The Fastest-Growing Job in Each State


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Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared on SmartAsset.com.

It’s no secret that the U.S. unemployment rate peaked at 14.7% in April 2020, as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak — up from a pre-pandemic rate of just 3.5% in February 2020. As the job market continues to rebound with the vaccine rollout and the recent wave of federal aid, which could help many Americans prepare for financial emergencies and boost their savings, Americans looking to be strategic about their job searches would do well to examine employment trends over the last few years to see where the most robust opportunities may exist. Given that some sectors have seen more expansion while others shrank — with varied changes depending on location — SmartAsset took a closer look at the fastest-growing jobs in each state.

To do this, we looked at information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) for 2016 and 2020 for all 50 states. It should be noted that the 2020 data only partially accounts for the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic as responses were collected from November 2019 to May 2020. For details on our data sources and how we put all the information together to create our analysis, check out the Data and Methodology section at the end.

This is the fifth version of SmartAsset’s study of the fastest-growing jobs in each state. Check out the 2020 version here.

Alabama

Real estate agent
Sean Locke Photography / Shutterstock.com
  • Fastest-growing job: Property, real estate and community association managers
  • 2016 workers: 440
  • 2020 workers: 1,930
  • Change in the number of workers: 339%

Alaska

nurse
Syda Productions / Shutterstock.com
  • Fastest-growing job: Postsecondary nursing instructors and teachers
  • 2016 workers: 40
  • 2020 workers: 140
  • Change in the number of workers: 250%

Arizona

Senior with dementia doing occupational therapy
Toa55 / Shutterstock.com
  • Fastest-growing job: Rehabilitation counselors
  • 2016 workers: 770
  • 2020 workers: 2,370
  • Change in the number of workers: 208%

Arkansas

Professor and assistant working on a laptop
Samo Trebizan / Shutterstock.com
  • Fastest-growing job: Postsecondary social work teachers
  • 2016 workers: 90
  • 2020 workers: 260
  • Change in the number of workers: 189%

California

An engineer operates a hoist on a work site
Anatoly Menzhiliy / Shutterstock.com
  • Fastest-growing job: Hoist and winch operators
  • 2016 workers: 80
  • 2020 workers: 1,270
  • Change in the number of workers: 1,488%

Colorado

Africa Studio / Shutterstock.com
  • Fastest-growing job: Recreational therapists
  • 2016 workers: 110
  • 2020 workers: 340
  • Change in the number of workers: 209%

Connecticut

Zivica Kerkez / Shutterstock.com
  • Fastest-growing job: Order clerks
  • 2016 workers: 1,410
  • 2020 workers: 5,180
  • Change in the number of workers: 267%

Delaware

sirtravelalot / Shutterstock.com
  • Fastest-growing job: Biochemists and biophysicists
  • 2016 workers: 140
  • 2020 workers: 360
  • Change in the number of workers: 157%

District of Columbia

engagestock / Shutterstock.com
  • Fastest-growing job: Psychiatric technicians
  • 2016 workers: 130
  • 2020 workers: 360
  • Change in the number of workers: 177%

Florida

Monkey Business Images / Shutterstock.com
  • Fastest-growing job: Postsecondary education administrators
  • 2016 workers: 1,270
  • 2020 workers: 9,740
  • Change in the number of workers: 667%

Georgia

Robert Kneschke / Shutterstock.com
  • Fastest-growing job: Forest fire inspectors and prevention specialists
  • 2016 workers: 60
  • 2020 workers: 390
  • Change in the number of workers: 550%

Hawaii

eating a meal
RossHelen / Shutterstock.com
  • Fastest-growing job: Dietetic technicians
  • 2016 workers: 80
  • 2020 workers: 220
  • Change in the number of workers: 175%

Idaho

Worker near airplane
Corepics VOF / Shutterstock.com
  • Fastest-growing job: Transportation inspectors
  • 2016 workers: 30
  • 2020 workers: 110
  • Change in the number of workers: 267%

Illinois

Senior in a rural location
Dusan Petkovic / Shutterstock.com
  • Fastest-growing job: Postsecondary agricultural sciences teachers
  • 2016 workers: 60
  • 2020 workers: 340
  • Change in the number of workers: 467%

Indiana

James Kirkikis / Shutterstock.com
  • Fastest-growing job: Zoologists and wildlife biologists
  • 2016 workers: 30
  • 2020 workers: 200
  • Change in the number of workers: 567%

Iowa

Young professional working in an office
Kzenon / Shutterstock.com
  • Fastest-growing job: Statisticians
  • 2016 workers: 200
  • 2020 workers: 650
  • Change in the number of workers: 225%

Kansas

Bailiff
Andrey_Popov / Shutterstock.com
  • Fastest-growing job: Bailiffs
  • 2016 workers: 60
  • 2020 workers: 390
  • Change in the number of workers: 550%

Kentucky

Men looking at electrical panel
Syda Productions / Shutterstock.com
  • Fastest-growing job: Powerhouse, substation and relay electrical and electronics repairers
  • 2016 workers: 150
  • 2020 workers: 540
  • Change in the number of workers: 260%

Louisiana

Materials engineer
Dusan Petkovic / Shutterstock.com
  • Fastest-growing job: Materials engineers
  • 2016 workers: 60
  • 2020 workers: 270
  • Change in the number of workers: 350%

Maine

Machine operator
KlingSup / Shutterstock.com
  • Fastest-growing job: Metal and plastic milling and planing machine setters, operators and tenders
  • 2016 workers: 40
  • 2020 workers: 320
  • Change in the number of workers: 700%

Maryland

Andrey_Popov / Shutterstock.com
  • Fastest-growing job: Bailiffs
  • 2016 workers: 130
  • 2020 workers: 530
  • Change in the number of workers: 308%

Massachusetts

science photo / Shutterstock.com
  • Fastest-growing job: Forensic science technicians
  • 2016 workers: 40
  • 2020 workers: 90
  • Change in the number of workers: 125%

Michigan

Andrey_Popov / Shutterstock.com
  • Fastest-growing job: Private detectives and investigators
  • 2016 workers: 310
  • 2020 workers: 750
  • Change in the number of workers: 142%

Minnesota

puhhha / Shutterstock.com
  • Fastest-growing job: Court, municipal and license clerks
  • 2016 workers: 2,410
  • 2020 workers: 7,660
  • Change in the number of workers: 218%

Mississippi

MRI
s4svisuals / Shutterstock.com
  • Fastest-growing job: Medical equipment repairers
  • 2016 workers: 220
  • 2020 workers: 600
  • Change in the number of workers: 173%

Missouri

Older woman working
Vadym Pastukh / Shutterstock.com
  • Fastest-growing job: Postsecondary area, ethnic and cultural studies teachers
  • 2016 workers: 50
  • 2020 workers: 170
  • Change in the number of workers: 240%

Montana

car shopping
Dean Drobot / Shutterstock.com
  • Fastest-growing job: Automotive and watercraft service attendants
  • 2016 workers: 80
  • 2020 workers: 310
  • Change in the number of workers: 288%

Nebraska

Man shopping for books
Nestor Rizhniak / Shutterstock.com
  • Fastest-growing job: Postsecondary foreign language and literature teachers
  • 2016 workers: 40
  • 2020 workers: 190
  • Change in the number of workers: 375%

Nevada

Psychiatric situation.
Africa Studio / Shutterstock.com
  • Fastest-growing job: Psychiatric technicians
  • 2016 workers: 180
  • 2020 workers: 1,630
  • Change in the number of workers: 806%

New Hampshire

Consultant woman
fizkes / Shutterstock.com
  • Fastest-growing job: Training and development managers
  • 2016 workers: 100
  • 2020 workers: 240
  • Change in the number of workers: 140%

New Jersey

didesign021 / Shutterstock.com
  • Fastest-growing job: Psychiatric technicians
  • 2016 workers: 290
  • 2020 workers: 820
  • Change in the number of workers: 183%

New Mexico

iofoto / Shutterstock.com
  • Fastest-growing job: Agricultural equipment operators
  • 2016 workers: 90
  • 2020 workers: 390
  • Change in the number of workers: 333%

New York

Xbow / Shutterstock.com
  • Fastest-growing job: Engine and other machine assemblers
  • 2016 workers: 420
  • 2020 workers: 1,390
  • Change in the number of workers: 231%

North Carolina

Restaurant cook
wavebreakmedia / Shutterstock.com
  • Fastest-growing job: Fast food cooks
  • 2016 workers: 8,100
  • 2020 workers: 39,980
  • Change in the number of workers: 394%

North Dakota

Motivation, two men working out
michaeljung / Shutterstock.com
  • Fastest-growing job: Athletic trainers
  • 2016 workers: 50
  • 2020 workers: 150
  • Change in the number of workers: 200%

Ohio

fizkes / Shutterstock.com
  • Fastest-growing job: Arbitrators, mediators and conciliators
  • 2016 workers: 120
  • 2020 workers: 320
  • Change in the number of workers: 167%

Oklahoma

Senior worker in a library
LightField Studios / Shutterstock.com
  • Fastest-growing job: Archivists
  • 2016 workers: 40
  • 2020 workers: 100
  • Change in the number of workers: 150%

Oregon

Legal work.
Kzenon / Shutterstock.com
  • Fastest-growing job: Postsecondary law teachers
  • 2016 workers: 60
  • 2020 workers: 220
  • Change in the number of workers: 267%

Pennsylvania

Quarry Rock Splitter
Salienko Evgenii / Shutterstock.com
  • Fastest-growing job: Quarry rock splitters
  • 2016 workers: 390
  • 2020 workers: 770
  • Change in the number of workers: 97%

Rhode Island

Woman and man talking across desk.
AshTproductions / Shutterstock.com
  • Fastest-growing job: Community health workers
  • 2016 workers: 100
  • 2020 workers: 240
  • Change in the number of workers: 140%

South Carolina

Vadim Ratnikov / Shutterstock.com
  • Fastest-growing job: Highway maintenance workers
  • 2016 workers: 410
  • 2020 workers: 2,640
  • Change in the number of workers: 544%

South Dakota

Warehouse manager
wavebreakmedia / Shutterstock.com
  • Fastest-growing job: Transportation, storage and distribution managers
  • 2016 workers: 130
  • 2020 workers: 280
  • Change in the number of workers: 115%

Tennessee

Statistics on a laptop
thodonal88 / Shutterstock.com
  • Fastest-growing job: Statistical assistants
  • 2016 workers: 40
  • 2020 workers: 440
  • Change in the number of workers: 1,000%

Texas

Police Texas
Andrey Bayda/Shutterstock.com
  • Fastest-growing job: First-line supervisors of police and detectives
  • 2016 workers: 2,730
  • 2020 workers: 6,800
  • Change in the number of workers: 149%

Utah

Female lab scientist using microscope
Likoper / Shutterstock.com
  • Fastest-growing job: Medical scientists (except epidemiologists)
  • 2016 workers: 550
  • 2020 workers: 1,840
  • Change in the number of workers: 235%

Vermont

Production Perig / Shutterstock.com
  • Fastest-growing job: Government programs eligibility interviews
  • 2016 workers: 60
  • 2020 workers: 290
  • Change in the number of workers: 383%

Virginia

Team of young workers
Rawpixel.com / Shutterstock.com
  • Fastest-growing job: Commercial and industrial designers
  • 2016 workers: 410
  • 2020 workers: 1,450
  • Change in the number of workers: 254%

Washington

Phovoir / Shutterstock.com
  • Fastest-growing job: Avionics technicians
  • 2016 workers: 1,140
  • 2020 workers: 3,730
  • Change in the number of workers: 227%

West Virginia

Metal machine worker
Dmitry Kalinovsky / Shutterstock.com
  • Fastest-growing job: Separating, filtering, clarifying, precipitating and still machine setters, operators and tenders
  • 2016 workers: 50
  • 2020 workers: 340
  • Change in the number of workers: 580%

Wisconsin

Hand polishing marble
Piyawat Nandeenopparit / Shutterstock.com
  • Fastest-growing job: Hand grinding and polishing workers
  • 2016 workers: 710
  • 2020 workers: 1,940
  • Change in the number of workers: 173%

Wyoming

A man working a control panel in a hard hat
welcomia / Shutterstock.com
  • Fastest-growing job: Chemical equipment operators
  • 2016 workers: 80
  • 2020 workers: 310
  • Change in the number of workers: 288%

Data and Methodology

Man using too much data on his phone, tablet and laptop
Bacho / Shutterstock.com

To find the fastest-growing occupations for each state and the District of Columbia, we looked at employment data from 2016 and compared it with data from 2020. The 2020 data only accounts for the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in part as responses were collected from November 2019 to May 2020. We filtered out any occupation for which the standard error for the estimated number of people employed in the occupation was greater than 20. We also filtered out any occupation with “other” in the title. To rank the occupations, we considered the percentage change in people employed in each occupation during this period.

All data comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupation Employment Statistics.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.



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