): 5.37% (+36,310 jobs)
Median annual wage: $67,810

Florida

Fastest-growing job: Cooks, Fast Food
Employment growth: 119% (+8,050 jobs)
Employment growth (all occupations): 8.62% (+683,360 jobs)
Median annual wage: $21,370

Georgia

Fastest-growing job: Eligibility Interviewers, Government Programs
Employment growth: 160% (+2,680 jobs)
Employment growth (all occupations): 6.98% (+286,780 jobs)
Median annual wage: $35,630

Hawaii

Fastest-growing job: Personal Financial Advisors
Employment growth: 115% (+390 jobs)
Employment growth (all occupations): 3.52% (+21,830 jobs)
Median annual wage: $91,490

Idaho

Fastest-growing job: Helpers—Production Workers
Employment growth: 113% (+1,410 jobs)
Employment growth (all occupations): 9.87% (+63,440 jobs)
Median annual wage: $24,390

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Illinois
Fastest-growing job: Multiple Machine Tool Setters, Operators, and Tenders
Employment growth: 145% (+8,230 jobs)
Employment growth (all occupations): 2.37% (+138,560 jobs)
Median annual wage: $35,250

Indiana

Fastest-growing job: Multiple Machine Tool Setters, Operators, and Tenders
Employment growth: 78% (+2,020 jobs)
Employment growth (all occupations): 3.42% (+100,720 jobs)
Median annual wage: $42,330

Iowa

Fastest-growing job: Farmworkers and Laborers, Crop, Nursery, and Greenhouse
Employment growth: 138% (+770 jobs)
Employment growth (all occupations): .97% (+14,750 jobs)
Median annual wage: $28,080

Kansas

Fastest-growing job: Vocational Education Teachers, Postsecondary
Employment growth: 77% (+750 jobs)
Employment growth (all occupations): .27% (+3,750 jobs)
Median annual wage: $54,290

Kentucky

Fastest-growing job: Office Clerks, General
Employment growth: 76% (+15,820 jobs)
Employment growth (all occupations): 2.81% (+51,650 jobs)
Median annual wage: $21,790

Louisiana

Fastest-growing job: Farmworkers and Laborers, Crop, Nursery, and Greenhouse
Employment growth: 176% (+970 jobs)
Employment growth (all occupations): -1.32% (-25,530 jobs)
Median annual wage: $23,990

Maine

Fastest-growing job: Tire Repairers and Changers
Employment growth: 115% (+380 jobs)
Employment growth (all occupations): 2.37% (+14,030 jobs)
Median annual wage: $20,820

Maryland

Fastest-growing job: Computer-Controlled Machine Tool Operators
Employment growth: 126% (+590 jobs)
Employment growth (all occupations): 3.37% (+87,380 jobs)
Median annual wage: $44,480

Massachusetts

Fastest-growing job: Graduate Teaching Assistants
Employment growth: 353% (+2,400 jobs)
Employment growth (all occupations): 5.14% (+174,520 jobs)
Median annual wage: $56,640

Michigan

Fastest-growing job: Software Developers, Applications
Employment growth: 71% (+12,280 jobs)
Employment growth (all occupations): 4.13% (+171,230 jobs)
Median annual wage: $87,880

Minnesota

Fastest-growing job: Insurance Claims and Policy Processing Clerks
Employment growth: 85% (+2,870 jobs)
Employment growth (all occupations): 3.44% (+95,460 jobs)
Median annual wage: $43,960

Mississippi

Fastest-growing job: Food Batchmakers
Employment growth: 115% (+540 jobs)
Employment growth (all occupations): 1.56% (+17,280 jobs)
Median annual wage: $25,450

Missouri

Fastest-growing job: Multiple Machine Tool Setters, Operators, and Tenders
Employment growth: 179% (+3,160 jobs)
Employment growth (all occupations): 3.41% (+92,540 jobs)
Median annual wage: $55,090

Montana

Fastest-growing job: Firefighters
Employment growth: 124% (+420 jobs)
Employment growth (all occupations): 3.6% (+16,100 jobs)
Median annual wage: $50,400

Nebraska

Fastest-growing job: Multiple Machine Tool Setters, Operators, and Tenders
Employment growth: 283% (+1,160 jobs)
Employment growth (all occupations): 2.58% (+24,580 jobs)
Median annual wage: $32,440

Nevada

Fastest-growing job: Mixing and Blending Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders
Employment growth: 211% (+760 jobs)
Employment growth (all occupations): 9.27% (+114,330 jobs)
Median annual wage: $34,810

New Hampshire

Fastest-growing job: Packers and Packagers, Hand
Employment growth: 169% (+2,570 jobs)
Employment growth (all occupations): 2.76% (+17,560 jobs)
Median annual wage: $23,310

New Jersey

Fastest-growing job: Highway Maintenance Workers
Employment growth: 175% (+2,630 jobs)
Employment growth (all occupations): 3.67% (+143,370 jobs)
Median annual wage: $44,270

New Mexico

Fastest-growing job: Legal Secretaries
Employment growth: 107% (+940 jobs)
Employment growth (all occupations): 1.7% (+13,530 jobs)
Median annual wage: $35,910

New York

Fastest-growing job: Farmworkers and Laborers, Crop, Nursery, and Greenhouse
Employment growth: 82% (+1,370 jobs)
Employment growth (all occupations): 4.46% (+400,730 jobs)
Median annual wage: $29,910

North Carolina

Fastest-growing job: Personal Care Aides
Employment growth: 93% (+14,530 jobs)
Employment growth (all occupations): 6.26% (+258,140 jobs)
Median annual wage: $21,010

North Dakota

Fastest-growing job: Medical Secretaries
Employment growth: 155% (+820 jobs)
Employment growth (all occupations): -6.98% (-31,270 jobs)
Median annual wage: $34,820

Ohio

Fastest-growing job: Personal Care Aides
Employment growth: 96% (+20,830 jobs)
Employment growth (all occupations): 2.57% (+135,960 jobs)
Median annual wage: $22,750

Oklahoma

Fastest-growing job: Interviewers, Except Eligibility and Loan
Employment growth: 129% (+890 jobs)
Employment growth (all occupations): -.17% (-2,760 jobs)
Median annual wage: $29,970

Oregon

Fastest-growing job: Electronics Engineers, Except Computer
Employment growth: 331% (+4,210 jobs)
Employment growth (all occupations): 8.69% (+150,870 jobs)
Median annual wage: $86,520

Pennsylvania

Fastest-growing job: Health Specialties Teachers, Postsecondary
Employment growth: 104% (+6,320 jobs)
Employment growth (all occupations): 2.42% (+138,210 jobs)
Median annual wage: $79,920

Rhode Island

Fastest-growing job: Fitness Trainers and Aerobics Instructors
Employment growth: 140% (+560 jobs)
Employment growth (all occupations): 2.28% (+10,740 jobs)
Median annual wage: $55,790

South Carolina

Fastest-growing job: Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers
Employment growth: 188% (+750 jobs)
Employment growth (all occupations): 6.96% (+134,140 jobs)
Median annual wage: $34,700

South Dakota

Fastest-growing job: Software Developers, Systems Software
Employment growth: 83% (+300 jobs)
Employment growth (all occupations): 2.19% (+9,050 jobs)
Median annual wage: $100,570

Tennessee

Fastest-growing job: Multiple Machine Tool Setters, Operators, and Tenders
Employment growth: 198% (+3,730 jobs)
Employment growth (all occupations): 5.07% (+142,690 jobs)
Median annual wage: $31,090

Texas

Fastest-growing job: Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers
Employment growth: 114% (+3,250 jobs)
Employment growth (all occupations): 4.68% (+541,270 jobs)
Median annual wage: $37,630

Utah

Fastest-growing job: Graduate Teaching Assistants
Employment growth: 320% (+1,630 jobs)
Employment growth (all occupations): 9.92% (+131,450 jobs)
Median annual wage: $46,780

Vermont

Fastest-growing job: Medical Secretaries
Employment growth: 143% (+1,090 jobs)
Employment growth (all occupations): .55% (+1,660 jobs)
Median annual wage: $42,770

Virginia

Fastest-growing job: Securities, Commodities, and Financial Services Sales Agents
Employment growth: 67% (+3,040 jobs)
Employment growth (all occupations): 4.08% (+150,390 jobs)
Median annual wage: $62,780

Washington

Fastest-growing job: Residential Advisors
Employment growth: 85% (+800 jobs)
Employment growth (all occupations): 9.22% (+275,220 jobs)
Median annual wage: $31,650

West Virginia

Fastest-growing job: Substitute Teachers
Employment growth: 147% (+3,360 jobs)
Employment growth (all occupations): -1.47% (-10,380 jobs)
Median annual wage: $20,050

Wisconsin

Fastest-growing job: Real Estate Sales Agents
Employment growth: 147% (+1,320 jobs)
Employment growth (all occupations): 2.78% (+76,960 jobs)
Median annual wage: $41,080

Wyoming

Fastest-growing job: Self-Enrichment Education Teachers
Employment growth: 88% (+300 jobs)
Employment growth (all occupations): -5.11% (-14,510 jobs)
Median annual wage: $27,830

Methodology

The data used in this analysis is from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics survey. This survey covers all full-time and part-time employees in nonfarm industries. For each state, the number of employees in each occupation was compared between May 2018 and May 2015. The Bureau of Labor Statistics currently surveys only a portion of employers at each survey time in such a way that the published datasets represent three-year moving averages. The data for May 2018 is the most recent dataset, and the data for May 2015 is the most recent independent period for comparison.

Statistics for all 50 states and the District of Columbia were analyzed. The growth rate in employment within each occupation was calculated as a percentage increase in employment between the two survey periods. Only occupations with at least 100,000 employees nationally in 2018 were analyzed. Catch-all occupational categories that included the phrase “all others” were also excluded.

This article first appeared on Heytutor.com.